There is no arguing that emails drive action. But the action they drive is closer to the first step in the funnel, not the last. While we may send out emails to sell products, drive conference registrations, prompt downloads of research papers or run up advertising-laden page views, the truth is that the email actually does none of that. All the email does is start someone down the funnel with that first click.

This is important to remember for two reasons:

1. Email can’t be held fully accountable for the success or failure of the programs it supports. If your website is ill-equipped to close the sale, no amount of clever inbox copy can fill your webinar or save your quarterly numbers.

2. Don’t lose sight of the prize – the clicks. If your objective is to bring someone into the funnel, the email’s job is not to inform or entertain or announce. All of that is important in an email program, but some messages are for getting the real work of your organization done. When you’re writing one of them, remain singleminded of purpose and drive those clicks. Use links generously; include no content that is not aimed squarely at the product or event you’re promoting; be concise enough to stay out of your own way. If your email program has done its job of respectfully engaging your subscribers previously, you have built the attention you need to succeed. Harvesting that attention not only moves your business forward, but it deepens engagement with subscribers. Clicks are wins.

Each week on “Emailioration Monday”  we spotlight a single tactic you can implement this week in order to improve your email marketing. Share tips of your own on Twitter at #Emailioration, and see the full collection of Emailioration tips here.