SendGrid has accomplished a lot in its 9 years of existence. It offers email API solutions, and marketing campaigns, so, not surprisingly, CMO Scott Heimes knows a thing or two about email marketing.

Why Email Marketing

According to Heimes, email truly is the center of Digital Communication. It accounts for the highest ROI (40x) and still remains the most pervasive form of digital communication.

5 Keys for Driving Growth in Email

Heimes says that 5 factors are involved in the success or failure of effective email marketing. These are Design, Content, Personalization, Globalization, and Deliverability.


First and foremost, all emails need to be optimized for mobile, as 66% of all emails in Canada are opened on mobile devices.

Additionally, effective calls to action (CTAs), typography, images, icons, etc. need to be perfectly aligned with your brand. Heimes believes conducting A/B testing on all of these factors is absolutely mandatory for an effective email.

Finally—and this should go without saying—but your logo should always be front and center in your outgoing emails so that it is one of the first things that the receiver sees upon opening the email.


In terms of content, Heimes says that the title cannot be too long or too short—in general, a title 3 words long seems to win out. Additionally, using hashtags in titles does not work very well and should be avoided.

Finally, using your preheader can be great for adding more context and proving more detail—do not waste this space.


Personalizing your content helps drive the desired engagement immensely, increasing open rates of emails by 41%.

Personalization involves tailoring content based on the recipeient—content that is timely, relevant, regional, etc.

For example, eBay uses their own custom campaign management tool using their own data feeds which trigger automatic emails with great accuracy. Additionally, brands should be using new tools to make emails more interactive.


This is essentially tailoring content to suit a region, as opposed to a person. This involves localization in terms of language, content, and offers which appeal to certain demographics over other.

Additionally, it is important to be compliant with global email regulations, which can vary largely from region to region.

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This can be an unexpectedly large problem, considering that more that 21% of legitimate email never arrives at its destination. Deliverability involves both human and technical factors:

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Heimes advises that if you’re not well-versed with these aspects, consider leveraging a service provider to ensure the highest deliverability.


1.) Always A/B Test. Everything.

2.) Design emails with a clear CTA and Branding

3.) Manage the hygiene of your list—have to cut people out if they haven’t opened your email in 3 or 9 months, and cycle out your oldest subscribers occasionally.

4.) Never buy an email list— it will be full of spam traps and will bring your reputation down.

5.) Use compelling content

6.) Send timely, relevant content

7.) Deliverability is the foundation for success

Speaking of Reputation… here’s how you preserve it:

1.) Always ask permission to mail someone, and respect it their decision if they refuse.

2.) Create an email preference center, where subscribers can decide how much email communication they would like to receive from you.

3.) Send a welcome message when someone signs up

4.) Remove unengaged email recipients—they will inevitably damage your reputation

5.) Make it easy to unsubscribe