Slingshot SEO Inspires With Personalization & Relevancy

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Justine recently received an email from Slingshot SEO and was so intrigued by its personalization and relevancy that she not only forwarded it to me, but she also reached out to Slingshot SEO to learn more about their email campaign. Between the email itself and Slingshot’s strategy, this is definitely inspiration-worthy!


Before I analyze the design of the email, let’s take a look at the strategy that went into this email. Emily Burgett, Marketing Coordinator at Slingshot SEO, explained that after releasing their content editorial calendar template for download, they thought it was the perfect asset to send to those that they hadn’t had contact with in a while. Emily stated that, “a major challenge in content marketing faced by marketers is staying organized enough to deliver consistent messaging, so we knew this piece would be relevant to a majority of our contacts.” In addition, this was only sent to those that hadn’t already downloaded the calendar (it wouldn’t have been very relevant to those that already had the calendar!).

Emily explained that “personalization was key” because they knew that most of these individuals hadn’t heard from Slingshot SEO in a long time. They wanted the message to be tailored to these readers so their subscribers knew that they hadn’t forgotten about them. Their ultimate goals were to re-engage these subscribers and clean up their list of contacts for those that aren’t interested in hearing from them.

We’ll look at the results later in the post!


Without overwhelming the subscriber by repeating his/her name numerous times throughout the email (we’ve all gotten those emails before!), Slingshot SEO does personalization right.

From the get-go, Slingshot SEO makes the subscriber feel as if the email was tailored specifically for him/her. The subject line of the email is, “Take Control of Litmus’s Content Creation Today.” For starters, they’ve included our company’s name right there in the subject line. We see our fair share of first name personalization in the subject line, but including a call to action, along with our company’s name, right in the subject line is a great way to draw attention and create interest in the email. In addition, since Justine is the Marketing Director here at Litmus, clearly our content creation is going to be of interest to her. In the subject line alone, Slingshot SEO used an excellent (and intriguing!) balance of personalization and relevancy that resulted in Justine opening the email.

And, the personalization and relevancy didn’t stop in the subject line — it continued once Justine opened the email!

The email begins with a casual, yet appropriate, greeting, “Hi there Justine.” It’s different than the typical (and formal!) merge-field saluations, like “Dear %%name%%” or “Hello %%name%%”. The “Hi there” adds a little personality to the email and flows nicely with the rest of the email’s content & voice.

In the second paragraph, Litmus’s name is found once again — “…we would like to share this detailed editorial calendar to help keep Litmus’s content marketing efforts on-track, dictate appropriate future content and maintain team clarity and unity.” Our company name is subtly in the middle of a few lines of text, adding an extra bit of personalization which goes a long way.

In addition, as I noted above, the content of the email is really relevant to the recipient — Justine. Social media updates, blog posts, help guides, webinars, and videos (items in the bulleted list) are all things that we work on here at Litmus, so having a editorial calendar on hand definitely helps organize these items. Since 25% of people unsubscribe from emails because they find the content irrelevant, the relevancy of this email is a major positive.


Many companies send emails “on behalf of” their sales reps, account managers, or other staff. These emails appear to be from an individual, even though they’re sent from a mass emailing service or automation platform. We’ve covered this topic before: generally speaking, we’re of the opinion that emails should come from companies rather than individuals at those companies. Unless your subscriber has a long-standing relationship with the person the email will be “from” (in which case, the email gets extra personalization and relevancy points!), chances are they’ll be more familiar with your company or brand name.

This message came from Steven Shattuck, Slingshot SEO’s community manager:

The subject line intrigued Justine so much that she didn’t notice the sender’s name. But some readers may delete (or spam!) emails from people they don’t recognize.


Another great attribute of this email is how great it looks in an images-off environment.

Due to the fact that the main content of the email is all live text, all of that relevant, personalized content is still present when images are disabled. Major plus!

However, their use of ALT text could use some help! The ALT text of the header is, well, “EmailHeader.” They could have gotten a little more creative with that! The rest of the images in the email (the sidebar and social sharing links), have no ALT text, which, in my opinion, is a pitfall of the email. Since a large percent of email clients disable images by default, it’s important to include ALT text so subscribers can have a “preview” of what the image will be if they opt to download it.


So what were the results of this email? Let’s take a look:

  • 23.9% open/delivered rate
  • 20% click/opened rate
  • 1.3% unsubscribe rate

I’m not sure what Slingshot SEO’s typical results are, but those look pretty good to me! Providing the fact that this email went out to those they hadn’t had contact with in a while, I think these are excellent results. And the best statistic? They saw a 5644% increase in visits (this is the total increase as a result of all of their email marketing efforts during that month).

Emily stated that they “received several responses applauding the personalization of this email and definitely consider it a success!”


What do you think of this email? I’d love to know your thoughts on it! Let us know in the “Comments” section at the bottom of the post.


Do you have an email that you’re especially proud of? Or have you received an email that you think is inspiration-worthy? Send it to us at — we’d love to feature it!