The 5 Keys to a Successful Prospecting Email Campaign

Aug 31, 2022
Written by Zach Pritchett

Email is the granddaddy of the digital marketing world. Labeled with (and rightly so!) a bad reputation from the ‘spammers’ of the past, email marketing has thankfully changed dramatically over the past 15 years. 

cj-affiliate-2022-zach-pritchett-massive-headshotZach Pritchett, Founder & CEO, Massive

Even with many positive changes within the channel, email as a marketing acquisition tool is often overlooked by marketers because of its historic reputation, lack of knowledge within the channel, or lack of established relationships with a trusted email vendor. Still, the savviest marketers—from smaller ecommerce sellers to Fortune 500 companies—consider it essential to their media portfolio. Why? Successfully executed campaigns produce incredible engagement and ultimately high volumes of incremental leads or sales.


How has email marketing changed over the past 15 years?

In short, it has become very difficult. To start, successful email marketing today requires an incredible amount of technical expertise, including data science proficiency, intrinsic ‘deliverability’ techniques (e.g. ‘IP warming’), and the ability to code.

More than ever, consumers are tremendously protective of the emails they receive—allowing only transactional and marketing messages that they recognize, brands and advertisers they trust, and (perhaps most importantly) offers that could provide value.

Finally, the largest, most prevalent Internet Service Providers (or ISPs), such as Yahoo and Gmail, require consistent engagement (email opens and body copy clicks) and complaint rate thresholds (user unsubscribes or marked as spam) for a campaign to even reach a consumer's primary inbox. If an email marketer oversteps these boundaries with the ISPs, their entire infrastructure and overall business are in jeopardy.


The 5 Keys to a Successful Prospecting Email Campaign

Email marketing is far from dead. It should be considered by any marketer in search of a digital channel that delivers incredible national reach, offers geographic/demographic targeting, and drives a quality of customer comparable to PPC/search.

Before launching an email acquisition campaign, it’s essential to collaborate with an email agency with the experience, integrity, and understanding of the compliance landscape. Below are the ‘5 Keys’ to launching a successful prospecting email campaign. With each respective key working in harmony, there is a high probability of long-term success.


1. Data

Responsive consumer data is the lifeblood of any successful email campaign. Identifying email publishers or affiliates who can segment consumer profiles by demographic information is an essential step in a campaign’s success. Can your partner target consumers by age, gender, income, or Fico score? The ability to define and ultimately send to these profiles will have a dramatic impact on the campaign’s short and long-term success. Industry-leading email publishers invest heavily to maintain list health by segmenting ‘opener’ and ‘clicker’ segments and removing unresponsive consumers. A client's understanding of how opt-in consumer email data is generated, cleaned, and segmented, is crucial.


2. Compliance

Compliance within the email marketing channel is obvious and multifaceted. Some vital questions to ask when qualifying an email agency may include the following: 

  • Does the email publisher remove all unsubscribes within 10 days, per CAN-SPAM law? 
  • Does the message footer have both an unsubscribe link and a physical address unsubscribe? 
  • Does the mailer process the advertiser’s suppression list before each send? 
  • Is there a digital record of every data record maintained with full name, email address, signup URL, IP address, and timestamp where permissions were provided to receive 3rd party marketing messages? 
  • How often does a consumer receive a marketing message on a monthly basis?

Choosing a vendor who has an inherent understanding of CAN-SPAM law, in addition to transparency in how their consumer data is mailed, is essential to the success of a campaign.


3. Email Creative

Developing email creatives (including From and Subject Lines) that land in the inbox, represent your brand accurately, engages your audience, and delivers a consistent visual experience across all ISPs, browsers, and device types, is highly nuanced. Content specific to the email channel is distinct.

Simply repurposing display creatives, native, or social media content does not work. Why? The consumer mindset when searching one's email inbox is completely different from browsing social media or watching YouTube.

It's crucial to select an email vendor who has expertise in the medium. Any successful campaign requires visually compelling creatives and content that drive consumers to take action. Finally, the ability to track performance per unique email creative, as well as from and subject line combinations, is paramount in making data-centric campaign optimizations.


4. Publisher Transparency

Advertisers, when contracted with an email agency, should require full disclosure and details of the mailing partners the agency represents. Transparency allows for true collaboration between all entities from a strategy, creative, targeting, data, media forecasting, and campaign optimization standpoint. 

Additionally, working with transparency prevents the advertiser from duplicating buys at potentially different price points with the same email partners through two different networks. Transparency is all about protecting advertisers, and working to maximize the client’s goals with efficiency.


5. Vendor Selection

Email marketing is a highly powerful marketing tool when in collaboration with an honest, professional, industry-recognized vendor. Hiring an inexperienced agency or network for your email acquisition efforts could lead to significant risk exposure on multiple fronts—and at worst, damage your brand’s existing reputation and customer base. Due diligence when qualifying and onboarding a potential email agency must involve detailed questions about their experience within your industry or product, compliance methodologies, unwavering understanding of best practices, reviewing specific case studies, and employee expertise. The foremost vendors in the space are patient and should provide clarity to a marketplace, which to the newcomer can be tricky to navigate for companies new to the channel.


Email Can Be Your Most Essential Digital Acquisition Vehicle

Most advertisers rely heavily on search, social media, and native channels as the foundation of their digital acquisition strategy. Certainly, these channels drive results, but they can be cash-flow intensive and exceedingly competitive.

Additionally, with recent changes within the iOS platform and a ‘cookieless’ internet, marketers now face even more significant headwinds in acquiring quality, long-term customers. Email acquisition marketing can exponentially fill that void. It’s a proven, scalable, cost-efficient platform that can supplement current acquisition efforts, or, in the case of many Fortune 500 companies, become a business’s most essential digital acquisition vehicle.

If you're new to the email channel, or eager to find a new email vendor, utilize these five keys and set the footing to win more customers within the marketplace.



About Massive

Massive is a marketing firm specializing in dedicated email acquisition campaigns for brand growth. Massive offers innovative email solutions to help your brand reach more customers, maximize engagement, and nurture customer relationships. We have a culture of excellence, meticulous in maintaining a ridiculous level of responsiveness and client satisfaction, and successfully operate in highly regulated industries. Massive secured #272 overall on the 2022 Inc. 5000 list

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