The Do’s & Don’ts of Email Marketing

Written by Courtney Raguso, Social Media Content Creator

Email is a powerful communication tool and is going to be around for a while. A recent study projected that by 2023, 347.3 billion emails will be sent and received each day. Technology is growing, and there is just so much potential with using email to gain and retain loyal customers. With so many digital forms of communication, email marketing is one of the main strategies you should be using to grow your business. In fact, studies also revealed that email marketing has a return on investment of $42 dollars for every $1 dollar spent. So, why not invest in this strategy? These days, there are so many ways you can customize the message you send out to people and actually strategize the customer journey you want them to take. It all matters how you utilize your tools. Sending out emails sounds easy, but there are many rules to follow and mistakes to avoid that can be a make or break to your campaign’s success. In order to do things right, you’ll need to start from the bottom and determine your audience and goals. It’s also important that you are following the best practices for email including its subject line, copy, visuals and links. Segmentation and A/B testing is another tool you can use to enhance your email and who you want to be on the receiving end of it. Let’s take a look at the dos and don’ts of email marketing and how you can build a better campaign.

Do Focus on One Message

An effective email will send a message that is clear and concise. By breaking your emails up into a series of emails, you can send multiple messages in a more organized way. You can also send different messages to different segments and audiences.  Are you looking to promote your business, provide news, retarget inactive subscribers, or offer new services and specials? When you know what you want to achieve in your email, you will be able to target them better and write better copy in the body of your email.  

Don’t Use a “One Size Fits All” Approach

When you don’t segment your email lists and send one broad message, you’re making a big mistake. You’re only making it more difficult to understand the data you are receiving as well as the needs of your subscribers since each of them are unique. If you want to be able to understand how to retain these customers, you’re going to have to segment them based on their demographics and preferences in your email. It’s a process that takes time to perfect based on what you try and test, so don’t be afraid to test what works best for them. That way you can create groups to send more relevant and personalized messages.

Do Create an Eye-Catching Headline

A subject line is the very first thing they see and influences their decision on whether they open it or not. There’s a chance they might not even see it, so it counts to have a headline that grabs attention. The best subject lines are short and to the point. They are usually around 45 characters long and aren’t overly promotional or misleading. Overusing punctuation marks and caps will make your subscriber feel like they are being bombarded and get sent to their spam folder.  

Don’t Forget to Keep It Mobile Friendly

If your email is not optimized for mobile, it can get labeled as spam. If you want to make sure everyone receives your message the way you want them to, you’ll have to make sure it is responsive to different devices. It’s a great way to boost your open rate since most people use their phones to communicate with each other. Imagine having to view a website on a desktop and applying that to your phone. Most people won’t have the time to bother zooming in on their phone to read and probably unsubscribe. 

Do Measure Your Performance

Staying updated on your performance and subscriber activity is key to having a successful email campaign. By analyzing your data and performance you can learn what works and what doesn’t. You can measure your open and click-through-rate and apply that to create better subject lines or campaign certain content that resonates with a list segment. E-commerce data and website traffic are also trackable after you send a campaign so you can watch their journey and target them better the next round.

Don’t Overuse Images

While incorporating visual content is a great thing to do, only using visuals can work against your favor. If the aesthetic of your emails depends largely on images, it may never be read. Their inbox might have a setting which might affect whether they see that image or not. Images also take time to load, so people might not want to wait. However, this shouldn’t deter you from using visuals; having an email with just plain copy is no fun to look at, so use them to your advantage to spark interest. Just maintain that balance. 

Do Add A Call-to-Action

This is what you want your subscribers to ultimately do, so tell them just that! A good call-to-action can be as simple as clicking a link that leads to your site or downloading a free brochure. Whatever you want them to do, it’s your job to tell them. An email without a clear call-to-action can lead to a dead end and they won’t see more of what you have to offer. This is your chance to lead them where you want and to give them a reason to open your emails. It can be a link, button or text. Just make sure to not include too many, make it obvious to spot out and measure up to that promise. You set the expectations, you need to follow through. 

Don’t Focus on Selling 

The end goal is always to make sales, however, you should be aiming to add value to the subscriber’s experience. They joined your list expecting to get some sort of value and see that promise be fulfilled. The best approach to take is what your data tells you. However, it’s always good to switch up the content and type of email you are sending, no one wants to receive the same mass email they opened last week and not even have it apply to them. When you add value to your email and include educational or informative content, addressing specific needs, it can go a long way. This gives people a reason to open your email because they’re expecting something that’s going to bring them value. 

Do Perform Testing

Before sending out any email, you will have to send out a test in order to ensure that your email is getting delivered just how you want it. Check the responsiveness of your email on different devices since people are opening their emails differently. You also want to check to see what everyone on your team thinks so you can make necessary tweaks to the content and layout. Most importantly, A/B testing is what offers the best insight on what types of emails work best because it can help you test the variables you want to test to see how they can compare between different segments.

This is your chance to reinforce that promise to your customer. Using email in your marketing strategy shouldn’t even be a question with all the capabilities you’ll have available. There are so many tools that can be used to deliver super valuable insight on your audience that you may not have known before. This form of communication is just another way to engage with your customers and build brand loyalty. When you bring value into your emails and really nurture them, you will get a return on your investment and gain valuable connections, offering people more ways to connect with your brand and receive content. Remember this should be about getting creative and learning what works best with your audience. These tips are here to provide you with a basic understanding of what makes a good email, but there is so much more that can contribute to the success of a campaign. Writing great emails that captivate an audience and influences their behavior is hard. It’s easy to say that you would open your own email, but if you were on the receiving end, do you still think you would? An email isn’t just an email when it comes to marketing and there’s so many opportunities available that allow you to target the right audience. The capabilities are endless, and sometimes you might not know where to start. That’s why we are here to help. Even if you already have an established campaign and list, there is always room for improvement: big or small. 

At MSM DesignZ, we put in the time and energy needed for success, so you can ensure you are using every dollar for maximum return. With over 20 years in the business, we have watched email evolve. Whether you need management, design, content creation and data analyzation, we are here for all your email marketing needs. We’re here to help grow your subscriber list and communicate exactly what you want in your emails. When we take on a client, we put in 110% and treat every brand as if it’s our own. We will always continue to place our clients’ needs at the heart of our operations. From web development to social media management, we’ll work directly with you to build a personalized strategy to not only retain but also gain business. We are assisting in all areas for our clients. Visit our contact page at, and we’ll work with you to devise a custom plan that will keep your brand alive and well. We look forward to working with you!