21 Email Marketing Tips That’ll Fatten Your Wallet

“The money is in the list.”

That phrase has probably struck your eardrum for the 998th time right now.

But there’s a simple reason behind why it has been drilled into every marketer’s brain…

It’s undeniably true.

Email is one of the most effective marketing tools around.

It shoots past social media, paid advertising, and direct mail. And according to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing generates a whopping 2500% ROI.

But here’s the problem: Email marketing might be a great tool, but in order for you to get great results, you need to know how to use it effectively.

So, below are 21 tips for more effective email marketing. Following these tips will boost your subscriber count, lift up conversions and ramp up your revenue.

Let’s go.

1. Divide and Conquer Your List

(Mailchimp shows how powerful segmented emails are)

When Mailchimp analyzed the open rates of 9 million emails, they found that segmented campaigns have a 14.4% better open rate than non-segmented campaigns.

And when online retailer Totes Isotoner segmented their list based on expressed interest, they springboarded revenue by a dizzying 7000%.

Historically speaking, “divide and conquer” has been a useful tactic for gaining political power.

It’s also a great way to boost email marketing power.

2. Consider Using Opt-in Pop-Ups

Nikki McGonigal, a food craft blogger, experimented with a pop-up box form for her opt-ins. After 8 months, she found that it netted her 7,000 additional subscribers.

Pop-up forms have been proven to spike conversions, but some marketers feel that they annoy visitors.

So if you’re worried about annoying visitors, set your pop-up to appear no more than a few times a week, and show it only after visitors have stayed for over 50-60 seconds.

This will help prequalify visitors and make your form less intrusive.

3. Ensure that Your Emails are Responsive

According to Getresponse, 82% of people use mobile phones to check their email. And 42% of subscribers delete emails that don’t display correctly on mobile phones.

Which means if your emails aren’t responsive, you’re missing out. Big time.

4. Survey Your Subscribers

Effective use of email marketing boils down to one thing…

Giving your subscribers what they want.

And you can’t satisfy subscribers if you don’t know what’s going on in their world.

That’s why surveying your subscribers is so important. Some great survey tools to get you started are are:

5. Provide “Edutainment”

People dislike being bombarded with data and information, and they don’t want to read irrelevant personal ramblings…that’s where “edutainment” comes in.

Edutainment means finding the balance between humor/personality and insights/information. When done correctly, it will deepen your relationship with subscribers and make you more memorable.

6. Split Test Your Subject Lines

Split testing subject lines isn’t just about discovering what works best. You also get to learn more about your subscribers, and keep your finger on the pulse with regards to their needs and wants.

7. Harness the Power of Triggered Emails

(A triggered email sent to me from Amazon)

Triggered emails have yielded over 100% higher CTRs than non-triggered emails, and 71% higher open rates.

One study even shows how a retailer used triggered emails to shoot up revenue by 175% and boost conversion rates by 83%.

Triggered emails are powerful. Use them.

8. Stick to Double Opt-ins

According to Mailchimp, double opt-ins can reduce unsubscribe rates by 7%, lower bounce rates by 43%, and ramp up total email opens by 75.6%.This is because they provide you with higher quality subscribers who actually want to hear from you.

9. Treat Subscribers as Friends, Not Cash Cows

Would you like to have your inbox flooded with “buy my stuff” promotional emails?

Probably not. And the same goes for your subscribers.

Make sure you balance your emails so you’re giving as well as receiving.

10. Use Power Words in Your Subject Lines

Did you know that 35% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone?

Weak subject lines drastically dent your open rates. So strengthen them up with power words.

11. Avoid Tasteless Descriptions

Benefit driven writing trumps plain descriptions.

If I say: “This article will give you tips on email marketing.” It doesn’t do anything. It doesn’t speak to your needs, and it doesn’t help you picture what you stand to gain.

It’s a tasteless description

However, if I say “By reading this article you’ll strengthen your email marketing campaigns. You’ll learn tips that will boost your subscriber count, increase open rates, and add more to your bottom line.”

It’s a benefit driven point that speaks to your desires and wants. Which increases the chances of you taking action and reading the article.

12. Never Underestimate the Powerful P.S.

The P.S. is a popular direct mail copywriting tool. And it’s equally effective for email marketing copy.

You can use the P.S. to quickly reinforce a point you made, call your reader to action, or increase urgency.

Check out this Hubspot article for some great examples of the P.S. in action.

13. Captivate Interest with Stories

Stories are the perfect blend of entertainment and education.

A good story is hard to resist. It takes your subscriber by the hand and guides him all the way down to your CTA.

Here’s a well-done example of email storytelling from Ben Settle:

What makes it good? It has a great subject line, an opening that arouses curiosity, and delivers a valuable lesson at the end.

14. Mix Up Your Greetings

Occasionally switching your greetings helps break the monotony and adds a personal touch to your emails.

Try “greetings from a cloudy England” “happy hustling” Or my favorite…“stay frosty”.

15. Don’t Be Afraid to Share Your Mistakes

Sharing successful case studies boosts your authority and credibility. But sometimes, sharing your failures can also be useful. It shows that you’re human and gives subscribers a chance to learn from you.

16. Warm Your Subscribers Up Before Selling

If you’re sending a promotional email, don’t demand people to buy right off the bat. Instead warm them up with a story, lesson, or testimonial around whatever it is you’re promoting.

17. Encourage People To Share Your Emails

Adding social share buttons to your emails is a no-brainer. Research shows using social sharing buttons in your emails can boost your click-through-rate by 158%.

Social share buttons also beat placing a share link, because they help make your email more visual and recognizable.

For more info on how to integrate social share buttons in your emails, check out this post by Social fresh.

18. Blow Up Your List With Content Upgrades

Content upgrades are a powerful email marketing hack.

They use your reader’s existing interest and offer more value. Resulting in more subscriptions.

If you’re looking to boost your subscriber count, content upgrades are a must.

19. Reduce Fields in Your Opt-in Form

When Imaginary Landscape (a web design company) reduced the number of opt-in fields from 11 to 4, they boosted form submissions by 160%, and received a 120% increase in conversion rates.

The easier signing up to your list is, the more subscribers you’ll get.

If you have multiple fields in your opt-in form, try reducing them to the essentials.

20. Link Guest Posts to Content Specific Landing Pages

Chances are guest posting is already a part of your marketing strategy.

By creating a landing page with an offer related to your guest post, you’re able to maximize traffic from each and every post you submit.

Your offer doesn’t have to be something big. It can be a template, checklist, or case study.

21. Take Nothing at Face Value, Test Everything

What’s the optimum frequency for sending emails? How often should you sell in your emails? What’s the optimum email length?

Best practices can help you with the questions above. But to know for sure, you’ll have to test.


Email marketing plays a huge role in most campaigns, and the 21 tips above will help you use it more effectively. But ultimately, boosting email marketing power is about boosting the value you create for your subscribers.

P.S. Are you currently running any email marketing split tests or experiments? Share what you’re doing with us in the comments below.

Hassan Ud-deen is a geeky content marketer. Follow him on Twitter.

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