Email is considered one of the most effective marketing channels, according to Constant Contact. It is a powerful and cost-effective tool that can help companies increase brand awareness, build relationships with members of their target audience and boost website traffic, among other benefits.  But it must be executed properly to drive optimal results. When developing and distributing marketing emails, it is important to consider best practices and avoid common mistakes to ensure success. Let’s dig deeper into the do’s and don’ts of email marketing and explore tips shared by our team to ensure your efforts are on target.

The Do’s: Email Marketing Best Practices

Build & Segment Your Email List Organically

When building an email list, it is important to consider the laws and regulations that continue to evolve to protect consumer privacy. Individuals must opt in to receive email communications from your company. The GRIT team recommends growing your email list organically by adding a sign-up form to your company’s website. Ask your current customers, vendors, partners, social media followers and other audiences to fill out the online form. After they submit their information, you can begin to send them emails.

Once your email list is developed, it is important to segment individuals into smaller groups based on demographic and psychographic information. Consider segmenting your list based on age, geographic location, purchase history, buying frequency, product or service interests or other criteria. Completing this step will help to ensure recipients receive information that is relevant and engaging to them.

Create Mobile-Friendly Emails

According to HubSpot, 55% of emails are opened on mobile devices. With more people using their smartphones to open and send emails, it is important they are optimized for mobile. Consider featuring a single-column layout, large call-to-action buttons, left-aligned text and properly sized images to improve the user experience on a mobile device.

Many email marketing platforms, like Mailchimp and Constant Contact, have tools that allow you to preview emails in different formats (i.e., desktop, mobile, etc.). While previewing emails is beneficial, GRIT also recommends sending yourself a test and viewing it on multiple devices to make sure all the content is easy to read and tap before you distribute.

Leverage Plain Text Emails

Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, Mailchimp and other email marketing platforms make it easy to design and distribute emails that incorporate photos, brand colors and multiple sections. While these visual elements can grab the recipient’s attention, sometimes less is more. Consider incorporating plain text emails into your email marketing strategy. Having a company leader use their email account to send a message to a recipient or small segment of individuals can appear more personal than an elaborate marketing email sent from an email marketing platform. Before sending a plain text email, confirm the recipient has opted in. And, if sending the message to a small group, be sure to blind carbon copy (Bcc) everyone.

Stay Out of Spam Folders

There are a variety of reasons why a well-intended marketing email may end up in a spam folder, but there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of this happening. According to Mailchimp, if you are sending marketing emails, you should authenticate your custom email domain (i.e., Doing so allows the receiving server to confirm the email is authentic and legitimate, which improves email deliverability. While email domain authentication was previously a best practice, it is now becoming a requirement for many email providers.

Additionally, check the sender address that is set up in your email marketing platform. When using Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, Mailchimp or a similar tool, it is best to use an email address from the domain that is authenticated. When deciding whether to use a general business email address or a team member’s email address, consider your content. If you are sharing company news or a big announcement, it may make sense for the message to come from the business email address. However, if the content is more sensitive or requires an important action, it may be beneficial to send the message from a specific team member’s email address, which can be perceived as more personalized.

Asking individuals to whitelist your email address can also improve deliverability. GRIT recommends setting up an automated welcome message that is triggered when someone opts in using your online form. The message can introduce your emails and ask the person to whitelist your email address to avoid being sent to spam. Ensuring the automated email is sent right after the subscriber opts in will help capture them when they are highly engaged.

Make Unsubscribing Easy

The privacy and preferences of your email subscribers should be of utmost importance. If an individual decides they would like to stop receiving marketing emails from your company, it should be simple for them to unsubscribe from your email list. GRIT recommends adding an easy-to-find unsubscribe button to every email. If you are using an email marketing platform, once someone unsubscribes, they will automatically be removed from your email list. If you manually track this information, be sure to update your email list immediately and do not send any further communications.

The Don’ts: Common Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Don’t Send Long, Irrelevant Content

More than 361 billion emails will be sent and received worldwide in 2024, according to Statista. With consumers receiving more emails than ever before, it is critical your content stands out and can be consumed quickly. Campaign Monitor states that brief copy performs better and recommends marketers use bullet points to organize their thoughts and keep emails short. In addition to avoiding long emails, it is important that the content is relevant and provides value to the recipient. Segmenting subscribers into smaller groups based on their industry, interests and purchasing behavior can help identify the type of content they will engage with. Using these insights to tailor email content such as project case studies, employee or teacher spotlights and industry tips that bring value to the recipients’ lives will keep them coming back for more.

Avoid Sending Too Many Emails

According to LinkedIn, the number one reason people unsubscribe from an email list is because they receive too many emails from the company. Avoid this pitfall by testing different email frequencies and determining which cadence works best for your target audience and results in peak performance.

Don’t Distribute Emails All at Once

Segmenting your email list based on geographic location can be helpful when distributing emails. For example, the West Coast is three hours behind the East Coast so tailoring email distribution times based on each recipients’ location can help boost open rates and other key performance indicators. While there are many factors that play into the best day and time to send a marketing email, research conducted by HubSpot suggests that engagement is highest on Tuesdays during the work day (9am to 3pm).

Level Up Your Email Marketing Strategy to Drive Results

Whether you are new to email marketing and need help developing a strategy or are an email marketing professional who wants support with execution, our team offers a range of email marketing services to match your personalized needs. From developing effective strategies and writing engaging content to designing emails for multiple devices and tracking performance, our email marketing agency has the capabilities to drive significant gains for your brand. Ready to level up your email marketing efforts? Get in touch with our team!