50 Rules of Email Marketing

  1. Send emails people want to receive, to people who want to receive them.
  2. Your emails should add value, not ask for it.
  3. Clicks and opens are not an appropriate primary goal for an email send.
  4. Proofread twice, send once.
  5. There is no excuse for sending emails that aren't mobile optimized.
  6. The blink test applies to emails too.
  7. If you don't have permission, get out of their inbox.
  8. It might not really matter when you send your email: Experiment with different times.
  9. Every unopened email has an opportunity cost.
  10. A healthy IP is a happy IP.
  11. Aim to create emails that get forwarded, not just opened and clicked.
  12. Check your email replies carefully and consistently.
  13. Add alt text to your images (style your alt text if you're fancy!)
  14. If you make a glaring mistake, own it. Follow up.
  15. Before writing an email; ask yourself - is there a better channel I could be using?
  16. If someone didn't realize they opted-in to your email, re-visit your opt-in criteria.
  17. When writing an email, two beers max. An intoxicated marketer is a sloppy marketer.
  18. Segmentation is your friend, stretch yourself to be as targeted as possible.
  19. Don't over email - less is more, and sended blindness is real.
  20. Personalization goes a long way. Experiment with custom fieleds, do more than just "Dear({Lead.FirstName})."
  21. When in doubt, don't emoticon.
  22. Make preview text enticing. It's an extension of your subject line.
  23. Consider an email's attention ration - every email should have one goal.
  24. Fewer exclamation points are better.
  25. Create a text-only version, make sure it's readable.
  26. Play by the rules: CAN-SPAM & CASL
  27. Have fun with your unsubscribe page.
  28. Nobody has to read your emails. Make it worth their time.
  29. The average attention span of an adult is 8 seconds. Time is ticking.
  30. Always send email from a real person, not an alias.
  31. Reply to replies in a timely fashion. You started the conversation.
  32. You love andimals, so do your email recipients.
  33. Vary the lenght of your emails.
  34. Send your audience content that's relevant to them, not just your latest creation.
  35. Send your emails to recipients when they will read them, not when it's good for you.
  36. If you're not sure what people want - ASK. Would you prefer your emails in Spanish? Click this link, etc..
  37. Be the life of the inbox.
  38. Tone-check your email copy. Does it match the brand? Is it too personal, too robotic?
  39. Double check the readability of your emails.
  40. A/B test your email subject line and email body. make sure the sample size used is large enough for statistical signifigance. 
  41. A second set of eyes is better than any spell-check.
  42. An email should never be an end point of communication. Always give people somewhere to go, and reason to do so.
  43. Shake up your email template every now and again to see if it increases engagement. Sometimes a coat of fresh paint can help.
  44. Beware of the number of links in your email. it may pop you into the Gmail promotions tab.
  45. Not all email is created equal. Emails should be tailored to every individual recipient. 
  46. Don't be afraid to tell people that you will remove them from your email list if they are unengaged. A healthy email list is a happy list.
  47. Try training your audience by sending at regular intervals.
  48. A portion of your list will degrade over time - expect it, plan for it.
  49. Every email is an opportunity to test and experiment.
  50. Always be learning. No one else has emailed your offer to your audience. This is your puzzle to solve.


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