35 Email List Marketing Tips



These email list marketing tips are a result of my diligent research in scouring the web to bring you a list of comprehensive day-to-day reminders when working on your email marketing campaigns. This list is a follow up to my high level articles on Mass Email Marketing Basics and how to formulate an Email Marketing Strategy. Email list marketing works but is not something where you can expect overnight success.

Be patient in building your email contact list and avoid the temptation to oversell to your list. Your focus must be on creating quality content that your readers enjoy in and of itself. Along the way, you provide an avenue for your customers to stay in touch, build relationships, send your list updates and offers and position yourself as an approachable expert.


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Email List Marketing Tips

I have broken out the email marketing tips below into 4 categories: Content, Style, Mechanics and Promotion. In each section I have compiled bullet points of the best practices I have come across in reading and researching countless email marketing websites, blogs, companies and articles. Hopefully, you will find this list of tactics useful in fine-tuning your own email marketing efforts. You don't have to apply each and every tip, simply the ones that work for you.

Email List Marketing


Use your best judgment in formulating your email marketing strategy and putting this into practice. Email list marketing is part of a modern trend in sales and marketing tied into online, social media and viral activities which call for a consistent, longterm approach of building your brand one message at a time. In case you hadn't figured it out already, the days of sending out a clever marketing message and having people flock to buy from you are over!


Email List Marketing Tips: Content


#1: Generally speaking, you should not send an email unless it is something that your readers would read in and of itself without any offers or associations with your business. Remember that you goal is not to send advertisements to your readers but to create and distribute compelling content.


#2: Figure out how to mix promotional offers in with your content. Perhaps include an offer in a specific section of your emails each time or focus exclusively on a promotional offer every few emails (e.g. 1 out of every 4 emails is simply a promo)? It is okay to have a sales and marketing component to your emails but remember that softer is better and that quality information comes first.


#3: Use the M-A-D-E formula for putting your message - i.e. the most important information - first (followed by Action, Details and Evidence). Try and use interesting hooks in order to engage your readers' attention and put the "meat and bones" of your message right up front.


#4: Following on from email list marketing tip #3, can you summarize your e-mail in the first few lines? This allows your busy readers to get the gist of your email quickly and works well with email systems with preview panes that shows these opening sentences. Let your readers know what they will get out of the email and let them decide if they want to read it all.


#5: Make sure your branding and messaging tie into your overall marketing brand. The content you create in your email list marketing should be linked to your overall business (of course!) and should provide helpful tips, advice, insights and strategies that position you as an expert in your field.


#6: Don't oversell and don't use spam words like ”free”, ”money”, ”buy”, "Dear" (as in "Dear John,...") or dollars signs ($$$). The reason for this is that both your readers and spam filters tend to block these kinds of messages out. For the same reason, do not include too many links to your website or various products, services or offers.


#7: How can you make your marketing emails as interesting as possible? Think about using customer feedback and contributors to help spice up your newsletters. While you should not simply copy content from your website or other sources, can you link to interesting articles and include downloads, documents and other information that is useful to your readers?


#8: The main purpose of email list marketing is to create useful, interesting and entertaining content that your readers enjoy (much like creating ”remarkability” in Internet viral marketing). Research and report on themes, trends, analyses and other beneficial industry updates and information for your readers.

Email List Marketing


#9: Can you create tie-ins to current events or contextualize your emails within stories or themes? Try and think of creative ways to generate ideas that are associated with your business. Instead of talking about your product(s) or service(s), talk about things that relate to your customers' lifestyle and values.


Email List Marketing Tips: Style


#10: There are tons of articles on writing good email marketing subjects lines and so the only advice I will add is to find a formula and stick with it. Your subject line should be compelling and link to your brand and not just be a sales and marketing pitch (don't you just hate those over-salesy marketing emails you probably get yourself?).


#11: The general design of your sales and marketing emails should be in line with your business brand and website. If possible, incorporate your logo, fonts and colors in order to reinforce your brand and present a look and feeling that is integrated with the rest of your sales and marketing channels.


#12: Make sure that your marketing emails have visual appeal and are not too crowded. Learn to write in short snippets that can be easily digested and skimmed by your readers. Bullet points and lists are great give you a way to break up your content into manageable pieces.


#13: Following from the last email list marketing tip, try not to overuse fancy fonts and colors. Avoid using CAPITALIZED, bold and underlined text too much, not to mention too many exclamation points and such!!! Keeping it simple is sometimes the best policy... and sometimes very hard to accomplish for marketers.


#14: Can you give your readers a choice between receiving HTML versus plain text emails? Remember that some email applications can garble too much HTML and other add-ons and make your emails illegible. Many email marketing systems allow you to send your communications in both forms for readers that prefer one over the other.


#15: That being said, it may be worthwhile experimenting with audio, video, flash, animated and other "high tech" add-ons to your emails in order to make them more interesting. A variety of content is generally a good way to engage your customers... buttons are great too (and hard to resist!).


#16: How long should your marketing emails be? A general rule of thumb I would suggest is that longer is better than shorter as long as you are providing valuable content and break up your emails into topics with links to each section if possible. In the world of online marketing, ”content is king”!


#17: Following on from this, you might try multipart emails such as with email list marketing courses that you may have signed up for yourself. These are a good way to engage new readers and provide a weekly or bi-weekly communication that readers expect and that instructs them on valuable insights related to your line of business.


#18: Can you make your emails gender neutral (use "they" rather than "he" or she")? Try as much as possible to be inclusive so as not to turn off a certain segment of your subscriber base. The best advice I can give you for email list marketing is to make your emails sound like you do when you speak to customers in person.

Email List Marketing


Email List Marketing Tips: Mechanics


#19: The focus on the timing of your emails is something, like I have said before, which I think is a bit overrated. Try not to send your emails on holidays and weekend but during business hours. Other than that, I don't believe specific days or times will make much of a difference.


#20: As for the frequency of your emails, I prefer a bi-weekly communications for my own news blog although this is not a hard an fast rule and I do not have a specific day of the week I send this (I like to surprise my readers!). Too often is just as bad as not often enough and generally speaking you should send your marketing communications at least once a month.


#21: Make sure that you have a simple subscribe and unsubscribe mechanism in order to facilitate adding people to your email contact list and people choosing to get off your list if they want to (which you should not take personally!). Remember that the permission to email people is a privilege which should not be abused.


#22: Does your ISP know that you are engaging in mass email list marketing? At the very least, it may be worthwhile to go over the terms of your agreement with them and make sure you are abiding by any stipulations related to email marketing. This applies more to business with subscribers in the 1000s and generally speaking, as long as you do not buy email lists to spam strangers, you should be okay.


#23: Part of a successful email marketing strategy is to use your own name and a proper reply-to address in your marketing emails as opposed to a generic or nameless email account. Your emails should be as personalized as possible and if you can automate the inclusion of your customer names in your emails, then you should do so.

Email List Marketing


#24: Check the grammar, spelling, subject line, links and other details of your email before you send it! One of the worst things to do is to email hundreds (or thousands) of people and then realize that you did not include a subject line... it is always a good idea to send your email to yourself first and check it with different email readers too if possible.


#25: As you get into the habit of tweaking emails in order to experiment with different layouts and such, you might want to consider split testing where you send 10% of your list one email and another 10% a variation, e.g. a different subject line. Then, send the remaining 80% the version that gets the best response.


#26: Put in place a system of measuring your progress based on the amount of subscribes and unsubscribes as well as your overall response rates and other metrics found in advanced email marketing applications. Make it a habit to continually improve your email list marketing process in order to build on your success and not just send out random emails!


Email List Marketing Tips: Promotion





#27: Advertise your newsletter at every opportunity and provide people with incentives in order for them to sign up. You can put a link to your newsletter in your emails and on your business cards and other ads as well as having sign-up boxes on every page of your website. You might also try a pop-up page on your website asking people to sign up.


#28: Promotion is a huge part of building a successful email marketing program and you should always encourage people to share your emails with others. This kind of sharing will become a big part of your social media marketing strategy as well and the starting point is making sure to encourage people and provide the necessary links and add-ons.


#29: Social media sharing is one of the reasons you should always provide a link to view your emails online if possible. This makes the process of sharing your emails that much easier, as with the concept of ”passability” in Internet viral marketing. As well, this gives you a way to provide an archive of past issues.


#30: Do you have a good welcome email for people that sign up to your marketing email? Saying ”thank you” is always a good idea and an autoresponder note that is sent out to each customer that signs up can also include offers, useful links and other information that gives them a taste of what to expect from you going forward.


#31: Building on the last email list marketing tip, is there a way for you to reward your email list subscribers? Providing offers and incentives is a good way to get people to sign up to your list as well as keep them subscribed to it. Try and think of meaningful ways to add value to your readers such as many businesses do with loyalty programs.


#32: Try and engage your readers as much as possible in order to provide an interactive experience with your email list marketing communications. Surveys and quizzes are a great way to create conversation as are comment sections and simply asking for feedback. The best sales and marketing nowadays is two-way and not just in the form of business announcements to the general public.


#33: As well as having guest contributors to your marketing emails from time to time, consider partnerships with similar businesses to yours. While you will not generally partner with a competitor, there are probably many businesses that provide a complimentary product or service to yours. The key is that you should share the same customers and that together, you can reach more people than you would do so alone.


#34: In lieu of email list marketing tip #35, I present to you instead a list of 100 email marketing blogs compiled by the good folks at Email-Marketing-Reports.com. As I have said before, there are tons of great email marketing resources out there for you to fill your buckets with and seek guidance as you progress. I have tried to complied the most important tips and best practices in this article but there is always more for you to learn.

Email List Marketing




Get help with email list marketing!

GO TO:
Email Marketing StrategyMass Email Marketing BasicsEmail Marketing ListsChoosing an Email Marketing SystemBusiness Email TipsMarketing Communication MixMarketing Communication PlanMarketing Communication StrategyIntegrated Marketing CommunicationMarketing Communication ProcessInteractive Marketing Communication"You" MessagingEmail List Marketing Consultant




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