125 DIY Email Marketing Tips - Page 3

By Vangie Beal
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Scroll through the list of tips below or use this handy checklist to jump to a specific category of DIY email marketing tips:

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If vertical industries such as healthcare, legal and financial services are important to you, segment your list by industry. Include a photo of a lawyer or other appropriate image in your email to law firms and use legal terminology in your content. Readers want to feel that you understand them, their industry and how they do business and the more specific you can get, the more successful your email campaign will be.

—Lisa Masiello, president, TECHmarc Labs

After planning the campaign and creating effective message, it is time to test your message before sending.  Thorough email testing can get you some extra clicks and lead to better results.  Try to test all aspects of message, which mainly includes email subject line, fonts, logo, buttons, track the frequency of mail, placement of call-to-action button, message delivery as per time zone, social sharing icons. There are many email campaigning tools that allow testing too.  We generally use Mailchimp to mail our clients.

—Sagar Kogekar, CEO and founder, Webwingz

Make the body of your actual email inviting and easy to read. Using custom templates, and adding imagery will help make your email visually appealing, and more accessible to your potential reader. Also think about how you organize the text in your email. Most people have grown accustomed to email being more of a shorthand communication tool. Keep your paragraphs to under four sentences (two to three is preferred), and use bullets and lists to break up the content. If your recipient opens your email and it looks like they're about to read an essay, its a very good chance your message will not be seen.

—Matthew White, CEO, Qebot

We use Canva.com to create unique, beautiful graphics for social posts, emails, and blog posts. This tool is built for people who have little to no design experience and the little extra effort that a brand puts into graphics can leave a lasting impression on your customers.

—Ryne Higgins, partner, Red Herd Media 

Too many brands treat their emails like old-fashioned print newsletters with several columns and categories of content. Don't. Keep it simple and respect your readers' time.

—Natalie Edwards, marketing director, sFBI

Over the course of hundreds of marketing campaigns—email, direct mail, banner ads, and Facebook—including a compelling photo or a video call-to-action has consistently driven dramatically better performance. We use games to present offers, and campaigns that include a game image perform on average 40-50 percent better than text-only campaigns. Just be sure the image is unique and mirrors your call to action.

—Dan Grech, vice president of marketing and public relations, OfferCraft

If your email newsletter looks like a round robin letter from 2002, then you're doing it wrong. Nothing you send to your customers should be a grab-bag of tips, news, links, photos, and interviews. Instead, focus, refine, and make sure there's tangible valuable in it for the reader.

—Niamh Lynch, founder, Niamhly Digital Strategy Consultancy

Your subscribers are busy people who get a lot of email, so it's safe to assume you don't have their undivided attention. Instead of one long block, break up content into short paragraphs. Include subheadings and images to guide readers and make it easier to scan. Add a teaser to the top of your newsletter to tell subscribers what's in store. If you send a long article, consider inserting a "read more" link so people can get to the rest of the content at their convenience.

—Rob Boirun, CEO, Reviewster Network

Keep it simple. Too much information in a newsletter or email blast deters click-through. If you answer your subscribers question in the newsletter, then they have no reason to click to your site for further info. Provide just enough to organically persuade your reader to visit your site for more.

—Luis Leonzo, product and web marketing manager, TableLegsOnline

DIY email marketing tips

Get straight to the point in both your headlines and your email content. Busy people appreciate that, and it gets your point across. For example, if you're running a sale on your website, make that obvious in your headline and email. Customers appreciate concise emails, and it pays to keep your marketing straight forward and easy to understand.

—Alex Reichmann, CEO, iTestCashh

Personalize the body of the email as much as possible. Consumers are smart enough to recognize an auto-generated email, and that immediately disconnects the reader with the message as well as the company. With the growing power of spam filters and filing systems, I see old-fashioned, handwritten emails as the future of email marketing.

—Samuel Wheeler, digital public relations specialist, Inseev Interactive

Include information you have about the customer in your email. You can do this in the subject line and throughout the email. Most email marketing services let you enter custom fields, such as the customer’s name, company name, location, etc.

—Craig Bloem, founder and CEO of LogoMix

Make your content shareable and only send content that your subscribers want. Don't forget mobile friendliness: keep content concise, and include a "read more" button to keep interest.

—Steffen Ploeger, SEO specialist, 9thco

You have mere seconds to make a favorable impression on your customer. Email design affects this tiny, make-or-break window. If the email appears unappealing, your customer will be less likely to engage. Make sure email formatting translates across all browsers, computers, and mobile devices. People delete email that appears clunky or disorganized—or worse, they unsubscribe. Offer a balance of words and images to guide consumers into a comfortable world of desirable options and opportunities. Messaging should be simple and direct, and not too aggressive—customers don't want to feel pressured into making a decision.

—Pamela Webber, chief marketing officer, 99designs

Use common, everyday language. For example, instead of: Hello sir. Please have a look this email, say Hey Jason. It's been a while. I just wanted to touch base with you regarding…Colloquial language works better.

—Andrew Reeves, founder and CEO, Luxe Translation Services

Use video email marketing to connect better with your prospects and customers. You don't need to create expensive videos. You can even use your cell phone camera to record yourself. The videos need to be short, to the point, and contain a call to action.

—Michael Santoro, cofounder, Vaetas

Be relevant, otherwise, your subscribers will lose interest and unsubscribe, or even mark your emails as spam. If you're not sure what subjects interest them, just ask. Send an email that lets people to choose the types of content they'd like to see from your business. It's simple, and it makes subscribers feel that you care and that they are part of the conversation.

—Mike McGovern, content marketing strategist, YDOP Internet Marketing

Use email as a teaser. In other words, be brief, but leave readers wanting more so they click-through to your Web page to get the rest of the story or to claim the offer.

—Randy Mitchelson, vice president sales and marketing, iPartnerMedia

Make sure to include compelling in your newsletter. Keep in mind that not everyone has images enabled in their email programs, so you've got to make sure your images have what's known as "alt text." This is the alternative text that appears when images don't load in an email. Alt text lets recipients read what the image is, instead of getting a blank box.

—Courtney Rauch, marketing account manager, CMK Marketing

Keep your emails short and sweet. Each article should be two or three paragraphs maximum; if you want to include longer content, post it on your blog and link to it in the email.

—Emily Sidley, senior director of publicity, Three Girls Media

Proofread, proofread, proofread. After you draft your email, take a break and come back with a fresh set of eyes to catch typos and mistakes. Even better—because it’s hard to catch your own mistakes—have someone else proofread it for you before you hit send.

—Emily Sidley, senior director of publicity, Three Girls Media

Other peoples' opinions about your business carry more weight with consumers than your opinion about yourself. Share testimonials about certain products and reviews from other businesses or media publications in some of your email campaigns. Think, for example, What [media publication] has to say about [product]. You'll establish more credibility with your audience if they see the great things people say about your business.

—Marci Hansen, CMO and co-founder, SheerID

Use social media and your email newsletter to give your social media followers and current customers fun, exciting deals. We offer newsletter subscribers exclusive JUST4ME discounts. Every week, we put one of our pieces on a special JUST4ME discount and advertise it in our newsletter and to our social media followers. This resulted in new purchases from existing customers, and it helped us grow our social media and newsletter followings.

—Claudia Montez, founder, Isabelle Grace Jewelry

Send one message per email. It's tempting to include several updates or messages in one email, but people typically read the first message and ignore or miss additional points.

—Justin Flitter, head of marketing, Results.com

The biggest email marketing mistake we made was using company logic instead of customer logic. Put yourself in your customer's mind when crafting your emails. Run your email copy by friends and strangers. Get their feedback, because it's challenging to get out of your own skin.

—Bryan Clayton, CEO, GreenPal

Understand what resonates with your target audience. That information will provide a more refined and personalized email marketing campaign. Determine what topics your customers would love to talk about beyond the products, and keep your customers informed about the latest trends. Sharing valuable information your customers care about will help build a solid relationship. When the time comes to promote a product or a sale, they will respond positively.

—Lisa Chu, owner, Black N Bianco Kids Apparel

Create relevant, interesting, and engaging messages. Quality messaging and attractive imagery that speaks specifically to each audience will pay off in the long run. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all option for optimal email frequency; you may require different approaches for your different audiences. Test different approaches and track what works best for each audience. Generally, scheduling monthly or weekly will produce effective results without overwhelming your subscribers.

—Angela Stairs, content marketing specialist, SeoPlus

If your email content isn’t relevant, subscribers will lose interest. Develop a personalized content strategy by capturing target audience behavior and use that behavioral data to create relevant content that appeals to your audience. The result: a more engaged subscriber who is less likely to unsubscribe.

—Shelly Alvarez, director of client services, PostUp

Split your email up into micro conversions, like this:

  • Subject: Just get the open
  • Sub-head: Peak their curiosity
  • Header: convert that curiosity into interest
  • Body: quickly point out what you are going to do for them
  • CTA: Get them to the landing page

The goal is to get a click. Do not try to make or close the sale in the email.

—Bryan Clayton, CEO, GreenPal

Moving images in newsletters generally get a much higher response rate than still images. Creating them is very easy. For example, Giphy.com provides a free tool that converts any movie file (or YouTube link) into a gif file that you can use in a newsletter. Use EZgif.com to reduce the file size.

—Robert Brandl, founder, ToolTester Network

Fun, light-colored graphics helps to promote products or services. Avoid heavy or deep colors as they can distract from the content of the email. Several services will create full-image emails, which work well for newsletters. However, including graphics just at the top and/or bottom of an email is enough to get the messages across.

—Samuel Wheeler, digital PR specialist, Inseev Interactive

Keep the email brief. Anything more than 200 words is far too long. Keep your calls-to-action short and clear. Expect the audience to read only 5-10 percent of the email. If the call to action isn't in the first paragraph, it probably won’t leave an impression.

—Sacha Ferrandi, founder, Source Capital Funding

Not having a designer to help you create visually appealing and engaging emails is no excuse. Simply search online for resources that offer free email templates and use free stock photos to enhance your copy.

—Craig Bloem, founder and CEO of LogoMix

Be concise. A reader's online attention span is very short—often just a few seconds. Deliver your message in an informative yet brief manner.

—Alli Williams, public relations coordinator, Amplify Relations

Don’t be cliché; be funny, quirky, and out of the box. Emails in inboxws are all black and white and boring. Make your emails stand out with personality. If you can make your readers laugh, they'll be more likely to share it with their friends. This strategy increased our response rate by more than 25 percent. If you made them laugh, you made them respond.

—Sean Dudayev, co-founder/CMO, InsureChance

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This article was last updated on May 16, 2017 / This article was originally published on July 11, 2016
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