10 Email Marketing Basics you should Never Ignore

Email marketing has been a powerful tool for reaching out to new customers since 1978, and it is still a very effective tool to generate leads and pull people to a business website.

In the initial days of email marketing, people used to get lesser emails, and therefore they didn’t mind receiving promotional emails, and even opening those.

But times are not the same now. People hate spam these days, and it is natural because an average person gets so many emails from companies every day.

The good news is, you can still get people to open and read your promotional email if you keep these 10 basic yet important things in mind:

1. Carefully group your target audiences

Companies usually make the mistake of drafting one email and sending it out to large numbers of people; thanks to email databases that are easily available in the market.

This means companies are reaching out to a large number of people who might not be interested in their promotion.

It is important to carefully group target audiences based on income, age gender, location, and interests.

This will ensure that you reach out to people who will possibly be most interested in the email you are sending, and increase chances of your email being opened and read.

2. Don’t spam people

Once you send an email out to a set of email addresses, don’t send the same message to them again. Even if you send different types of messages, don’t so within close intervals.

For example, if you have sent an email for a specific offer to a set of people, don’t send another offer email next week.

No one likes receiving emails from a company every week. Doing so will not only irritate the people receiving your emails but also increase the chances of they marking your email as spam.

If large numbers of people start marking your email as spam, you will score negative points and might be blacklisted. This simply means that you might not be allowed to send emails anymore in the future.

3. Be clear about what you want out of an email

Sending a promotional email with no clear call to action (what action you want the reader to take) will not get desired results, despite you spending your valuable to time in drafting and sending out emails.

Therefore it is important to set a goal for your email. Do you want someone to give you contact details by filling a form, or by downloading an e-book? Do you want the reader to simply reply to your query or call a toll-free number to get in touch with you?

It is important to decide which of these actions you want the reader to take. Keep in mind that while it is a good idea to highlight the most important action (e.g. fill a form to give contact details), it’s also advisable to give other options also (e.g. call a toll-free number) because you never know what will suit the reader most.

4. Personalize and test your emails

Everyone loves to read emails that give a feeling they have been specially written for that person. E.g. a person named Sami will like reading an email subject ‘We have a special offer for you Sami!’ instead of ‘Annual clearance sale!’

It’s a good idea to personalise emails by including people’s name in the subject line, and addressing their name in body copy also – e.g. ‘Hope you are doing well Sami!’

You can easily personalise emails by using services such as MailChimp.

Once you personalise emails, don’t forget to send a test email to confirm if you are mentioning the right names on emails. You can do so by sending a test email to your friends or colleagues.

5. Pay close attention to your subject line

Don’t underestimate the subject line if you are serious about your email campaign. People usually commit the mistake of focusses most on the body of an email and ignoring the subject line.

But the fact is, it is the most crucial part of your email because your email will be of no use if your subject line doesn’t compel people to open your message!

It’s always a good idea to keep your subject line short (around 65 characters) to avoid it from getting cut. Also, it’s a good idea to sound less like you are making a business pitch. e.g. a subject line like ‘Make this Summer the Best Summer Ever!’ will make people curious to open your email compared to ‘Summer Holiday Package’.

6. Look like a person and not a machine

People like receiving emails from people, and not machines. Make your email look like it has been sent by a person by mentioning a name in the subject like. You can make up a name, and stick to it for all emails you send (e.g. Bayt.com uses ‘Zeina from Bayt.com’).

Also, choose an account name that sounds more personal than noreply@xyz.com. You can go for something like zeina@xyz.com. Giving the receiver the feeling that she has got an email from a person increases the chances of that person responding to your email.

7. Send your email on a ‘non-spam’ day!

It’s believed that sending emails on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays will get best results. But think about this; if a majority of companies are sending out emails on these days, how crowded people’s emails must be on these days!

Avoid getting lost among hundreds of emails from other companies by breaking the rule. Why not try something new by sending out emails on Mondays and Fridays? People’s inboxes are less crowded on these days because companies are still following the common rule of sending out emails on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays!

Your audience has more time to fill up forms on weekends, so you can send emails that have forms as call-to-action on weekends.

8. Stay in touch

You have sent out a generic email to a large number of people, and some of them have given you their details by filling a form. What next?

Yes, your sales team can make a cold call to such interested people, but it’s also a good idea to send a follow-up email with more information or offers that will lead the prospective customer to make the decision of buying your product or hiring your service faster.

For example, if you have sent out an email promoting an auto insurance product, and someone has filled a form in your email because that person is interested in your insurance, it’s a good idea to send a ‘limited period offer’ email to that person create an urgency and close the sale faster.

You couldn’t make the sale. No problem, you can still stay in touch with the person by sending a sending a birthday wish!

9. Don’t let unsubscribes worry you

When someone doesn’t want to receive emails from you, that person can either unsubscribe you or mark you as spam.

Thank God if that person has just unsubscribed. Yes, this means she will not receive your emails anymore, but look at the brighter side, you have not been marked as spam, and this means you are not going to score negative points and face the possibility of being blacklisted.

However, keep observing if the rate of unsubscribing is increasing. If people are unsubscribing to your emails more frequently than ever, then you need to find out why.

A good way to find out common reasons behind unsubscribing is by asking people why they are unsubscribing. You can open a form to take their feedback when someone clicks on unsubscribe.


10. Never send emails to people who mark you as spam

Sending emails to people who mark you as spam is a sure way of scoring negative points, and even being blacklisted.

The best way to not be marked as spam is simple – don’t spam people. Respect their privacy and don’t send frequent email, and stop sending emails till you find out why people are marking you as spam. Is it because they are not interested in your message or are you sending them emails too frequently?