10 email marketing hacks that will boost engagement

Nifty tips and tricks

If you’ve mastered GoDaddy Email Marketing’s basic features, why not try something new? Here are 10 email marketing hacks to help you get organized and add visual interest to your emails.

1. Organize your emails into groups

It’s easy to organize your emails into groups. On your GoDaddy Email Marketing dashboard, you’ll see a thumbnail image of each email in the right-hand side-bar. Just drag any email thumbnail on top of any other email thumbnail, and let go. You’ve just created a group!

Email Marketing Hacks Organize Groups

When you first create the group, you’ll have the opportunity to name it. You can also edit the name of the group later by clicking on the pencil icon next to the group name.

To remove an email from a group, just drag its thumbnail image from inside the folder to outside the folder.

Want to learn more about email groups? Read more here.

2. Import pre-segmented contacts

Say you’re just getting started with GoDaddy Email Marketing and you already have a healthy contact list that you want segmented into different audiences. It’s easy to do! Here’s how:

  • Using Excel or a similar program, create a spreadsheet that includes a column called “email,” as well as a column called “add_list.” If each person will only be on a single audience list, these are the only columns required. If a single person could be on more than one list, then you’ll need additional “add_list” columns. (You can also include other fields such as “name,” “phone number,” etc. if you have more details for your contacts.)
  • Place each email address into the “email” column. In the “add_list” column, put the name of the audience list that you want for each person. If the person will be on more than one list, put the other audience list names in the adjacent “add_list” columns.
  • Save the file to your computer in the .csv (comma separated values) format.
  • Email Marketing Hacks Add SubscribersUpload the file to your GoDaddy Email Marketing account. In the “Subscribers” tab, click the “+ Add Subscribers” button.
  • Browse for your .csv file and upload it.
  • Your contacts should be added to your All Subscribers list, and also the appropriate lists in your “add_list” columns.

Read more for details on this, and other advanced importing techniques.

3. Automatically add the send date to your emails

To automatically add the date that your email is sent, try GoDaddy Email Marketing’s date macro!

  • To add a date formatted like “August 11, 2014,” just type [[date]] into the text of your email, where you want it to display.
  • To add a date formatted like “08/11/2014” (American format), type [[date(mm/dd/yyyy)]] into your email.
  • To add a date formatted like “11/08/2014” (non-American format), type [[date(dd/mm/yyyy)]] into your email.

Email Marketing Hacks Send Date

Hit the Preview button, or send the email to see the current date display.

Email Marketing Hacks Date Display

These macros can be used both in regular emails and drip campaigns.

4. Search and segment your subscribers

If you have additional data fields (e.g., state, gender) in your subscriber lists, you can easily perform a search to create a new segmented list. Here’s how:

  • Email Marketing Hacks SegmentClick on your subscribers tab.
  • Go to the search bar on the top right.
  • Enter the name of the field, followed by the term you want to search for. For instance, to search for everyone who lives in a specific city, you would type: city:”New York City” (or whatever city you’re looking for).
  • GoDaddy will return a list of audience members who match your criteria.

If you want, you can select them all by clicking the “Email” checkbox at the top of the list. And then you can add them all to a list by clicking “Add To” at the top right, and selecting a new or existing subscriber list.

But wait — there’s more! You can combine multiple search terms using “not,” “or,” and “and.” For instance, you might want to search for only female customers in New York City. To learn more about advanced search techniques, check out this help doc.

5. Add GIFs to your emails

A animated gif (graphics interchange format) is an image file that acts like a tiny movie. You can embed gifs into your GoDaddy Email Marketing emails to provide a laugh or help with instructions. For instance, if you’re writing a newsletter about saving for a rainy day, how could you resist a shot of Napoleon Dynamite squirreling away his ‘tots?

Email Marketing Hacks GIF

However, not all email clients support gifs. Some versions of Outlook and Windows Phone 7 will only display the first frame. Just make sure that you’re OK with that first frame standing alone for some of your readers. And always consider adding a caption, below any image — animated, or not!

Here’s how to add gifs to your newsletter:

  • Find or create a gif that you like. Remember: Images must be <1MB in size to be uploaded into GoDaddy Email Marketing. And the smaller, the better.
  • Save the .gif file to your computer.
  • From within the GoDaddy Email Marketing composer, on the right sidebar, you’ll see your image gallery. Click “Add an image” at the bottom.

Email Marketing Hacks Add Image

  • Browse for your .gif file, and click Open.
  • Email Marketing Hacks Upload ImageClick “Upload Image” to add the file to your GoDaddy Email Marketing image gallery.
  • Click the image module button at the bottom of the composer.
  • Drag the uploaded image into the image module.

Email Marketing Hacks Image Module

Although gifs can be really fun, remember: everything in moderation!

Read more about images in your GoDaddy Email Marketing campaigns!

6. Create a photo gallery

You can easily create a gorgeous photo gallery from 2 columns, up to 4 columns using the GoDaddy Email Marketing composer. It can look something like this:

Email Marketing Hacks Photo Gallery

This is great for:

  • Sending event photos to attendees after the event.
  • Highlighting new products in your store (each photo can be linked to the product page).
  • Showcasing recent works of art.
  • Creating a newsletter-style vision board to inspire your readers to do something.

How to do it:

  • Email Marketing Hacks Add Image ModuleIn the GoDaddy composer, click the image module at the bottom, to add one to your campaign. On the image module, click the “+” to add another image module to the right.
  • Click the “+” again if you want to create a third image. And again, to add a fourth.
  • Click the image module button at the bottom, again, to create a new image module directly below. Add the same number of images, using the “+” button. Repeat, until you have finished your image gallery layout. Easy, right? It’ll look something like this:

Email Marketing Hacks Image Gallery Layout

  • We think this looks particularly cool with square images, but you don’t necessarily have to do it that way. Use your favorite photo editing tool to crop your images into squares. It’s really easy to do with PicMonkey or Canva. Save the cropped image to your computer.
  • Now, upload each photo to your GoDaddy Email Marketing image gallery, and drag them into the desired slot in your photo gallery.
  • Each of the photos in your gallery can be clickable. Simply click the pencil tool under the image, and add the URL. This is a great idea if your gallery features products in your online store! You can also add a caption to each photo if you like.

Read more on using images in your campaigns!

7. ‘Blend’ your banner

  • If you want a cool visual effect, try making your email background the exact same color as your email banner. The effect? It looks like your banner flows seamlessly into your background. Here’s how:Determine the exact hex code (e.g., white = #FFFFFF) for the background color of your banner image. Try using ColorZilla for Chrome or Firefox or Sip app for Mac.
  • Type that code into the background or foreground field of your email style. For more info on how to edit your campaign styles, check this out.

Email Marketing Hacks Blend Banner

8. Create a fancy-pants Section Divider

Instead of using the divider module in the GoDaddy composer (which creates a simple horizontal line), you can create special image to serve the same purpose. Here’s how:

  • Design your divider in Photoshop, or a free program like PicMonkey or Canva. For example, I created an image that was 530 pixels x 50 pixels. I made the background color transparent and added three little rockets.
  • Save the divider image to your computer.
  • Create a new image module in your email where you want to have a divider.
  • Upload the divider image and move it into place.
  • You may need to drag the image at the bottom-right corner to stretch it across the width of your email.

Here’s how it looks in action:

Email Marketing Hacks Section Divider

Note: The following email marketing hacks require a bit of HTML know-how. Only attempt this if you feel confident or are willing to do some trial and error.

9. Control how your heading font looks

If you want more control over how your headings look, you can adjust the font weight by adding some “span style” code.

For instance, to make the heading have a lighter look, you can take your heading

Heading Number One

==========

and add a bit of code before and after your text, like this:

<span style=”font-weight: lighter;”>text</span>

==========

You literally type this into your GoDaddy Email Marketing text module. (Replace “text” with your header text.”) Like so:

<span style=”font-weight: lighter;”>Heading Number One</span>

==========

Email Marketing Hacks Heading Font Code

Click “Preview,” and you’ll be able to see the difference:

Email Marketing Hacks Heading Font

10. Make one word or phrase a different color

If you want one word or phrase in your text to be a different color, you can use some simple code to do so: <span style=”color: red;”>text</span>. You can change the color, of course! Here’s an example:

Email Marketing Hacks Font Color

This is what I typed into my text module:

I felt like making the word <span style=”color: purple;”>purple</span> pop.

Give these email marketing hacks a go!

Have fun trying some of our favorite email marketing hacks. Remember: Email is an art! Hack away, friends!

Promote your business with a killer email newsletter. Try GoDaddy Email Marketing today.


Also published on Medium.

Image by: Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious via VisualHunt / CC BY-SA

Emma Wilhelm
Emma Wilhelm loves punchy words and uphill battles. She’s a proud member of the GoDaddy GoCentral team. When she’s offline, she relishes long runs, baked goods and dance parties with her kids. Follow her on Twitter at @emmasota.