Email Marketing Tips

Email marketing can be tricky for businesses to get right – you want to send a message that will pique their interest and provide your audience with value. Often when creating an email, marketers focus on what message they want to get across but forget to provide value to the person receiving the email. That, along with unsolicited emails, email fatigue, sending without testing, and issues with email design are common mistakes that companies make. Luckily, these mistakes can be easily avoided if you understand your audience and put in the time to construct and design an effective email.


What Should Your Email Be About?

When determining what content should be in your email, you must first consider your goals. The goals of your email will also narrow down who you should be talking to. If you want to get more people interested in your products or services, you might consider highlighting a success story from one of your clients. If your goal is to get people to view you as a thought leader in your industry, highlight your recent blog posts that will provide them with useful information that only you can provide. It’s also useful to put together a content list of potential email topics. That way you always have concepts to pull from and will have enough content to send emails on a regular basis.

Your content will be the most important part of your email. You want to make sure you treat the people you are sending to like VIPs. Make them feel like they are getting something exclusive or a first glance at one of your new products. Make sure your content is always useful to them. The only reason people keep an email is because it has some benefit to them, so keep that in mind when developing content. It will also be important that your content reflects your brand. If you’re an accounting firm, you more than likely wouldn’t want to put a joke or Emojis in your email. Find a tone and voice that aligns with what your company embodies. Finally, make sure to keep your email short. People want something that they can easily scan through, so add headings, break up the text, and include images when appropriate.


8 Tips for Creating Subject Lines

  1. Create a sense of urgency. This will entice recipients to act, but make sure to use this tactic sparingly and when appropriate. For instance, when you are having a flash sale this would be a useful strategy.
  2. Pique their curiosity. Try to be a little mysterious to entice people to open your email.
  3. Try to include an offer. Find an offer that people will respond to and that they see as valuable.
  4. Add some personalization. It doesn’t necessarily have to be their name, just add a small touch that will capture their attention and that they can relate to.
  5. Keep it short and to the point. The majority of email opens take place on mobile devices, so try to keep your subject lines under 50 characters to avoid being cut off.
  6. Start with action-oriented verbs. A subject line is similar to a call to action. You want it to drive your audience to click on your email, and action verbs inspire people to do just that.
  7. Never use all caps or overuse exclamation marks. Not only will people not be receptive to this sort of tone, but they appear spammy and will likely get stuck in spam filters.
  8. Make sure to A/B test your subject lines. There’s no exact science to creating subject lines, so test different variables to find the right language for your audience.


7 Best Practices for Emails

  1. Make sure you test your emails across multiple devices and platforms. A Mac and a PC might display your email differently, just like a cellphone and a desktop might look completely different. By testing these first, you can ensure that everyone will be able to view your message the way it was intended.
  2. Avoid purchased lists. A successful email campaign depends on a healthy open rate, and when you are contacting people that did not subscribe, you’ll see your performance drop.
  3. Keep a consistent font throughout. At the most, vary between 2-3 fonts or typefaces, but only where changing the font would make sense.
  4. Continually clean your mailing list and monitor what people are saying. If you’re seeing a lot of unsubscribes from people who feel they are receiving too many messages, adjust your emailing schedule. Remove people who aren’t opening your emails or try another strategy with those individuals.
  5. Organize your content in order of importance. Keep your call to action and main messaging front and center to increase the chance of people reading them.
  6. Create a landing page that reflects what your email was about. Make sure the look and feel are consistent with the email design. Also, make sure the content on the landing page lines up with what was said in the email.
  7. Develop your email according to best practices. Reference this guide from MailChimp on best practices for creating an HTML email. 

Benchmark Your Results

It can often be useful to look at your performance compared to other companies in your same industry. Many sites offer benchmark statistics, but we utilize MailChimp when we are reviewing data by industry. It’s important to note that this information is from retention-based emails or house lists, so if you are using a prospecting list, you will likely have lower results. Every campaign is different, so don’t feel bad if your results are not quite matching the benchmark numbers. The goal is to get close to these stats and readjust your campaign until you have enough historical data of your own to benchmark against.


Industry Open Rate (total opens/total delivered) Click-Through Rate (total clicks/total delivered) Unsubscribe Rate (total unsubscribes/total delivered) Hard Bounce Rate* (total number of undeliverable emails/total sent)
Business and Finance 20.47% 2.59% .21% .46%
Manufacturing 20.51% 2.18% .35% .83%
Medical, Dental, and Healthcare 21.09% 2.25% .29% .59%
Retail 19.36% 2.24% .27% .24%
Professional Services 20.77% 2.39% .30% .61%

*Hard bounce rate indicates a permanent reason an email can’t be delivered. The top reasons for a hard bounce are that the email address doesn’t exist, domain name doesn’t exist, or email server has completely blocked delivery. In most cases these emails are removed when using a marketing automation tool and should decrease as you refine your list. 


To access the full list of industry benchmarks follow this link.