Top 10 Best Email Marketing Practices – 2023

Top 10 Best Email Marketing Practices

Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach and engage customers. But with so many businesses competing for attention, it’s important to make sure your emails stand out. Here are the top 10 best email marketing practices:

  1. Use single column layouts. For a while, two-column layouts allowed for more content on a page, but they are hard to read, especially on mobile devices. A single column of content is easier to read, scroll through, and easier to make mobile friendly.
  2. Personalize content. The best newsletter senders are using what their subscribers click on to determine what content to serve in the next newsletter.
  3. Tease content. People don’t have the attention span to read long emails anymore. The best approach is to add no more than a paragraph of content and include a “read more” link to the full content on your website.
  4. Keep your emails short and sweet. Most people only scan their emails, so make sure yours are easy to read and understand.
  5. Create scroll magnets. Position the most popular content in the middle of the newsletter so that a viewer will be compelled to scroll down and get to the bottom of the newsletter.
  6. Differentiate your sender names. If you send different newsletters or different kinds of emails, make those differences clear in the sender name by using a from name extension. does a great job explaining this concept in more detail.
  7. Use a consistent design. This will help your emails look professional and polished.
  8. Test and track your results. Use email marketing software to track how many people open your emails, click on your links, and make purchases. This information will help you improve your future campaigns.
  9. Write descriptive subject lines. Nowadays, newsletter subject lines often include issue numbers and lists of topics. This makes them user-friendly and helps subscribers identify your newsletter and know what to expect when they open it.
  10. Borrow from B2C Email Designs. Newsletters are moving away from text-heavy content blocks. We are seeing bolder uses of color, more Google fonts, and streamlined copy to create less boxy and more artistic and interesting designs.

By following these best practices, you can create email marketing campaigns that are more interesting and subscriber-friendly, and engaging.

Email Newsletters – Best Practices in 2023

Email marketing, like all forms of marketing and communications, is constantly evolving. What was a best practice in 2020 or even 2021 may not be a best practice when it comes to email marketing in 2023.

Email marketing is a great way to reach and engage with customers. It’s also a very cost-effective way to market your business. Here are some of the reasons why an organization should use email marketing:

  • Reach a large audience: Email marketing allows you to reach a large audience with your message. You can target your emails to specific demographics, interests, or even purchase history. This means that your emails are more likely to be opened and read by the people who are most interested in what you have to offer.
  • Build relationships: Email marketing is a great way to build relationships with your customers. When you send regular emails, you stay top-of-mind and you can keep your customers updated on your latest products, services, and promotions. This can help you to build trust and loyalty with your customers.
  • Increase sales: Email marketing can help you to increase sales. When you send targeted emails to people who are interested in what you have to offer, you’re more likely to get them to buy from you. You can also use email marketing to promote special offers and discounts, which can help you to increase sales.
  • Generate leads: Email marketing can help you to generate leads. When you send emails to people who are interested in what you have to offer, you can encourage them to sign up for your newsletter or to contact you for more information. This can help you to generate leads that you can nurture and convert into customers.
  • Track results: Email marketing is a very measurable marketing channel. You can track how many people open your emails, click on your links, and make purchases. This information can help you to optimize your email marketing campaigns and get better results.

Overall, email marketing is a great way to reach, engage, and convert customers. It’s a cost-effective and measurable marketing channel that can help you to grow your business.

Email Newsletters – Best Practices in 2023

Here are some additional tips for creating effective email marketing campaigns:

  • Segment your list: Segment your list by demographics, interests, or purchase history so that you can send more relevant and targeted emails.
  • Personalize your emails: Use the subscriber’s name and other personal information in your emails to make them feel more like a conversation and less like a sales pitch.
  • Keep your emails short and sweet: Most people only scan their emails, so make sure yours are easy to read and understand.
  • Use clear and concise calls to action: Tell your subscribers what you want them to do, whether it’s clicking on a link, making a purchase, or signing up for a newsletter.
  • Use high-quality images and videos: Images and videos can help to break up your text and make your emails more visually appealing.
  • Use a consistent design: This will help your emails look professional and polished.
  • Test and track your results: Use email marketing software to track how many people open your emails, click on your links, and make purchases. This information will help you improve your future campaigns.
  • Avoid spammy practices: This includes using all caps, exclamation points, or excessive punctuation. It also includes sending too many emails or sending emails to people who haven’t opted in.

Email Marketing Best Practice

Blogging and email marketing are two channels that aren’t always automatically used together – but they should be. If your goal is to grow your blog and your audience, it’s important to follow email marketing best practices and use your email database in a smart way. This can literally be the difference between success and stagnation.

Regardless of the blog’s focus, the administrative challenges tend to be the same:

  • How do I get people to come back for more content?
  • How do I encourage reader loyalty among my visitors?
  • How do I get my blog to the point in which I can monetize it?

Practically everyone has at least one email account. Email marketing a great way to stay in touch with your readers AND effectively drive traffic back to your blog.

Email Marketing Best Practice

Your blog will benefit from having readers who keep coming back to read it. Email marketing has the potential to get people to click on your links and return to your platform. But email marketing is not without its tricks and secrets. Follow these email marketing best practices and your blog will grow.

Dedicate time to your subject line

The subject line is the only hook you have to make people open your email. Many email marketing professionals claim that the subject line is even more important than the very content your email delivers. It’s easy to see the reasoning behind the claim: what good is it great content if people never open your emails?

You can make your subject more attractive by customizing it so that each recipient sees their own name in the subject. This has a large impact on your opening rate and will catch people’s eye when scrolling through their inbox. Make sure you don’t make your subject too long and remember how frequently you check your email from your phone – while computer users usually have about 50 characters to display the subject line in their inbox, smartphones have less.

Make your emails an extension of your online identity or blog

Your email campaigns need to have a design that will clearly remind recipients of your blog. Most email marketing tools offer a set of templates which are ready to use – but it’s up to you to change and modify the visuals until your email is closely related to the look of your business or blog.

Segment and customize

People don’t want emails that aren’t personalized. Each email needs to address and speak directly to the reader. This is impossible without a professional email marketing solution. Before you go customizing emails, you’ll need a very well organized database or contact list. Remember that the form you use to have people subscribe needs to ask for certain information depending on where you want to take your email marketing. Names and surnames are just as necessary as email addresses – but other data like birthdays, gender, and profession can be of great help too.

Think about email marketing best practice and your blog will grow.

Email Drip Campaigns: Marketing Automation

If you’ve purchased anything online, chances are very high that you’ve received email drip campaigns. Email drip campaigns are series of emails that are sent in a pre-defined order at a pre-defined interval. Each email is a standalone unit that is connected to emails sent before and after. Email drip campaigns are the core of marketing automation and can be used to increase engagement, retain customers, close deals with new prospects, and onboard new clients.

With many low-cost marketing automation solutions now available, non-profit organizations and small business can also begin to set up email drip campaigns and marketing automation.

Here are a few types of email drip campaign examples to help you get started.

1. Welcome Series for Prospects

When someone opts into your email list or subscribes to your newsletter or blog, this is your chance to make a great first impression. They are not yet customers but they are interested in what you have to say and are on the path to becoming customers. We suggest including these three emails, in this order:

Email 1: The initial welcome note: This should just be a friendly greeting, welcoming them on board. You can use this opportunity to offer them a discount, coupon, or another offer. But don’t try to sell them anything yet. And don’t overload this email with information.

Email 2: Where to look for information: This email explains how to connect with you – on social media, by email, telephone, or any other contact method you offer. Encourage them to reach out and assure that you are always available to help.

Email 3: Getting to know them: You can ask them to tell you about themselves so you can better serve them. Ask for some information that’s helpful in your email marketing segmentation. This will help you gain insight into likes and dislikes and interests so you can better communicate to them in the future.

2. Onboarding Drip

When someone becomes a customer or client, you can plan a series of emails to make sure they are successful in using your product and stay satisfied. Here is an email drip campaign template for an onboarding drip:

Email 1: Welcome email: Use this email to simply welcome them as new customers and ask them to reach out with questions.

Email 2: Offer training and user guides: Point them towards any online training videos you offer, user guides, your knowledge base, FAQs, or any other information that’s helpful to new customers.

Email 3: Direct them to your blog, best practices, or eBooks: This could also be any content that is designed to educate new clients on industry trends. This shows that you are invested in their success.

3. Customer Retention Drip

This email drip campaign can trigger when someone displays behaviors that indicate they may leave, such as when a customer goes silent and doesn’t respond to your outreach, or unsubscribes from your email list. We recommend sending just one or two emails for this drip since you don’t want to hassle a potentially unhappy customer. The specifics of those emails depends on the action taken and your business model.  That said, here are two suggestions:

  • Offering a discount, promotion, or some type of freebie
  • Ask them to complete a survey to let you know what you can do to serve them better

If you have problems with customer retention, check out our informative post on keeping customer trust and building loyalty.

4. Renewal Drip

If your business is subscription-based or you have a non-profit and rely on annual dues, it helps to have email drip campaigns to increase renewals. The goal here is to remind existing subscribers to renew their subscriptions. We suggest three mails in this order:

Email 1: Initial Reminder: Send this email out at 3-4 weeks before their renewal date. Make it friendly – you’re writing to make sure they don’t miss their renewal because you’d hate for them to have their service interrupted.

Email 2: Two or Three Day Reminder: Now you can adopt a slightly more urgent tone because you’ll send it when there are just a few days left before their subscription expires. You should also take the opportunity here to remind them why your product or service or organization is so great.

Email 3: Overdue Notice: It’s a good idea to have a grace period. Do not immediately cancel a customer’s subscription the minute it expires. Build in a period of a week or a few days. You can let them know about this as well, by telling them you didn’t want to cut off their service so you gave them a few extra days in case they missed the deadline accidentally. Send this email two or three days after the expiration date and give them a few additional days to take action after the email is sent.


If you’re not currently using email drip campaigns and marketing automation, now is the time to start. The email drip campaign examples here should just be used as a starting point. It’s important to customize these for your own audience and product or service.

How to Use Long Tail Keywords in Headlines

According to Worldometers, every day we are inundated with more than 2 million blog posts and 200 billion emails. No matter what you are writing – blog posts, emails, online ads, or anything else – the headline is a crucial element. How do you get people to stop and read what you write when there’s so much competing content? If you get the headline right, you will probably be positioned at the top of the search results pages. A truly great headline might even prompt people to respond and share your article. Keyword-rich headlines will improve your website rankings and increase engagement with your audience. Your target audience is looking for blog posts that will solve their problems and address the keywords they typed into Google’s search box.

Follow this 3-Step Process for Using Long Tail Keywords in Your Headlines

First Step: Research and choose long-tail search terms.

Let’s stay with Google AdWords Keywords Planner for our example.

On the dashboard, type in your main keyword phrase (e.g., start small business) and click the “Get Ideas” button.

You can see the long-tail keywords that we’ll integrate into our blog post headlines:

starting a small business checklist
best small business to start
steps to starting a small business
help starting a small business

Second step: Model popular and viral headlines.

You can’t just pick long-tail key phrases. You also have to identify viral content specific to your industry, learn from it, and then improve upon it.

When you find headlines that have been shared thousands of times on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., it means that you can get great results, too. All you have to do is study them and incorporate the underlying strategies into your own content.

How do you find these viral blog post headlines?

Visit BuzzSumo, input your main keyword (i.e., start small business), and click the “search” button.

The two viral headlines are:

5 Simple Ways to Start a Small Business ~ 102,658 Facebook shares
6 Things I Wish Somebody Had Told Me When I Started My Small Business

Third step: Create your headlines using the viral headlines as a model:

Original Headline: 5 Simple Ways to Start a Small Business

Keyword phrase to integrate: steps to starting a small business

Unique and keyword-rich blog post headline based on the model:

7 Steps to Starting a Small Business and Growing It
3 Simple Steps to Start a Small Business That You’ll Love

When I find a headline that makes me click, I’ll copy it, study it, and create a unique and better one.

How to use Calls to Actions Effectively in Email Marketing

5 tips to use Calls To Action (CTAs) effectively in your email marketing

Here are five tips to use Calls To Action (CTAs) effectively in your next email campaign.

1. Number of calls to action

How many calls to action should you have in one email? It might seem like more CTAs give subscribers more options, which means increased engagement with your brand. But that’s not always how it works.

If your email has too many calls to action, subscribers can get overwhelmed. Make the choice simple by providing one call to action and if you must have more than that, give your secondary CTA a different weight by making it a different color or placement.

2. Calls to action placement

Where’s the best place to put a call to action? There’s a lot of debate on this one. Some email marketing experts say your call to action should be “above the fold,” which means subscribers should see the call to action without scrolling down. Others say placing the call to action at the bottom of an email makes the most sense.

They’re both right. To figure out which one is right for your email, use common sense. If a subscriber can quickly understand the purpose of your email, placing a call to action above the fold makes sense. However, if your offer requires some explanation, put the call to action at the end of the email.

In the example below from Birchbox, the call to action is placed at the end of the email because the offer requires some explanation:

3. Call to action design

Your call to action should stand out. That means you should make a few design decisions that encourage subscribers to click. Here’s a list to consider:

Create a button

You can still include hyperlinked text in your message, but don’t use it as the sole call to action. Create a call to action button. Using a button rather than a hyperlink can increase conversion rates by as much as 28%.

Pick a unique color

Make the email call to action a color that’s not used, or rarely used, in your email so it stands out. Take a look at the email from De Beers. Notice the light blue color used for the call to action.

Size matters

Make sure the button looks right size-wise in your email. Preview your email after it’s designed to make sure the call to action fits with your overall presentation.

Use white space to your advantage

Don’t feel the need to clutter the area around your call to action, leaving white space near it draws the eye. Take a look at the white space around the “Register Now” call to action used in an email by SXSW:

4. Call to action copy

Don’t underestimate the importance of word choice in your call to action. The words in your call to action provide the necessary direction for subscribers to follow through with an action. Use these tips to get your wording right:

Use action-inducing words

You want subscribers to act fast, so make sure your word choice reflects that. Use action words like “shop,” “book,” and “order.” Tack on an urgent word to encourage instant action like “now” or “today.” Consult this great list of 80+ marketing words for more choices to use in your email marketing campaigns.

Keep it short

Your call to action should be short and to the point. Notice that most of the call to actions in our master list above are about 2-4 words long. That’s what you should aim for.

Be relatable

More and more calls to action contain “I” or “me” in the copy. You’ll notice several examples in our list like, “Yes! I want a free upgrade” or “Count me in!” Using language like this makes a call to action more relatable and encourages subscribers to click.

5. Test your CTA

A small change in your call to action can make a big difference. You might not expect higher click-through rates as a result of moving your call to action above the fold, or changing the color, but it happens all the time. That’s why testing is important.

You can test every aspect of your call to action. From placement to copy, you can test various aspects and let your audience’s response decide what’s best.

Of course, you only want to test one thing at a time or you won’t know which change makes a difference. For example, if you want to test call to action copy, one group of subscribers gets an email with “Shop Now” as the call to action copy and the other group gets an email with “Shop our Spring Collection” as the call to action copy. The test focuses on one thing: the text. Use the data to make the best choice.

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Email Marketing Best Practices

Email marketing is a great way to reach your customers, clients, constituents, or prospects. But are you doing it effectively? Are your emails standing out in an already saturated inbox? Are they even making their way to an inbox? Current email marketing best practices confirm that engaging readers by asking questions, using short subject lines, and making sure your email design works on mobile devices, leads to higher open rates and keeps you and your message from being ignored.

Would you believe that more than 122 Billion emails are sent each hour, worldwide? B2B open rates are 11 to 15% and click through rates are 2.1% to 5%. Make sure your email stands out!

Top Ten Best Practices for Email Marketing

Subject Lines – General

1. Punctuation is unnecessary.

2. Use Capital Letters to Increase Engagement

Example: The Top 5 Reasons To Open This Email

Subject Lines – Details

3. Personalization increases open rates.

Users are 22% more likely to open an email when addressed by first name.

4. Keep the character count to a minimum.

Mailchimp suggests 50 characters or less.

Content Tips

5. Don’t sound like a salesman. Drop the jargon and use clear wording.

6. Focus your message to meet the promise of your subject line. Less is obviously more.

Be Creative / Call To Action

7. Our experience shows that questions spike reader interest and encourage clicks.

8. Colors are important.

Orange and red are the best colors for call to action buttons. Make sure to place buttons at the very beginning and also end of your email.


9. A/B Testing is critical to constantly improving email marketing campaign performance. Some approaches work better than others.

Be sure to conduct your tests with a sizable audience to ensure statistical significance.


10. Responsive Design. Make sure your email looks great on phones and all devices.


The Best Kept Secret in Small Business Marketing: Email Marketing

Email marketing is the best kept secret in small business marketing. Even though email marketing is one of the most effective and affordable ways to stay in touch with customers and prospects, small businesses remain hesitant about using emails to their fullest potential. When asking clients why they don’t start or ramp up email marketing campaigns, the answers are remarkably similar. They are: lack of time, fear of being considered a spammer, and not enough skills.

Connect4 Consulting is a Constant Contact PartnerThe three top issues  – lack of time, fear of being labelled a spammer, and lack of skill – are easily remedied. Email service providers like Constant Contact and MailChimp have streamlined the process with templates and automation that allow small business owners to create effective campaigns without investing significant time or having extensive skills. Furthermore, the fear of being considered a spammer can be eliminated by simply following the CAN-SPAM rules. This is easy to do because email service providers have compliance built into their system.

Create an effective email marketing program begins with defining the strategy that you will use to acquire addresses and engage subscribers. Once the strategy is defined and the initial content pool is created, maintenance is minimal. If you start small and build a solid foundation, your email marketing strategy is guaranteed to succeed. You’ll be able to capitalize on the benefits of email marketing that include lead generation, sales, and customer retention.

The secrets to success in email marketing aren’t glamorous but they consistently work to convert prospects to customers and keep customers coming back. They are:

  1. Consistency: Successful email marketing campaigns are consistent. Emails are sent at least once a month so subscribers are receiving messages that keep them connected to the company. To do this, create a calendar that includes all the emails you are sending. I use a Google Calendar for this. Color code each item so you can easily see a crossover between welcome emails, triggers, newsletters, and promotional messages.
  2. Segmentation: Segmenting customers and prospects so you can send them relevant information is the difference between a good email marketing strategy and a great one. Not all customers and prospects are equal. Proper segmentation let you send the right message at the right time. Segments to consider include acquisition source, qualification, subscriber activity, customer value, and customer behavior. Your specific business may have other areas to include.
  3. Targeting: The top benefit of email marketing is the ability to send personalized one-to-one messages. Proper segmentation makes it easier to target subscribers with messages designed specifically for them. Targeted email messages that work well include renewal information for subscription services, reminder to buy for consumable products, triggers (such as abandoned cart reminders), and events.
  4. Customer Engagement: Email opens communication lines to provide interaction of customers and prospects with your company. Make every effort to encourage people to respond to your emails. Don’t be afraid that people will overwhelm you with replies because even the best programs have manageable responses. Telling recipients exactly what you want them to do and how to do it encourages engagement.
  5. Continuous Improvement: Learning from others is a great way for a small business to improve an email marketing strategy. The retail industry has invested millions testing to see what works best. Use their results to find ways to optimize your program. This will get you started. As your program grows, develop ideas to test, send, evaluate results, and repeat the process. The more you learn, the better your results.

The secrets to email marketing success are fundamental. It’s surprising that every company isn’t using email marketing and/or applying these key secrets to email marketing to grow sales and profitability. Companies that do use them have a competitive edge. For help with email marketing strategy, implementation, or setting up an account in Constant Contact or MailChimp, give Connect4 Consulting a call at 202-236-2968.

Email Marketing: Six Steps for Success

Jonah Berger, author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On, recently spoke about characteristics that make products and ideas go viral. According to Berger, there are six STEPPS (Social Currency, Triggers, Emotions, Public, Practical Value and Stories) which, if incorporated, make your concept much more likely to be shared with others. We can easily apply these STEPPS to Email Marketing.

1. Social Currency

According to Berger, sharable information is that which holds social currency and makes us look good to those around us. Too often, marketing emails ask subscribers to share an offer or information in an email communication, yet there’s nothing in that email that would make a subscriber look or feel good by passing it along.

2. Triggers

By Berger’s definition, a “trigger” is something that is easy to remember about a product or idea, helping to ensure it stays top of mind.

3. Emotion

Messaging with an emotional component is more likely to be shared. Every message you send should absolutely stay true to your brand, while remaining focused on your customer. If your subscribers feel like your messaging is all about you, without taking their interests into consideration, don’t expect them to participate in spreading the word.

4. Public

The public component of a successful, shareable program means that it’s designed to show and share with others. While it’s true that not all email content is meant to be shared (think exclusive offers, transactional statements, and other personal information), many elements are designed specifically for sharing. For these, be sure they’re “designed to show.” Format content in a way that lends itself nicely to the channels where you want the recipient to share.

5. Practical Value

Another word for practical value is relevance. If your email isn’t relevant, why would it go viral? Some of the most successful email programs are those that provide practical advice; how-to information, for example, or interesting, random facts. Think top ten lists, or “did you know” messaging. Always consider the practical value your messaging offers your audience.

6. Stories

If you read Berger’s book, he talks about our rich history of storytelling and sharing ideas with others. For email marketing, there are a couple different ways to use storytelling. You could come right out and toss an actual story into an email every once in a while. It could help keep your content fresh and keep subscribers engaged. Another way to look at building stories into your email marketing takes a more holistic perspective: What is your brand story to consumers? Every memorable brand makes implicit promises to consumers across key touch points. And every great brand keeps those promises with every interaction it makes. So, if every email you send isn’t reinforcing your brand story, the absence of that story can inadvertently erode brand value.


Consciously walk through Berger’s STEPPS in your next email marketing campaign and watch for any measurable difference.