Email Marketing Cheat Sheet – How To Create Emails That Will Deliver Your Great Results

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Delivering smart, useful emails might seem like something only that fancy marketing agencies and big-name brands can do, but there are some easy tips to help you on your way to great performing emails.

The Subject Line Knows All

An email subject line can make or break your email campaign. The wrong one can mean that your potential customers don’t click through to see your great content. Even worse a bad subject means your email could end up in the spam folder :(. On the other hand, a good email subject line can create interest, curiosity, and get more eyeballs on your email content.

While the best practices for subject lines are hotly debated, the best way to learn what works for your customers is to A/B test it. While an A/B testing might sound like something complicated (again, something you should always leave to the fancy marketing agency), all you have to do to create your first test is create two versions of an email and see which one wins.

Here are some hotly debated subject line details that you could test out with your customers:

  • Emojis. Some tools like Mailchimp say they’re great, others like Agile CRM say they are so not. We’ve tested emojis in our subject lines, and a carefully placed emoji can improve open rates – but we always encourage brands to discover what seems to work best for their customers
  • Personalisation. While almost every “Top 7 tips to have great subject lines” article will tell you that you should insert personalisation into your subject line [think: John, see your email offer here] we’ve found that at this point, people have caught on. They know you don’t know their name. So try it out with your customers and see what they think. (or if you don’t have their name in your database use data cleaning to fill in the gaps)
  • Length. While there are limits to how long your email subject line can be, the jury is out on what length works best. Shorter is often better, but don’t lose out on substance by going too short.

While we think anyone can work their way up to crafting great subject lines that their customers love, we also recommend using the experts when you want results fast. Contact us to learn more about monetising your database.

Keep Content Simple and Short

Let’s be real. Emails from big companies have professional designers standing behind them, and a team that knows what works for email. Emails often fall flat when we get too ambitious about the images and writing. You might think it looks great, but many of the emails we’ve seen flounder have too many images or too much text. Major email clients like Outlook often block images completely, and even if they load, we all have short attention spans. If the picture doesn’t tell a story or enhance the email – try to cut it.

To get your email content looking as professional as possible:

  • Stick to the templates your email software provides you with
  • Keep the images smaller and if you have text on them, make sure that text is written elsewhere in the email
  • Write content that is short and to the point. Focus on what value you’re providing

Think About Timing

Email send time optimisation can get complicated (if you’re curious about the advanced stuff, ask us). For the rest of us, there are simple ways to make sure that you’re email is more likely to get seen and not lost in someone’s inbox. Think about what makes sense for your customers. If you’re a business service, you’ll want to make sure you send your emails at a time when you think your customers will be checking their emails (think 8-9 am on weekdays).

Here are some other quick tips to make sure you time things well:

  • Make sure to time emails when you know your salespeople will be ready to take calls. If you send out your email on Saturday morning but don’t take calls until Monday, you’re setting yourself up for lower performance
  • Do some research about when it makes sense for your company. Your Google Analytics can let you know when the traffic to your site is highest – it’s a good bet to try a time around that window
  • If your tool allows it, consider sending at a non-top of the hour time slot. If every other company sends their emails at 9:00 sometimes sending it at 9:03 or 9:10 means, you’ll end up closer to the top of the inbox.

No Fancy Fonts

Your brand may be all about the extravagant – but your email marketing should not. Most email clients have a limited number of fonts that they will display. When designing an email, if you don’t have is as a standard option in your email software, our recommendation is not to use it. And following our content rule above, don’t make the text an image just to have your unique font. There is a significant risk that the reader won’t see the image at all! Limit yourself to two fonts maximum and let your value proposition do the talking.

Follow the Rules

You are required by law in most countries to have a clear unsubscribe button and your business information at the bottom of an email. This might seem like a simple thing, but you’d be surprised how many companies don’t follow the rules! Providing the proper information in the email footer is a trust indicator for a potential customer. Give them every opportunity to trust you, and you’ll be closer to one more sale.

If In Doubt, Ask For Help

If you have campaigns that haven’t performed as you hoped and you’re worried about your marketing efforts, asking for a professional’s opinion can help you get a lot farther. If you follow the tips above, you can create campaigns that your customers will love without our help. But, if you want to learn from the pros, drop us a line, and we can walk you through how to create amazing campaigns from the start.


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