Category: E-mail Strategies

Tips for getting the most out of e-mail based communication efforts.

Email Marketing Checklist

Email marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing tactics to nurture a relationship with your clients and prospects. Inboxes are crowded places, but research still demonstrates that email gets the best engagement and return on investment.

Here I offer a checklist of best practices for effective email marketing.

Build Your Own List

Build a list of clients and prospects by collecting information from your contacts list, social media, in-person networking, etc. DO NOT buy a list. Email from someone or a brand you did not ask for is spam and is counter to the goal of creating meaningful connections.

Spend the Most Time on the Subject Line

The subject line determines whether the recipient opens or deletes the message. It is the most critical part of your email. Keep subject lines short and clear. Highlight what the reader will get by reading your message. (What’s in it for them.)

Preview Text

Many email clients also include preview text in the inbox. Don’t just default to the first few lines of the email. Write preview text that summarizes the value of the email to the reader.

Use a Consistent “From”

Define the “from” and be consistent. You want people to recognize all your messages as coming from the same place. Whenever possible, make the from a person rather than the business. That’s more personal.


Keep emails short! Research shows that 200 words or less is ideal. Be sure to put the most important information first. Assume your reader won’t get far into the message.

Emails should have one goal or focus. Don’t allow any distractions from the goal. All links in the email should drive toward the goal.

Write in plain language, using simple words, and short sentences and paragraphs.


Include one call-to-action per email. Multiple CTAs in an email dilute your message and goal.

The CTA is usually a clickable button. Make sure the CTA is clear. The transition from the email to the CTA should be seamless and easy to understand.

Send Strategically

In general, best practice is to send emails between 9 and 11 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Pay attention to your metrics to see if your audience behavior differs.

Monitor and Adjust

Monitor all responses to your messages. Pay attention to comments, engagement and click metrics. Refine your approach based on the insights you gain.

Research Shows Emojis Don’t Help Email Opens

Nielsen Norman Group recently did some research about those emoji that are increasingly part of the clutter in all our inboxes. I was surprised to find that the research shows that emojis in subject lines increase negative sentiment toward an email and do not increase the likelihood of an email being opened.

They looked at the negative sentiment elicited by an email, defined as the difference between the average number of negative words and the average number of positive words that participants associated with that email.

In general, people selected more positive reaction words and fewer negative reaction words for the emails without emojis compared to those that had emojis. They found that adding an emoji to an email subject line increases the negative sentiment towards that email by 26%.

Overall, key findings were:

  • Emoji emails were perceived more negatively than no-emoji emails.
  • Emoji emails were seen as less valuable than no-emoji ones, but there was no difference in participants’ perception of trustworthiness for these 2 email types.
  • Emojis attracted attention in a balanced inbox containing both emoji and no-emoji subject lines. On average, emails with emoji subject lines were considered for opening more often than different emails without emoji subject lines.
  • Emojis made people more likely to say they would open that email for its visual qualities rather than for its meaning ones.

To gauge how these findings impact your email marketing, see the complete research results.

Dynamic Duo of Email and Social Media

Combining your email marketing and social media campaign efforts strategically can help you get the most impact from both.

Email is still the powerhouse of digital marketing. Social media tends to have the latest tools and tricks. Combine them to get the most impact for your brand.

Email by the Numbers

  • 82% of businesses use email for marketing
  • 92% of online adults in the US use email
  • On average, 53% of emails are opened
  • Email has an average ROI of 3800%!
  • 81% of people who get an email related to a purchase say they are likely to make another purchase

Data also shows that while social media gets most of the buzz, email converts. A message is five times more likely to be seen in email than on Facebook.

Use Social to Boost Email Results

To make email and social work together, start with a common editorial calendar. Be sure that the content posted on social and the emails you send are in sync. This amplifies your message.

Here are 3 more ways to use your social channels to increase your impact with email:

  • Post a link to your email newsletter on your social channels
  • Encourage email readers to share your content on social media
  • Add a mailing list sign up to your Facebook company page