Today's Do's and Don'ts of Email Marketing


In today’s overly saturated marketplace, it can take multiple touch points before a customer buys your product. Rather than the old sales funnel model, a customer’s purchase path today resembles more of a continuous cycle of information-gathering, feedback and post-purchase evaluation.

From the initial trigger to the information-gathering stage, and even with the post-purchase evaluation, email marketing plays a pivotal role. A Gigaom Research study claims that email is the most effective channel for awareness, acquisition, conversion and customer retention. Consumer attitudes have shown improvement, with only 42% of online adults in the U.S. deleting email advertising without reading it, which is down from 59% in 2010. More consumers report that email offers are a great way to find out about new products or promotions, up 7% since 2010. Younger consumers, especially, report a higher inclination to make purchases through promotional emails.

So, what does all this mean? Don’t screw it up! Here are some best practices:

Dos of Email Marketing:

  • Make Your Email Marketing Campaign Mobile-Friendly
  • Make Your Subject Line Irresistible (more on that below)
  • Use a Sidebar with Icons and Links
  • Personalize the Email and Tailor Your Email to Different Segments
  • Give Your Email a Distinctive Look
  • Focus Important Content on Top of the First Page
  • Include Multiple Ways for Customers to Contact You, i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Toll-Free Number, Link to Website

Don’ts of Email Marketing:

  • Send Emails Too Frequently
  • Think Email Works in a Silo
  • Email Irrelevant Content
  • Focus Only on ROI
  • Hide the Unsubscribe Link
  • Send Marketing Emails Without Testing Them First
  • Use a Single Image, or it looks like this:

Subject Line Best Practices:

  • Should Act as a Teaser for Your Message
  • Get to the Point: Put Your Most Relevant Words in the First 3-4 Words of the Subject Line
  • NEVER Use Caps Lock
  • Don’t Get Spammy, i.e., Act Now, Fast Cash, Dear Friend, Discount
  • Proofread
  • Test: Use New Subject Lines with Each Broadcast to Determine the Best Response
  • Keep the Subject Line to 45 Characters or Less

Last, but certainly not least, make sure you’re familiar with the CAN-SPAM Act compliance guidelines for businesses.

Happy Emailing, Friends!