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7 Outside-The-Box Email Marketing Ideas To Get Your Prospects' Attention

7 Outside-The-Box Email Marketing Ideas To Get Your Prospects' Attention

Originally posted in February 2020; Updated March 2024

Raise your hand if you need help getting your prospects’ attention. 🙋‍♀️

Yep, just what I suspected — there are a LOT of folks who struggle to get their prospects to engage with their email marketing. 

The goal of any email marketing campaign is to make a good impression and motivate action (preferably, scheduling a call or making a purchase). But with the sheer number of emails competing for your prospects' attention, how do you get their eyes on YOUR email?

I’m so glad you asked, because I’ve got some tips for you! Here are 7 outside-the-box email marketing ideas that will help your emails stand out from the crowd and encourage your prospects to take action.

1. Leverage Visuals: Photos, Video, and More

In today’s visual world, text-only emails generally don't get you very far (though there are certainly exceptions to that rule). Adding visuals like photos, infographics, or videos to your emails will encourage readers to not only read your email but also engage with it by clicking links or sending you a response.

Share photos of yourself, your team, or your products, as well as infographics that share important details you want your reader to remember. 

A picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words. 

And video is worth even more. A few years ago, Martech Advisor stated that linking to video content in your email can increase click-through rates by up to 300%! I think you’ll agree that’s worth taking the time to record a few videos! You don’t need a lot of equipment to do it, either — if you have a smartphone, you’re all set. 


Here are a few ideas for using video to reach your audience:

  • Product demonstrations. Show your product “in the field” so your prospect can easily imagine how it can work for them. 
  • Introductions. Create a “get to know me” video that shares a few tidbits about you and showcases your personality.
  • Testimonials. If you have a client who’s up for it, ask them to record a quick video testimonial about how your product or service helped them.
  • Education. Offer a glimpse into the expertise you offer by sharing a brief video of you discussing a subject that's related to your business. (See our example above!)

You get the picture (see what I did there?). 

2. Harness the Social One-Two Punch

social media

While effective on its own, email marketing packs an even bigger punch when it’s backed up with a strong social media presence.

By connecting with your prospects on social media first, you create a foundation for a relationship that your email marketing can build on. Social media naturally prompts a more casual relationship, where you can communicate on a personal level. That way, when your prospect receives your email, they’re already familiar with who you are and what you have to offer.

The bottom line is that if your recipient recognizes your name in their inbox as someone they’ve already connected with, they’re more likely to open and engage with your email.

3. Write Creative Subject Lines (and Use Emojis!)

write creative subject lines

We all know how important it is to make a good first impression, right? 

Well, when it comes to email marketing, your subject line is your opportunity to make that great first impression. A creative, memorable subject line will set your email apart from the inbox noise and encourage readers to click. 

To create a memorable subject line, we have three main pieces of advice:

  1. Think creatively. Skip the generic “Our Newsletter” type of subject lines and opt for something that piques your reader’s curiosity. Ask a question, appeal to a pain point, include a statistic, etc.
  2. Make it personal. If you want your subject line to pack a punch, mention your prospect’s name or company name in the subject line.
  3. Use emojis. I know this one might feel like a stretch for some of you, but hear me out. Adding an emoji to your subject line adds visual interest and an emotional connection — making your email more enticing to open. (Note: too many emojis can make your email look like spam, so stick with one or two.)

Want to learn more about writing great subject lines? Check out this blog on creating powerful subject lines!

4. Include a “P.S.” 

include a P.S.

Do you include a “P.S.” at the end of your marketing emails? If not, it’s time to start.

The P.S. (or “postscript”) is an ideal spot to link to your blog, share your favorite podcast or quote, include a special code for a secret sale … you get the idea. It's a great tool to infuse some personality and make a personal connection.

While the subject of your P.S. should relate at least somewhat to the rest of your email, it’s a great spot to include something you want to communicate that doesn’t quite fit with everything else. Plus, it adds interest (and a perk for people who read the whole email 😉). 

5. Keep it Conversational

keep it conversational

Remember: even if you’re a B2B company, you’re still writing to people. The goal is to build a relationship. Your emails should spark a conversation with your readers — not simply try to sell to them. 

This doesn’t mean you should never use emails to sell (after all, that’s ultimately the point of emailing prospects, right?). It just means that the language you use should sound like you’re chatting with a friend, not giving a PowerPoint presentation.

Think about the way you view your own inbox: Which emails do you pay attention to and which do you send straight to spam? I’d be willing to bet you’re more interested in engaging with emails that treat you like a human — not just a potential sale.

6. Use Email Segmentation

email segmentation

When we talked about subject lines, we briefly mentioned personalizing your emails. Well, email segmentation is an ideal way to do that.

Email segmentation allows you to tailor your emails to different groups of contacts based on demographics and other characteristics. For example, if you group your contacts by buyer persona in your CMS, you can send different emails tailored to each persona. This means your contacts will get content that’s customized to their needs and interests, rather than a generic email that may or may not connect.

Email segmentation also gives you the chance to do some A/B testing to find out which emails and subject lines connect more effectively with your contacts.

7. Keep ‘em Laughing

keep em laughing

When was the last time you read a sales email that made you laugh out loud? 

Let’s be honest: The vast majority of sales emails are lackluster at best...and tacky at worst (you know it’s true). Clearly, this is an area where every company can stand to improve. After all, humor is one of the best ways to disarm a prospect so you can make a stronger connection. 

Here are a few examples:

A Witty Approach 

The next time you write an email to one of your prospects, leverage the “boring norm” of sales emails to your advantage and poke fun at them. (“This isn’t your grandma’s sales email…”)

Better yet, make fun of yourself! (“Yes, it’s me again…”)

A witty approach like this will help jar your prospect out of their boring-sales-email-induced coma and leave them with a distinct impression of your business. Maybe this company isn’t like all the others — maybe they actually have something unique to offer!

A Lighthearted Way To Address No-Shows

If you’ve ever been stood up (personally or professionally), you know how much it stinks. But does being stood up professionally spell the end of a prospective business relationship? Not if you know how to make lemonade out of lemons. 🍋

Enter humor, stage left. 

Instead of evading the subject, address it head-on, like this:

“Remember when Rachel stood Ross up on prom night? I feel like we have the same awkward thing going on. I’m not sure why you didn’t show, but I’d love to get our appointment back on my calendar!”

A Funny Way To Re-Engage a Prospect Who Ghosted 

hello? anybody there?

Navigating communication with a prospect who ghosted you can be tricky: You want to build a bridge without coming on too strong. 

There couldn’t be a better time to pull some humor out of your back pocket. For example, we’re probably all familiar with the hit song “Hello” by Adele. Why not start your email with those lyrics? “🎶Hello from the other side. I must have called (emailed) a thousand times…” 

Then, include an Adele GIF or meme to really bring it home.

Story time:

We once created an email around a funny Jim Carrey GIF (the one with his character Ace Ventura peering into the camera) for a prospect who seemed truly interested in our services…and then suddenly dropped off the face of the earth.

It worked. 

Within 5 minutes of sending that email, he called! (Our prospect, not Jim Carrey…we’re pretty sure Jim Carrey doesn’t know we exist.) 

It just goes to prove our point: humor helps you connect.

Want More Outside-the-Box Email Marketing Ideas? We’ve Got You

Yes, email marketing is still alive and well…and an excellent way to connect with your prospects. Now go have a little fun with your email marketing, and see for yourself how it boosts your engagement!

And if you’re stumped on where to start, or need more outside-the-box email marketing ideas, the Wild Fig team has your back. Click here to schedule a free exploratory call to talk more about how we can help you reach your goals through email marketing!




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