What Factors are CRITICAL to Your Email Marketing Success?


Email marketing

In 2010 Dave Chaffey of Smart Insights explained his CRITICAL factors for email marketing success. His “CRITCAL” factors were highlighted after a study was made on Virgin Atlantic to reveal what really matters in their email marketing campaign success.

As an email marketer, you need to desire, define and deliver the most important factors that guarantee your email marketing success. These factors help to ensure that your campaign choice is effective at delivering value to the target audience and at realizing the targeted ROI.

If your email marketing campaign is not going the way you want then it’s time to find out if you are actually observing the factors that are critical for its success. Apart from obvious email marketing mistakes, there are factors which can help you get more success with your email marketing.

To be specific, the following are explanation of the “CRITICAL” acronyms that Dave Chaffey used to describe factors necessary for email marketing success.

Conversation – Your email language must be conversational. A campaign which is dialogue will encourage engagement and social. When writing emails, ensure that you are prompting dialogue so that readers or the target audience will feel you are directly ‘talking’ to him/her.

Relevance – Your email must be tailored to the needs of the target audience. Creating a blanket message to everyone will not get the same effect as when targeted messages are directed to the right audience. The point here is that email marketing success is function of creating and sending mails that are targeted to the audience after researching the demographics.

Incentive – Your email must come with incentives that would encourage the recipients click, read and take actions on the mails. Incentives or offers must promote the ‘what’s in it for me’ factor.  You must ensure that your email promotion comes with incentives such as FREE offers that would encourage the recipients to take action.

Timing – Your email campaign must be well-timed so that achieve a successful open rate. The best time of the day that the intended recipient would likely to open the mail must be deciphered. The timing is important to determine when best to push an email campaign that would yield result.

Integration – Your email campaign must be part of your larger marketing communication to become successful. Integrating email into other means of communication like blogging, social networking, advertising, etc. will go a long way to ensure reinforcement of communication options.

Creative and Copy – Your email structure, style and copy must be creative. The design must be in way that readily attracts and appeals to the audience. The number of hyperlinks and the position of the call-to-action should be creatively designed in a way that would make visitors click easily.

Attributes – Your email message must have the right attributes. These include the right headers, subject line, address, and format. The right attributes on your email would make for easy identification and response. You must ensure that the right attributes are in place so as to make your email marketing appealing!

Landing Page – Your email marketing must include a landing page. This is the page where recipients are taken to after they must have clicked to the links you presented in the mail. The landing page(s) must be designed in way that would facilitate easy call-to-action.

These are the CRITICAL factors that make for successful email marketing campaign, according to Dave Chaffey.

Now, over to you: What factors are CRITICAL to your email marketing campaign success?


  1. Hi Sunday,

    Its revealing seeing the detailed explanation you gave on the “CRITICAL” factors acronym for successful email marketing. Dave Chaffey did a good job by evoking all the necessary details on what makes for email marketing success.

    I have learned a lot from this post. And I sure have to take steps that would guarantee better email success!

    • Yes Amit, these “CRITICAL” factors sure reminds us of what it takes to become successful with our email marketing campaign. However, the application of these principles is what would truly make the difference for us!

  2. Hi Sunday,

    Email marketing success should be what every marketer must care about. The good thing is that we all must ensure that the right things are done to achieve our goals and purposes.

    For me, a critical factor for email marketing success would be providing readers with valuable incentives. I am glad that Dave Chaffey has this as one of the important factors!

  3. Hi Sunday,

    The factors you have explained are interesting. It goes to show that one must always be strategic when it comes to creating and sending out emails for the audience.

    The more steps that are taken to deliver value in the mails the better conversion that the marketer would have.

    Thus, getting everything ready for online success is pretty cool!

  4. Hi Sunday,

    Email marketing success should be craved by all digital marketers. This is because the money is still in the list. Yes, with email marketing comes successful targeting.

    If one is able to conceive and offer value to all their email marketing effort then success would be readily achieved.

    At least, for those who barely know that it takes to become successful as email marketers must embrace the above tips!

    • Hello Paul,

      Good luck to your plans of increasing direct mail campaign. Creating more incentives is a sure way of increasing value and attracting more prospects that would take action! Thanks for your comment!

  5. Hi Sunday,

    The structure of an email campaign must be given full consideration. This should blend with what the marketer wants. The design and layout must be readily appealing for engagement and conversion.

    Therefore, value addition must always be blended in the structure and attributes.

    I will bookmark this list for future reference. Thanks for sharing it!

  6. Hi Sunday,

    I am of the opinion that the most critical factors for email marketing success include relevance, timing, incentive and conversation. Dave Chaffey’s list is in order but I think these are the most important for successful email marketing!

  7. Hi Sunday,

    You always give me something to think about with your posts!

    There are certain things I heard of before. For instance righting to a targeted customer rather than a mass audience. For example instead of saying “Hi, hope you all are well” saying “Hi, how you are well.” The second speaks to a personal rather than a mass audience.

    I never thought about the integration part before but I could see how that makes sense. Especially if you have a new article on your blog or a contest on your facebook account.

    I also agree with James Ling @jlsh007 comment that our emails should be valuable.

    Thanks Sunday for all these great posts!

    Take care,


  8. Hi Sunday

    I would say sincerely connecting with my audience is one of the important points about successful email marketing. Delivering really useful and if relevant, actionable content to tat audience.

    I am in fact in the process of developing an email marketing training facility both to share what i have learnt as well as to further develop my skills. http://listbuildingapprentice.com if anyone’s interested

  9. Hello Sunday,

    I’ve not got into email marketing, but reading this well put together article has me considering it. Your advice seems very easy to follow and makes a lot of sense. Having it come across appealing with a personal touch could help those out a lot.


  10. Hi Sunday,

    The best for me would be relevance. When emails are tailored to the needs of the target audience, they are sure to perform better than when they are not.

    You are right, creating a blanket message to everyone won’t be as effective as targeted messages to the right audience.

    That’s why buying large mailing list in the millions to email and make money from them is foolish. It never works and is just waste of time.