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12 Email Marketing Best Practices That Actually Work

by Momina Asif
Read Time: 9 minutes
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With over 320 billion emails sent daily in 2021, it's no surprise that email marketing is one of the top ways to reach your audience. 

According to Radicati, an average professional receives about 121 emails daily. 

That's a lot of emails. So, how do you stand out when the competition is huge, and you have a limited time to convince your audience to buy from you? 

The answer lies in optimizing your emails according to the best practices I will be talking about in this article. 

Let's dig in! 

12 Email Marketing Best Practices For Better Results

According to Statista, the number of global email users is expected to reach 4.6 billion — up from 4 billion in 2020. 

So, it becomes increasingly important for businesses to optimize their emails, so they stand out, get their audience to open and read them, and don't end up in the spam folder. 

Here are some best email marketing tips to help you improve the performance of your email campaigns.

1. Keep the subject line short

A book is judged by its cover, and an email is judged by its subject lines.

The subject line is the first thing your subscribers will read, and it directly impacts their decision to open and read the email or completely ignore it. 

When it comes to email, 81% of people prefer to open emails on their smartphones, while 21% open emails on their tablets. 

So, you should keep your subject line to a maximum of 50 characters or 6 to 8 words. Avoid excessive punctuation, all capital words, and emoji overload. 

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when writing your subject line: 

  • Keep the subject line focused on the benefit or value for the reader. 
  • Keep it short and to the point. 
  • Let your readers know what they can expect when they open the email. 
  • Add a sense of urgency or FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) so your subscribers cannot resist opening the email. 
  • Make the subject line timely by referring to holidays, special events, or other important dates in the calendar. 

Look at the subject line of this email I got from Conatural. It’s short, lets me know immediately what the email is all about, and also stands out from the rest of the emails. 

2. Make Proper Use of the Preview Text

Email preview text is that line of copy that appears below or right beside the subject line in the recipient's inbox. People sometimes forget about it, but it has a lot of impact on an email's open rate when used strategically. 

For the reader, preview text provides another layer of information that helps them determine which emails to open. According to Litmus, 24% of people look at the preview text first when deciding to open an email. 

You should keep your preview text under 90 characters. Maybe expand on the message of your subject line or make them work together. Have a look at this hilarious example from Chubbies. 

Many email marketers carefully curate and design their emails to show the most enticing element in the preview text so that the recipient can't resist opening it. 

3. Keep the Email Content Short 

People spend an average of 10 seconds reading an email from a brand or a business. 

You only have 10 seconds or less to capture their attention and get them to click on your call-to-action (CTA) button. 

How do you do that? 

By keeping your emails short and to the point. No one wants to read paragraphs after paragraphs of content. Avoid emails that are too long and get straight to the point.

This example from Simmons shows a great promotional email that's short, sweet, and gets to the point. 

Image Source: Really Good Emails

4. A/B Test to See What Works

A/B testing, also called split testing, is the process of sending a different version of an email to a section of your subscribers and another variation to another subset of subscribers. The ultimate goal of A/B testing is to figure out which version gets better results. 

According to Litmus, brands that always do an A/B test generate an ROI of 48:1. 

Here's a list of some of the different elements you can experiment with through an A/B test:

  • Subject line 
  • Preview text
  • Pre-header text
  • CTA button or CTA copy 
  • Visuals 
  • Email copy 

5. Keep Your CTA Short 

You want your audience to take a particular action from your email. This is where call-to-action (CTA) comes in. 

Whether you are sending out a newsletter, thanking a user for their purchase, or reminding a consumer about their abandoned cart, you should include a CTA to spur some action based on your goals. 

Your CTA button should be short and concise — keep it to a maximum of five words. Use action verbs in the CTA copy like 'Buy Now,' 'Download Free,' or 'Register for the Webinar.' 

Make sure your CTA is clearly visible to the reader by making the CTA button pop out from the rest of your email. 

This email from Wunderground has a CTA ‘Start Saving,’ which immediately inspires the reader to take an action. 

Image Source: Really Good Emails 

6. Clean Your Email Lists

It feels really good to be sending emails to 100,000+ subscribers. But ultimately, it doesn't matter if your open or click-through rates are extremely low. 

So, if a significant portion of your list is not engaging with your emails, it's time to bring out the broom and clean your list. 

You can first try re-engaging with them by sending them an email asking if they want to stay on the list. If you don't hear from them or if they remain inactive, remove those subscribers from your email list.  

7. Mobile Optimize Your Emails

With 55% of global website traffic generated from mobile devices, it's essential to mobile-optimize your emails. You might be reading this article on your mobile right now and then will check your email and might buy something from a promotional email. 

But nearly 1 in 5 email campaigns is not optimized for mobile devices. 

Use mobile-ready templates that you can easily access in DirectLync. Keep the subject line and preview text short. Make sure your email is easily readable on a mobile device. 

Keep your CTA buttons large enough to be easily clicked by readers' fingers.   

8. Don't Send Emails Too Frequently

People don't like to be bombarded with emails. So, you should decide on the frequency and timing of your email campaigns and refrain from spending emails too frequently. 

You don't have to decide that immediately. Speak to your subscribers and see how many emails they will like from you or when they want to hear from you. Keep experimenting with different days, frequencies, and times to see what works best for you. 

Prioritize consistency, so your audience knows that they will receive an email from you every Wednesday or every Thursday after two weeks. 

Prioritizing consistency will ultimately be the best way to get the most engagement from your subscribers.

9. Don't use a no-reply email address 

When sending an email, your goal should be to develop a solid relationship with your subscribers. So, avoid using a no-reply email address as it gives the message you are not interested in hearing from your audience. 

You can use a no-reply email address to send transactional emails (buying or shipping information, password resets, etc.), but don't use them for regular emails. 

Instead, you can use a name like or to send emails to your subscribers. 

Bonsai sends their email from and uses the name Anne from Bonsai. It shows that someone from the team is reaching out to the customers and gives a more personalized feeling. 

10. Personalize your emails

Personalization is a word that gets thrown in every marketing conversation. It's because it works as personalized email generates 6x higher transaction rates

One of the simplest ways to personalize emails is by adding the subscriber's name in the subject line, preview text, or email content. 

Some other ways to personalize your emails include: 

  • Abandoned Cart Emails: If a customer adds items to their cart but doesn't complete the checkout, you can send these emails and prompt them to buy from you. 
  • Birthday Offer Emails: You can share rewards or promotions on a subscriber's birthday. 
  • Product Purchase Education Emails: When someone buys a product from you, you can send them a manual or guide to help them make the most of it. 

Look at this email from Slack. They personalized the email by adding my first name, giving me a more personalized experience. 

11. Use audience segmentation

Audience segmentation results in 14.31% higher opens than non-segmented campaigns and a 760% increase in revenue

Segmentation means grouping your subscribers based on different traits, characteristics, or demographics. Some ways you can segment your audience are: 

  • Demographics like gender, age, or location 
  • Content interests 
  • Email preferences 
  • Website activity and the pages they visit while on your site 
  • Purchase history 
  • Email engagement 

12. Make your emails accessible

Making your emails accessible shows you care about your audience and want them to have a great experience with you. 

With a few tweaks to your emails, you can make them accessible to people with visual impairments or blindness. 

Some ways you can make your emails accessible include: 

  • Use image alt text to describe what the image is. 
  • Use a meaningful anchor text. Instead of adding "click here," use descriptive text. 
  • Make sure your emails can be navigated with only a keyboard for readers who don't use a mouse. 
  • Use dark font colors to make them easy to read. 
  • Use contrast in your email to make sure the content is easy to understand. 

Nail Your Email Campaigns From Today! 

Now that you have reached the end of this article, you might think there are an endless number of email marketing best practices to take care of. Just remember that as you solidify your email marketing strategy, these best practices will become second nature. 

And if you are looking for a platform to send mobile-optimized emails without any coding required, sign up to DirectLync today for a 14-day free trial.