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Content Marketing Decoded: Email Marketing with Noah Kagan – Part 1

Last updated on 12/25/2020 at 06:04 PM.

Anyone involved in content marketing knows that the World Wide Web is full of concentrated knowledge, expert tips and training on SEO and SEM, social media marketing, content strategies, link building and much more. But in everyday life there is often no time to follow all these digital experts and platforms. That’s why we created our blog series “Decoded”. Each post is dedicated to a different specialist and their input on a topic from online marketing. This time it’s the turn of email marketing expert Noah Kagan.

Email Marketing Noah Kagan Crispy Content®
Email Marketing Noah Kagan Crispy Content®

Email Marketing: The Best Tips from Noah Kagan – Part 1

Hardly any business can do without strategic email marketing. This important element in the customer journey enables you to generate leads that later turn into paying customers. But how do you get to the email addresses of your target group? How do you make them stand out from the multitude of emails your contacts receive every day? And how do you get them to click on the links in your newsletter? To find answers to these questions, let’s look at the best email marketing ideas from digital expert Noah Kagan and his team at

Noah Kagan has already had an impressive career in online marketing. He worked as No. 30 at Facebook and No. 4 at Fintech company Mint. In 2010, he founded Sumo, which provides free marketing tools to small businesses so they can increase their traffic. With these custom-built tools, he and his team could grow the mailing list for AppSumo to over one million subscribers. Noah has published guest articles in the Huffington Post, Forbes, and Apple News. He also shares his knowledge from personal experiences, conducted studies, and interviews with other digital experts in blog posts, YouTube videos, and podcasts.

By the way: The first two articles in the Decoded series focused on digital expert Neil Patel and his SEO hacks for better search engine rankings. In the third and fourth parts, we looked at Michael Stelzner’s tips for successful social media marketing.


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Tip 1: Master the basics of email marketing

Before we look at how you can improve your email marketing, here’s a recap of the basics of email marketing. Noah Kagan and his team recommend:

  • Write about something your audience finds worth reading and show them how you can help solve their problems. Write compelling subject lines and use your name instead of a brand name in the sender field. This builds trust with your readers. The advantage is that the open rate will increase
  • Ensure regularity. Whether it’s daily, weekly, or once a month, it’s important that you stick to this rhythm. According to HubSpot studies, the highest open and click rate is 16-30 emails per month. Therefore, try different frequencies to find the best strategy for your target audience.

Keep your newsletter simple and short, because your readers have less and less time – every second 3.4 million emails are sent worldwide. Three to five paragraphs in simple sentences with easy-to-read wording are optimal.


Tip 2: Leads that really count – grow your mailing list

Strategic email marketing means aligning your activities with your target audience. This also applies to your mailing list. What good is it if you have 1,000 contacts, but only ten of them are really interested in your company or product? Instead of shopping around for expensive email lists somewhere, you can gain the really important contacts – the potential leads – for next to nothing with countless ways to do it. Dean Yeoung and his colleagues at Sumo have put together these ideas for lead generation:

  • Create a landing page with a content upgrade, such as an e-book, guide or video. Only in exchange for the email address will users receive the content offer. The advantage: You can save the contacts from this campaign as a separate segment in your CRM.
  • Add a newsletter sign-up form to your home page, like Brian Dean does on Only his subscribers will receive the exclusive SEO tips.
  • Add a line in the header that encourages newsletter signup and remains visible to website visitors the entire time.
  • Displays an exit popup as soon as the visitor wants to leave the website. With a content or deal that is interesting for the visitor, you can attract more subscribers. Sumo has seen conversion rates increase by over 60 percent with this type of pop-up.
  • Offer free trials of your services. For example, in exchange for their email address, users can use a tool you’ve developed for 30 days. If you keep them updated regularly during that time, a significant portion of those testers will turn into paying customers.
  • If you have an online store, you can offer a one-time discount for the email. A pop-up is perfect for this.

There are many more ideas to expand your mailing list. You can find concrete examples from other brands in the article “How To Build An Email List: 60 Free Ways You Can Use Right Now”.


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Tip 3: Achieve 78% open rate – formulate emails correctly

Email marketing only works if your readers open your emails and click on the content. The key indicators for this are the open rate and the click rate. Email specialist Jay White achieved a 78% open rate on one of his emails. Sumo’s Megan Mahoney asked him how he did it.

  • Good emails use storytelling. They draw the reader in with emotion. These can be anecdotes from everyday life or hooks that pose riddles and lead to a solution.
  • You can achieve high open rates with e-mails that offer added value. Instead of praising the company’s success (“we are so great”), the focus should be on the reader: To what extent does the product or service help them solve their problem? The exception is personal experiences, which you can write in the first person, as long as they serve the purpose of your email.
  • Respond to your reader’s objections. Financial coach Ramit Sethi does this very successfully. In one of his emails, he took a series of questions that potentially interested people in his online course probably had in mind, and then answered them at eye level.

Tip 4: Getting through to your readers – optimizing the technical side of your emails.

In addition, there are some technical aspects you can change to increase the open rate of your email campaigns:

  • Ask your subscribers to put you on their trusted senders list so your emails don’t end up in spam or the advertising folder like Gmail.
  • Check your bounce rate and delete any email addresses that are out of date from your mailing list.
  • Optimize your emails for mobile devices, because 46% of emails are opened on smartphone or tablet, according to This applies not only to Responsive Design but also to the text length of the sender, subject line and pre-header.
  • Decide on the name as the sender: for solo self-employed, this can be your own name; for companies, it can be the brand name or a combination of an employee’s name and the company name.
  • Segment your distribution lists and sort recipients by engagement, past interactions, buyer’s journey, or buyer’s persona, for example. This will make it easier for you to reach the right audience with your emails.
  • Test two different versions of a subject line on a small segment of your mailing list and analyze the open rates. Then choose the one with the higher open rate as the best option.
  • Double-out: For those who didn’t open your email the first time, send the same email again a week later, for example, but with a different subject line. Noah Kagan achieved an additional 11% open rate on his second attempt. In numbers: an increase of 7,028 opened emails for one minute of extra work.

For more ideas on how to increase the open rate of your email campaigns, check out “The Complete Guide To Email Open Rates (Plus How To Increase Yours)” by Devan Ciccarelli from the Sumo team.


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Tip 5: Free up time for other tasks – marketing automation through targeted workflows

The more people subscribe to your newsletter, the more effort it takes to keep them all up to date. This is where automation based on pre-defined, goal-oriented workflows can help. Set up automatic emails to be sent when the subscriber performs a specific action, such as signing up for the newsletter, or the data situation requires an email because the customer has purchased nothing in 90 days, for example. This saves you valuable time that you can use for other things.

Ash Read of suggests the following email workflows:

Welcome to new newsletter subscribers:

Thanking them, telling them what to expect from the newsletter, and providing reading material with some links to older articles. This can also be an announcement that, for example, they will each receive an email with the blog’s most popular articles over the next four days – also automated. Engagement is highest in the early stages, so there’s great potential here to convert leads into paying customers.

Getting Started so subscribers can get an overview:

Once customers have booked one of your services or purchased one of your products, you can send them a series of emails to let them know what’s next. As an example, Ash cites the SEO experts at Ahrefs, who summarize the overall offering in their first email, and have included links to their most popular SEO guides in the second. In the third, they briefly explain the benefits of one of their products mentioned in the guides, and the fourth email invites readers to join a private Facebook group. This way, you can make your subscribers a part of your community from the start.

Convert leads into customers:

A new lead often wants to learn more about your company or product before they’re ready to buy. This is another area where an automated workflow can help. For example, if he has exchanged his email address for an e-book, in the first email you summarize the content of the e-book again in a few words appealingly and offer the opportunity to talk to the sales team. In the second email, you ask if the reader has found all the information they need or would like to learn more about your solutions, and again offer to talk to one of your experts.

In the next part of the Decoded series on Noah Kagan, we’ll look at four more email workflows that can help you build subscriber loyalty. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, look at the other articles in the Decoded series: The first two articles focused on digital expert Neil Patel and his SEO hacks for better search engine rankings. In the third and fourth parts of the series, we looked at Michael Stelzner’s tips for success in social media marketing.


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Gerrit Grunert, CEO, Crispy Content®

What does Gerrit from Crispy Content® have to say about it?

“To me, email marketing is THE topic in content marketing: personalized, scalable, consistently measurable and used daily by everyone capable of doing business – it doesn’t get any better than that. Noah’s tips do a wonderful job of showing how creative content, performance orientation and sales technique blend here.

One of my favorite tips is to keep the distribution list clean, i.e. to delete inactive contacts. After all, dialogue requires at least two people, and if one is disinterested, the monologue won’t turn into a sale later on. So out with it!”


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Creative, smart and talkative. Analytical, tech-savvy and hands-on. These are the ingredients for a content marketer at Crispy Content® - whether he or she is a content strategist, content creator, SEO expert, performance marketer or topic expert. Our content marketers are "T-Shaped Marketers". They have a broad range of knowledge paired with in-depth knowledge and skills in a single area.

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