Tried-and-True Advice from Email Marketing Leaders

Email marketing is a style of permission marketing that targets customers who have opted to receive information about your company or project. Because customers have chosen to receive this specific marketing, the return on investment is huge! Email is highly effective because it yields measurable outcomes, has a wide reach, promotes customized relationships, and improves your brand awareness.

If you need some advice on email marketing best practices, listen to the experts.

(1) “ You have to get an open before you’re going to get a click.”
Erica McGillivray, Senior Community Manager,

A subject line is your first opportunity to entice a customer. Make it short and sweet, says McGillivray, so your audience knows what they’re about to read. Think of your subject line like an ice cream flavor, she says—the more you have to choose from the better your choice will be. A subject line is the first hook to convince your customer to open your email. Without a cohesive subject line it’s unlikely for even one customer to open your email. Likewise, your subject line should actually match the content of your email. There’s nothing worse than an exaggerated subject line that doesn’t match your marketing. Don’t let your customers down. Make sure your subject line and content are united for a really powerful impact.

(2) Don’t get caught “using a generic email ‘from name’ such as ‘admin’ or ‘noreply’. People want to interact with people, not mailboxes.”
Joe Stych, Content Marketer, Zapier

Email marketing is meant to open up a conversation between customers and company representatives. Making yourself available to users who have questions encourages a real relationship to be built, says Stych. Zapier sends all their emails from to encourage customers with questions or confusion to reach out to their staff. Email subscribers are much more likely to turn into paying customers if they are able to talk with a support team to get their questions answered right away. Stych knows the opportunity for contact is enormous with reply-able email addresses, and so do we, so don’t cause yourself to miss out.

(3) “Email allows us to engage our audience in a creative, personalized way that blog posts or tweets can’t.”
Corey Dilley, Marketing Manager, Unbounce

Dilley knows his email list is the biggest asset he has for driving new additions, and rightly so since 80-90% of his landing page traffic stems from email hits. Email is a great tool to really grow a relationship with a customer in terms of understanding their problems and providing them with solutions. Dilley recommends rewriting emails until they are perfect because he knows email is an opportunity to prove to customers that you are relevant to them. Email is more personal than a blog post or tweet that is out in the open; a special message delivered to a customer’s email box creates a feeling of personal outreach that can’t be replicated with other online tools. Make sure your wording is spot-on and your content is valuable—write your email, and then rewrite it if you have to.

(4) “What I hear most from clients is that email marketing is hard to do well. Many underestimate the time commitment required to have an incredible campaign.”
Ken Mahar, CEO, Email Broadcast

Email is hard to do well, but with the correct planning you can run an incredible campaign, says Mahar. Email Broadcast’s CEO outlines a seven-point plan to make your email marketing effective. First, get permission. “Nobody wants to be spammed, even by you,” Mahar says. Permission is key to an effective email campaign. Second, have a plan and create an overall strategy. Third, create a list of content ideas. Fourth, create a compelling sign-up offer to grow your list and make it a cornerstone of your marketing agenda. Fifth, schedule your work, stay ahead of your emails, and skip a month if the content is not up to par. Sixth, add value to your audience. Everything is about the customer. What can you do for them? Let them know. And seventh, tell good stories. People like stories because they are entertaining. Mahar notes that while this planning list may be long, the average person gets more than 450 commercial messages a month, so to make yours stand out you’ll have to have real dedication.

(5) “Relevant engagements are the key to successful email marketing. While high open and click-through rates are nice to achieve, they don’t matter much if they’re not driving sales.”
Larry Alton, Freelance Tech and Computer Writer

We’ve decided that email marketing is powerful when you can get your user to open, click, and engage. But what is truly the most important part of that process? Alton believes the engagement is what makes email marketing the most effective tactic for online platforms. To increase engagements Alton suggests optimizing sites for mobile platforms since mobile email use has skyrocketed. How often have you ignored an email that couldn’t be read on your phone? Next, he identifies personalization as key. Personalized emails received 29% more opens and 41% more clicks than generic emails in 2013, showing us that increased engagement stems from personalized email strategies. Last, Alton knows harnessing data lets you gain insight into subscriber’s preferences and habits to better suit their potential problems. Engagement through these three steps is key to successful email marketing.

Email marketing is a vital part of any online strategy. With the right execution, your strategy can yield amazing results. New age marketing strategies are all about customer relationships and personal engagement, and email marketing can provide your customers with opportunities to experience your company or product in an unconventional way.

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