Email Marketing: Best Practices

Email marketing isn’t as simple as it used to be. With the mass amount of touchpoints your audience receives daily, whether through digital ads, in-app ads, streaming, visual or otherwise, emails are still the best chance to get your message across. This is due to customizable content, targeting options and subscriber loyalty. Here are 15 best practices to follow when building out your email campaigns:


Setting Goals & Measurables
  1. First things first. Your team needs a vision and elevator speech to rally around. This is your response anytime someone asks, “So, what does your company do?” Once you have an answer established, ALL marketing initiatives should reflect it.
  2. Set customer-focused goals. Are you aiming to reach a specific industry? How often? What click-rate do you want to achieve? These can be anything designed to benefit the individuals opening your emails.
  3. Know what worked before by establishing a benchmark for your success. Gather data on previous email campaigns to see what subscribers responded to – and where there is room for improvement. Adjust your upcoming campaigns accordingly.
  4. Don’t set it and forget it. Automation is awesome, but be sure to regularly review how your emails are performing.
  5. Turn your data into action! An increase in open rate is terrific! Take a bow! Now, identify the steps to apply this victory to your other sends.


For every $1 spent on email marketing, the average ROI is $38.
*Data Marketing Association
Built Trust & Loyalty
  1. Get permission to send. Be explicit about what subscribers are opting into. Clearly ask permission to send promotional emails. Otherwise, they will unsubscribe immediately and that’s not helping anybody.
  2. Quality over quantity. The amount of emails you send is less important than the information in it. If you are sending multiple emails a day (or even a week), your subject lines will become easy to ignore.
  3. Make it easy to say “goodbye”. Unsubscribing should be possible with one click, while also giving options to control preferences like frequency and types of content.
  4. Include all the details in all your emails. Be sure to always have contact info, social sharing buttons, platform links, etc in every send.
  5. Let them go. Stop sending unengaged subscribers the same emails as the rest of your database. If someone hasn’t opened one of your emails in over 90 days, move them to a less active contact list (like once a month).


  1. Built out your framework. I do a lot of sketching when I’m creating workflows. Try to account for every possible scenario.
  2. Cater to your audience. Dynamic fields are there for a reason. Make your viewer feel the email is just for him/her. Customize emails based on location, contact info, and/or pain points.
  3. Get more out of transactional messaging. Simple emails like receipts and shipping confirmations can be an opportunity to introduce a new service or product. Just be sure to keep the important message at the top.
  4. Use behavioral triggers. Not every reader will respond the same way. When building out your workflows, create different paths for different interests and actions. This will keep the correct information going to the most interested audiences.
  5. Test and test again. While automation makes emailing more efficient, it can also be very easy to lose subscribers due to automated mistakes in programming and behind-the-scenes actions. Test every behavior type, every workflow, and every action… every time.


Email marketing has become a mathematical monster of its own over the last few years. Make sure you are involving your entire team to help with planning, design, and execution. These tips should help you get started… good luck!

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cassandra-ostermeier-systemaxAuthor Info

Well, hi! My name is Cassandra (Cassie) and I am the Brand Manager and Strategic Marketing Director for Systemax. Oh, and I also run our Marketing Automation platform. I like to keep busy. Plus, I like working with all sorts of people. When I’m not working, I’m running, yoga(ing), creating, mothering and friending. Life is good and I love to share, so I hope you enjoy my ramblings. xo