Skip navigation

5 Email Marketing Lessons We Can Learn From Musicians

Share This Post

Ever want to conduct an orchestra? Being able to summon all that beautiful music must be an amazing feeling.

Alas, as email marketers, we probably won’t get to lead the New York Symphony or take an orchestra on a European tour; however, we do orchestrate campaigns (see what we did there?), and by thinking like a conductor (or composer) we can make them even more effective.

5 musical terms that apply to email marketing


Good timing is a music basic, and it’s up to the conductor to make sure the piece is played at the right tempo. If the rhythm is off, any composition – by Bach or the Beatles – just won’t sound right to the audience.

Rhythm is just as important in our industry. But instead of beats per measure, we’re talking about the frequency of messages during a campaign.

“How often should I send emails?” is a common question. But there is no right answer to it. You must determine the right rhythm for each audience – and no two audiences will be the same.

Pam Neely, writing at Campaign Monitor, says respecting your audience is a key to determining how frequently you should send messages to them.

“Today’s consumers expect highly-targeted messages that give them what they want when they want it,” she writes. “Before you send an email, ask yourself, ‘What value does my subscriber gain from receiving this message?’ and ‘How can I provide the most value to the subscriber by making this relevant to them?’”


In music, a movement is a separate section of a larger composition. And while each movement in a piece of music elicits a different emotion, collectively they all serve to propel the composition closer to its finale.

Each message in your email marketing campaign is leading toward a finale, too.
It could be a sale. Or the download of an ebook. Or a sign-up for a webinar. And while the ultimate purpose of every message in the campaign has that finale as its goal, each message will be slightly different.

Your first “movement” is likely to be a welcome message to a new subscriber. That could be followed by an onboarding message that contains a message of encouragement for taking the next step, such as signing up for an account. If you’ve received data from the customer, such as their birthday, you might send a personalized message of congratulations on that date, along with a special offer.

And when the customer finally takes that last step and clicks through on your CTA, a transactional message confirming the sale could be followed up with a warm “thank you” for the business.


In music, a prelude is an introductory piece of music, such as the first section of a suite. The email marketing equivalent is the welcome message. As we mentioned above, it’s the first “movement” of an email marketing campaign.

Just as a good prelude will serve to develop the audience’s receptivity to what’s to come, a good welcome message sets the stage for a successful campaign.

The importance of welcome emails should not be underestimated.

“Welcome emails – most commonly triggered by someone subscribing to your newsletter or creating an account – are a great (and often the only) opportunity you have to make a killer impression before the interest of a new subscriber dwindles,” writes Hannah Stacey on the Ometria blog. She cites statistics indicating that the average open rate for welcome emails is 50 percent – which is 86 percent better than email newsletters.


How loud is too loud? When you were listening to your favorite tunes as a teenager, you cranked it up (admit it!). But if you’re the parent of a teenager, you’re probably very grateful that earbuds were invented (but worried about your kid’s hearing).

Composers and musicians use volume to express emotions and feelings much the way that email marketers use words and images to convey their brands’ personalities. That’s why you go heavy on the adjectives, exclamation points and primary colors for your sassy brands, but quiet things down to convey sophistication and elegance for those on the higher end.

When it comes to the volume of your messages, the number-one rule is that it should suit your brand. As we wrote here on our blog, “Showing your brand’s personality isn’t just good for email engagement – it’s necessary for your brand to reach the inbox and get your emails opened.”

And here’s a musical term to give you something to aspire to:


“Maestro” is Italian for “master.” In music, it is a designation that connotes great respect; it’s title that must be earned. Think like a musician and you just might become recognized as a maestro of our industry!

Marketing News that Matters

Sign up for Movable Ink's newsletter to receive the latest news, research, and omnichannel personalization resources.

Sign Up Now