Become a Better Email Marketer with These 6 Tips

By amanda Disilvestro on January 17, 2017

As we approach 2017, it is a good time to reflect on our successes and failures of 2016 and strive for improvement in the coming year. Naturally, one of the things that many marketers are hoping to improve on in the coming year is email marketing. Email marketing is tricky because measuring success is often industry, mailing list, and campaign specific. Unfortunately as many small businesses know, even if some of your campaigns performed well over the last year, there is always room for improvement. This type of marketing is constantly changing.

If you aren’t sure where to make improvements this year, don’t sweat it. As an email marketing agency we believe these 6 tips will have you on the path to success in 2017:

Segmentation is More Powerful Than You Think

If you have been sending out email campaigns to your entire mailing list, you may want to reevaluate how you are actually addressing your audience. Sure, newsletters and general content might be good for your entire mailing list, but in most cases, campaigns should be more specific than that. If you want to increase conversions from your mailing list, then you will want to work on your efforts to segment your mailing list and design campaigns around your target audience(s).

A good way to think about email marketing is by using yourself as a starting pint. We are all flooded with a ton of advertisement emails in our inbox every day, so which do you choose to open? Most likely, you open the emails that address you personally or resonate with you in some specific way. Knowing this, you should make an effort to make your different campaigns as effective as possible by targeting a specific section of your audience with most of your campaigns.

There are so many ways you can segment your audience, including personalized products (if you have an e-commerce site), targeting a specific age/location demographic, or considering different industries you target if you are a b2b company. Do a little experimenting and you will likely see a much better response than sending these kinds of campaigns out to your entire list.


Whether you use MailChimp, Emma, Wix, Squarespace, or any other email platform, all software options should make it easy to segment and customize your email list depending on who you are trying to target.

Make Your Headlines Even More Eye-Catching

Let’s face it, many people delete emails that they are not immediately drawn to, even if they like that they subscribed to the particular brand that sent it. The first thing that people see before they even choose to open an email is the subject line, and that is a really key part of improving your email marketing. Are you inviting your list to an event? Are you announcing a new product? Make it catchy, fun, and above all else; don’t make it sound like it’s a general email campaign that they’ve seen before. The more creative you get with the headline, the more likely people are to open your email, and opening is really the first battle you have to fight in getting people to covert and take the action you want them to take.

Focus on Building Your Email List

Most mail servers have very strict rules about what is acceptable practice with email lists. For example, you are not allowed to purchase email lists from third parties and then use them for your own campaigns. However, while it might take a little longer to build up your list naturally—building a subscriber base will assure that the people that are on your list want to be there. There are a few ways that you can launch into 2017 building a richer subscriber base:

  • Have a page or pop-up to subscribe to your email list on your website. By offering promotions or other bonuses for subscribing (like a 10% off first purchase, for example), you’re even more likely to grow this faster.
  • Add links to subscribe to your email list on Facebook
  • Any event, networking, or b2b opportunity should yield a list of new emails for you to reach out to
  • Ask your in-store clients if they would like to be on your mailing list.

Most email servers will allow you to input how you got the emails for your list along with each addition. Use every opportunity you can to generate new emails so that you can grow your list and account for unsubscribes as you expand and grow your email campaigns.

Content Should ALWAYS be Valuable

So you’ve gotten people to open your email—they’ve read it—now you need them to want to stay on your mailing list! A key component of successful email marketing is providing valuable information with the content you design. This is obviously going to be industry-specific on some level, but if you can teach something, demonstrate knowledge, show something new, or grab someone’s attention in a unique way, they are more likely to pay attention and more likely to stay on your mailing list. Once again, make every email you put out valuable, and designed for the customers who will be receiving the message.

An additional point to keep in mind: In addition to content being valuable, it should also be short, sweet, and to the point. If you think about it from a reader’s perspective, it is highly unlikely that anyone is going to read a five-paragraph essay in their work inbox. However, people may just read 250-500 words of content (or even less). Only keep what is absolutely essential, and if you find yourself struggling, it may just be that you need to break the content up into two different emails.

Use an Email Service Provider (Seriously)

This has been mentioned in this article a few times already, but it is still important to repeat. DO NOT try to send out monthly emails to all of your clients (or even segmented groups of your clients) through Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, etc. Why? First, of all it will likely be marked as spam and never make it to the inbox in the first place, and this can actually affect future emails you try to send as well. Two, you have no control over design (unless you are a design or coding pro) and aesthetics whatsoever—and that looks extremely unprofessional. It is still all too common to see people attempting email marketing through platforms like this, and it is a waste of time and effort. Many email platforms, like MailChimp, offer free use of the platform up to a certain amount of subscribers, and once you hit a certain point, it is still worthwhile to pay for an email-marketing platform (especially since you have that many subscribers viewing your emails).

Rather than just BCC-ing your entire client list on a standard email, use a mail service provider that will allow you to design and execute unique email campaigns that are quality and aesthetically pleasing.

Use Email Marketing for Exposure, Networking, and Outreach—but not for Sales!

Okay, okay, we know that sales are important. However, with the flood of promotions, advertisements, and sales pitches that people get in their inboxes daily, the emails that wind up being really successful and meaningful to people are those who don’t treat an email like a sale. Email marketing should absolutely have conversion in sight, but treat it like an opportunity to get your brand exposure, network with those on your list, and reach out to the customers you care about. The goal is to get engagement, and after someone is engaged you can start to think about conversions.

Which of these aspects do you want to improve on the most in 2017? Let us know in the comments section below, we would love to hear from you!

About The Author

amanda Disilvestro /