Sometimes the “same old, same old” can be a good thing. We’re not saying not to try new and innovative ways to engage your users, but sometimes the phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” has a bit more validity when you want surefire results. Our suggestion is to keep searching for fresh, new ways to increase response rates, but don’t forget the key tactics that have consistently worked for you in the first place. Here are 8 tactics that should always be included in your email program’s toolkit. Create relevant content: You’ve heard this a million times before, but it won’t kill you to hear it again. Content is king. So, make sure your email is compelling and appeals to your user. Employ an email preference center to learn more about what content your subscribers want to receive from you. Personalize: Everyone likes to feel special and you can do that by creatively using customer data to capture your user’s attention. Go beyond simply using their name. Use location, or past purchase behavior to spark their interest. Segment your list. Batch and blast is dead, or at least it should be! Analyze your database and create groups of users based on demographic or behavioral targeting. Look for commonalities among existing customers and try to identify interesting trends that you can use to target potential customers. We actually created a guide just on segmentation that you can check out for more ideas. Integrate. Email works best when it’s used as part of an entire marketing strategy. For instance, couple a direct mail piece with an email campaign. Make sure the email drops the same day your direct mail is scheduled to arrive. This gives your campaign a dual touch point that is likely to resonate with your user. Use social media. Social media and email don’t have to compete. Instead marry the two by encouraging users to share email content over their networks. Make it easy for them by including share links in every email, perhaps next to each article. Test and optimize. Unless you have a 100% open and click rate, there is always an opportunity to make your email work better! Try A/B testing subject lines, content, and even calls to action to see which email performs better. Send to a small portion of your list and send the winning campaign to the rest. You can also test by segmenting as some messages may work better with select targets. Nurture users. Use email to stay in touch regularly with your users. By automating the process with nurturing emails and marketing automation, you can ensure that your brand is top of mind at all times. It also provides a great, low risk way for users to learn more about your company. Optimize for mobile. Don’t forget that an increasing number of users are reading their email on their smartphone and tablet devices. So make sure your emails are optimized for this media by going responsive. We’ve recently made the switch here at SendGrid and are super glad we did. For more tips on how to create a great email program, watch our recent webcast, Make Transactional Email Your Superhero: Keys to Optimization and Testing Success.