The Dos and Don'ts of Email Marketing: How Sending Better Emails Can Boost Your Business
Email Marketing

The Dos and Don'ts of Email Marketing: How Sending Better Emails Can Boost Your Business

Bryanna Norris
Bryanna Norris
The Dos and Don'ts of Email Marketing: How Sending Better Emails Can Boost Your Business

You worked hard to garner email addresses but now you are frozen in place before hitting "send" on a mass email campaign. These can be a terrifying few seconds.

What if you missed a typo? What if your subject line could have been clearer if you'd put in more time? Am I following all CAN-SPAM Act laws? Email marketing can be intimidating when marketing to a large audience, but 89% of marketers rely on email to generate leads.

So, how can you get past this initial fear of "messing up" when you are barely starting your business' email marketing journey? Here are a few ways you can set your next email marketing campaign up for success.

How to Avoid the Spam Filter

Did you send out a finely tailored email only to be met with radio silence? There could be a high possibility that your recipients’ email client has marked your message as spam. Reduce the chances of your email being sent to the spam folder by avoiding the following:

Don't Purchase an Email List

One of the most important rules in email marketing is to only email those who have to give you permission to do so. According to the CAN-SPAM Act, sending unsolicited, bulk emails is strictly prohibited. In fact, many email clients, like Mailchimp, will ask you to verify how you acquired your contacts. Having a lengthy email list might seem like the quickest way to drive results, but in this case, quality is far better than quantity. Build your email list organically by using ethical means - don’t buy them.

Provide an Unsubscribe Button

One of the goals of your email marketing campaign should be to acquire and retain those who would benefit from your services (i.e your target audience). Making the unsubscribe process as easy as possible is not only required, but it will help maintain the health of your contact list. Don’t let unsubscribes discourage you. It is better to have a list of contacts that consistently engage with your content rather than a lengthy list that hardly and a suffering open rate. It may seem counterintuitive but the longer someone stays on your email list, the more valuable they are as a customer, or potential customer.

Don't Have a Misleading Subject Line

Honesty is the best policy. Especially when it comes to email marketing. The CAN-SPAM ACT requires all subject lines to accurately reflect the content of the email. Penalty aside, imagine how disappointed your reader would be if you promised them one thing, only to give them another? This would definitely have a huge impact on the credibility of your business. Save yourself the trouble by having a subject line that resonates with your content.

How to Keep Your Readers' Attention

After getting your recipient to open your email with an appetizing subject line, it’s time to present them with the main course: your content! Include the following components to take your recipient from ‘reader’ to ‘customer’!

Use a Personal Greeting

Ensure your business relationship starts off on the right foot by providing your recipient with a warm welcome. 74% of marketers noticed a significant increase in customer engagement rates after personalizing the content of their emails. This could be as simple as adding the contact’s name to the greeting instead of using a generic one like “Dear, Reader.” And don’t worry! You won’t have to write each email by hand. Today, most email clients have an array of tools that take the stress out of personalizing emails. (We’ll cover those tools toward the end!)

Utilize Lead Magnets

Express your value with help of lead magnets. This can either be an e-book, newsletter, blog; you name it. Lead magnets are a piece of content that demonstrates to potential customers how your business can bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to be but are having difficulty doing so on their own. Your lead magnets can also be utilized to grow your subscriber list through on-page pop-ups and paid lead generation activities.

Include a Strong CTA

Simply having your email being read shouldn’t be the end goal. No, we need the reader to take action. Give them a nudge by providing them with a strong, clear, call to action. This could be a button “Read More” button following a snippet of a blog you’ve included or a “Book Now” button that sends them to a scheduling tool on your website. Doing this will drive both engagement and traffic.

How to Measure Your Email's Effectiveness

Take the guesswork out of determining which elements of your email are working and which ones could use a bit of TLC. With the help of analytics, you’ll be able to make decisions based on the results yielded from your campaigns. Accurately evaluate the performance of your campaign by doing the following:

Send Out a Test

It never hurts to double or triple-check your email before sending it out to your contacts. In fact, it’s strongly recommended! By sending out a test to yourself or your team, you’ll be able to catch any grammatical or technical errors that might not appear in the editor. Viewing your email on different devices (mobile, desktop, etc.) is also encouraged since the email might render differently depending on the platform.

A/B Test

Have a few ideas for subject lines or CTAs, but aren’t too sure about the effectiveness of either? An A/B test sends the two versions of your subject line to different groups of readers and you can see if one performed better than the other. After receiving the results, you’ll have a clear idea of the style and tone that works best for your target audience.

Segment Your Audience

Maximize the performance of your emails by sending the right content to the right people. This can be done by segmenting your audience or categorizing them by criteria such as age, location, and activity status. For example, you wouldn’t send a re-engagement email to users who interact with your content on a consistent basis. Improve your open and click rates by sending your contacts relevant information.

Make Your Emails Eye-Catching

Whistles and bells are nice, but it’s important that your email is both readable and easy to navigate. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let's get creative! Here are a few things you need to know if you want to include multimedia elements in your email:

Create Image-Based Emails

We’re sure you’ve seen them, emails where the entire body of the email is an image, overlaid with text and graphics, rather than a text-based email. Over the years, marketers have been advised against using this format because it was believed to be bad for open rates and engagement, however, recent studies have proved the opposite. In our own tests, we found that image based-emails didn’t affect the overall deliverability of our emails and actually increased the engagement rate within them! Go ahead and give image-based emails a try, just keep an eye out for any unexpected changes to your click-through rate and deliverability!

Animated Gifs

These short, animated clips are a great way to hold your reader’s attention while inserting a bit of personality. They can be strategically placed to draw attention to a promotion, encourage readers to take action, or be used to show off your products. But before you add them to your next email, make sure they are supported by your email client and don’t exceed a 1MB file size.


Consistency is key when it comes to developing a design for your template. Color translation varies depending on the screen that’s viewing it. If your brand already has an established color palette, stick to it, but be open to slightly adjusting their hue if the original colors affect the email’s legibility. PNG image formats are best for logos, text, and graphics, as they provide clear crisp images, protect color hues on screens, and allow for transparent backgrounds.
Consistency is also important for text. Try to stick with the same font throughout your email to create a cohesive design. Varying weights are okay to use and create interest or emphasis. For example, you might use the bold font style for headers or call-to-action buttons and leave your body text normal.


Grab the attention of your audience by adding this dynamic form of media to your email. Like with gifs, it’s important to ensure that your media is compatible with the platform. Thankfully, most email clients today have video integrations you can drag and drop into your template - no coding required! Just make sure the content of your video is relevant to the rest of the email.

Get Started with an Email Provider!

There are an array of tools you can use to get started with your email marketing efforts! To save you some time, we’ll quickly run through the most popular clients and some of their features to help you choose the one that works best for you.


This web-based all-in-one email marketing tool makes connecting with your audience easier than ever! Automate campaigns, create engaging ads, landing pages, mobile apps, and more.


Get big-time features without breaking the bank. In addition to crafting email marketing campaigns, users can instantly connect with their customers through chat and sms marketing, CRM, design custom landing pages, Facebook Ads, and more.


An all-in-one communication platform with dynamic features that’ll help your campaign thrive. With over +130 templates, a drag-and-drop editor, event-triggers, and web-push notifications, Sendpiulse will take your email marketing game to the next level.


With over +240 integrations, tools, and templates, Mailerlite is a cost-effective platform for smaller businesses looking to get started with email marketing with a simplified, yet powerful workflow.

When it’s done correctly, email marketing can be a great way for new businesses to gain their footing in the industry. By incorporating the tips above into your strategies, you’ll be well on your way towards reaping the benefits that email marketing has to offer and have peace of mind knowing you are going down the right path.