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41 Tips For Better Email Marketing Results

 I confess. I’m a list junkie. Show me a “Top 10” or “25 Things To Do” and I’m hooked. So I thought I’d provide my own list of 41 things I have found to be true about email marketing.

Since you are a marketer, you already know that virtually nothing is true at all times for all audiences. Think of this as your test list or things to keep in mind AND please do add your own truisms in the comments section.

LIST MANAGEMENT

1. “Check this box” if you want to receive email. is better than “Uncheck this box” if you don’t.
2. A small responsive list is better than a big non-responsive one. Remove habitual non-responders.
3. Your email reputation with ISPs is more important than your Creative in getting your email delivered.
4. Don’t buy an email list and add it to your database.
5. Email appending your customer file is an extension of the relationship. 
6. Street address appending your email file makes sense. 
7. Customize your opt-out. People generally want to stop certain messages, not all. 
8. Your email database is gold. Don’t give it to anyone and be careful how it is used internally. 
9. Give people a reason to give you their email address. If you force them to provide one,  you are likely to get a fake one or one they never use. 
10. Honor opt-out requests immediately but make sure its understood what emails they may still receive – like renewal notices.


SUBJECT LINE

11. Go short – 45 to 60 characters
12. Give your recipient a reason to open your email – discount, special offer, a premium
13. Subject Line is the most important reason email is opened.  
14. Write the subject line first then the body text.
15. Got a humorous product or service try a humorous subject line.
16. Personalization sometimes works: Mike, save $50.00 now.
17. Got a curious audience, pose a question.
18. You really can use free or FREE. 
19. DON’T USE ALL CAPS.
20. "OOPs" in a subject line increases your open rate. More on this.


BODY TEXT

21. Emails with images work better even though images often need to be unblocked by the recipient.
22. However, text emails can be effective.
23. The confirmation email is the most read email, include a “call-to-action” in there.
24. Place important information above the fold. It still works – even in a mobile world.
25. Instead of “Click here if you can’t read this email” use ”Click here to get the great offer” include the details – 4 free weeks, $10 savings, etc…
26. Responsive Design is critical, over 50% of email is opened on a mobile device.
27. Subject lines are critical but body text has to relate to it.
28. Test “Dear First Name” against no salutation, if you have names in your email database.
29. Quickly get to the point, lead them to your site for more information.
30. Your opt-out needs to be easy to see / use. You don't like unsubscribes but being marked "Junk" is worse.

THIS AND THAT

31. When emailing an outside list, give something free to get an opt-in email address, then market.
32. Friday works, Saturday works, evenings work.
33. Monday doesn’t work, early mornings don’t work.
34. Think mobile first. Make sure landing page is super simple to order and pay. 
35. Holidays throw off the entire cycle as people scramble to deal with email built up over the holiday period. Unless it relates to the holiday, avoid the week before and the week of any major holiday. 
36. Use an ESP. Consider replacing it with an Inbound Marketing System.  
37. B2B email is harder to get delivered. Companies are more aggressive in stemming the flow of email than consumer ISPs. 
38. Gmail's tab system has not dramatically changed results for most marketers.
39. Litmus and Acid are simple tools you can use to see how your email looks in various email clients.
40. Turn lemons into lemonade: OOPS emails are opened and perform strongly.  
41. Know your stats and update quarterly – email clients, mobile / desktop, strongest / weakest efforts.  

Hope you got a few tips for your own email marketing efforts. Please do let me know some of yours. Here are a few more resources to put in your “tool kit”.