Creating Marketing Emails For Inbound Funnels: How To Maximise ROI

With inbound marketing funnels, emails are the primary means of communicating with prospects. They are also reportedly the most effective, with higher conversion rates.

Yet even though email marketing is widely used and effective, many businesses still do not get the returns on investment they anticipate. 

The key benchmarks include clickthrough rates and open rates among the target audience. Several factors influence these metrics. These include:

Headers/Subject line

Subject lines are some of the very first things that readers land on and are thus critical in determining whether they open your emails or not.

Text/ Content

How you write an email is critical. Readers need to be enticed and captivated to increase the chances that they'll act on your emails or respond to your calls to action, such as link clicks.


Graphics and videos are critical elements of engaging emails. They can make your emails more enticing for the reader, thus influencing their reactions. As such, the different media elements you include in your emails greatly influence clickthrough and email open rates. 

By making the necessary changes to these elements, your team can then achieve maximum returns on investment.  

At FunnelBud, we have worked with several clients, producing well-crafted and effective inbound marketing funnels that revolve around emails. 

This article will show you what elements your marketing team can implement to increase ROI and get better results for your email campaigns.

1. Email Open Rate

An email open rate refers to the percentage of people who opened your email over those that received it without bouncing. For an email to count as opened:

  • The reader must either open it to view in full or enable it as a preview
  • The reader must click a link in the email

An example:

If you send 1000 emails and 100 emails bounce, then you have delivered 900 emails. If only 200 of these are opened, then you have an email open rate of 22%. (200/900).

Reports in 2021 indicate that the average email open rate is roughly 22%, which is also relatively low compared to previous years. This decrease is due to several rising factors such as advanced filter options, a high number of emails customers receive daily, etc. 

However, when using email marketing in your inbound marketing funnels, we have found that some key tactics can help you greatly boost your email open rates. Some of these include:

Name and Subject

When you send emails to your prospects, you compete with other brands, friends, and family. It is therefore essential to add a personal touch to your email. That way, it is less likely to fall into spam and more likely to be opened when delivered.

64% of people say they open an email based on the "from" name over anything else, according to Chadwick Martin Bailey.

So instead of using your company name, consider using your name, e.g., Martin Smith, instead of XY Ltd. Some marketing automation software like SharpSpring can quickly help you personalize your emails when reaching out to prospects.

The subject line and pre-header text

As stated earlier, your subject line is essential to how readers respond to your emails. Based on our clients’ campaigns, we have found that short but powerful subject lines work best. 

They instantly attract and hook the reader, increasing the likelihood that they will open the email.

Timing of email

It matters when you send your emails. Considering that customers receive hundreds of emails a day, it is very likely that your emails will sink lower into the pile and probably never get read if you send them at the wrong time.

Statistics show that most emails are opened between 9 am, and 11 am. During this period, your leads are probably working and on their work devices, most likely sparing time to open emails as well. 

Send your emails at such a time, and you might see your email open rates skyrocket.

2. Clickthrough Rate

Simply put, the clickthrough rate refers to the number of people that clicked at least one link in your email over the total number of delivered emails. 

It is a critical factor for email campaign success since it highly represents leads engagement with your emails. Other metrics like open rate help too. However, they do little to show you your message's effectiveness, neither do they contribute to conversion rates. 

You can have many leads open your email, but you will not fully accomplish your goals without any conversions or link clicks. 

So how can your business increase click through rates in your email campaigns?


Based on various A/B tests we conducted, we found that emails with fewer images have higher clickthrough rates. 

No images allow the readers to focus on the message and reduce distraction, making them more likely to respond when needed to your call to action.

Furthermore, images often require more data to load and thus take longer to do so. Since the audience's attention spans are reducing by the day, they will most likely leave your email without fully reading it. 

Personalised Message

Our tests showed an increase in clickthrough rates when we personalized our email messages.  Leads are more likely to engage with communications that speak to their interests and show relevant offers.

So, you should personalize your email messages to suit each segment and their interests rather than send generic emails to all your potential leads. Such are more likely to come off as spam and thus yield lower clickthrough rates.


Several studies have found a connection between the links and email clickthrough. Whereas links are essential calls to action, too many links could bring the opposite effect and instead turn your readers away.

With our Funnelbud clients, emails with 1-2 links generated higher clickthrough rates than those with multiple links.

For instance, a financial firm we recently tested with a 5000-email database. Our results showed a 15% increase in open rates and clickthroughs when we sent emails with two links or less.

Fewer links give email readers a point of focus and make the emails look less spammy, increasing the likelihood of following the link.

Calls to Action

Multiple studies show that clear calls to action greatly increase email clickthrough rates. The email message and structure ought to focus on one clear objective and a specific call to action.

It reduces confusion and spam and thus increases the chances that the email recipients will respond to the calls. 


Email marketing is one of the most effective strategies for nurturing and converting leads in an inbound marketing funnel. Yet, to maximize returns and achieve better results, you must adhere to email best practices.

Based on our email test, these are a few key findings that your business can adopt and implement in your emails to increase clickthrough rates and email open rates.

SharpSpring is a reliable automation system you can use to draft your emails and create templates you can customize to appeal to your target audience. 

To find out more, contact our experts today for a free demo or consultation.


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About the Author

Priscilla Achieng

Priscilla Achieng is a lead Technical Content Writer at Funnelbud. A Content marketing professional by day, a passionate soccer fan by night, she also provides copywriting and SEO services for businesses of all sizes.