By Alyssa Gregory

5 Crucial Email Marketing Tips

By Alyssa Gregory

Email MarketingYesterday, I wrote about building an email marketing list and how important it is to make sure you are creating a database of people who want to receive your updates and are most likely to act. It can take time to develop this kind of list and get the responses you want, but there are some email marketing tips you can apply immediately, whether you have a list of 50 or 5,000.

Focus on One Message

If you’re sending non-newsletter email blasts, stick to one primary message for each email sent out. The more information you pack into an email, the higher the chance the recipient’s eyes will glaze over and they’ll reach for delete. Keep it to one focus point and put it right in the subject and first lines of the message to make it easier for those just skimming to absorb your message.

Email newsletters are expected to provide bits and pieces of several messages, so this tip doesn’t really apply to newsletters. But you should still keep your newsletter blurbs short and to the point, making the information easy to grasp.

Customize Your Message

Use the recipient’s name in your message whenever possible. Something as simple as customizing the email in this way can make the recipient more likely to read through and act on your message.


Include a Call to Action

Each email you send should spell out exactly what you want the recipient to do. Make links obvious and call attention to any special directions you are providing. And it’s okay to be repetitive when it comes to the call to action – include it toward the top of the message and mention it again at the end.

Use a Template

Instead of sending out a generic email, take time to customize your template to reflect the colors, fonts and other branding elements of your business. Using the same email template for your messages will help the recipient recognize your company and generate feelings of trust.

You’ll also want to provide a plain text version that contains the same message but is stripped of all special formatting for recipients using email clients that cannot view messages in HTML. And don’t forget to test out your final template in multiple email clients to make sure it looks how you want it to across the board.

Watch Your Stats

Most email marketing services provide campaign statistics so you can monitor the number of opens, clicks, bounces and unsubscribes. As you get started with email marketing, try a few different formats and link placements and then compare the stats to gauge your success.

And don’t be so quick to unsubscribe bounced addresses. An email can bounce for any number of reasons, and it’s best to wait to see if the address bounces more than once before scrubbing it from your list.

What email marketing tips have you learned from your experience that you would add to this list?

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Image credit: Ivan Petrov

  • Anonymous

    Lately I have found that emails are becoming so cluttered with information that I just delete them. Or worse yet you have to navigate to the bottom of the email to find out what the headline was about – drives me crazy! It’s like at a retail store where they rarely merchandise the sale items on the aisles cuz they want you to have to go through the new stuff first – and I worked retail for years! This imho is a very bad mentality for emails.

    Less is more. Ones with a focused clear message get my click – others get quickly deleted due to information overload.

  • Scott Petrovic

    This article is very mediocre. It is pretty basic and every email marketing checklist out there seems to have these same items.

  • hairybob

    The 2.26am comment is a good one. No more than 4 topics (or titles) in your email, otherwise you lose people.

  • “so cluttered with information that I just delete them”

    If you get into email marketing, you have to go into it with the idea that you’re not going to make everyone happy no matter what you send. Some people just don’t read any email anymore. For me, I’m on pins and needles waiting for the next snow report to be delivered by email at 6am from my favorite ski resort (yes we’re in ski season again in Colorado). It’s all about creating that kind of value for your readers that even out of 1,000 emails, they will open yours.

  • Bex White – bubblegumkitten.com

    Hi, those are some great basics points for email marketers old and new to take into account, I have noticed some of my clients in recent months trying to cram more and more information into a single email, often as a tactic to try to reduce their overall spend by combining what should really be several emails into a single message. But does this work? I think the answer is a definitive ‘no’. Putting a mix of content into one email when in reality sending a few different and much more targeted mailings (someone who is interested in mens shoes from a high street retailer may not be interested in womens handbags for example) will create a much higher response rate and a much lower unsubscribe rate.

    The problem with putting all your messages into one email is that unless your subscriber base is of a demographic that responds well to very long varied emails… I cannot think of one off the top of my head… then which item of content is placed at the top is effectively the entire email. The above the fold content will determine if a reader scrolls down or deletes your mail – so mixing messages is never a good idea as it effectively weakens the email severely.

    I have been working in email for over 5 years so far and I definately think that this is an issue which reduces ROI quite significantly.


  • Niubi

    I don’t generally tend to read marketing emails, particularly if they blast my full name out at me in the subject header. I find that a bit creepy, even though I know it’s just some PHP magickery from a database. After all, it’s a mass message to thousands, so why not just skip the whole false hokey Hi there [FirstName][LastName]!

    Best marketing emails I’ve seen are from a company called DubLi, who send a weekly subscribe-only email, it has a big story for the week – usually related to one of the bigger auctions – followed by the usual descriptions of what you can find for the upcoming week. It’s certainly something eBay should consider doing – not necessarily promoting their auctions, but maybe some aspect of eBay that not enough other people know about.

  • Randy

    yes, email marketing is one of source of internet marketing instead ppc and many other ways. I really love email marketing.


  • Gaurav sharma

    we have to focus on our targeted audience for a successful email marketing campaign…

  • B_Thomas

    Great article. Another tip I would use is to not be “robotic” in your email campaigns – that is, BE HUMAN. Make jokes, be goofy, address your customers like their friend, not a faceless corporate entity. Connecting on a human level is an overlooked aspect of email marketing, and once I implemented this (not hard for me to act casually in a business situation), my conversion rate skyrocketed. Just be yourself! I realize being too causal may not be the best option depending on your business, but give it a shot ;)
    Also, finding the right email service is crucial also. If you can’t creatively flourish, neither will your newsletters or campaigns. I recently made the switch to GraphicMail, and I’m putting the 60-day trial to good use ;) Check em out, give em a try: http://www.graphicmail.com/join/73507
    If you can find a better service, lemme know because I’m broadening my horizons.

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