The ULTIMATE Email Marketing Guide for 2024

email marketing cover image

Email marketing is a type of digital marketing that uses email messages to attract leads, raise brand awareness, and maintain customer relationships

But how did it all start?

In 1978, a time when email was only available to the technological elite, Gary Thuerk ran the first-ever email campaign when he wrote to 400 people to announce an upcoming product launch at Digital Equipment Corp. This innovative step would bring him $13 million worth of sales for DEC machines.

BOOM. Email marketing was born. 

An act of mere convenience has now transformed into an explosive industry, with email messaging offering better ROI than every other channel of marketing. If you care about generating sales, there is no chance you can ignore email marketing — the rewards are simply too great.

With this guide, we hope to leave you enlightened on every aspect of this marketing channel, and eager to dive right into it. After all, we’re talking about a topic we love immensely; the fascinating world of email marketing.

Email marketing ROI statistics

Common Terms/Jargon in Email Marketing 

Before we discuss this topic, you should get familiar with the common email marketing terms because we’ll use them. A lot.

Let’s get familiar with terms you will come across frequently in this article, but also when discussing email marketing elsewhere:

Delivery rateThe rate at which email is accepted by the recipient mailboxes. It is calculated by dividing the unique emails accepted by unique emails sent.
Open rateThe percentage of recipients who opened the email, indicating initial engagement.
Click-through rate/CTRThe percentage of recipients who clicked on at least one link within the email — unique clicks divided by number of emails sent.
Conversion rateThe percentage of email recipients who completed the desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.
Bounce rateThe percentage of sent emails that were not delivered successfully.
Unsubscribe rateThe process by which recipients can remove themselves from an email list to stop receiving future communications.
List segmentationDividing the email subscriber list into smaller segments based on specific criteria, allowing for targeted and personalized campaigns.
A/B testingComparing two versions (A and B) of an email to determine which performs better in terms of open rates, click-through rates, etc.
AutoresponderAutomated emails triggered by predefined actions or events, often used for welcome emails or follow-ups.
Drip campaignA series of automated emails sent at scheduled intervals.
Nurture campaignA campaigns that uses autoresponders to build a relationship with a prospect to get them to see the world through the marketer’s point of view and guide them toward conversion.
Opt-inPermission-based subscription where individuals explicitly agree to receive emails from a particular sender.
SpamUnsolicited and often irrelevant or inappropriate email sent to a large number of recipients.
Email Service Provider/ ESPSoftware or services that enable the creation, delivery, and analysis of email marketing campaigns.
Call to Action (CTA)A prompt or button that encourages the recipient to take a specific action, such as making a purchase or clicking a link.
PersonalizationTailoring email content to individual recipients based on their preferences, behaviors, or demographics.
Landing pageThe web page that recipients are directed to when they click on a link within an email, often designed for a specific campaign or offer.
List cleaningRegularly cleaning and maintaining an email list by removing inactive or invalid email addresses to improve deliverability.
Sender reputationA numerical score that ISPs (Internet Service Providers) use to evaluate the sender’s reputation, affecting email deliverability.
DeliverabilityThe ability of an email message to successfully reach the intended recipient’s inbox without being marked as spam or bouncing.
General Email Marketing Terms

Even if some terms don’t make sense, you can simply refer to the list as we talk about the topics below.

Email Marketing: Why It Matters

If you run a business and want to communicate with existing customers or potential leads, what are your options? You can pay for TV spots, promote your business on social media, run print ads in the newspaper, write blog posts on your website, or head to marketing/networking events. 

There is a significant chunk of money you will need to invest in most of these methods, if you wish to truly get your name out there — enough to make an impact, at least.

This is where email marketing is a godsend. It is crucial for companies because it provides a direct and personalized way to connect with their audience. Unlike other forms of digital marketing, email allows you to communicate directly with individuals who have already shown interest in their products or services.

Email marketing is effective in building and nurturing customer relationships. Through targeted content, you can engage with your audience, keep them informed about new products, promotions, and share business updates

The biggest benefit, of course, is that email marketing is a cost-effective strategy compared to other forms of advertising. The ROI is incredible — you can reach a large audience at a relatively low cost per contact. This affordability makes it an attractive option for both small businesses and large corporations looking to maximize their marketing budgets.

With this form of marketing, personalization becomes an option, too. You can tailor messages based on customer preferences, behavior, and demographics, creating a more personalized and relevant experience. 

Another key aspect is the ability to track and measure email campaign performance. This data-driven approach allows for continuous optimization of marketing strategies to better resonate with your target audience.

In short, you cannot ignore email marketing. 

More importantly — you shouldn’t!

Email Marketing: The Roadmap

The best way to learn about email marketing would be to see how it’s implemented. So we’ve created a guide for a typical business that wants to set up an email marketing operation, and we will explain concepts along the way.

Follow these steps to get started with email marketing:

  1. Generate leads/Build an email list,
  2. Create an email marketing funnel,
  3. Segment your lists,
  4. Apply list management techniques,
  5. Choose an ESP,
  6. Explore different types of email campaigns,
  7. Create your content,
  8. Explore automation,
  9. Learn about the benefits of A/B testing,
  10. Track your email marketing performance.

After that, we’ll discuss the common challenges faced by email marketers before moving on to advanced email marketing techniques.

Before You Begin: The 5 Ts of Email Marketing

5 Ts of Email marketing

The 5 Ts of email marketing is a concept to keep in mind as you work on different email campaigns. These guidelines are useful for beginners to stay focused on the more important aspects of sending marketing emails.

The 5 Ts are:

  • Tease: This T involves creating compelling and intriguing content, subject lines, or offers to grab the attention of your audience and entice them to open and engage with your emails.
  • Target: It focuses on defining and segmenting your audience based on relevant criteria, ensuring your email content is tailored to the specific needs and interests of different segments.
  • Teach: It emphasizes providing valuable content in your emails; use your emails to inform and educate your audience, position your brand as an authority in your industry and build trust with subscribers.
  • Test: The T dedicated to testing, or A/B testing, involves experimenting with different elements of your emails, such as messaging, design, or calls-to-action. By testing variations, you can identify what resonates best with your audience and optimize your campaigns accordingly.
  • Track: Tracking emphasizes the importance of monitoring and analyzing key metrics and performance indicators. Regularly track metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to assess the success of your campaigns and make informed decisions for future improvements.

Remembering and applying the 5 Ts can help you create more targeted, timely, and effective campaigns!

Lead Generation and Building an Email List

Valid email list is the base of your email marketing operations

Building an email list is like cultivating a garden — it takes time, care, and the right strategies. A great list is the foundation of email marketing, so it’s a great place to start.

There are numerous ways to grow your email list:

  • Place signup forms strategically on your website, blog, and social media pages. Don’t bombard visitors, but make it easy for them to subscribe when they’re interested.
  • People love free stuff! Organize contests or giveaways where entry involves subscribing to your email list. Ensure the prize is relevant to your audience for better results.
  • Provide incentives for subscribing, like discounts, free trials, or downloadable resources. Lead magnets, for example, are a goldmine for email marketers. Make joining your email list a no-brainer for your audience.
  • Promote your email list on social media platforms. Share snippets of your valuable content and encourage followers to subscribe for more.
  • Partner with influencers or businesses in your niche. Co-host webinars, cross-promote content, or run joint campaigns that expose your brand to new audiences.
  • Ensure your website is user-friendly and mobile-responsive. A positive user experience can encourage visitors to sign up for your email list.
  • When visitors are about to leave your site, use exit-intent popups to grab their attention. Offer a last-minute incentive to persuade them to subscribe.
  • Targeted advertising helps you reach specific demographics. Direct your ad campaigns to a landing page with a clear CTA for joining your email list. Facebook ads and Google ads can be effective.
  • If you participate in trade shows, conferences, or community events, have a signup sheet or a tablet for people to subscribe to your list.

Focus on building a quality list with engaged subscribers. Focus on delivering value, being authentic, and respecting your subscribers’ preferences. 

Lead Magnets: The Best Lead Generation Tool.

Lead magnets are an excellent method of organically growing a list of interested and enthusiastic subscribers. The concept is straightforward — you have something of value to offer subscribers, and in return, they submit their email addresses and tune in for future updates from you. Lead magnets can take various formats: ebooks, guides, webinars, checklists, templates, or even discount codes.

But email marketers don’t fully realize the potential lead magnets offer. When individuals receive useful and relevant information upfront, they are more likely to trust the brand and stay engaged. If the lead magnet is particularly valuable, subscribers will share it with their network — this can further extend the reach of your lead generation efforts through word-of-mouth marketing.

And if you create a banger of a lead magnet and promote it using the right techniques and strategy, it can pull in a huge number of subscribers. For example, we know how you can achieve 8X the traditional response that lead magnets get.

If you want the secret sauce to massive signup numbers, look no further than the Lead Magnet Multiplier course. Don’t worry, we didn’t just trick you into paying $5,000 a month for a year; the course is 100% free

We love email marketing enough to offer you this course as a gift, the only clause being that you finish the 4 mini training videos in a week, if you wish to retain access to it. 

The program dives deep into copywriting techniques and customer psychology combined with applicable examples. We’re pretty proud of this course, so we highly recommend you check it out — sign up for the  Lead Magnet Multiplier program today!

Create an Email Marketing Funnel

Having an email marketing funnel helps you focus; it’s a well-planned path to build meaningful relationships with your audience. It’s not just about sending random emails to your list; you must guide your subscribers through a journey that aligns with their needs and fulfills your business goals

A properly designed email marketing funnel allows you to connect with potential customers at various touchpoints, from the moment they discover your brand to the point where they become loyal advocates.

The funnel plays a crucial role in nurturing leads, gradually introducing them to your brand, products, or services in a way that feels natural and valuable. The funnel helps deliver the right content at the right time, addressing the unique needs of your audience

By strategically moving subscribers through different stages of engagement, from awareness to conversion and retention, an email marketing funnel maximizes the chances of turning prospects into long-term, satisfied customers. 

This table breaks down the different stages of the funnel:

AwarenessIn this stage, the goal is to capture the attention of potential subscribers through compelling content, promotions, or lead magnets.
InterestThis stage provides more in-depth information to engage subscribers, encouraging further exploration of your products or services.
ConsiderationDuring this stage, targeted emails aim to educate and persuade subscribers by highlighting the unique selling points and benefits of your offerings.
ActionThis is where you create a sense of urgency or offer incentives to prompt subscribers to take a specific action.
LoyaltyThe loyalty stage strengthens the relationship with customers through ongoing communication, exclusive offers, and personalized content.
Bonus stageWe added a step — be patient, we will explain this one soon!
Stages in the Email Marketing Funnel

Excited to learn more about this concept? Good, because the next section explains the email marketing funnel stages in detail. 

Email Marketing Funnel: The Stages

Email marketing funnel graphic with stages
Email marketing funnel

An email marketing funnel that follows the stages of Awareness, Interest, Consideration, Action, and Loyalty is a strategic framework designed to guide subscribers through a comprehensive journey.

1. Awareness

At the top of the funnel, the goal is to make potential customers aware of your brand. Initiate this stage by offering valuable content and incentives, encouraging them to sign up for your email list. Welcome emails and introductory messages should focus on introducing your brand, its values, and the benefits subscribers can expect.

2. Interest

As subscribers move to the Interest stage, deliver content that captures their attention and deepens their engagement. Highlight your unique selling propositions, showcase relevant products or services, and share informative content that resonates with their needs and interests. This stage is about nurturing curiosity and encouraging further exploration.

3. Consideration

The Consideration stage involves providing detailed information about your products or services. Send targeted emails that address common questions, showcase customer testimonials, and offer in-depth insights. Use this stage to position your offerings as solutions to their specific needs, guiding subscribers towards a thoughtful consideration of what you provide.

4. Action

When subscribers reach the Action stage, it’s time to encourage a conversion. This could be making a purchase, signing up for a trial, or taking any other desired action. Craft persuasive emails with clear CTAs, limited-time offers, and compelling reasons for them to take the next step. The emphasis here is on converting interested prospects into paying customers.

5. Loyalty

Post-conversion, focus on building long-term relationships. Send post-purchase emails expressing gratitude, provide useful information, and invite feedback. Loyalty-building emails can include exclusive offers, loyalty programs, or sneak peeks into upcoming products. The goal is to transform one-time customers into repeat buyers, creating a loyal customer base that continues to support your business.

And now, the 6th step!

6. Advocacy – The Bonus Stage

This is the step where you reap the benefits of successfully moving a customer through the funnel — they recommend your business to their network of friends and colleagues. They say the most powerful form of marketing is word of mouth; we can vouch for that. By nurturing advocacy, you can benefit from the organic promotion and credibility that comes from satisfied customers endorsing your brand to a broader audience.

By structuring your email marketing efforts around these sequential stages, you create a dynamic funnel that guides subscribers seamlessly from discovery to becoming dedicated brand advocates. Creating a funnel and using it as a guide is essential to the sustained growth of your email marketing operation.

Once you create your funnel, you will have a clear idea of how to guide your prospects towards conversion. The next logical step is to break up your email list into smaller, manageable groups — aka, email list segmentation. 

Segmentation in Email Marketing

Consider you open your email and see an email for a skateboard… but you don’t skate. Or maybe it’s an email for a moving company on the other side of the country, in a state you have never visited. Annoying, right? That, right there, is the problem email list segmentation solves.

Email segmentation is the practice of dividing your email list into smaller, more targeted groups based on specific criteria. Instead of sending a generic message to your entire subscriber list, segmentation allows you to tailor your emails for different segments, delivering relevant and personalized content.

Let’s break down different methods of email segmentation:

  • Demographics: Divide your email list based on demographic factors such as age, gender, location, or income level. This allows you to create content that resonates with the unique characteristics of each group.
  • Behavioral: Analyze how subscribers interact with your emails and website. Segment your list based on actions such as purchase history, website visits, or engagement with specific content. 
  • Geographic: Tailor your emails to specific regions or locations. This can be especially relevant for businesses with different offerings or promotions depending on locations.
  • Psychographic: Consider the interests, values, and lifestyles of your subscribers. 
  • Engagement-based: Categorize subscribers based on their level of engagement with your emails. This could include frequent openers, occasional clickers, or those who haven’t interacted in a while.
  • Purchase history: For e-commerce businesses, segmenting based on past purchases allows you to recommend related products, offer personalized discounts, or provide exclusive access to new releases.

By implementing email segmentation, you can send more targeted and personalized messages, leading to increased engagement, higher open and click-through rates, and ultimately, improved conversion rates. It’s a powerful strategy for building stronger connections with your audience and maximizing the impact of your email marketing efforts.

Email List Management Has Long-Term Benefits

It’s not enough that you segment your list; it’s equally vital you constantly monitor it and maintain list hygiene.

Email list management is the process of organizing, maintaining, and optimizing the list of email addresses you collect. It involves a range of activities aimed at ensuring the effectiveness, deliverability, and engagement of your email campaigns. 

Email list management involves these key aspects:

  • Email list cleaning: Regularly clean the email list by removing invalid or inactive email addresses. This practice, also known as list hygiene, helps improve deliverability and ensures messages reach the intended recipients.
  • Manage opt-ins and opt-outs: Respect subscribers’ preferences by providing clear options for opting in and out of the email list. Managing opt-ins ensures that only interested individuals receive emails, while opt-outs or unsubscribe requests should be promptly processed to maintain a positive sender reputation.
  • Compliance with regulations: Adhere to email marketing regulations, such as the CAN-SPAM Act or GDPR, to ensure legal and ethical practices. This includes obtaining explicit consent before sending commercial emails and providing clear information on how to unsubscribe.

List-cleaning has a direct effect on your sender reputation. When you send emails to spam traps, invalid emails, complainers, or seed accounts, mailbox providers sit up and take notice. This is why we integrated the automated list-cleaning feature on Campaign Refinery — the tool silently goes through your list, removing all the malicious email IDs it can find, ensuring your sender score doesn’t take a hit.

Effective email list management is critical for maintaining a healthy and engaged audience. It helps you deliver value while respecting the preferences of your subscribers.

Choosing the Right ESP for Email Marketing

This might just be the most critical choice you make.

It would be so convenient if you could just send your business emails via Gmail, but you would be shut down as a spammer almost immediately. This is why ESPs exist — they let you send thousands (or even millions) of emails, plus you can monitor all of your actions, track performance, improve your strategy, and keep an eye on your ROI.

But how do you go about choosing an ESP? 

Here are the factors to remember as you shortlist the ESP you want to work with:

  • User interface: Ensure the platform has an intuitive and user-friendly interface for easy navigation and campaign creation.
  • Email deliverability: An absolute dealbreaker. Check the ESP’s sender reputation and deliverability rates to ensure your emails reach the inbox. For example, did you know Campaign Refinery offers the best deliverability rates in the industry?
  • Security protocols: Verify if the ESP supports SPF, DKIM, and DMARC for enhanced email authentication. This is why we require clients at Campaign Refinery MUST implement these protocols on their domains before sending that first email. Starting February 2024, Yahoo and Gmail insist that all bulk emailers must have these these security protocols in place; as usual, we’re ahead of the curve!
  • List management and segmentation tools: Ensure the ESP allows effective segmentation based on subscriber behavior, demographics, and preferences.
  • Automation workflows: Evaluate the automation capabilities, including drip campaigns, trigger-based emails, and workflow customization. Automation is an indispensable tool for email marketers, which is why we made it so simple you could run it off an iPad, while on the move.
  • Integration with third-party tools: Check if the ESP integrates seamlessly with tools like plugins, testing tools, and CRMs. For example, Campaign Refinery supports thousands of such tools.
  • Reporting and analytics: Evaluate the reporting tools for tracking key metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. 
  • Customer support: Check reviews of the customer care team and the availability of channels such as email and phone support.
  • Transparent pricing: Understand the pricing structure, including monthly fees, overage charges, and additional costs. At Campaign Refinery, we created a credit system which means you don’t get penalized for having a large email contact list — you only pay for what you use.
  • Scalability: Ensure the pricing aligns with your current needs and allows for scalability as your email list grows.

Next up, we explain how Campaign Refinery ticks all the boxes.

Campaign Refinery: Maximize Deliverability

Campaign Refinery Homepage
Campaign Refinery Homepage

At Campaign Refinery, we’re focused on the essentials that every email marketer wants — excellent deliverability and impressive engagement rates.

Here’s why our platform is the right choice for new and veteran email senders:

  • All our features work really well. We’ve put our email platform through thousands of rounds of testing to offer value that true email professionals will appreciate — robust security, efficient UI, accurate analytics, and consistent deliverability.
  • We follow best practices and we ensure our clients do, too. This means you enjoy the perks of IP and domain reputation, and you’re surrounded by other high-performing clients.
  • Our list-cleaning feature ensures you don’t end up on any blacklists or get a poor score from mailbox providers; the feature stealthily removes all troublesome email addresses from your list.
  • Our gamification feature has leads eager to interact with our clients’ content, and we’ve recorded open rates of 76.37% and click rates of 72.76%.
  • Nothing converts quite like time-sensitive offers! Start seeing higher conversion rates with our Evergreen Flash Sales feature.
  • ESPs typically charge a chunk of money each month for your email list, but we do it differently. On our credit system, we charge per email send and for list-cleaning. This means you get MUCH MORE value for your money, compared to the competition.

Campaign Refinery was built to be home to the best email marketers in the world, and so far, we are happy with how things are going. 

Want to hear what our customers think?

There is a wide assortment of email campaigns that can get you varying results, so we recommend you test out different types to see what works for your audience. However, ensure you send a welcome email when a lead joins your email list — it sets expectations and creates a positive impression on a new signup. 

We’re selective about the clients we onboard, but if you are a stickler for best practices and have ambitious goals, Campaign Refinery is the utopia you’re looking for — apply to be a customer today!

Cale Own Campaign Refinery Client Testimonial
Campaign Refinery Client Testimonial
NIck Jordan Campaign Refinery Client Testimonial
Campaign Refinery Client Testimonial

Types of Campaigns in Email Marketing

Below, we explain different types of campaigns:

Email Campaign TypeDescription
Welcome emailsSent to new subscribers to introduce them to your brand, set expectations, and deliver any promised incentives.
NewslettersNewsletters are regular emails sent to a group of subscribers, typically containing updates, information, or promotional content.
Drip campaignsAutomated set of emails sent at scheduled intervals to nurture leads and guide them through your sales funnel.
Promotional campaignsFocused on promoting specific products, services, or offers to drive sales or conversions.
Educational emailsProvide valuable information, tips, or tutorials to educate subscribers about your industry, products, or relevant topics.
Abandoned cart messagesSent to individuals who added items to their shopping cart but did not complete the purchase, encouraging them to finalize the transaction.
Re-engagement campaignsTarget inactive subscribers with the aim of reigniting their interest and encouraging them to engage with your content or products.
Feedback emailsRequest feedback, opinions, or conduct surveys to gather valuable insights from your audience.
Event invitesPromote and provide details about upcoming events, webinars, or conferences. Follow up with reminders to encourage attendance.
Transactional emailsAutomated emails triggered by specific actions, such as order confirmations, shipping notifications, or password resets.
AnnouncementsShare important updates, company news, or product launches with your subscribers.
Birthday/Anniversary emailsSend personalized messages and offers to celebrate subscribers’ birthdays or anniversaries with your brand.
Holiday campaignsTailor your emails to align with holidays, seasons, or special occasions, offering themed promotions or content.
Exclusive offersReward loyal customers or high-value subscribers with exclusive discounts, early access to sales, or special perks.
Customer testimonialsCompile and share a selection of user-generated content, such as blog posts, articles, or testimonial snippets.
Types of Email Campaigns

Using these different email types, you can keep things interesting for your subscribers.  

Creating Email Marketing Content

Email content is a pillar of great email marketing and is crucial for capturing and maintaining the recipients’ attention. Well-crafted content is either informative, entertaining, or promotional, and it establishes a connection with subscribers. By getting your content right, you encourage click-throughs and drive purchases or conversions.

Let’s explore the various components that collectively come under the “email content” umbrella:

Email ElementDescription
Subject lineThe brief and compelling text that entices recipients to open the email.
Sender nameThe name or brand associated with the email, indicating the sender to the recipient.
Preheader textA short snippet of text that appears after the subject line, providing additional context and encouraging opens.
Salutation A personalized salutation addressing the recipient by name or other relevant details.
Personalized contentThese sections use customer data or segmentation criteria to personalize content so that it is more relevant and compelling for subscribers.
Email bodyThe core message or information that the email is conveying, including text, images, and other multimedia elements.
CTAA clear and compelling prompt that encourages the recipient to take a specific action, such as clicking a link or making a purchase.
Links/buttonsHyperlinks or buttons that direct recipients to relevant pages, products, or further information.
ImagesVisual elements, such as graphics or pictures, that complement and enhance the overall message of the email.
Social media linksLinks to the sender’s social media profiles, encouraging recipients to connect on other platforms.
Contact infoDetails about how recipients can contact the sender, fostering transparency and trust.
ComplianceInformation required by regulations, such as unsubscribe options, to ensure compliance.
Elements of Email Content

Pay careful attention to your email content and you will build an excellent reputation with your subscribers. The quality and relevance of the content shape the success of your campaigns by influencing open rates, click-through rates, and overall customer satisfaction.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Create Content

If you’re wondering how to plan your content, it would help to answer these questions first:

  1. Who is my target audience?
  2. What are my marketing goals?
  3. What is the purpose of this email?
  4. What value am I providing?
  5. What type of content aligns with my brand?
  6. How can I personalize emails?
  7. How should I measure success?

Once you answer these, you will have a clear idea of how to craft your content. Of course, with time, you will get much better at it!

Creating your Content Strategy

This step-by-step guide will help you put together your email content strategy:

  • Define your goals: Clearly outline your email marketing objectives.
  • Understand your audience: Know your target audience’s needs, preferences, and pain points.
  • Map the customer journey: Identify the stages your audience goes through in their relationship with your brand.
  • Choose content types: Decide on the types of content that resonate with your audience.
  • Frequency and timing: Determine how often you’ll send emails and the best times for your audience.
  • Create a content calendar: Plan your email content in advance using a content calendar.
  • Write compelling subject lines: Write attention-grabbing subject lines that entice recipients to open your emails.
  • Personalization: Leverage personalization, whenever possible, to make your emails more relevant.
  • Storytelling: Incorporate storytelling into your emails, sharing narratives that resonate with your audience.
  • Balance promotional and educational content: Provide value with a balance of promotional and educational content.
  • Visual appeal: Use visually appealing elements like high-quality images and a clean design.
  • Mobile optimization: Ensure your emails are mobile-friendly.
  • Test and analyze: Implement A/B testing to refine your content strategy.
  • Monitor metrics: Regularly analyze email performance metrics.

Remember, you need to continually adjust your strategy to suit your particular industry or brand goals. The above guide will get you started, but it’s up to you to discover what works best for your target audience. 

Don’t Forget About Email Etiquette!

We don’t recommend that you hammer out content and blast your subscriber list — have a conversation, instead. And email etiquette helps you do that effectively.

Email etiquette is a set of guidelines and best practices for composing, sending, and managing emails in a professional and respectful manner. 

The key aspects of email etiquette are:

  1. Use a clear and concise subject line that reflects the content of the email. This helps recipients understand the purpose and urgency of the message.
  2. Start your email with a professional greeting.
  3. Choose an email address that is professional and associated with your professional identity.
  4. Be mindful of your tone. Avoid using all caps, which can be interpreted as shouting, and use proper punctuation to convey your intended tone accurately.
  5. Organize your email with a clear structure.
  6. Keep your emails concise and to the point. 
  7. Proofread your email for spelling and grammatical errors before sending.
  8. Respond to emails in a timely manner, especially if the message requires urgent attention. 
  9. Be cautious with the “Reply All” function. Use it only when all recipients need to see your response. Unnecessary “Reply All” emails can clutter inboxes.
  10. Humor and sarcasm can be misinterpreted in written form. Use them sparingly and consider your audience to avoid misunderstandings.
  11. If you’re sending an email to a large group and want to protect recipients’ privacy, use the Bcc (blind carbon copy) field for their email addresses.
  12. Respect the confidentiality of information shared in emails.
  13. Avoid forwarding or sharing sensitive information without permission.
  14. If your email requires a specific action from the recipient, make it clear and provide any necessary details or instructions.
  15. Include a professional email signature with your full name, title, company, and contact information.

By following these email etiquette guidelines, you can enhance the professionalism and effectiveness of your marketing emails.

Automation: An Email Marketer’s Best Friend

Automation in email marketing refers to the use of technology and software to streamline and automate various aspects of the email marketing process. This involves setting up predefined rules and workflows to trigger specific actions or email campaigns based on certain conditions, user behavior, or predefined timelines. 

Automation is one of the best tools you can use thanks to how much time it can save you while dealing with large volumes of data (contacts, content, and more).

Common automation workflows include:

  1. Welcome series: Send a series of welcome emails to new subscribers.
  2. Abandoned cart: Remind users about items left in their shopping cart.
  3. Lead nurturing: Send a series of emails to nurture leads through the sales funnel.
  4. Re-engagement: Target inactive subscribers with special offers or content to re-engage them.

This table lists different use-cases for automation:

AutorespondersThese are automated emails triggered by predefined actions or events, such as a user signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, or abandoning a shopping cart.
Drip campaignsDrip campaigns involve sending a series of pre-scheduled emails to a segment of your audience over a specific period. This can be used for lead nurturing, onboarding sequences, or educational campaigns.
Behavioral triggersAutomation allows you to set up triggers based on user behavior, such as clicking a link, visiting a particular webpage, or making a purchase. These triggers, when activated, send a follow-up email.
SegmentationAutomation systems often include classification mechanisms that assign values to leads based on interactions with your emails or website. This helps identify/prioritize leads for further engagement.
A/B testingThere are automation tools available for A/B testing too, and these allow you to test different email variations to determine which performs better. This can include testing subject lines, content, or call-to-action buttons.
Automation: Examples of Usage

Automation allows you to respond to leads/customers in a way that isn’t humanly possible. It’s the best way to use technology to time your sales pitches perfectly!

A/B Testing: Perfect Your Formula

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a method used to compare two versions (A and B) of an email to determine which one performs better in terms of engagement or conversion metrics. The purpose of A/B testing is to optimize and improve the effectiveness of email campaigns by identifying elements that resonate better with the audience. 

A/B testing allows you to experiment with different elements such as subject lines, copy, images, CTAs, and email design. By comparing the performance of two variations, you can identify what resonates best with their audience.

A/B testing provides data on the performance of different elements — this approach allows you to make informed decisions based on real user interactions rather than guesswork. Email marketing is an iterative process, and testing enables you to continuously refine and improve your campaigns over time. By learning from each test, you can optimize future campaigns for better results.

A/B testing is especially crucial when optimizing for specific conversion goals, such as click-through rates, open rates, or conversion rates. It helps identify the elements that contribute most to achieving these goals.

Without incorporating A/B testing into your email marketing strategy, you will struggle to improve the effectiveness of your campaigns. It’s a valuable tool for staying agile and achieving desired results.

Analytics: Track your Metrics

Clearly email marketing is a balancing act of multiple activities; tracking your analytics is how you confirm you’re doing it right.

Once your email marketing is up and running, your analytics dashboard can break it down for you. Tracking email performance helps you detect issues, improve your results, and achieve long term excellence with your email marketing operation

The top benefits of carefully tracking your email performance are:

  • Measure the effectiveness of your emails in terms of engagement and conversions.
  • Optimize content by identifying what resonates with your audience and refining future strategies based on successful elements.
  • Understand audience behavior by gaining insights into how recipients interact with your emails, informing future approaches.
  • Monitor open rates to assess the effectiveness of subject lines and make adjustments for better engagement.
  • Enhance click-through rates by identifying high-performing links and CTAs to improve overall engagement.
  • Personalize communication by using performance data, allowing for more tailored content delivery.
  • Adapt to trends by spotting patterns and adjusting your email marketing approach accordingly.
  • Justify and optimize your budget by investing in strategies that yield the best results.
  • Conduct competitive analysis by comparing your email performance metrics with industry benchmarks and competitors.
  • Maintain a positive sender reputation, crucial for deliverability, by monitoring performance metrics.

Your email marketing efforts would be meaningless without the constant monitoring of performance. By monitoring your campaign metrics and using A/B testing, you can greatly improve your stats and output. 

Campaign Refinery Email Performance
Campaign Refinery Email Performance – One Analytics View

Which Metrics Should You Track?

To understand how your email marketing is doing, track these data points:

Open rateThe percentage of delivered emails that were opened by recipients.Indicates subject line and sender name effectiveness.
Click-through rate (CTR)The percentage of recipients who clicked on one or more links in your email.Measures content and call-to-action effectiveness.
Conversion rateThe percentage of email recipients who completed the desired action.Measures success in driving the intended outcome.
Bounce rateThe percentage of emails that could not be delivered successfully.High bounce rates impact sender reputation and deliverability.
Unsubscribe rateThe percentage of recipients who opt out from receiving future emails.Provides insights into content relevance and engagement.
Spam complaint rateThe percentage of recipients who mark your email as spam.High spam complaint rates harm sender reputation.
Time dataThe times and days when your emails are most frequently opened and clicked.Helps optimize the timing of your email campaigns.
ROIThe amount of revenue generated per email sent.Ties email performance directly to business outcomes.
Inactive subscriber rateThe percentage of subscribers who haven’t engaged with your emails over a specific period.Identifies subscribers for re-engagement or list cleanup.
Email Marketing Metrics You Should Track

These metrics indicate different areas of email marketing performance; it’s best to find a balance between them all. Ensure you do industry-specific research to have a reference for what your numbers should look like.

Challenges in Email Marketing

As you get better at email marketing, you will face obstacles along the way. Some might be highly subjective, but remember there is always a clever solution to fix your issue!

Common challenges email marketers struggle with are:

  1. Deliverability, 
  2. Bounce rates,
  3. Low open rates,
  4. Poor click-through rates,
  5. Excessive spam complaints. 

Below, we explore these issues in-depth and share solutions for each.

Sender Reputation and Deliverability

Sender reputation in email marketing refers to the perceived trustworthiness and credibility of the sender’s email domain or IP address by mailbox providers and email service providers (ESPs). It plays a crucial role in determining whether your emails will be delivered to recipients’ inboxes or be marked as spam.

Key aspects of sender reputation include:

  • Delivery rates: A positive sender reputation increases the likelihood your emails will be delivered to the mailbox rather than deleted by the ISP.
  • Deliverability: With a superior sender score, your chances of landing in the inbox, as opposed to spam folders, is higher.
  • Bounce rates: High bounce rates, indicating a large number of undelivered emails, can negatively impact your sender reputation.
  • Spam complaints: Excessive spam complaints from recipients can harm your sender reputation. Provide clear opt-in options, relevant content, and easy unsubscribe mechanisms to minimize complaints.
  • Engagement: Positive engagement metrics contribute to a positive sender reputation. Mailbox providers interpret high engagement as a sign you send valuable content.
  • Consistency: Sending a consistent volume of emails over time helps your reputation greatly. On the flip side, sudden spikes or irregularities in email volume may trigger suspicions.
  • Authentication protocols: Implementing authentication protocols like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC helps verify the legitimacy of your emails.
  • Content: The quality and relevance of your email content also influence sender reputation. Avoiding spammy content and use clear and concise language.

Maintaining a positive sender reputation is crucial for successful email deliverability. Mailbox operators use complex algorithms to assess sender reputation and decide whether to deliver an email to the inbox, filter it as spam, or block it entirely. 

If your sender reputation is poor, your metrics will reflect it — you must monitor your analytics to ensure your sender score remains high and you avoid deliverability issues.

Tackling High Bounce Rates

Email bounces refer to emails that are not successfully delivered to the intended recipients. There are two main types of bounces: hard bounces and soft bounces.

This table explains the differences between the two:

Bounce typeDefinitionCommon reasons
Hard bounceAn email that cannot be delivered due to permanent factors.‣ Invalid or non-existent email addresses.
‣ Domain name typos or non-existent domains.
‣ Recipient’s email server blocking the email.
Soft bounceAn email that cannot be delivered temporarily.‣ Recipient’s mailbox is full.
‣ The email server is temporarily down.
‣ The email message is too large.
Differences Between Bounce Types

These issues require urgent attention, and it’s a good idea to start by regularly analyzing email performance metrics, including bounce rates, to identify trends and patterns. 

Now, let’s see how to resolve these two types of bounces.

Fixing Hard Bounces

With these steps, you should be able to reduce your hard bounces to a manageable level:

  • Remove invalid or non-existent email addresses from your list. Regularly clean and update your email database to ensure its accuracy.
  • Implement a double opt-in process to verify the authenticity of new subscribers and prevent invalid or mistyped email addresses from entering your list.
  • Maintain a positive sender reputation by adhering to email best practices. Avoid spammy behavior, use authentication protocols (SPF, DKIM, DMARC), and engage with a genuine and interested audience.
  • Consider using email validation services to identify and remove invalid email addresses from your list proactively.

Hard bounces can be disastrous for your sender reputation; this is why our automated list cleaning is so popular with our clients. Next, it’s time to fix soft bounces!

How to Fix Soft Bounces

Soft bounces have an equally bad impact on your sender reputation.

You can resolve soft bounces with these steps:

  • Segment your email list based on user behavior, preferences, or engagement levels. Send targeted and relevant content to specific segments to reduce the likelihood of soft bounces.
  • Include clear and easy-to-find options for recipients to unsubscribe. This can help prevent soft bounces caused by users trying to disengage with your emails.
  • Ensure your email content is well-designed, relevant, and adheres to email formatting standards. Avoid large attachments that may trigger size-related soft bounces.
  • Pay attention to feedback, especially from users marking emails as spam. Address user concerns, improve content, and remove uninterested or inactive subscribers.
  • Periodically verify email addresses in your list to identify and correct potential issues before they result in delivery problems.
  • Evaluate your email frequency. If you notice patterns of increased bounces associated with specific send volumes, adjust your sending frequency accordingly.

Managing your bounce rate ensures your list has active and engaged users. Our best tip is to be cautious with your email volume and send the best content you can. 

Resolve Poor Open Rates

Low open rates can be particularly disheartening for email marketers. You may be sending content you feel is valuable, but what causes subscribers to ignore your emails? 

You should know that it’s a common phenomenon, and there are simple solutions that can remedy it. We’ve created a compilation of the most common reasons that cause low open rates, and what to do about it.

Low Open Rates: Common Causes

Let’s examine the top causes of low open rates and their solutions:

Causes of poor open ratesFixes
Unappealing subject linesCraft compelling and concise subject lines.
Inappropriate sending timeExperiment with different send times and days.
Overuse of trigger wordsAvoid spam-trigger words and phrases.
Inactive subscriber listImplement re-engagement campaigns.
Low sender reputationFocus on maintaining a positive sender reputation.
Irrelevant contentTailor content to match audience interests.
Emails going to spamMonitor sender reputation, improve authentication.
Lack of personalizationIncorporate personalization elements.
Poor mobile formattingDesign mobile-friendly emails.
Email frequencyOptimize email frequency for a balance between visibility and fatigue.
Misleading preheader textCraft preheader text that complements the subject line.
Poor Open Rates: Reasons

Once you resolve your issues, we have additional steps you can apply to improve your open rates in the future.

Avoid Poor Open Rates in the Long Run

These steps will have a positive impact on your open rates:

  1. Segment your audience based on demographics, behavior, or engagement levels to send targeted and relevant content.
  2. Conduct A/B testing to experiment with different subject lines and identify which ones resonate best with your audience.
  3. Create campaigns specifically designed to re-engage inactive subscribers, offering incentives or personalized content.
  4. Ensure your emails have clear and compelling CTAs that guide recipients toward the desired action.
  5. Keep a close eye on deliverability metrics, address issues promptly, and follow best practices to maintain a positive sender reputation.
  6. Leverage personalization techniques to deliver content that aligns with each recipient’s preferences and behaviors.
  7. Experiment with different sending times and analyze engagement patterns to find the optimal times for your audience.
  8. Assess your email frequency and adjust it based on audience preferences and engagement levels.
  9. Encourage opens by incorporating elements of urgency or scarcity in your subject lines or content.
  10. Invite subscribers to provide feedback, preferences, or suggestions to enhance the relevance of your emails.
  11. Craft preheader text that complements the subject line and entices recipients to open the email.

Addressing these causes and implementing the suggested methods can contribute to improving your email open rates over time. And high open rates are critical to improving your CTR, so let’s examine that next.

Want More Conversions? Boost Your Click-Through Rates

Poor click-through rates in your email campaigns could be attributed to several factors. One potential cause may be an unclear or uninspiring CTAs that fail to prompt recipients to take the desired action. 

Additionally, if the content of your emails lacks relevance or fails to meet the expectations set by the subject lines, recipients may be less inclined to convert. Complicated or cumbersome conversion processes can also contribute to lower conversion rates, as users may be discouraged by a challenging or time-consuming journey. 

Trust issues could be another factor; if your audience perceives a lack of credibility or transparency, they may hesitate to complete the conversion. Technical issues, such as broken links or slow-loading pages, may interrupt the user experience and hinder conversion rates. 

The targeting of your audience might also be a contributing element; if campaigns are not effectively tailored to specific segments, conversion rates may suffer. Evaluating these potential causes can provide insights into areas for improvement in your email marketing strategy.

Resolving poor CTR

Here are the main causes of poor CTR and what to do about it:

  • Unclear CTA: Ensure your CTAs are clear, compelling, and prominently placed. Use actionable language that encourages recipients to take the desired action.
  • Irrelevant content: Align your email content with the expectations set by the subject line. Provide value and relevance to your audience to increase the likelihood of conversions.
  • Complicated conversion process: Simplify the conversion process. Reduce the number of steps and make it easy for users to complete the desired action, whether it’s making a purchase or filling out a form.
  • Lack of trust: Build trust through transparent communication. Include trust signals such as customer testimonials, security badges, and clear privacy policies.
  • Ineffective email design: Optimize your email design for clarity and visual appeal. Ensure that your emails are mobile-friendly and that the design guides recipients toward the CTA.
  • Poorly targeted audience: Segment your audience based on demographics, behavior, or preferences. Send targeted campaigns to ensure the content resonates with specific groups.
  • Weak value proposition: Clearly communicate the value of your offer. Highlight benefits, incentives, or unique selling points to make your proposition compelling to recipients.
  • Technical issues: Check for technical issues that may hinder the conversion process, such as broken links, slow-loading pages, or issues with online forms.
  • Unoptimized landing pages: Optimize your landing pages for conversions. Align the content and design of your landing pages with the corresponding email campaigns.
  • Lack of social proof: Incorporate social proof in your emails, such as customer reviews, ratings, or user-generated content.

Remember to collect feedback from your audience through surveys or direct communication to understand their concerns or preferences. But you don’t have to seek answers externally; dive into your analytics data to identify points of friction in the conversion journey.

Marked as Spam: An Absolute No-No

Never send unsolicited email

If you’re the hero of this story, the evil spam report is your arch-nemesis. It’s the thing email marketers dread the most; you could have a great thing going, but spam reports will drag your entire operation down — you can NOT afford to ignore this critical metric. 

Common reasons why spam complaints are bad for business include:

  1. When recipients mark your emails as spam, it reflects poorly on your sender reputation. Poor sender reputation = poor deliverability rates.
  2. Consistently being marked as spam can harm your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness.
  3. Frequent spam reports increase the risk of your email domain or IP address being blacklisted.
  4. A high subscriber complaint rate can lead to decreased overall email engagement, impacting your ability to achieve campaign objectives.
  5. Persistently sending emails that result in spam reports may raise legal compliance issues, especially if recipients have not explicitly opted in to receive your communications.
  6. Dealing with spam reports consumes resources, both in terms of time and effort.

But why are your messages getting reported as spam? Even with pure intentions, you might be accidentally signaling to mailbox providers that you’re a potential spammer. 

Main Causes of Spam Complaints

This table cites the top reasons your emails are getting marked as spam, and the solutions:

Causes of spam reportsSolutions
Unsolicited emails (no permission)Use double opt-in processes and only email those who have given explicit consent.
Misleading subject lines or contentEnsure subject lines accurately represent email content; provide valuable and relevant information.
Frequency and volume of emailsOptimize email frequency and allow subscribers to manage preferences. Avoid sending too many emails in a short timeframe.
Lack of clear unsubscribe optionsInclude clear and accessible unsubscribe links in emails and ensure you honor opt-out requests promptly.
Low engagement ratesSegment your audience. Personalize your content and send targeted campaigns to improve engagement.
Spammy content or formattingCraft professional, well-formatted emails. Avoid spammy language, spam trigger words, and tactics.
Poor list managementRegularly clean and update email lists and focus on removing inactive or unengaged subscribers.
Unauthenticated emailsImplement authentication protocols (SPF, DKIM, DMARC).
Sending to spam trapsUse proper list hygiene practices and and avoid purchasing lists.
Inconsistent sending patternsMaintain a consistent sending schedule and volume.
Ignoring opt-out requestsDo not ignore opt-out requests; this is also critical for compliance with email regulations.
Common Reasons for Spam Reports

It’s a good idea to focus on your spam rate so it falls below the 0.1% rate. Any more can cause issues for your deliverability plus it can be an indicator subscribers are developing negative feelings for your brand.

Advanced Email Marketing Techniques

In advanced email marketing strategies, marketers leverage a range of sophisticated techniques to optimize campaigns, enhance user engagement, and ensure the security of email communications

Utilizing testing tools is a key component, allowing marketers to fine-tune various elements of their campaigns. For example, tools like Litmus and Email on Acid help preview email appearances across different devices and clients, while spam testing tools assess deliverability and suggest improvements. There are also subject line testing tools available, which aid in crafting compelling email subjects.

Email personalization is another advanced email marketing technique that boosts content relevance, and in turn, your engagement rates. It involves dynamic content implementation to tailor messages based on individual preferences, behavioral segmentation for targeted content delivery, and recommending personalized content or products based on past interactions. These days, you even have marketers using AI predictive personalization to further improve the user experience.

The implementation of security protocols plays a crucial role in safeguarding email communications. Protocols like SPF specify authorized mail servers, reducing the risk of email spoofing. DKIM adds digital signatures to verify email content integrity, DMARC provides a policy framework for authentication, and BIMI enhances brand trust by displaying logos in the inbox for authenticated emails.

Together, these advanced techniques contribute to a comprehensive email marketing strategy. Let’s learn more about each of these.

Email Testing Tools: Give Your Email Marketing an Edge

There are numerous types of services that are clubbed under the “email testing tools” term, so it can be confusing for newer email marketers to figure out how they can benefit from such services. 

While select tools give you an estimate of your inbox placement rate, others create email previews so you can see what they look like on different devices and email clients. There are also tools that comb blacklists for you and guess what your inbox placement rates will be like.

The table below should clear all your doubts (and possibly enlighten you) about different email testing tools available in the market today.

Let’s review popular types of email testing tools and their functionalities:

Type of Email Testing ToolsFunctionality
Email preview toolsAllows users to preview how an email will appear in different email clients, devices, and browsers, helping to identify potential rendering issues.
Spam testing toolsAssesses the likelihood of an email being marked as spam by analyzing its content and structure. Provides feedback and recommendations to improve deliverability.
Subject line testing toolsEvaluates the effectiveness of email subject lines, providing insights into factors such as length, emotional impact, and overall appeal.
Email deliverability testing toolsAssesses email deliverability by monitoring sender reputation, identifying potential issues, and providing recommendations to improve inbox placement.
Accessibility testing ToolsAssesses the accessibility of email content for individuals with disabilities, ensuring compliance with accessibility standards.
Responsive design toolsTests how emails render and function across various devices and screen sizes, ensuring a responsive design that adapts to different platforms.
Link/Image testing toolsChecks links and images within emails to identify any broken or problematic elements that may impact user experience.
Email analyticsProvides detailed insights into email performance, including open rates, click-through rates, and user engagement. Helps optimize campaigns based on real-time data.
Load time testing toolsAssesses the load time of emails and associated landing pages, ensuring quick loading for better user experience and engagement.
Email Testing Tools Explained

You can use these tools to improve aspects of your email marketing efforts. Ensure you conduct ample research before you invest in any of them, though.

Personalization in Email Marketing

Email personalization as a part of content strategy is is more widespread today as compared to a few years ago. With personalization, you can have a more persuasive approach, as you can adapt your sales pitch content to appeal on an individual level; when emails address subscribers by name, suggest products based on their preferences, or acknowledge their past interactions, they feel like the brand knows them.

Implementing personalization in your emails gets you these benefits:

  • Personalized emails resonate more with recipients, leading to increased open rates, click rates, and overall engagement.
  • Tailoring content to individual preferences and behaviors ensures recipients receive information that is relevant and valuable to them.
  • This tactic can lead to higher conversion rates as personalized content and recommendations are more likely to prompt recipients to take desired actions.
  • Personalized communication fosters a stronger connection with customers, contributing to increased loyalty and a higher likelihood of repeat business.
  • Providing personalized experiences shows customers you understand their needs, leading to greater satisfaction and a positive brand perception.
  • Personalized recommendations and offers can lead to higher sales and revenue, as leads are more likely to respond positively to customized messages.
  • By sending personalized and relevant content, you decrease the chances of recipients unsubscribing from your emails, as they see value in the communication.
  • Personalization relies on data analysis, allowing you to make informed decisions based on customer behavior and preferences.
  • Personalized and relevant content is less likely to be marked as spam.

In short, personalization grabs subscriber’s attention and makes the content more relevant and engaging for them.

SPF, DKIM, DMARC, and BIMI: Critical for Email Marketing

Authenticate your email domains

Email security is paramount for email marketers because it safeguards both their reputation and the trust of their audience. Protecting against these threats is not just about shielding the brand’s assets; it’s about preserving the integrity of the communication channel.

When customers receive secure and trustworthy emails, they are more likely to engage positively with the content. On the flip side, a compromised email can result in recipients losing faith in the sender (you, in this case), leading to increased spam complaints, which means your deliverability rates take a hit.

SPF, DKIM, DMARC, and BIMI collectively contribute to the security of email marketing by authenticating senders, ensuring the integrity of email content, setting policies for handling unauthenticated emails, and enhancing brand trust through visual indicators. Implementation of these protocols is crucial for reducing the risks associated with phishing, email forgery, and other forms of email-based attacks.

SPF (Sender Policy Framework)

SPF is an email authentication method that allows domain owners to specify which mail servers are authorized to send emails on behalf of their domain.

SPF helps prevent email spoofing and phishing attacks by verifying that the sending mail server is authorized to send emails on behalf of a specific domain. SPF records are published in the DNS, and receiving mail servers use these records to check the legitimacy of the sending server.

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail)

DKIM is an email authentication method that adds a digital signature to the email message, allowing the receiving mail server to verify that the message was not altered in transit and originated from an authorized source.

DKIM enhances email integrity and authenticity by providing a cryptographic signature that verifies the email’s origin and ensures the content has not been tampered with during transmission. This helps prevent email forgery and phishing attacks.

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance)

DMARC is a policy and reporting protocol that builds on SPF and DKIM to provide a framework for email authentication. It enables domain owners to set policies for how their emails should be authenticated and instructs receiving mail servers on how to handle messages that fail authentication.

DMARC mitigates email spoofing and phishing attempts by allowing domain owners to specify how unauthenticated emails from their domain should be treated. DMARC also provides reporting mechanisms to help domain owners monitor and analyze email authentication results.

BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification)

BIMI is a standard that allows brands to display their logos in the inbox next to authenticated emails. It relies on existing email authentication protocols like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC to verify the authenticity of the sender’s domain.

BIMI enhances brand visibility and trust by displaying a brand’s logo in the recipient’s inbox for authenticated emails. This visual indicator helps combat phishing by providing recipients with a clear visual signal of legitimate emails from trusted brands.

15 Best Practices for Email Marketing

Best practices of email marketing

This was a fairly long read, so we’re going to summarize everything we covered here.

This comprehensive list of 15 best practices for email marketing will help you achieve better results:

  • When building your list, use opt-in methods to ensure subscribers have given explicit consent. 
  • Regularly clean your email list to remove inactive or disengaged subscribers. Avoid purchasing email lists.
  • Segment your email list based on demographics or behavior for targeted campaigns. Personalize content to increase relevance.
  • Write clear and compelling subject lines that encourage opens.
  • Keep content concise and focused, with a clear CTA.
  • Test different send times to identify optimal periods for your audience. 
  • Avoid overwhelming subscribers by carefully managing email frequency.
  • Conduct A/B tests on various elements, including subject lines, content, visuals, and CTAs.
  • Use clear and actionable CTAs to guide recipients toward desired actions. Ensure CTAs stand out visually and are easily clickable on all devices.
  • Use SPF, DKIM, DMARC, and BIMI to authenticate your emails and enhance deliverability. Monitor authentication reports to address any issues promptly.
  • Include a visible unsubscribe link in every email. Honor unsubscribe requests promptly to maintain a positive sender reputation.
  • Track key metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. Analyze data to understand subscriber behavior and optimize future campaigns.
  • Steer clear of spammy content, excessive use of exclamation marks, and all-capital subject lines.
  • Adhere to email marketing regulations, including GDPR and CAN-SPAM. 
  • Optimize designs for different devices and platforms.

By following these best practices, you can create effective, engaging, and secure email marketing campaigns that foster positive relationships with your audience while achieving your business goals.

Wondering About the Costs of Email Marketing?

Planning your email marketing budget is highly subjective; depending on your goals, you will need to invest accordingly. 

Let’s break down common email marketing costs:

ExpenseDescriptionRough cost per month
Lead generationPop-up forms on your website~$20 a month
Google adsCost per lead: ~$40
Lead magnetsFree
Email service provider (ESP)A marketing platform for you to send marketing emails. At Campaign Refinery, we charge $99 a month for 50,000 emails. We will explain why this is the best deal further below.
Staff costsEmail Marketing Manager~ $60K-100K (full time)~ $10-250 per hour for remote freelancers
Copywriter~ $65K for (full time)~ $12K-15K (freelance copywriter)
Designer~ $45K-70K (full time)~ $15-50 per hour (freelancers)
Content creation toolsDesign tools~ $40 per month
Task management apps~ $8-10 per month
Images or template libraryImage libraries for stock images and vectorsThere are many high-quality free options.
Email Marketing Costs

Besides these costs, you can also pay extra for testing tools or additional software to make your email marketing operation more efficient. But this table gives you a rough idea of the expenses involved in a basic operation. Add or subtract items as per your requirements!

Unlock the Secret Email Marketing Wisdom with Campaign Refinery

Valid email list is the base of your email marketing operations

By now, you probably understand that email marketing can be as challenging as it is fun — and while you will eventually learn everything by yourself, we’d like to offer you a shortcut to skip a few painful lessons.

We’re talking about a guide that packs years of email marketing wisdom into 24 pages of actionable goodness: The Inbox Formula.

We created this guidebook because we truly love and believe in best practices for email marketing. The Inbox Fomula covers advanced steps that only veteran email marketers are familiar with, so you will be able to execute email marketing just like the pros.

Download this FREE guidebook here: The Inbox Formula.

As we sign off on our piece on email marketing, remember this — the true goal is to create genuine connections. Crafting emails isn’t just about catchy subject lines, flashy graphics, or meaningless metrics; it’s about understanding your audience and speaking to them personally. 

We encourage you to build relationships, tell compelling stories, and watch your email campaigns evolve from simple messages into meaningful conversations. 

Happy emailing!

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