woman reading email on tablet

35 Experts Share Their Best Email Marketing Tips

Ronda Bowen / Email Marketing Leave a Comment

I don’t know about you, but I get around 300 emails a day; most of those emails are other individuals’ marketing campaigns (I use Unroll.me to help corral all of those emails so the important emails don’t get lost in the shuffle). Of the marketing campaign emails I receive, I only open a handful. Most go in the trash or go ignored.

This is problematic, from a marketer’s perspective, because I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone as an individual who receives a deluge of emails with marketing messages every day but only reads a few and acts on even fewer. What it shows is that there’s enormous competition for email marketers to get attention from their target market.

I wanted to find out how to best increase the likelihood that my marketing emails would be not only opened, but read, and acted upon. Thus, I turned to others, asking them for their best email marketing tips.

First: some numbers

According to Copyblogger, for every $1 spent on email marketing, $44 are produced in return. That’s impressive. It means that email marketing does work, and it works well – in fact, the same article notes that email is 40 times more effective at conversions than Facebook and Twitter.

For every $1 spent on email marketing, $44 are produced in return.Click To Tweet

Optinmonster notes that 91% of consumers check their email on a daily basis. That means that you have a huge, captive audience – if you can persuade readers to just open the emails you send. Moreover, those who purchase products or sign up for services after reading an email tend to spend 138% more than customers brought in through other marketing methods.

Pia Silva, author of Why Newsletters Suck and How To Do Successful Email Marketing at Forbes notes that marketers are more likely to ignore the importance of marketing through emails because of our ubiquitous hatred of newsletters.  She writes, “Just because you hate being on some lists, doesn’t mean lists don’t work.”

Read more about email marketing for newbies

So, how does one create an email marketing campaign that works?

I agree with Pia Silva’s perspective in the aforementioned Forbes’ article. Silva points out that we all have email newsletters that we enjoy reading and that we should get inspiration from those. She writes:

“How do you feel about the emails you get that you do enjoy? Can you be that for someone else? Of course, you can! I stay subscribed to a handful of email lists that give me consistent value—personally and in business. Many are from people who inspire me from what they do. These are people I like being reminded of and thinking about once in a while for inspiration and motivation.”

Take a moment now to think about and jot down the names of those email newsletters you do open on a regular basis. What do they have in common? Is that something you can incorporate into your own emails? Many great writers have stated that the best way to learn how to write is by reading works of writers you love.

Marketers of the past had “swipe files” – files where they stashed advertising that spoke to them so they could come back and dissect it for what worked well and emulate that while adding their own spin for their company’s marketing campaigns. Many marketers still do.

So, in short, one creates successful email marketing campaigns by studying what has worked really well for others and finding a way to implement that in future campaigns. If you write what you like to read, you’ll increase the chances that others will like to read what you write.

If you write what you like to read, you'll increase the chances that others will like to read what you write says @Ronda_Bowen. Click To Tweet

But that’s enough about what I think. I had a lot of responses when I asked, “What’s your best email-marketing tip?” Here they are.

1. Be honest.

“I believe email marketing works better when you are honest and straight to the point.

“The close rates are high when content provides real value.

“More personalization, appreciation, and respect to the reader will definitely bring in more leads.”

Krishna Rg, Product Marketer Social Animal

Follow Krishna on Twitter @SocialAnimal_io

I believe email marketing works better when you are honest and straight to the point says @SocialAnimal_io. Click To Tweet

2. Personalization and Segmentation are Key

“Any time I call a company’s customer service line and receive a scripted and automated greeting, I’m pierced by a hint of frustration. If scripted phone calls are frustrating, why would emails be any different? Adding personalization and a different voice or tone to your emails will give them a human aspect, making customers feel as if they are directly communicating with someone. When writing personalized email copy, treat it the same as you would if you were interacting with the person face to face. This way the reader will notice and is more likely to relate to the message.

“The problem with sending an email to all subscribers is that not all customers are similar. While one customer may be a die-hard fan of your brand, another may be questioning why they signed up for your emails in the first place. That’s why segmenting email lists is crucial. Here’s one segmenting tactic for you to implement right now: Demographic. Information such as age, gender, company position, and income level are all factors that should be considered when creating your emails. Tailoring your emails will increase your chance of resonating with customers, leading to an increase in effectiveness.”

Kaleb Vik, Digital Marketing, Red Branch Media

Follow Kaleb on Twitter @kalebvik

'If scripted phone calls are frustrating, why would emails be any different?' says @kalebvikClick To Tweet

3. Create an attention-grabbing subject line

Headshot of Tracy Memoli“You have only seconds to grab your audience’s attention – make it count. One of the most important things you can do is to pay extra attention and time when crafting your subject line. Always keep it short and include an action verb – offering a discount when you can is always a good idea.
“If you need a little help or some suggestions to get started, there are even helpful services you can use like CoSchedule or subjectline.com. You simply type in your subject line and they give you suggestions on how to make it better.
“Email marketing is another way to connect and engage with your audience and customers – so make it personal. Update them on any major company milestones, new product launches and offer any discounts when possible.”

Tracy Memoli, Co-Founder of FrutaPOP

Follow Tracy on Twitter @tracymemoli

'One of the most important things you can do is to pay extra attention and time when crafting your subject line.' says @tracymemoliClick To Tweet

4. Add a video and make it move

“I’m sure all of you fellow marketers have already mastered using a play button on top of a static image in emails. So, I’ll skip the basics and jump right to my favorite video-in-email hack: make it actually move. After all, that’s what video does.

“Add an animated GIF instead of a static thumbnail to give your subscribers a sneak peek at your video or animate the Play button to make it even more tempting to click. By simply adding a little motion to our emails, we’ve managed to increase their click-through rates by up to 300%.”

Alyona Chemyaeva, Acquisition and Email Marketing Manager, Animatron

Follow Alyona on Twitter @wave_video

'By simply adding a little motion to our emails, we’ve managed to increase their click-through rates by up to 300%,' says @wave_videoClick To Tweet

5. Focus

Headshot of Simon Zaku“Email marketing has been and will continue to be a sought out topic in today’s stuffed markets which is why my number 1 tip is to “focus”.

“When starting out, it’s easy to deviate from your building your email list especially when things start to get a little difficult. How do you get focused?

“Create a one-time marketing funnel and build your business off it.

“The basic structure would be to drive traffic/awareness about your brand; convert them to email subscribers then nurture them to buying from you or working with you.

“I personally noticed my list started growing by double after I built a marketing funnel that focused on growing my list with the right people.

“So action plan is a create/design a marketing funnel that takes your visitor from step A (visiting your landing page or website) to step Z (paying you) on auto-pilot.”

Simon Zaku, Twitter Marketer for Online Marketing Agencies & Blogs

Follow Simon on Twitter @s_zakuu

'Create a one-time marketing funnel and build your business off it,' says @s_zakuuClick To Tweet

6. Look beyond the open rate & consider autoresponders

“Most people are not looking deep enough into the email analytics data typically available to them. While open rates are clearly an important measure, they are only one measure of reader interest.”What else is important to look at? Click-through rates have proven to be one of the most reliable indicators of reader interest. Why is click-through rate so important? Because it’s an action taken by your reader that shows exactly where they are willing to spend more time to get more information. This clear demonstration of interest should help you decide what your audience is most interested in. Make sure to listen to this!

“How do you use this information? If, for example, you write an article on one topic in one email, and then write an article on another topic in another email, and the first article gets 10 clicks and the second article gets 100 clicks. What does this tell you? There isn’t a hard number to shoot for, but it’s a relative comparison that will tell you what is working best for you and your particular audience.”

“To save time and better stay in contact with leads and customers, create an email autoresponder series. An autoresponder series is a series of pre-written emails that are sent to certain email contacts over a pre-determined timeframe, sharing a similar theme throughout the series. Autoresponders can be sent to one person at a time, or a full email list. They’re often event-triggered, and begin once someone downloads something from your website, or makes a purchase.

“There are a number of great uses for email autoresponders. Just think about what you would like to say to people – if you had the chance – if you knew that they had an interest or need in your products or services. What would you want them to know about your company or other products?

“Here are a few cases where an event driven autoresponder series would be useful:

  1. Showcasing products complimentary to a recent purchase.
  2. Following an inquiry or download, educating customers about your company’s products or services
  3. Onboarding new customers
  4. For non-profit organizations, providing information about your services, success, photos of the people you help and use of donated/charitable funds.
  5. After a sales person meets with a potential customer.

“In the past, this same activity of building relationships was achieved by sending short, informational notes over a period of time. This was called “drip marketing.” Today we can use the automated email autoresponder series to save time, maintain contact and help to inform our prospects, clients or members.”

Erik Bunaes, Endorphin Advisors, LLC

Follow Erik on Twitter @Endorphinadvs

'Click-through rates have proven to be one of the most reliable indicators of reader interest.' says @EndorphinAdvsClick To Tweet

7. Write as if you are speaking to an individual

Tricia Goss Headshot“Avoid talking about your list or subscribers in your emails. Write as though you are emailing one specific person. Make each message personal, friendly and above all, valuable to the recipient.”

Tricia Goss, VP of Reputation Management of Creative Mindscape

Follow Tricia on Twitter @TriciaGoss

8. Email marketing isn’t for everyone

Headshot of Kristine Neil“We often work with clients that assume email marketing is a requirement because they hear other entrepreneurs talk about building lists and growing a subscriber base. The hard truth of it is that email marketing isn’t for everyone. You need to have something to say (not just something to sell), and you need to be able to send quality, branded content consistently. If this is something that you can commit to and you have a real audience that has opted in to receive information from you, spend time crafting themes well in advance. Plan how your other digital marketing activities such as social media posts, online ads, and blog will serve to reinforce the messages in your email. Preparing in such a way also ensures that readers have someplace to land when they click out of your email and hopefully onto your customer list!”

Kristine Neil, Founder and Creative Director at Markon Brands

Follow Kristine on Twitter @Thekneil

'You need to have something to say (not just something to sell), and you need to be able to send quality, branded content consistently,' says @ThekneilClick To Tweet

9. Craft a clickable – but never click-bait – subject line

Photo of Shelby Rogers“Marketer after marketer will tell you how to invest in actionable, precise, and engaging copy. Having copy that gets people to anticipate your emails is incredibly important.

“But even that content doesn’t matter if you can’t get your readers to open their emails.

“As a former newspaper reporter, I treat the subject line of an email like I would a newspaper headline. Anyone who picks up a paper doesn’t have to read your particular story, so you want to give them reasons they should inform themselves with the content you’re offering.

“Just like in good journalism, the “headline” of your email should immediately give your recipients two essential things:

  1. A general sense of what lies in store if they engage with your content
  2. A reason to click — what will they gain beyond just information

“These two tips should seem standard practice, but in so many of the emails I send to my inbox’s trash, there’s simply nothing in the subject line for me. For example, I’ve gotten to the point with most of my newsletter subscriptions that if I simply see a “X COMPANY Newsletter No. 4” in the subject line, I’ll toss it in the trash. That company has told me nothing about the content and hasn’t made any attempt to grab my attention.

“However, it’s important to remember that your content has to deliver on the promises made in the subject line. Email isn’t driven by some algorithm you can exploit to trick your subscribers into reading more emails. Successful email marketing campaigns offer resources truly worthwhile. If you’re an eCommerce store, for example, and you send an email to subscribers talking about the latest trends within your industry, your email’s content should explicitly tell readers what the latest trends are — ideally showing how your products align with those trends. However, scamming people with “clickbait” headlines that don’t deliver on a promise is a surefire way to get your newsletter or email campaigns quickly relegated to the trash — or completely unsubscribed to.

“In short, invest in efficient, informative, and eye-catching subject lines for each email within an email marketing campaign.”

Shelby Rogers, Content Marketing Strategist at Solodev

Follow Shelby on Twitter @Solodev

'Just like in good journalism, the “headline” of your email should immediately give your recipients two essential things: A general sense of what lies in store if they engage with your content and a reason to click...,' says @Solodev Click To Tweet

10. Keep it really short and ask questions

“Nobody has ever complained about an email being too short before. Most emails are way too long and get sent directly to the trash. If somebody opens your email and it’s short and easy to read, you have a chance!

“Now that you have somebody reading, ask a question to get a conversation going. Questions are a great way to qualify your leads, clients, and users as well. Perhaps you want to spend time talking to a certain type of client more. Asking the right questions will help you build closer relationships with the right type of clients.”

Sydney Liu, Co-founder of Commaful

Follow Sydney on Twitter at @Sydney_Liu_sl

'Questions are a great way to qualify your leads, clients, and users as well,' says @Sydney_Liu_slClick To Tweet

11. Keep the lines of conversation open with the sales team

“Once you send out the email, check your stats frequently and be in close communication with your sales team. If you drill down in your stats, you can find out who has opened an email and how many times, or viewed product videos in your email. Anyone that has opened an email promoting a product more than once needs a timely call from someone on the sales team, or at the very least a follow-up email to drop them into the sales funnel. Digital marketing has really blurred the line between traditional sales and marketing. Never forget that!”

Mary Clare Bland, Chief Strategist at Bespoke Digital Solutions

Follow Mary Clare on Twitter @mary_clare299

'Anyone that has opened an email promoting a product more than once needs a timely call from someone on the sales team, or at the very least a follow-up email to drop them into the sales funnel,' says @mary_clare299Click To Tweet

12. You can learn about email marketing from Game of Thrones

“Think about Game of Thrones for a second… this massive fantasy epic can teach you a lot about creating an engaging email marketing sequence.  Throughout the series (like any good series) the writers will start various story lines. Then they will jump to a different character and open another story line.  Each one serving the overall theme of capturing the iron throne of Westeros or die trying…  A good email sequence will do exactly the same. It’ll have what we like to call open loops in the messaging. From a practical standpoint, this means opening a question in one email and answering it in another.  This drives your reader to open the next email in your marketing campaign, as long as you did a good job of being relevant to their desires!”

Caitlin Johnson, Content Manager Drop Ship Lifestyle

Follow Caitlin on Twitter @ecomlifestyle

'Think about Game of Thrones for a second… this massive fantasy epic can teach you a lot about creating an engaging email marketing sequence,' says Caitlin with @ecomlifestyleClick To Tweet

13. Just one main call to action, please

“Always have one main call to action. That can be to click on a website, read an article, take a survey, or enter a contest. However, your email should have a purpose, and be specific in the ask. ”

Mandy Menaker, Head of Brand at Shapr

Follow Mandy on Twitter @mandymenaker

'Always have one main call to action,' says @mandymenakerClick To Tweet

14. Segment your lists

“Segmenting your lists means that you don’t send blanket emails to one large database. The blanket approach means it’s much harder to nurture potential or current clients in a way that is relevant to them. For instance, with charities I work with, it’s no good sending emails about upcoming courses to a large database that includes both course attendees and donors. Donor’s will care that you are running courses, but they aren’t going to book, so sending them the exact same message will ultimately work to switch them off from connecting with your charity. By segmenting your lists it means you can hit the right audience with the right messages, and ultimately have more success with your campaigns.”

Morgan McGregor, Photography & Online Content Specialist at Hyped

Follow Hyped on Twitter @HypedNZ

'By segmenting your lists it means you can hit the right audience with the right messages, and ultimately have more success with your campaigns.' says @HypedNZClick To Tweet

15. One goal for each email

“To achieve the best result from your email, set one goal for each email. A lot of marketers think that the more stuff they promote in a single email, the better the results.

“For example, if you want to increase sales for a certain product line, promote that product line ONLY. Instead of “Here’s our new product line. You might also be interested in these other product lines.”

“Bottom line, one email one goal.”

Stan Tan, Digital Marketing Manager at Selby’s

16. Ensure your emails are 100% mobile-friendly

“So often I receive emails from big, reputable organizations that simply refuse to display nicely on my smartphone. It’s so frustrating! Especially when we all know the importance of being mobile-friendly today.
“A simple test performed before the ‘send’ button is hit could ensure that all email marketing correspondence displays in its full glory on a mobile device.

“Companies that send marketing emails which don’t display correctly on a mobile device are either (a) lazy or (b) failing to grasp the significance of mobile-friendliness. I’m not sure which is worse…”

James Devonshire, Managing Editor at Creative Mindscape

Follow James on Twitter @JDevonshire

'A simple test performed before the 'send' button is hit could ensure that all email marketing correspondence displays in its full glory on a mobile device,' says @JDevonshireClick To Tweet

17. Don’t shy away from emojis

Headshot of Holly Zink“With most people using their cell phones to view emails, it’s essential to make sure your email is mobile compatible. Through most email marketing services like Constant Contact, you can preview how your email will look on a mobile device and send yourself a test email. That way, you can make any adjustments before sending.
“More and more emails have started to include emojis, whether in the subject line or in the email body. It’s a great way to catch a person’s eye and also show off your business’s personality.”

Holly Zink, Digital Marketing Associate at The Powerline Group

Follow Holly on Twitter @hzink2011

'More and more emails have started to include emojis, whether in the subject line or in the email body,' says @hzink2011Click To Tweet

18. Bring readers into your marketing process

Daniel Bamigboye“Let your customers or email recipients be part of your process. If you plan on creating a resource meant to be mailed out in the future, ask them if they want to contribute or if there are questions they want the resource to answer. The response rate through the entire process gives you an idea of how well the resource email marketing campaign is going to go. Having your audience shape the direction of your emails comes before segmentation, A/B testing, mobile optimization and any other strategy there is.”

Daniel Bamigboye, Digital Marketer at  Firebrick Digital

Follow Firebrick Digital on Twitter @firebrickhq

If you plan on creating a resource meant to be mailed out in the future, ask readers if they want to contribute or if there are questions they want the resource to answer,' says @@firebrickhqClick To Tweet

19. Use email marketing as a way to build relationships

“E-mail marketing is an effective way to build a relationship with customers.  I am a big fan of e-mail and it does not need to be complicated to start using e-mail marketing to reach your target audience.  It takes time to build relationships and earn people’s trust.  It does not need to be time consuming or expensive though you can just do a little bit every day.  Be known as a consistently strong source of useful material so that you own the space in people’s brains for a specific piece of real estate.

“Amazon started by being known as “the world’s biggest book seller” but once they earned customers’ trust there they were able to expand into other categories like music, grocery items, clothes and now every category you can imagine.

“I try to brand my company as a one stop shop for all things marketing communications so that when organizations need marketing help they think of me first.  E-mail marketing is a great way for me to reinforce that message and as I share what I know the effects can be exponential.  Perception is reality in marketing and as you keep popping up in various places as your content is shared your reputation and brand will grow.

“It does not matter which platform you choose just pick one that is authentic to you.  It should look and sound like you and the brand you have built. Whether yours is polished or more informal, chatty or academic, humorous or snarky, it is a way for your personality to come through.  Everyone is not going to like you or hire you but for the ones who would be a great fit for you make sure they feel and keep a connection and give them a reason to remember you so that when they need your help they think of you first.

Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO of Mavens & Moguls

Follow Mavens & Moguls on Twitter @mavenmoguls

'Be known as a consistently strong source of useful material so that you own the space in people’s brains for a specific piece of real estate,' says Paige Arnoff-Fenn of @mavenmogulsClick To Tweet

20. Keep it short and sweet

Headshot of Rebecca Teaff“To avoid overwhelming readers with content, put the first few sentences of each article in the e-newsletter and then link to a blog on your website for the rest. This will make the newsletter look more approachable to read, provide you with great content on your site and direct more traffic to your website!”

Rebecca Teaff, Founder Redstart Creative

Follow Rebecca on Twitter @redstartcreativ

'To avoid overwhelming readers with content, put the first few sentences of each article in the e-newsletter and then link to a blog on your website for the rest,' says @redstartcreativClick To Tweet

21. Make it easy to read

Headshot of Phyllis Zimbler Miller“The phrase “short and sweet” is a good motto for most emails — be specific and brief with the information of the email. And make it as easy as possible to read by using short paragraphs, subheads, bullet points and other formatting that help the eye move along the information.”

Phyllis Zimbler Miller at Miller Mosaic, LLC

Follow Phyllis on Twitter @ZimblerMiller

'...make it as easy as possible to read by using short paragraphs, subheads, bullet points and other formatting that help the eye move along the information,' says @ZimblerMillerClick To Tweet

22. Stay customer-focused

Headshot of Zach Gallinger“When businesses start an email newsletter, it is often heavy on self-promotion and light on anything of value to the customer. When businesses realize this the wrong approach (usually because nobody is opening the newsletter), they typically struggle to change course because it’s not actually easy to create valuable content on a regular basis. Fortunately, there is a simple trick you can use to dodge this problem. Instead of creating valuable content, curate it! In short, find an interesting or provocative article relevant to your industry, write a short blurb describing why it is worth reading and stick it at the top of the newsletter. If you do it right, people will actually be excited to open your newsletter and will be far more forgiving if you stick a bit of self-promotion at the bottom.”

Zack Gallinger, President of Talent Hero Media

Follow Zack on Twitter @Zack_Gallinger

'In short, find an interesting or provocative article relevant to your industry, write a short blurb describing why it is worth reading and stick it at the top of the newsletter,' says @Zack_GallingerClick To Tweet

23. Separate active and inactive members on your email list

Kent Lewis of Anvil Media's Headshot“To maximize engagement with your email list, segment contacts into 2-3 categories:

  1. Active: have opened/clicked on an email in the last 6-9 months (or equivalent, depending on send frequency). These are your most engaged fans.
  2. Inactive: have not opened/clicked on an email in the last 6-9 months. Before filtering out these contacts, consider sending a re-engagement drip campaign to get them back onto the Active list. You may also offer them an opportunity to be on a lower-frequency send list, as they may still want to hear from you, but not on a regular (weekly/monthly) basis. Consider sending quarterly or equivalent updates.

“By following the above approach, you will ensure your data isn’t getting muddied by two completely different audiences. Insights will be more clear, concise and actionable.”

Kent Lewis, President and Founder of Anvil Media, Inc

Follow Kent on Twitter @KentJLewis 

Divide your email list into active and inactive categories to 'ensure your data isn’t getting muddied by two completely different audiences,' says @KentJLewisClick To Tweet

24. Don’t be afraid to dress up your email

“Keep the headline short and intriguing  We tend to want to explain too much in an email headline.  Short headlines work best.  A question in the headline often results in higher readership.  Ask a question that addresses your customer’s pain points.  Even a headline that is not clear can have a higher open rate.  I once made a mistake and send a mass email with just the letter K as the headline – and it got a higher open rate than the prior email I sent with a clear headline – who would have guessed?

“Personalize the headline with the recipient’s name. Often, we personalize the body of the email, but don’t stop there. Add the recipient’s name in the headline as well to increase open rate.  It is a simple variable to insert, and takes just a couple of seconds to increase engagement.

“Consider the use of an animated GIF in the email body. An animated GIF is a series of images that plays automatically and looks like a video.  Use in the opening of the email to engage immediately.  My company is a leader in maternity photography and videography.  We personalized emails and text messages with a 5-image animated GIF of each mom’s new baby- and our open rate increased 10-fold!  A few years ago this was difficult to execute, but today it is simple.

“Always use a photo header with your emails. It increases engagement and open rate.  And make sure you link all images to a destination landing page, in case the recipient clicks on the image, to send them to a desired destination.

“Use A-B Testing to determine which email works best. A-B testing allows you to test a change in ONE variable – headline, color, image, text, etc.  A-B Testing automatically releases a small batch of 10-20% of emails,  alternating between the two options, and then determines which has the best open rate.  With a click, you deploy the rest of the campaign to the better-performing version.  Professional marketers consistently test different variables, log the options and results, and keep refining their email campaigns based on the continual learning feedback.

“Keep your email copy short and sweet, and use links to longer content. Keep your email to one short page, and provide more content through links.  Too much content or cluttered copy will decrease readership and engagement.

“Add a video to your email for greater engagement. We have become a video society, so take advantage of your email to link to a video.  Show the image of the thumbnail in the body of the email to invite clicking through”

Diane Huth, MA MBA, Marketing and Branding Expert at Brand YOU!

Follow Diane on Twitter @brandyouguide

'Always use a photo header with your emails; it increases engagement and open rate,' says @brandyouguide. Click To Tweet

25. Implement a double opt-in process

Headshot of Pierre de Braux“We mostly deal in the B2B landscape, so my tip for email marketing this year would have to be – Implement a double opt-in process. Although it might seem a bit counter-intuitive to ask prospects to do more, going through an extra step to subscribe actually improves the quality of your leads.

“Think about it this way – if a lead is willing to put in the extra effort to be on your mailing list, chances are, they value your content and will be more willing to open, read, and act on the emails you send to them. On the other hand, a lead who isn’t willing to go the extra mile will be far less likely to actively engage with your content regularly. The added opt-in might mean sacrificing a few mediocre leads here and there, but it’ll pay off with an increase to your conversion and engagement rates, which is just plain good for business.
“Additionally, having an verification process in place will mean you can be certain that the email address is for a valid, monitored account. In a world where 85% of all emails are spam, this means less risk of harming your email sender reputation. Having the contact acknowledge their subscription will also decrease the likelihood of them labeling it as junk/spam.
“As a bonus, having a double opt-in will set your brand up to be compliant with new GDPR user consent regulations, so there’s never been a better time to start.”

Pierre de Braux, Content Strategist at Spiralytics Inc.

Follow Pierre on Twitter @PierredeBraux

'As a bonus, having a double opt-in will set your brand up to be compliant with new GDPR user consent regulations, so there's never been a better time to start,' says @PierredeBrauxClick To Tweet

24. Keep your social media icons visible

“Always be sure to include social media icons in a prominent place on emails. People seem to forget emails are a great way to convert an audience who are engaged with your brand over to your social following. Also, Keep emails simple and to the point. Nobody wants to spend minutes scrolling through an email to get to the point of the message.”

Rhys Jenkins, Social Media Manager at Traffic Jam Media

Follow Traffic Jam Media on Twitter @trafficjammedia

'Always be sure to include social media icons in a prominent place on emails,' says @trafficjammediaClick To Tweet

25. Keep your call to action above the fold

Neil Henry Headshot“Keep it short and to the point. People have very little time or inclination to read long emails of diatribe and self promotion. They make snap decisions when it comes to whether an email is relevant to them.

“If you have been lucky enough to attract a click to open your email from the title or from the fact the recipient trusts or respects you, then the last thing you want to do is hit them with a wall of text, rambling on without getting to the point – immediately. A short, sharp paragraph touching on the challenge your target audience faces and the opportunity you can present is key, as is a strong call to action. Keep the call to action above the fold.
“Visual stimulation in the form of a well designed header and imagery helps too. It’s something that appeals when people are notoriously quick to judge whether something in their inbox is worth their time.”

Neil Henry, COO and Co-Founder at Creative Mindscape

Follow Neil on Twitter at @NeilHenryCM

'People have very little time or inclination to read long emails of diatribe and self promotion. They make snap decisions when it comes to whether an email is relevant to them,' says @NeilHenryCMClick To Tweet

26. Embrace the power of one-to-one communication

Chris Coopman camera picture“Email marketing as we know it is dying. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t sales to be made, but oftentimes, your email gets lost in a sea of messages. It’s important for email marketers to embrace the power of one-to-one communication. Unless marketers have a solid email marketing campaign it’s useless to just try and grow their email list. Prospects are more likely to respond to short personal messages. Don’t be afraid to send out those emails personally. I actually had a lady email me back once and apologize that she hadn’t yet  been able to watch the recorded webinar I sent her. One-to-one communication is powerful!”

Chris Coopman, Media Specialist at Agent Media

Follow Chris on Twitter @mediaforagents

'Unless marketers have a solid email marketing campaign it’s useless to just try and grow their email list. Prospects are more likely to respond to short personal messages,' says @mediaforagentsClick To Tweet

27. Think carefully about your strategy

“In email marketing, you can’t just do anything and expect it to work. You’ve to think about your strategy and customer behaviours to turn it around. If your email marketing efforts are not effective, that means you’re not doing the right things.

“Every email, readers first check the email subject line and then open the email. If your subject line doesn’t pique their curiosity among the swarm of other emails in their inbox, they’ll like to delete your email. Customers really don’t care what your email is offering, they just want to know how it’s going to benefit them. If that’s across clearly coming in subject line and paired with a sense of urgency such as a time limit, odds are they’ll want to read more.
“Most email users prefer to receive visual email rather than long written emails, which makes them boring and less interesting.  Visual emails are a great way to achieve top of mind awareness in your prospects. Visual emails help you to establish and maintain solid relationships with your customers. According to research interactive emails help to increase the click-to-open rate by 73% and videos and images to your email content can boost click rates up to 300%.
“Give a Space to Your Customer: Your audience doesn’t want to be bombarded by promotional emails every day. Give them a break and don’t make them feel like you’re harassing them. Once you come off a great campaign it’s tempting to turn the same campaign again in an attempt to get the same result, is a wrong way. Your back to back emails to your customers can make them irritated.”

Boni Satani, Inbound Marketer at Zestard

Follow Boni on Twitter @bonirulzz

'Your audience doesn't want to be bombarded by promotional emails every day. Give them a break and don't make them feel like you're harassing them,' says @bonirulzzClick To Tweet

28. Let direct mail inspire the way you promote in email

 “A good marketer knows that exceptional marketing includes a call to action (CTA). For direct mail, the CTA traditionally leads to a sale. It may be a phone call to set up a consultation, or visiting the website to make a purchase or register.”However, you can make the CTA one that builds your email list and helps you prequalify potential customers. A mailer can contain more than one CTA as long as the hierarchy is clear. Is the primary CTA for sales and the second for list building, or vice versa? Either way works, depending on the goals of your campaign and what makes sense for the buyer’s journey. Leverage graphic design and placement to represent the hierarchy in the mail piece accordingly.”

Victor Clarke, owner of Clarke, Inc.

Follow Clark, Inc. on Twitter @clarke_inc

'A mailer can contain more than one CTA as long as the hierarchy is clear,' says @clarke_incClick To Tweet

29. Answer your readers’ questions immediately

“#1 Tip – Supply the Why in the subject line or first 1-2 sentences, and use the word “Because” if possible.”

Elizabeth Edwards, Founder & President Volume PR

Follow Elizabeth on Twitter @PR_Virtuoso

'Supply the Why in the subject line or first 1-2 sentences, and use the word 'Because' if possible,' says @PR_VirtuosoClick To Tweet

30. Use your real name

Zondra Wilson HeadshotQuit wasting people’s time. Only email when you have something truly valuable or helpful to say

“Be useful. Don’t just email when you need something from your readers. Be helpful, generous and friendly.

“Use your actual name as your from address. Put your name and reputation on the line. That’s more personal isn’t it?

“Be trustworthy. Let people know what to expect. Yes, sales messages should be part of your email marketing, that’s fine. Just be clear about it when they sign up.”

Zondra Wilson, Founder/CEO Blu Skin Care

Follow Zondra on Twitter @bluskincare

'Use your actual name as your from address. Put your name and reputation on the line. That’s more personal isn’t it?' says @bluskincareClick To Tweet

31. Use numbers

“One helpful email marketing tactic is to use a number. Numbers cause people to stop and pay attention. They inherently have a value and something about how our brains are wired cause us to be more intrigued. Subject lines that include a number in any context will pique curiosity more so than those without. The “number trick” works for anything actually, from emails, to social media posts to band names.”

Stephen Gibson, Founder of Vyteo

Follow Vyteo on Twitter @vyteopro

'Numbers cause people to stop and pay attention. They inherently have a value and something about how our brains are wired cause us to be more intrigued,' says @vyteoproClick To Tweet

32. Testing…testing…🎤… (A/B Testing)

A/B testing in Email Marketing is foundational to understand what content performs best with your audience to drive important email metrics (open rates and click-through rates). It’s important to test one component of an email at a time. Common testing areas are subject lines, embedded links v buttons, images, offers, and more. A/B test your emails on a subset of your audience (we recommend at least 100 contacts) to give you concrete data on which successful email you should send to the full audience.

Elise Telford, Marketing & Brand Strategist at Futurety

Follow Futurety on Twitter @futuretyhc

33. Maintain a focus on convenience for your subscribers

“Reactivation campaigns are a great way to encourage lapsed purchasers to come and shop with you again. By mentioning that it’s been a while since you last saw them and that you have some awesome new products you think they may like, it could be enough to remind them of your brand and get them to start shopping with you again. Nice and simple!

“Brand Advocates are your most loyal customers. It’s up to you how you define who your most loyal customers are; if that’s by how many times they’ve bought from you or how long they have been shopping with you, it’s a nice to say thank you and acknowledge their loyalty to your brand. These could be great people to ask to leave a review of their experience shopping with you or give them a sneak peek of some of your latest products before anyone else. By creating a campaign that celebrates their custom and makes them feel special, it’ll be more likely that they keep coming back for more.

“When thinking about the layout of your next newsletter, focus more on the way it looks on mobile over desktop. The increase in customers viewing emails on their mobiles has increased dramatically over the last few years so making sure your newsletter is looking it’s best on their hand-held device is key. Simple things like making sure the scaling of your images and that the size and length of your copy is right for the device can make a massive difference.

“An A/B test is when you test how a difference in your marketing campaign can affect your customers behavior. This can be something simple like changing the subject line of your newsletter to make it vague to customers, affecting the open rate or it could be something more, like changing the style of the email or the wording of the copy that’s included. Conducting these sorts of tests on your emails is an interesting way to get a feel for your customers and the sort of things that they like. I would suggest not changing more than one feature when conducting an A/B test so you can accurately determine what change has positively/negatively impacted your email.”

Kayleigh Cripps, Marketing Graphic Designer at Find Me a Gift

Follow Kayleigh on Twitter @kayleighdesigns

'Brand Advocates are your most loyal customers. By creating a campaign that celebrates their custom and makes them feel special, it’ll be more likely that they keep coming back for more,' says @kayleighdesignsClick To Tweet

34. Take your time with your subject line

“Spend time on the subject line. This is easily one of the most important parts of your email message – it’s what convinces the recipient to actually open the message to read it. It’s important to make it enticing, compelling and helpful – but make sure you deliver on any promises you make and avoid appearing like clickbait.”

Emily Sidley, Senior Director of Publicity at Three Girls Media

Follow Three Girls Media on Twitter @ThreeGirlsMedia

'Spend time on the subject line... it's what convinces the recipient to actually open the message to read it,' says @ThreeGirlsMediaClick To Tweet

35. Create a customer avatar

“Make sure to speak to your email community as though you are speaking to a real person that has real fears, concerns, goals and dreams. Know who this avatar is and the best way you can serve him or her. “

Christy Whitman, author of Quantum Success: 7 Essential Laws for a Thriving, Joyful, and Prosperous Relationship with Work and Money

Follow Christy on Twitter @ChristyWhitman

'Know who this avatar is and the best way you can serve him or her,' says @ChristyWhitmanClick To Tweet

Get to creating your next email campaign!

Armed with these valuable tips, you’re now ready to go forth and email your list with confidence.

Do you have a great email tip you’d love to share with our audience? Post it in the comments, or tweet us @CMindscape.

 

 

 

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Ronda Bowen is VP of Editorial Services at Creative Mindscape. She also provides editorial consulting services to a variety of businesses and individuals, runs a handful of blogs (including WiningWife®), and serves as Fundraising Director for JB Dondolo, Inc. In her downtime, she’s a distance runner, a foodie, a wine and coffee aficionado, seamstress and crafter, and board game enthusiast. Learn more about Ronda’s various projects on her website.