Saturday, November 27th, 2021

13 Tips for Effective Email Campaigns

By Mhairi Petrovic on Aug 09 2010 • Filed under Outsmarting Social Media

In a world of never ending SPAM it’s a real challenge to create successful email campaigns but  not impossible. Email can still be a hugely valuable tool to reach your market and should not be dismissed. Here are some pointers to bear in mind when consider your email campaigns:

Tips For Effective Email Campaigns

1. Avoid the hard sell – People get so much spam these days that if you try to sell to strangers via email, you’ll hit the junk file faster than you can say "spam." Newsletters that add value are better than sales letters that harass.

2. Keep in Touch – It is easier to keep an existing customer than to get a new one. Email is a great way to keep in touch with clients, to reinforce your brand, add value, to remind them you are here and to give them special incentives to do more business with you.

3. Email Marketing Tools – Use a tool that allows you to easily create and mail your newsletter to contacts. It is important to choose one that allows you track who opens, when they open, what they click on etc. This will allow you to assess whether your campaigns are working.

4. Action – Use a call-to-action in the subject line – one that is brief, catchy and intelligent – that will entice people to open the mail. I’ve noticed a lot of people use titles that are completely unrelated to the content of the mail. This, to me, is deceptive and not the actions of a company I would do business with.

5. Unsubscribe – Always ensure there is an unsubscribe button or hyperlink in the content so that your mail is perceived as more professional and law abiding. Just remember to delete those who unsubscribe from your mailing lists, always.  Also, don’t make people jump through hoops to unsubscribe, just get it done without any annoying “are you sure?” messages.

6. Links – Drive them back to your website by including links to related articles or pages – you can then easily track click-throughs to make follow-up calls more targeted.

7. KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) – The old adage applies here too: don’t add too many fancy images or graphics,  it will just clog people’s mail boxes.

8. Incentives – The body of the text should include some incentive to act, but don’t overdo it with too many calls-to-action as this will simply dilute your message and confuse the reader.

9. Keep it Short – War and Peace just isn’t appropriate in an email. Your newsletter should be short and to the point if you want people to read it.

10. Think outside the box – Email content should be unique and should tell your audience something they don’t know about your product, company, service, the industry or niche.

11. Build your List – Encourage visitors to subscribe online (add a subscribe form to your site); tell people about your newsletters in the real world and give incentives to readers to share with their colleagues.

12. Don’t Over Do It – If you send out newsletters too frequently, there is a good chance that your open rate will decline and that more people will unsubscribe. Respect the fact that people are busy and don’t overload their already heaving in-boxes with even more stuff.

13. Don’t SPAM – Never, ever. Always use valid emails from people you have actually met or who have given you business cards at events and shows. If you don’t it's the fastest way to get an unsubscribe.


  1. Thanks for your comments.

    Moyra – you are correct. For a while now we’ve been hearing rumors that email marketing is dead but that is far from the case. Email has always been a vital component of a robust Internet marketing strategy. Anyone who says otherwise is deluded. The smart phone proliferation means that we need to take even more care when putting together emails to make sure that the content looks great regardless of the device the user has.

  2. Straight to the point! Nicely done, Mhairi!

    I agree, email is still an effective tool for business development, but it’s got to be done well. Here’s another angle for your consideration. With an estimated 65 million smart phones in North America, more and more people are accessing email on their mobiles. And our expectations of these devices are different. Our phones are personal … portals for our curated content, personal pictures, intimate text conversations, and the like. It is even less cool to spam me on my phone than it is on my laptop. I think we all need to remember that when mounting an email campaign.

    Mhairi, do you think mobile is “up’ing” the game when it comes to email campaigns?

  3. Great stuff, Mhairi! Thanks so much for sharing!


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