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101 Actionable Email Marketing Tips (That You Can Implement)

email marketing tips


Are you confused that how to make your email marketing compelling and from where you need to start?
Go ahead, and check out this guide.
In this guide, you’ll find the largest collection of email marketing best practices & tips on the web.
All tips are actionable and you can easily implement into your business.
This post is pretty long, so I have created sections to jump to a specific section:


Develop a quality Email list
How to maintain your list
Segmentation
Subject Line
Content
Start Conversation not Campaigns
Email Anatomy and Design
Engaging Email Is Strategic


 


Free Bonus: Download this free ebook to learn email marketing actionable tips from 31 experts. Save it on your computer and read it whenever you'd like!
 


Develop a Quality Email List . 

1. Set expectation During Opt-in Process

Opt-in page, where a visitor enters his/her email address (& other information), is your first opportunity to set the expectations & build trust.
Explain clearly “What’s In It For Me (WIIFM)”. Let subscribers know what type of content they’ll receive.

Convince & Convert digital marketing guidance resource “Definitive” signup page set content expectation of each day of the week.


signup expectation
 

2. Social Proof to Increase Your Conversions

“Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd.”

We’re social creatures and our purchasing decisions are affected by other humans. Social proof is the great way to show people they can trust you.
63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site which has user reviews.
Some major types of social proof are: customer testimonials, case studies, customer base, media mentions, certification & badges, show the numbers, celebrity endorsement, privacy policy, and trust seals.
A message like “We respect your privacy! We don’t spam and your information will remain confidential” builds trust.

See how buffer plays the number game.


social proof

 

3. Website is the Best Place to Collect Email Address

According to MarketingSherpa 2013 Email Marketing Report, “77% of marketers use website registration pages to build email lists.”

Give your visitors a great reason - special offer, discount, free guide, whitepaper, free demo, updates etc. - to subscribe.
ALWAYS follow this rule, “The amount you give will determine the amount you get back .”
There are some options to place your opt-in form on the website, See some examples -

 

Sidebar

Conversion-XL places a signup form on their blog sidebar.
 

signup form sidebar
 

Header

Unbounce places the form in the header and a signup option in menu tab.


signup form header


Footer

See how Backlinko uses the footer.

signup form footer

 

Middle of content

See how Neil Patel use a banner in the middle of the content.

signup form middle

 

Bottom of content

See how Neil uses the bottom of content on his Quicksprout blog.

signup form bottom

 

Pop-up

Social Media Examiner does a great job with their pop-up form.

signup form popup


Welcome page

See how Sujan Patel uses the welcome gate.

welcome gate

 

4. Create Beautiful Landing Page (With Lead Forms)

Make your landing page beautiful & interactive. How your landing page should look like:

  • The headline must set a clear & concise expectation of “what’s in it for me if I give you my information?”

  • The image, graphic or video give subscribers a visual cue of what to expect.

  • Providing important details about your offer in form of the bullet points, it is very helpful for visitors.

  • The form should not ask for a lot of information. Simple. Direct. Easy. With clear calls-to-action (CTA).

See the Unbounce landing page example:

landing page

What do you see on this page?
A clear & concise headline, easily digestible information in bullets points, a relevant graphic, lead capturing form, and social proofs.

 

5. Via Your Facebook Page

Facebook is not just about sharing your content! It’s MORE than that.
Host a contest or run a special offer on Facebook & collect participants email addresses.
Use apps like Woobox, Fanappz, Strutta to run a contest.
Add a signup button on your page to turn your followers into potential subscribers.

See how Hubspot use the signup button as CTA on their Facebook Page.

facebook signup button

See the Vitality Spine Center Facebook contest to get the subscribers.


Facebook contest
 

6. Through Twitter Ad Platform

Use Twitter Ad platform to generate leads: website cards, lead generation cards, promoted video ads, promoted tweets with a link & image.
Find the twitter ads option under the drop down menu in the upper right-hand corner. Select the twitter card option and then click on create lead generation card button.
Twitter lead generation cards drive 43% more engagement.

See how Sarv uses twitter lead generation cards to grab signups.


twitter cards
 

7. Want More Subscribers? Use Pinterest (Seriously!)

I love Pinterest! It’s the most popular platform among females (80% users) and 30+-year-old group.
About 25% of consumers reported buying a product or service after discovering it on Pinterest.
Pinterest is not a niche site, so it’s a great platform to promote any kind of business.

Step 1: Create an eye-catchy visual (image or video) of offer/incentive which can attract audience attention. Use tools like Canva and Camtasia
Step 2: Create a beautiful landing page (Use the same graphic which has you used in original pin) which contain a lead form. I’d like to suggest some tools: Leadpages and Unbounce

Step 3: Upload your Pin, write an actionable description & insert your landing page URL.

pinterest
 

8. Host a Webinar

Hosting a webinar about a relevant topic with your audience is a human way to grab email subscribers.
Run a webinar on the topic that relevant to your products & services, and which provides a helpful solution to your target audience’s queries.
Promote your webinar & collect the email addresses of participants. See the example:


webinar tweet

I’d like to suggest you some tools:
Google+ Hangout
AnyMeeting  
Join.me
GoToWebinar

 

9. Use the Content Upgrade

The content upgrade can increase conversions by more than 700%.
… Are you kidding me?
Create an actionable and worth sharing article (list posts are great) to your audience. Add a line at the beginning, middle & end of the article, something like this:


content upgrade

(Source: Leadpages)


CoSchedule offering a free copy of a guide (as a content upgrade) on a blog post.

free copy

Nathan Ellering, Content Marketing Lead, CoSchedule shared his take on ‘content upgrade’ with us:

"It's impossible to grow an audience if you don't receive recurring traffic to your blog or website. The best way to build trust (and therefore get lots of repeat visits) is to focus on converting the traffic you receive into email subscribers.

I've tried lots of different approaches to
solve that problem, and the absolute best way is to provide some highly relevant, actionable, and valuable free content on each blog post in exchange for an email address. This bonus content has been called lead magnets and content upgrades, and when done well, they can convert up to 20% of all visitors to a blog post.

There are a few steps to get started:

  1. Write very detailed, actionable blog content.
  2. Provide additional bonus tips as a content upgrade, or provide a template of sorts to help your readers implement the advice they read about in your blog content.
  3. Use a tool like LeadBoxes from LeadPages to offer your content upgrade in exchange for an email address.

That's it. And it's the absolute best way to build an email list of active subscribers, just like how we've built a list of more than 100,000 subscribers at CoSchedule."
 

 

10. Learn Some Manners! Serve Thank You Page

Once website visitors subscribe to your list, immediately serve a thank you page (show them your manners).
It tells subscribers that opt-in actually worked. Use creative, funny, & unique language or graphics on thank you page.
It’s a win-win way to invite them to subscribe to your blog or other incentives :-)

Take a look at Orbit Media Studios thanks you page. This page set an expectation and also invite subscriber to connect on social networks.

thank you page

Derek from Social Triggers uses his thank you page to build a relationship by asking people to like the Facebook page.


thank you message
 

 

How to Maintain Your List.

11. Preference or Subscription Center

Preference center allows subscribers to take control of email communication. It’s one of the best ways to build trust with your prospects.

Take a look at Modcloth’s preference center


modcloth preference center
 

12. Be Smart about Your Unsubscribe/Opt-out Process

When a subscriber clicks on “Unsubscribe” link, redirect him to the preference center. Give him options to change his frequency or content preferences etc.
Use appealing language and humor. It will surely decrease your unsubscribe rate :-)

See What Bonobos do when you click on their “Unsubscribe” option:


unsubscribe process
 

13. Is Your List Has Inactive Subscribers? Clean Them!

According to MarketingSherpa Special Report: CMO Perspective on Email Deliverability
“Removing inactive subscribers is the most effective tactic to improve email deliverability rate.”
Do your list has subscribers who don't take any action (open, click, read, unsubscribe) to your email? Remove them.
It will reduce your bounce rate and improve your open rate, CTR & reputation.

Ramesh Choudhary, Director at Sarv.com, shared his views,

“Maintain a clean list. You’ve got the email address but it’s your responsibility to maintain the quality of your list. Remove all the inactive and non-engaged users from your list. And, remove all the hard bounces contacts immediately. ALWAYS remember the health of your list is the best email metric which can improve your email performance.”


14. Give Subscribers a Chance to Be Active!

Did I say, remove your inactive subscribers? But they deserve one more chance - we all do.
So, before removing them - “Just give them one more chance to be with you again.”
Send a series of emails to subscribers that have not opened, clicked or read your recent emails.

I got a “miss you” email from Animaker  

miss you email

Sam Hurley provided his take on this:

“Re-Engage Stale Subscribers

Also, if you have inactive subscribers, it’s time to re-engage these folks. Why not? You already have their information. They were once interested. There’s nothing to stop you re-igniting this flame!

Send a dedicated e-shot out to these specific people – be sure to create an attractive, quirky subject line that is set to entice interaction. You could be surprised how many resurface!”


 

Segmentation.

15. Segment Your List Based on Demographics (Know Your Subscribers)

Want to make your message relevant? First, know your subscribers. Segment your list based on demographics attributes:
Gender, Age, Job title, Company, Industry, Location, Interests etc.

See what Ramesh Choudhary has to say about segmentation,

“Segmentation. Email marketing is all about sending the right email to the right people. And this can’t be possible without segmentation. There are different types of customers who have different interests, needs and problem, so every customer should be entertained quite differently and personally. Use the information of your subscribers to create more segmented and targeted lists.”


16. How to Get Subscriber’s Data?

You must be thinking how to get this demographic information? A Long Forms!
No. Long Forms are irritating. Here’re a few ways:

  • Get basic information during opt-in, and ask for more information on the confirmation form.

  • Do you have repeat visitors? Ask new information each time.

  • Let customers invite to your preference center where they can customize or control their profile.

  • Encourage subscribers to connect their social media accounts to their profile. It provides you subscribers’ birthdays, anniversaries, interests etc.

 

17. Segment Your List Based on Behaviour (Know how they behave)

Knowing your subscribers is great but knowing how they behave tells you what they exactly want.
In MarketingSherpa Email Benchmark Report 2013, marketers were asked: “can you segment subscriber data into separate lists based on the different attributes?”
See the results below:

segmentation chart

Eliza Bzdon, Content Designer at FreshMail provided his take on Segmentation:

“Segmentation is the key to increasing Open Rate and CTR in your campaigns. Instead of sending the same message to everyone on your subscriber list, it's better to divide it into smaller groups and send messages customized to their interests and needs.

Dividing your subscriber list into smaller fragments allows you to, for example, send campaigns that match someone's gender or to those living in a certain geographic area.

You can also create segments on the basis of engagement and 
behavioural data. Just check to see who frequently opens your messages and who doesn't.

Also, send thank you messages to subscribers who are more engaged and activation campaigns to those who aren't. The feedback you get from how subscribers interact with your messages will tell you which subjects interest them and help you to plan your next campaign.

Remember that you can use relevant data from other systems to segment your list like from your CRM, e-commerce platform or Google Analytics.

Personalisation based on the 
behaviour of your subscribers is always the path to more effective email marketing.”


18. Learn the Customer Journey

Define your company’s buyer journey and build your email strategy around it.
According to Hubspot, “A buyer’s journey is a model to help keep the buyer’s behavior, information needs & problems central to anything sales and marketing does.”

Tamara Gielen, Email Marketing Consultant, Trainer & Thought Leader says:

“My top strategy would be to invest in mapping out the entire customer journey and identify the main touch points where you can trigger an email based on a subscriber's action or inaction.”

 

19. Paying Attention to Prospect’s Email Preference/Behaviour

  • Which type of emails (plain text or HTML) a prospect open or click/read?

  • Which type of content/offer does he/she respond to most often?

  • How often he/she interact with your email?

  • Get detailed information about their personal interests.

See this example from Amazon

amazon preference
 

20. Paying Attention to Their Social Behaviour

  • Did a prospect mention your company on social media?

  • Did consumer navigate your site through Facebook or Twitter?

  • Did a prospect share your email on Facebook or Twitter?

  • What type of content he/she re-tweet or share?

  • Did she join any survey or poll?

 

21. Paying Attention to Search Activity

  • How frequently a prospect visit your website?

  • How long he/she navigate on your website? And how many pages?

  • What type of content a consumer read or download?

  • What type of keywords he/she used?

  • Did she fill out a form during her visit?

 

22. Transactional History

  • Did he/she purchase any service or product?

  • Did a consumer add a product to cart but didn’t make the purchase?

  • Which product or service she is more interested?

Ryan Shelley, Founder & CEO, Shelley Media Arts LLC. provided his take on segmentation:

“The most important thing to remember with email marketing is segmentation. Not everyone in your database needs or wants everything you send. By segmenting your lists, you will not only see improve results, but also show your contacts that you value them and their inbox.”

 

23. Sending Birthday Emails to Subscribers

Target customers based on their birthdays. Offer a special discount or incentive at least one week ahead of the subscriber's birthday in order to give her time to use the offer.

  • 27% of birthday emails arrive on the subscriber's birthday.
  • 73% arrive before the recipient's birthday.

Example: See two different kind of birthday email examples from - Ann Taylor & Beauty Insider Sephora

birthday emailhappy b'day email


24. Send Series of Cart Abandonment Emails

Abandoned before they bought?
According to Baymard Institute, a web research company in the UK, 67.45% of online shopping carts are abandoned. (Shopify)
Send targeted follow-up email campaigns to encourage your subscribers to finish their order.

Carl Sednaoui, Director of Marketing @ MailCharts says:

“Send cart abandonment emails. 68% of carts are abandoned. Sending prospective customers cart abandonment emails can help you recover between 5% and 11% of otherwise lost sales.”

Here’s an example, how Lenskart sent me a personalized email after I abandoned the cart. The email includes the picture of an item I selected, warranty & refund policy, and a strong CTA.

cart abandon
 

 

Subject Line.

25. Make Subject Line Your Headline

“What do you do when you see an email in your inbox?”
“What encourages you to open an email?” - A Subject Line!
Most of the marketers have one question- how to get our ideal reader’s attention?

Gary Bencivenga,
a greatest living copywriter, analyze best headlines ever used in direct mail and come up with an equation:
 

Interest = Benefit (what I’m going to get out of it) + Curiosity (wonder what rest of email is going to say)


See how Ramit Sethi uses the same formula in his subject lines to drive a huge amount of revenue for him.

Ramit sethi email


26. Create Launch Subject Line (Like Brian Dean)

Brian Dean, Founder of Backlinko, who regularly offer great content to his active subscribers (I love reading his emails).
Recently, he launched a premium tool, YoRocket (which helps to attract traffic to your site and improve CTR).

Here’s a screenshot which contains subject lines during the launch of YoRocket.


launch subject line
 

27. Make Subject Line More Personalized

“Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” - Dale Carnegie

Use subscriber's “First Name”, or words like “You/Your” in the subject line.
Personally, I (and everyone else) love to see my name or something which wink my identity.
Including a subscriber’s name in the subject line boosted open rates by 29.3%. (Source)

See Social Media Examiner used my name in their subject lines.


personalized subject line


28. Use Words like “Sales”, “New” or “Video”

Announce a sale or new product/post?
Using words like Sales, New or Video in subject line boost click through rate.

See some subject lines which contains the word, ‘sale’


sale subject line


29. Educate Your Subscribers

Write customer-centric subject line.
Start educating your subscribers from a very first email (welcome email).
Educating new subscribers drives 33% of total email revenue in the welcome campaign. (MarketingSherpa)

See how Robbie Richards writes his subject lines.


educate subscribers
 

30. Ask a Question & ‘How-to’ in Subject Line

Question subject lines entice the recipient to find out the answer. You should also consider using words like “How-to”.
‘How to’ subject lines describe you what you’re going to learn from the email

See some ‘How-to’ subject lines:


how-to subject lines


31. Create Sense of Urgency

Are you familiar with FOMO concept?
FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) says, “People are afraid of missing out on events, important updates or news, a good deal, and opportunity.”
Create a sense of urgency in your subject line (try to be creative). Use words like “Limited time offer”, “Last Chance”, “Today Only”.
Subject lines that create a sense of urgency and exclusivity can give a 22% higher open rate. (Source)

How BirchBox writes exclusive & actionable subject lines.


urgency
 

32. Keep It Short, Simple, and Specific

“Simplicity is better than complexity.”
Subject lines with 30 or fewer characters have an above average open rate. (Source)
Create your subject line unique and to the point (No nonsense thing).

Fancy subject lines example:


simple subject line


33. Use Some Humor

Do you have a good sense of humor? Make your readers smile.
A smile has the power of million words, it simply says, “I like you, you make me happy. I’m glad to see you.”
Mix some humor in your subject line (but don’t be offensive or sarcastic).
Some of the examples are:

Groupon: “Best of Groupon: The Deals That Make us Proud (Unlike our Nephew, Steve)”
Land’s End: “You & she: always better together. Plus 30% off dresses & shoes.”
Inbound: Rabbit Rabbit. You’re in Luck!”

 


Free Bonus: Download this free ebook to learn email marketing actionable tips from 31 experts. Save it on your computer and read it whenever you'd like!
 


34. Subject Line as CTA

Use your subject line as a call-to-action (CTA). Answer the subscriber’s question, “Why should I read this?”
Chelsea Scholz, Campaign Strategist, Unbounce says, “Your subject line's job, for example, is to get people to open the message.”

Jesper Isaksson, Me and You Marketing told us:

“Using your email subject line as your CTA is one simple way to raise your click-through rates. Because that's the line that triggered an action from them in the first place, by opening your email. If that email subject line and call-to-action then reflect the headline of the landing page. More will engage with that page as well.”

 

35. Using Words “Daily” or “Weekly” in Subject Line

See Diigo Tech News subject line example:

diigo


36. The Number/List Subject Line  

Lists & numbers create curiosity and easier for the brain to process.
List posts or list articles are very popular among bloggers, using numbers or data in your subject line is an effective email marketing best practice to get your email noticed, & set the expectations.

Here is an example of subject line from Flipboard


list subject line


37. NEVER Make False Promises

Repeat after me, ‘NEVER make false promises and misguide your readers.’ It negatively affects their perception of your brand.
A false promise can help you getting your email opened but it will also let you get unsubscribed (or even SPAM)!

 

38. Break The Rule: Never Use Word “FREE”

Search for your inbox now for brands using the words “Free”. You’ll definitely find a good number of emails.
FREE is an actionable word.
Emails with “Free” in the subject line were opened 10% more than those without.

See subject lines which contain ‘Free’ word.


Free in subject line


39. Break The Rule: Never Include “RE:” in Subject Lines

The top five subject lines in a recent study all included “Re:”. (Source)
 

40. Break The Rule: Never Use Symbols

I love to see emojis and symbols in the subject line. Symbols make it more attractive.
Try to use symbols & other punctuations (but don’t overuse).

Even, well-known brands are using symbols.



 

 

Content.

41. Be Human!

Most of your emails (boring and impersonal) irritate your subscribers. Let’s face this truth!
Want to make your email more engaging?
There’s only one RULE - Content must be natural and human.
REMEMBER that there is a human on the other side who will be reading your message. Make your language friendly and conversational.
Use the natural words in your message which recipient wants to read.
Use a little humor to communicate in a more human way!

“Effective engagement is inspired by the empathy that develops simply by being human.” - Brian Solis

Read the below email which I got from Ramit, sounds human? Yeah!



 

42. Storytelling (key to selling with email)

“Everyone has stories to tell.”
Share case study or success stories of your customers. Break your email in three parts (like a story or a movie):
Part 1: Show the customer scenario (pain point) before the change.
Part 2: Show some drama.
Part 3: Show how your product or service can be a solution. Happy ending :-)

Use the language readers can visualize & use images of the real people.

See the below email from Jon Morrow, Founder of SmartBlogger. It’s the perfect example of storytelling - the subject line of this email says, ‘Newbie Blogger Gets 56,334 Visitors in 60 Days’


storytelling in email

Jesper Isaksson, Me and You Marketing shared his best practice with us:

“I would say the best way by far to build trust is Storytelling or "storyselling" to kill two birds at once.

To "
storysell" you could use parables "small stories" that ties into proving a point (educating the reader while telling a story). This will strengthen your message intent by educating and entertaining your readers at the same time as you're drawing your readers closer towards your call-to-action.”

 

43. Make Every Email Personal!

Use personalization in your content.
94% of businesses say personalization is critical to their current & future success, and for a good reason.
You’ve probably received emails which contain your name like,  “Hey [First Name], we’ve got a special offer for you”
But personalization is much more than addressing your readers by their name. What is your message saying and what is your subject line.

See the email which I got from Neil Patel is a great example of personalization. It includes both the first name and highly relevant content.


personal email

Juntae DeLane, Founder of Digital Branding Institute says:

"Personalized email marketing involves developing highly relevant content for all aspects of the buyer's’ journey. Consider this when developing your next email campaign"


Gisela Hausmann, Email Evangelist, shared her best strategy with us:

“Make every email personal!

In times when everybody can email everybody, people are only looking for an escape not having to reply to an email. Any email that looks like it has been sent to any number of people offers that escape ("Somebody else is going to do it.").

Also, study techniques how to write best emails. Email is the best way to reach influencers. A survey by Good Technology revealed that average American first checks their phone around 7:09 a.m. To be precise – 68 % of people check their work emails before 8 a.m., 50 % check their email while still in bed, and 69 percent do not go to sleep without checking their email.

Therefore, studying best techniques pays off. It is the best investment for any professional career.

Using the trial and error method not only takes too long, you'll burning bridges with people who learn to ignore your emails.”

 

44. Deeper Personalization

Before personalize your email take a little bit of time to check the data you collect - is the data make sense and look personal?
Use the personalized information to benefit your subscribers.

Below is an example of 
email sent by Grammarly

deeper personalization

Sam Hurley provided his take on personalization:

“Use clever marketing automation software to personalise your emails far beyond that of simply including the recipient’s name...

What’s going to perk your interest – an email with your 
name, or an email with a collection of content, products, services and team faces you are familiar with, based on your immediate browsing history?

Powerful indeed!

A few providers:

  • Intercom.io (B2B)

  • GetVero.com (Ecommerce)

  • SparkPage (B2C)

 

Jenna Tiffany, Lead Digital Marketing Strategist at Communicator shared her views on personalization with us.

“Sophisticated personalisation and segmentation using a single customer view are closely next in line in increasing email marketing performance for brands and marketers. The reason for this is that it enables a brand to communicate with the right customer, at the right time, with the right content surrounded by context.”

 

45. Don’t Make Subscribers Your Marketing Target


“Everyone is a buyer.”


But, no one wants to be a marketing target. So, market to people as we want to be marketed to.
Don’t use a sales or marketing pitch, it irritates the readers. Use your email to educate.

“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing at all.”


Chelsea Scholz, Campaign Strategist, Unbounce told us:

“Email can be your most valuable marketing channel; however, just doing it isn’t enough — you need to do it right. Each component of your email should have one job to do, so — tempting as it may be —avoid making every part of the email a sales pitch.

This approach to writing emails will set you up for a more personal (and higher-converting)
experience, because each element moves the reader through a story and a purpose.”

 

46. What they’re Interested in? Understand their needs

“The best marketing strategy ever: CARE.”  - Gary Vaynerchuk

Your Content should be helpful, educational, relevant and entertaining. If you want to win them, you must be personally understood needs and pain points of each & every prospect.

Customers should be a center of all your marketing because 
customer is the HERO. Tailor your content for the audience’s interest.
 

Earn = Educate + Entertain


Steve Arnold, Founder & CEO of MarketHub shared his words with us:

"If you want to improve the odds of getting your messages delivered to the primary inbox of your audience, make sure you're only sending messages to people who are likely to engage with them. Email providers such as Gmail and Yahoo look for signals like open rate to determine future deliverability.

One strategy is to segment your audience based on a very specific subject area, and then only send emails specifically related to that subject to those people."

 

47. Talk about Pain Point!

Find a pain point or common problems among your target audience and come up with a solution in the form of article, webinar or blog post series, then send that as the email content.

See how Ian Brodie talks about the biggest challenge of their clients and come up with a solution.


solve the pain point

Uzzal Hossain, A social media marketer told us:

“Always provide the best and actionable value in your industries. Always talk about ‘single pain point’.

Make sure reply every single problem/Question of your subscribers. Remember when they will trust you, They will buy from you.”

 

48. Provide Incentives to Increase Conversion

Offer irresistible incentives or bonus to increase your conversion rate!
You must treat a subscriber as a valued member of your community.
Exclusive offers make subscribers feel special - Free ebook or guide, coupon or offer code, one-time special discount, video or webinar, free course, etc.

Here is an email which I got from Jon morrow


incentives in email

Jesper Isaksson, Me and You Marketing provided his take:

“I often say that an email without the incentive of reading it and the benefit of taking action is like a really dry sandwich without toppings.

Because if there's no one engaging with your emails (not reading or clicking on your links), it doesn't matter how good your content is... end of
story? Not quite...

Every email in your sequence
have a specific reason for being there. More than generating opens and clicks… It must do something to move your prospect towards your next step and stay aligned with your end-goal.

If your goal as an email marketer is to create revenue as often the case, then sending people to pages where you can make sales is the second most important skill you need.

Better yet, getting them engaged beyond your email.

So how do you incentivise the subject line and make the email benefit-oriented?

Structured in a subject line, it could look like this…

"Your gift inside reveals – 3 simple steps to add 1,000 subscribers"

The gift is the incentive for opening your email. Adding 1k subscribers, the benefit of taking action on the 3 steps provided.

If you offer an incentive plus a benefit of taking action, not only will they open your email… They're more likely to read it and ultimately take action.

While it's important that your email content
deliver on its promises, you don't want the reader to stop there.

Because the “sole purpose of your email” often is to drive traffic to other content.

…and your end-goal most likely don't end with your recipients opening your email right?

So to take it even further and to ensure you get results, you can use your CTA to prepare the readers for what´s on the other side of your link to increase engagement on that page... make sure they stay long enough to ultimately purchase your product or service.

I call this "Linear Content".

 

49. Be Humble!

Don’t sound like a robot. It’s important to stay humble while you’re conveying your message.
Talk about them instead of talking about yourself. Value their opinions and decisions.

Ian Brodie, Marketing Thought Leader & Author told us:

“Be humble. What I mean by that is don't try to put on airs and graces. Don't try to be a celebrity saying "look at me" or a professor talking down to your audience. Your readers want to hear from someone like them, they want to hear about your ups and your downs. They want warts-and-all stories. Being an expert or an authority doesn't mean being distant.

Don't be afraid to sell gently in almost all your emails. It takes world class writing to sell cold in a single email. But anyone can successfully sell by sending regular emails that build your relationship and gently offer something that will help the reader take the next step.”

Get a copy of Ian’s "21 Word Email That Can Get You More Clients"
 

50. Use Visuals In Email

Use the power of visuals in your email to keep your customers happy.
90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Visuals are processed 60,000x faster in the brain than text.
Videos are engaging and entertaining channel to deliver information.
Marketers who integrate video in email generate 40% higher monthly revenues than those who don’t use.

 

51. Don’t overuse the word, “I”

Don’t use the word, “I” frequently. Write your email copy in the second person, “you”, “your” and “yours”.

Take a look at the copy in this email from Udemy.

you word in email

Count how many time the email says ‘you/your’ instead of ‘I’. Okay okay, I do the count…
‘You/Your’ appear 7 times, while the words ‘I’, and ‘us’ appear only 2 times.
See the difference?

 

52. Stop Being Accidental Spammer

Nobody wants to be a spammer in the universe! But what if, you’re giving the heart and soul to serving customers, & spam complaints are received?
I’d like to suggest you some ways which will prevent you from being accidental spammer:

  • Ask for permission before sending emails.

  • Follow CAN-SPAM act.

  • Show your identity.

  • Send highly relevant information.

  • Send the email only to which she subscribed.

  • Never irritate or interrupt customers by sending a number of emails.

  • Make your unsubscribe process super easy!

 

 

Start Conversation Not Campaigns.

53. Make a Real Connection

As a marketer, you should narrow the gap between you and your subscribers. You have to work hard to connect and engage with them.
I have used word “Engaging” quite a bit, but what does it really means. According to Marketo,
“An engaging email doesn’t just talk to a reader; it also gives him a reason and an opportunity to respond, just like a real-world conversation.”

Ramesh Choudhary provided his take,

“Make Conversation. Face this truth no one wants your boring email campaigns. Today’s buyer wants more genuine and relevant conversation. A conversational and human tone in your email can help you to build more natural and trusted relationship with your prospects. If you want to win a customer you must be obsessed with him.”


Read the below email from Jon Morrow

real connection
 

54. Give Customers a Voice!

What happens when you spend a date doing all the talking? Nothing good, right? Allow for the person to respond back to you.
If you are laughing on your dates, having fun, and having conversations that flow easily, then you are likely a good match.
The same principle applies to your email marketing. Give your subscribers a voice. Ask for reviews, polls, feedback. And listen to what they reply back to you.
Even if it’s not all positive, at least there is an opportunity to make a conversation.
We must provide content relevant to a reader’s interest to start a free-flowing conversation.

James from Buzzsumo wanted me to respond back and start a conversation by asking some questions.


conversation

 

55. Treat Subscribers as Community Members

Ryan Robinson,  a content marketing consultant to the world's top experts and growing startups. He writes for over 200,000 monthly readers on ryrob.com. He provided his take:

“To be an effective email marketer, you need to build meaningful connections with your audience. My advice is to stop using the word "subscriber" immediately and instead train yourself to treat the people who receive your emails, like the unique individuals they are. Substitute "subscriber" for "community member" and everything about your interaction style with your community members will change-- you're humanizing them and that'll significantly help you in building stronger connections.

On top of that, the more you're able to weave your personal voice, story and experiences into your email communications with your community, the closer they'll feel to you--and how your community feels about you will greatly determine the ease with which they'll purchase from you in the future.”

 

56. Welcome Email

“74.4% of consumers expect a welcome email when they subscribe.”
Welcome email is a first friendly conversation between you & new subscriber. It should be actionable and informative, which encourages new subscribers to engage with your business.

The anatomy of a welcome email should look something like this:
• Thank you!
• Congratulations, you are now subscribed!
• Here is your offer (fulfill the promise of the opt-in by sending the coupon code, content, or other promised offer).
• Here is what to expect next, and when to expect it (set expectations).

BAGGU offering a coupon code to their new subscriber in the welcome message.


welcome email

SEMrush tells ‘how-to’ steps to use their platform in the welcome email.

semrush welcome email

Bria Sullivan, Content Developer at Constant Contact shared her best practice with us:

“I do believe that a short Welcome Email autoresponder series is key to creating a lasting, positive first impression of your business. That series of Welcome Emails is the first thing that new subscribers see and therefore it is crucial that you engage and impress them right off the bat."


Meera Kothand, Freelance Writer & Certified Email Marketing Specialist provided her take on welcome email:

“Every online marketer should have a welcome email sequence - a series of 3-5 emails that are sent out to a subscriber when they first join your email list. This is the most overlooked aspect of email marketing. A welcome email is good but what you want to do is ‘roll out the red carpet’ for your subscribers when they first sign up.

According to a study by Ciceron, the first 48 hours are when email subscribers are most engaged. You want to build a great first impression of you and your brand in this short period of time. A dedicated welcome email series will not only help you do that, but build trust as well.”

 

57. Reply Every Question

ALWAYS ready to help your prospects. Perhaps they are looking for a real solution for their problem or maybe they’re simply want to know about your product or service.

Always respond back to their questions. Small things build long-term commitments.

 

58. Scalable 1:1 Platform

Joel Traugott, Sr. Inbound Marketing Professor, HubSpot Academy told us:

“Scalable 1:1 Platform- One thing I like most about working with email is how much data is available in the area. I never have to wonder if my message is resonating because I can just look in my dashboard and see.

It's a wonderful way to scale 1:1 conversations (famously hard to quantify) while growing a business' online presence.”

 

59. Relevant Conversation

Are you dating someone?
If you want a long term relationship, you better know her likes, dislikes, and needs. Is she vegan or hates action movies?

The same here - pay close attention to subscribers’ likes and dislikes. Allow them to choose the type of content/information they want to receive in their inbox.

The key to email marketing success - Respect subscriber’s preferences and start a relevant conversation.

relevancy

Ramesh C, Founder & CTO @ Sarv.com

“Email Marketing success is only depends on Transparency and Relevancy, Transparency with ISP defines your Deliverability and Relevant emailers always increase your ROI. Email sending in Bulk is dying, This is era of relevant Email Marketing by Automation & Segmentation.”

 

60. Use Words like Remember, Suppose or Imagine

Imagine if you had the power to hypnotize people.
Imagine you could do it in writing your email to keep them reading.
Sounds exciting!
It can be possible by using hypnotic words in your email copy like “Remember”, “Suppose”, or “Imagine”.
Did you notice, I also used the word ‘imagine’ two times to keep you reading :-)
Why not give these words a try and check your results - after all, marketing is all about psychology.

 

61. Send Email Series That Flow One to Next

Send email series like a conversation. It will help you to take the relationship forward.
What it sounds like?

Meera Kothand email series example:


email series

 

Email Anatomy and Design.

62. ALWAYS Put the ‘From Name’ to Earn Enough Trust!

From (or sender) name is a critical factor in a subscriber’s decision to open or delete your email.
When she receives your message, she first looks at the ‘from field’ to see who sent the email. So, it’s your responsibility to show her who are you.
Use company/brand name, personal name, campaign-based name as a from name.

See how Chubbies use a combination of from name tactic.


from name


63. Pre-header Text to Give a Preview!

Your email campaign is like the movie - and a preheader is a preview so they know what to expect (message content outline).
Pre-header text is an extension of your subject line and actually shows up next to the subject line.

See how Casper use the preview text as an extension of subject line.


preheader

I suggest, don’t repeat subject line in pre-header part. Write something creative, actionable & unique.

Here’s some guideline from Litmus, Which email clients display preview text? It gives you an idea of how to write preheader text for different devices & clients.

Janie and Jack does a great job in their email


preview text

 

64. Keep Your Email Copy to the point this season!

Do you read every single word in a marketing email? Probably not.
People don’t read emails, they scan them.

Jakob Nielsen research shows that,
“Users are extremely fast at both processing their inboxes and reading newsletters. People were highly inclined to skip the introductory blah-blah text. Notice the emphasis on reading the first two words of the headlines.”

What can we learn from this research?
Keep the text short and to-the-point. Write your primary message above the fold to make prospects able to read your message in less than 10 sec.
Keep first two words of headline informational.
Break your content into bullet points to keep your text organized.

Here is an email from Jeff Bullas


short email copy

What Ann Handley says about email copy,

“In general, I think shorter is better. I think brevity always rules. I think if you could say it more simply, you should.

If your writing requires more space, I’m not against long messages. What I am against is wasting the time of the audience. As long as you respect the audience and you’re coming from a place of humility, I think it’s completely fine to write as long as you need to.

But nothing self-indulgent. Don’t waste the time of your audience.”


But Wait, there is something more:
Style of an email should be based on customer’s tastes. If you’re an influencer, Guru or author, and have designed a platform around storytelling, your prospects will be showing interest in a longer copy.

Ramit Sethi sends relatively long emails because the engagement level of his subscribers is so high that they want to read it.


long email copy

 

65. Talk About Benefits, not Features

Have you ever heard the saying, “benefits sell, features don’t”?
So True…
Your message should show the benefits of your product to a consumer. Consumers don’t care about features (even about the product itself).

 

"People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!"
- Theodore Levitt, Harvard Business School marketing professor

 

It’s your job to make customers understand the benefits of your product.

‘Always think about the customer and the benefit that email you’re about to press send on has to the recipient. If you’re struggling to identify that, then is it worth sending at all?’ - Jenna Tiffany

Take a look at the copy of Angie’s List email. The copy tells us the benefit of joining angie’s list.

benefits in email
 

66. Remember to add link to your email

Want to send an article or a topic (which require explanation) to your subscribers?
You don’t have to send the entire article in your email. Just write the brief description of the content in your email, then include a link to read more on a webpage.

See how Neil Patel send the email after publishing the article or podcast.


link in email

There’re 2 benefits:
1. Information is easy to consume and
2. Drive visitors to a webpage which provide an opportunity to improve SEO and conversion.

 

67. Fulfill your promise in your email copy

Did you make any promise or set expectation in your subject line? The email message MUST deliver that promise.
I repeat AGAIN a fake promise can help you getting your email opened but a high open rate means nothing without any click through.

See the email from Social Media Examiner, they fulfill their promise in the email.


fulfill promise
 

68. Insert images into your message


“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

An email without an image is like samosa (Indian dish) without sauce. Putting images in email sounds attractive and informative.
You may include a real picture of a person or thing, or you can do artwork.
Need help for images? Visit sites like Canva, Death to Stock Photo and Twenty20

 


Free Bonus: Download this free ebook to learn email marketing actionable tips from 31 experts. Save it on your computer and read it whenever you'd like!
 


69. Make Sure Images have ALT text

Visual content is really powerful and it’d make sense that you include images in your email.
Great!
But email is a little bit tricky. Most of the recipients have blocked images, so you’ve got to make sure your images have alt text.
Alt text is the alternative text that appears when images aren’t loaded in an email.

See the Vistaprint example


alt text
 

70. Pick one Compelling Call to Action

Emails with a single call-to-action increased clicks 371% and sales 1617%. (thanks to Wordstream)
That statistic loudly says that by using one compelling CTA you’ll get better results. Try to limit yourself to just one primary call to action.

See how Buzzsumo uses one primary CTA in their message.


one CTA
 

71. What you want your readers to do? Tell them

What you need to move from one place to another?
Legs, Right!
CTA is like legs. Tell your readers what you want them to do - and let them do it.

“Your button — which should always complete the sentence "I want to...” — entices a click.” - Chelsea Scholz, Campaign Strategist, Unbounce

Don’t use terms like click here. Use descriptive phrases which instruct people what you want them to do, e.g. Shop Now, Get the Free Demo, Reserve Your Seat, Download the Guide, etc.

Asana clearly tells subscribers to ‘go the the guide’ in one of their email.


Asana email

Kath Pay, CEO & Founder, Holistic Email Marketing provided her take on calls-to-action:

“When creating call-to-actions, be mindful of the fact that email is a Push Channel and the website is a Pull Channel – a key difference which is oft-forgotten when creating CTAs for emails.

With a pull channel such as a website, the customer is there because they have been pulled to the website by wanting to complete a task they have set themselves, and have a mission to fulfill.

Whereas with a push channel such as email, we the marketer, are pushing our offers to them and suggesting ‘Would you like’, ‘why not consider’. This means the buyer is more likely to be closer to the top of the purchase funnel with email, rather than closer to the bottom of the funnel as with search or the website. It all has to do with intent.

Keep in mind that CTAs are the trigger for an action, and we need to ensure we’re asking them to take the most appropriate action based on where they’re at within the buying journey. If the trigger isn’t appropriate for where they’re at in the purchase funnel, they’re less likely to convert.”

 

72. Use actionable language in your CTA

CTA is an instruction that encourages action. Use actionable language in your call to action.
Call-to-action should include language that is brief, clear, and action-oriented.
Urge people to respond now. Add the words like ‘Now’, or ‘Today” in your CTA. Amazon’s most of CTA buttons include the word ‘NOW’.

Take a look at this example from Graphicstock which uses actionable language and sense of urgency ‘hurry, this offer ends tonight at midnight!’


actionable call to action
 

73. Location Matters!


Neil Patel found that people wanted to read a bit more to learn what he had to offer, before seeing a call to action. For this reason having a call to action above the fold caused a decrease in conversions by 17%.

CTA button placement has a big impact on CTR and conversion rate.

 

74. CTA button Color and Design matters

Colors affect conversion rate.
SAP found that the color orange boosted their conversion rate by over 32.5% and Performable found that the color red boosted their conversion rate by 21%. (Thanks to QuickSprout)
You must consider using a button (large enough) rather than using hyperlinked text for your call to action.

 

75. Use whitespace to make your CTA Stand out

Whitespaces help you make button stand out. Don’t place anything around your CTA.
Make sure calls-to-action is immediately noticeable when a user quickly looks your content.
It must be visible, even with images turned off.

InVision uses the whitespace in their emails.


whitespaces
 

76. Don’t forget to Test!

Be creative and don’t be afraid to test! Testing is the best thing you can do to write better CTA.
ALWAYS remember what worked for others may not work for you and what didn’t work for them may work for you.

 

77. Social buttons to Improve Results

Social media is like the mouth of digital word! It’s a valuable tool for promoting your awesome content.
You must use the power of social media - place social buttons (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest etc.) in your email.
Email with social sharing buttons increase click through rate by 158%.

 

78. Social media follow and share link/button

Be sure to put your social profile links. Social media follow button to let you enhance your business reach and help you generate more fans on various social platforms.

Make your campaign shareable on social media. Social media share button enables your readers to share your email content easily with their friends and network.
You must give subscribers a reason to share your content by providing valuable & helpful information in the email.

Here is an example of J.Crew Factory email


social media follow
 

79. Right Placement!

It’s very crucial to pick the right place to put your social buttons. Popular placement options for social buttons are: above the fold and below the fold.

Run an A/B test - Place social buttons above the fold in email A and below the fold in email B. Ready to track all the relevant metrics.
See what works best for you?

According to Jakob Nielsen study,
“Eyetracking visualizations show that users often read Web pages in an F-shaped pattern: two horizontal stripes followed by a vertical stripe. The top left portion is the most viewed part.”

 

80. Make it Super Easy for People to Unsubscribe!

Provide a clear and super easy way to opt-out.
NEVER hide your unsubscribe option. If you do that; it’s going to encourage subscribers to mark your email as Spam.
Place unsubscribe link at the bottom of your email (also consider creating a preference/subscription center).

ModCloth offers preference center beside easy to see unsubscribe link.


unsubscribe link
 

 

Engaging Email is Strategic.

81. Plan out your strategy

Email marketing benchmark report by marketo found that top performers spend more than 3x times the amount of time per month on email strategy than average performers.

Mark Sean Elliott, Sparks4Growth Ltd. says:

"Every email marketing campaign must be carefully planned out. This is to ensure that you maximise
the level of conversion and response rates as well as ensuring your available data goes as far as possible.”


John McIntyre, CEO and Founder ReEngager told us:

“Finally, use email strategically to plug the conversion holes on your website. Cart abandonment. Newsletter. New customers. Old customers. People who don't open emails. And so on.
The trick is using email in the same sense as retargeting - to continually bring people back into your sales funnel.”


Kristin Jones, CEO of JONES, a leading full-service marketing and public relations firm in the Midwest with clients located across the country, shared some of company’s email marketing strategies with us:

“At JONES, we rely on the power of inbound marketing to bring visitors to our client websites, by providing informative, useful content that helps prospects and customers solve their business problems.

“Email plays a dual role in the strategies we use and recommend to our clients in the Midwest and throughout the United States,” she said. Outbound email blasts promote specific offers on a scheduled basis, and an automated lead nurturing email series, offering content closely related to a lead’s initial interaction with the site, is kicked off each time a visitor completes a landing page.

Three key rules we follow for successful email marketing:

1. Use an opt-in strategy; never buy lists and spam prospects.
2. Send valuable offers; this is possible because we have developed a complete Inbound Marketing Learning Library of valuable ebooks, case studies, templates, and worksheets.
3. Give email recipients the tools to share; one-click sharing buttons embedded in emails make it easy for recipients to share the offers they find useful with their friends and colleagues.

Outbound email marketing and lead nurturing emails to move prospects closer to a sale are two of the tools that work together with website content and blogging to form a complete inbound marketing strategy focused on generating leads and sales, Jones said.

Regular outbound emails twice a month provide a complement to that strategy by promoting specific offers, but we generate nearly 5 times as much traffic (and 20 times as many leads) through organic search.”


Jenna Tiffany, Lead Digital Marketing Strategist at Communicator provided her take:
 

“The thing that I have witnessed work the most with email marketing is where brands and marketers have clearly defined their email marketing strategy. They’ve defined what they want to achieve, how this benefits the customer, why they want to achieve X, who will benefit and how they will action it which provides a very clear strategic plan.

This is very different in comparison to just the tactical mentality, which is all about sending an email because ‘we have a database of people to send to’. As we all know consumers are switching off to such tactics and are craving the trulypersonalised
experience which an email strategy allows a brand to fulfil


It’s time to plan out your email marketing strategy for reaching your goals.
 

82. Run research regularly

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customers so well, the product or service fits them and sells itself.” - Peter F. Drucker

Today’s consumers are not average - they’re digital savvy. The way people consume information, shop & make purchasing decisions transforms continuously.
Research can be your friend!

Paul de Fombelle, Global Development Director at Mailify shared his take with us:

“The Three Milestones on your road to email marketing:

Always have a plan. Define your main objective and determine the small goals (each of them embodied in the email campaigns you send) you need to achieve. You’ll also need to determine what your target is, adapt the content along the way, based on your readers’ behaviors and the data you get from them.

Remember, email marketing is a daily battle you want to lead, so be prepared :)”


Adestra runs survey regularly to understand their audience needs & interests.

research
 

83. Deliver cross-channel customer experience

Consumers can access detailed information, pricing, and reviews about services/products anytime anywhere – Just need finger/thumb with a Smartphone.
So you must deliver integrated customer experience across every single channel (email, mobile, social media, website, 
toll-free number).
You need to pay a close (very close) attention to your customer behavior to personalize your conversation across all channels.

 

84. Email is the digital glue!

“Email is the ‘digital glue’ of new media landscape. Email is THE dominant app, and is where the attention is of our audiences on the most frequent basis” - Greg Cangialosi

Email is the driver channel which holds all the other channels. It is everywhere (thanks to the mobile devices), you can access relevant information at any time from anywhere.
More than five in every six companies (84%) see email as being fully integrated with other marketing channels within the next five years, with 76% believing all email communications will be completely 
personalised. (Thanks to Adestra)
Integrate email with web/search, analytics, social media, video, stores, mobile, and a phone call.

In MarketingSherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Study, marketers were asked: “which marketing channels does your organization integrate with your email program.”
See the results:


email marketing study

Larry Kim, Founder of WordStream told us:

“Email engagement rates keep falling every year. Even if people opted into your mailing list, they get increasingly stuck in all sorts of new filters.

So, the idea is to get your engagement back by uploading your emails into AdWords and Facebook and featuring your
best performing offers as sponsored ads in Gmail, YouTube, Google Search and Facebook Ads.

It’s not free but isn’t too expensive either and usually delivers fantastic ROI.”

 

85. Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing is the best tactic to build relationships with prospects (even if they’re not ready to buy).
Communicate consistently with them, will help you to deliver more sales-ready leads.
Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (Marketo)
Lead nurtured with personalized and targeted email generate higher revenue.
Targeted emails drive 18 times more revenue than non-targeted ones. (Social Media Today)
See how Ramit Sethi sent the lead nurturing email series for his course Zero to Launch.


lead nurturing
 

86. Drag and Drop Editor

Don’t have knowledge of coding & designing part?
Drag-and-drop-editor can be your friend!
Powerful drag and drop editor 
enables you to design professional email campaign which delivers results for you.

See Sarv Drag n drop editor

drag n drop editor


Preeti Kaushik, Vice President (VP) at Sarv.com shared his take:

“Efficient way of using email templates: either get it designed fresh by designers or use drag drop method. This will avoid spam issue caused by using old templates which are black-listed.
Also, if someone cannot afford a designer and do not want to pay for new design then he/she can make its own using drag and drop method (being
user friendly, no tech knowledge required)”


Kraig Swensrud, CMO at Campaign Monitor says:

“2016 is the year coding emails becomes a thing of the past and email design becomes drop dead simple. Powerful drag-and-drop technology will unleash the email designer in everyone and enable marketers around the world to create professional email marketing campaigns that deliver results.” (Source: Expert’s Insights on Email Marketing)

 

87. Mobile Optimization

Optimizing email for mobile is extremely important!
55% of emails opened on mobile devices. On the other hand:
“Only 21 percent of the marketers surveyed say they integrate the mobile channel with their email campaign.” - (MarketingSherpa Email Report)

You must make your email mobile responsive.
Make sure your CTA button clearly visible and easy to click on mobile devices.
Optimize your forms and landing pages for mobile.
How your email looks on mobile matters to customers. So, test your design across different clients to see how they look.

Current top 5 Email clients (Thanks to Litmus)


email clients market
 

88. Consistency

“Consistency leads to trust”

The best way to build trust with your email marketing - is to be consistent.

  • Be consistent with your timing,

  • Be consistent with your sending frequency,

  • Be consistent with relevant content,

  • Almost every email should look similar (brand consistency),

  • Subject line should sound similar!

Once you established a trusted relationship with your prospects, you can send occasional surprise email (but there should be a strategic reason to send a surprise email).

Ann Handley, Head of Content at MarketingProfs sends me emails on alternative days, see the screenshot below:

consistency

Hiten Shah, Co-founder of Crazy Egg, and KISSmetrics shared his take on email consistency:

“For email marketing I would recommend that people think about the day of week and time of day that they are sending their emails. Just take a look at your open rates and click rates based on day of week and time of day to understand what's happening.

As a way to get a head start, look at your website traffic in Google Analytics by day of week and time of day to learn when people are in front of their computers and send your emails based on what you learn.”

 

89. Send regular emails

John McIntyre, CEO and Founder ReEngager

“When it comes to email marketing, the first thing is to actually do it. And regularly. Send emails regularly to your customers.


Ian Brodie, Marketing Thought Leader & Author shared his words with us:

“Write regularly and as frequently as you can. It'll improve your writing and your relationship with your audience. There's a reason the highest paid TV stars are the ones with regular shows who appear on our screens week in, week out or more frequently.”


90. Try plain text

Plain text email performs better than HTML email.
Hubspot did
 A/B test to get a better picture of HTML emails vs. plain text emails and found that HTML emails decreased open rate.

Sam Hurley’s take on this:

“Go Plain Jane

Finally, try a plain text, no-frills email. Seriously...

With stats like these, you may be missing a trick:

  • Adding images (GIFs) to your emails reduced open rates by 37%.
  • Using an HTML template in your emails reduced open rates by 25%.
  • Increasing the amount of HTML in your emails reduced open rates by 23%.

(Source: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/plain-text-vs-html-emails-data)

Don’t waste time trying to be too fancy!”


Vic Maine, TwittBuilder.com shared his best strategy with us:

“People go nuts making big, bright, flashy, graphics-heavyhtml emails in Mailchimp and similar, and all else being equal, you'd think that would be a great idea (visual is always more stimulating right?).

But if you can't guarantee that people are able to actually read those emails, then essentially they're just garbage.

Sure they look awesome on your giant laptop screen, but probably not so much on mobile (
obviously you see where I'm going with this :-).

Even way back in 2013 SearchEnginePeople reported that "64% of the decision makers read their emails on mobile phones and 35% of all business professionals check emails on their mobile phones"... and I bet we can safely assume those numbers are even higher now (3 years later).

If the messages you're sending to your list are so weak that they need all those graphics and flash to support them, then maybe having a very high percentage of them actually getting read isn't all that important to you.

But if your messages do have actual value, let them stand on their own; just send plain-text emails.

So what's my big email marketing "tip"? Care WAY more about your emails actually getting read than you do about how they look (i.e. skip the
html templates).

Maybe spend more time and energy creating a more powerful message, story, offer, et cetera... and less time trying to prop up weak ones with bright colors and graphics.”

 

91. Make newsletter a commitment

Make your email newsletter a routine process to build a long-term relationship.
Send personalized and relevant information in a newsletter. Follow 3E’s rule:

Educate - Send educational information like blog posts, product/service demo, guides etc.
Entertain - Upcoming sales/offer, coupon codes, exclusive discount, new experiments, new product/service launch etc.
Engage - Online surveys, feedback forms, Send invitation for upcoming event/webinar, talk about the future projects.

Hubspot sends the newsletter every week which contains blog posts.



Phil Frost, Founder & COO Main Street ROI shared his strategy on email newsletter:

“I'll focus on the importance of an email newsletter.  In myexperience many businesses ignore email newsletters because they think this tactic is dead, but that couldn't be further from the truth.

Email is one of the best ways to stay top of mind with your prospects (to drive more sales) and with your customers (to drive repeat purchases, referrals, and testimonials).  The secret to an effective email newsletter where subscribers actually look forward to your emails is to always provide value and show an authentic personality.

People want to do business with people they know, like and trust, and when you open up to your target audience in your email newsletters, then you form a stronger bond that is hard for competitors to break.”

 

92. Autoresponder: Email Marketer’s Best Friend!

Automated email messages average 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than “business as usual” marketing messages. - (Thanks to Campaign Monitor)

Do you have a thousand of subscribers in your list? Sending them personalized & targeted messages is quite a tough task - and take too much time!
Then, how do you reach to your subscribers and save time?
The Autoresponder can be your friend.
It can make easy to create an email and send automatically when someone 
sign up to your list.
Welcome new subscribers then deliver series of relevant and targeted email which explain your business, product or service and encourage them to buy your product.
Each autoresponder email must contain additional content or bonus material.

 

93. Drip Campaigns

Drip email or triggered emails are automated sets of emails (highly targeted, personalized and relevant) that deliver based on user’s specific action and behavior.
The best part?
You don’t have to manually write and send each one :)
Relevant emails drive 18x more revenue than broadcast emails. (Thanks to Emma)
Personalized messages based on behavior are much better than batch and blast. In fact, they’re 3x better on average.
When should you use drip (trigger) campaign?

Let’s look at some cases: Welcome, lead nurturing, onboarding, shopping cart abandonment, recommendations, renewals, confirmations, re-engagement, courses, unsubscribe.

MyWifeQuitHerJob does a great job

drip campaigns

James Scherer, Content Editor at Wishpond shared company’s email marketing strategy with us:

“Wishpond's most impactful email marketing strategy in recent months focuses around the creation of drip campaigns. We've adopted a strategy for our lead nurturing which had previously only been utilized by our outbound sales team.

By adding the field "business website" to our lead generation campaigns and using marketing automation and triggered campaigns, we're able to segment all our leads into segments based on what they downloaded and then send them emails related to that content.

We're also able to send them periodic sales emails using their business name in the email (i.e. "I've heard that many businesses in the hospitality industry struggle to drive repeat business. Is this an issue at "Acme Hotels Incorporated"?) All automatic (which allows us to A/B test far easier than before). We're seeing a significantly higher ratio of MQLs becoming SQL from these emails than we were from previous campaigns.”

 

94. Send email to active subscribers

Only send email to your active subscribers. What about inactive ones?
Send them a come-back email campaign. If you can’t win them back, simply stop 
mailing them.

Neil Patel (@neilpatel), Entrepreneur, investor & influencer told us:

“Only send out emails to people are opening them. A big mistake marketers make is they continue to email people who aren't opening their emails, which will eventually cause your emails to end up in the spam folder. For this reason you should put all of the people who aren't opening in a re-engagement campaign to get them active.”

 

95. Closely tie email to landing page

You design an amazing and interactive email with actionable CTA, but your email is not converting.
Have you ever wondered, WHY?
Because you didn’t design a beautiful and relevant landing page (with a lead form) - 
BIGGEST reason your readers may lose interest.
Only 48% of marketers build a new landing page for each marketing campaign and 44% of B2B inbound marketing links are to a home page, NOT a landing page.
Your page must match the email in terms of headline, copy, content, look and feel. It will reassure them that they’ve landed at the right place.

Uzzal Hossain, Social Media Marketer says:

“Very eye-catching landing page with mind blowing presentation, engage and build trust with your audiences and subscribers.”


Start building your landing page!

See how Marketo closely tie one of their Webinar
email with the landing page.

marketo landing page
 

96. Dynamic Duo:  email and social media

Smart marketers don’t look at email & social media as competing forces, but as a team player in the core strategy.

What Jay Baer said at MarketingSherpa Email Summit,

“Email and social media have an important part to play in the conversation between company and consumer. They are strategically, operationally and tactically aligned — or if they aren't, they should be.

Email is the conversations that are urgent and important. Social media are the conversations that are less urgent and less important, they still have a place.


Email,
is like Madonna — the original, but now somewhat tired and downtrodden. Lady Gaga is Facebook, "the exact same thing with a fresh coat of paint."


Use the power of email to grow your social followers. Place social media icons or links in the email,
or you can also send a dedicated email campaign to your email list (give them a solid reason to follow you).

See how crocs send an email campaign which asks subscribers to connect on social media.

email and social media

Encourage subscribers to actively share your content on social media. I recommend you to use “share the content with your network” as a “forward to a friend”.
Silverpop benchmark study indicates that “Social sharing is the new & better forward-to-a-friend.”
Post an update on Facebook or tweet your recent email campaign.
Place a link in your tweet or a button on
Facebook page inviting followers to sign up to your list.
Add a social media buttons on 
opt-out page for people who’d rather stay connect over social channels.
 

97. Keep an eye on your bounces

Keep an eye on your bounce report to see why your messages are being returned.

Nick Brennan,
Founder, and CEO of Watch Social Media, suggest monitoring your bounce rate. He says,

“The best tip I can provide regarding email campaigns is to closely monitor your bounces, both hard and soft. One of the biggest risks anyone sending mass emails faces is having their ESP (MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc.) shut them down due to a list that is perceived as low quality.
Bounce rate, particularly your hard bounce rate, is one of the major factors ESPs use in determining this. Make sure any addresses that hard bounce are scrubbed from your lists between sends and you’re well on your way to ensuring a prosperous campaign.”

 

98. Metrics you Should care about (beyond opens and clicks)

Do you still obsess for traditional email metrics: opens, clicks, open rate, CTR, delivered, bounce etc.?

That’s okay! But you need better metric (beyond open rate & click rate).

I’d like to suggest you some new metrics which top performers and marketers care about (Marketo):

  • Driving customer engagement & conversion

  • Measuring and providing ROI

  • Beating the competition

  • Help your buyer & make her happy

  • Controlling risk

  • Understand the buyer's behavior, and journey

  • Growing revenue & “making the dollars”

In order to measure new metrics, you need to combine all the traditional metrics into one single measure.
 

99. Opens are okay, but everyone wants actual sales

Opens and clicks are okay, but end of the day you want actual sales. Right?
Why we are discussing all the email best practices here - because we want to make the numbers.
CMOs or senior marketing executives seeking financial ROI to determine email’s value. (MarketingSherpa)
See the chart below:


marketing sherpa report
 

100. Compare the email results against ALL channels

Are you comparing the performance & return of an email campaign with other emails?
You’re Awesome!
But need to do something more - Compare the email results & return against ALL channels.
It’s called omnichannel marketing.
It’s a great way to understand what is working for you and what isn’t. Across all the channels.

 

101. Move from ESP to Marketing Automation

ESPs are unable to provide new metrics of email, actual sales, and omni-channel marketing.
We live in the age of customers. To make your email more strategic, personalized and keep buyers happy - You need marketing automation.

“91% of the most successful users say marketing automation is "very important" to the overall success of their marketing programs.” (Thanks to Marketo)

See the benefits of Marketing Automation (MA) through the eyes of adopters and non-adopters.

marketing automation

Automation enables you to bring all the functionalities, like -
behavior tracking, targeting, landing pages, relationship marketing, omni-channel coordination, lead management, strategy analysis, social integration, cross-channel marketing, and analytics -  into one single platform.
According to Marketo, the most useful metric for measuring marketing automation performance - is Conversion Rate.
See the chart below.


automation metric
 

Now it’s your turn!

Do you want to suggest any email marketing tips (that I missed)?
Or you have any questions?
Please let me know by leaving a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

 


Free Bonus: Download this free ebook to learn email marketing actionable tips from 31 experts. Save it on your computer and read it whenever you'd like!
 

 
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