Email marketing do’s and don’ts

After 30+ years, email is still an enormously popular marketing tool, and for good reason. Done well, it can be a highly successful and cost-effective communication medium. Yet, we still occasionally stumble across emails in which “rookie mistakes” undermine the goal.

Here are our top 10 tips for doing email properly.

  1. Make sure your emails are branded. People should instantly recognize who they’re from, and their content and design should positively reinforce how you want your organization to be perceived.
  2. Keep them short and easy to scan, with a clear message and a prominent call to action.
  3. Make them readable on the devices/applications your recipients are most likely using to access their email. (For instance, make sure the font size is legible on a phone.)
  4. Use images sparingly and keep their total file size small (ideally under 340 kb). Otherwise your emails could take too long to load, or they might get blocked by some email applications.
  5. Include alt text for all your images so people with impaired vision, or those whose email applications block images, will still understand what you’re trying to convey.
  6. Never use just a single image as the entire content of your emails – unless you have alt text to convey the same message.
  • Even then, if the image gets blocked, your email won’t look the way you intended it to.
  • Building your email as html text, with sparing use of images, is a better design strategy.
  1. Keep your emails CAN-SPAM compliant, including providing an unsubscribe option. It’s not only legally mandatory, it’s also essential if you want to preserve your audience’s goodwill.
  2. Use a deployment vendor to send out your emails (see some highly rated ones here).
  • Deployment vendors go to great lengths to make sure their emails are compliant.
  • If you try to deploy mass emails from your own email address, you will probably be penalized by your service provider.
  • Deployment vendors can also provide a lot of valuable metrics on how your emails are performing.
  1. Use a preview tool to see how your emails will look on different mobile devices, email applications, and desktop browsers.
  • Just because something looks great on your own screen, doesn’t mean it will look that way on someone else’s.
  • Many deployment vendors offer preview tools … another reason why you should use one.
  1. Test, test, test. You won’t know what’s working and what’s not unless you test different versions of your emails against each other. Layouts and graphics, copy, and subject lines are just a few elements where small changes can make a big difference in response.

If you have any questions, or need some assistance, get in touch. We’re happy to help.

Comment on this article using #TalkBacke
Find us @BackeMarketing

Backe is a digital marketing and brand communications agency, focused on creating smart, beautiful and strategically-driven work. We build communities, relationships, and meaningful connections.