The Do’s & Don’ts of Email Marketing

How to increase the success of your email campaigns.

By Arielle Mullen, Digital Strategist


If you have limited time available to spend on marketing (which, let’s face it, is all of us), email is an excellent place to start.

When compared to other channels (like social media), email marketing offers a variety of undeniable benefits:

  • More detailed reporting on the end user
  • Ability to build stronger customer relationships
  • Serve personalized content
  • Access directly to the recipient’s inbox
  • You own your subscriber list

With so many advantages, the choice to utilize email marketing should be an easy one. Still, we find that many of our clients and EDU members feel hesitation, or have unanswered questions that keep them from diving in wholeheartedly. With that in mind, today we’re taking you through our list of the top do’s and don’ts of email marketing!


  • Define the end goal. What’s the action you want them to take after reading your email?
  • Create content with your recipient in mind. The more you know about your audience, the better. Your email should enlighten, entertain, and inspire. Ask yourself, what value am I providing with this email?
  • Keep it simple. Although one email can have multiple CTA buttons, the purpose of the email and end goal should work cohesively together.
  • Use consistent branding. When someone clicks through from your email to your website, is the branding cohesive? Are you using the same typography, brand colors, logos, and language? Providing consistency will help establish trust and strengthen your overall brand.
  • Personalize your message. Most third-party email marketing platforms allow for personalization in the subject line and/or within the message.
  • Try A/B testing your CTAs, messaging, and what day/time your emails are sent. The more you learn about how and when your audience wants to be communicated with, the more successful your email marketing will ultimately be.
  • Optimize your emails across platforms & devices. Preview how your email will look on varying email clients and devices so that whether your message is opened with Gmail on desktop or Outlook on a mobile device, it’ll look great.


  • Forget about your subject line. A whopping 33% of email recipients decide whether or not to open emails based on the subject line. Aim for short and sweet, while still providing an incentive to open.
  • Make it too lengthy. Keep the messaging as concise as possible, while still getting your point across.
  • Forget about regulations and restrictions. For example, the CAN-SPAM Act requires all promotional messages to include an option for people to unsubscribe. Failing to adhere to these regulations isn’t just unethical, it’s illegal.
  • Make your messaging too sales-focused. People spend an average of 51 seconds scanning a promotional email, so your content should be designed to provide them with value in some way.
  • Get caught in spam filters. Emails that rely too heavily on promotional language like “free,” “buy,” or discount,” are likely to be filtered out of the recipient’s inbox before they even get a chance to see them. Review your metadata, content, and IP send address to ensure your messages won’t be filtered out.
  • Purchase subscriber lists. Paying for email lists might seem like a quick fix, but it’s one of the worst mistakes you can make when it comes to email marketing. Recipients who have no prior relationship with your business will have no reason to open your messages, and will likely mark your emails as spam. When it comes to subscribers, quality is always better than quantity.

Earning opt-is from quality prospects and moving them from leads to customers might feel overwhelming, but email marketing is still one of the most valuable communication channels available.

Do you have questions about how you can optimize your marketing emails? Get in touch with our team and let us know!