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4 Golden Rules of Email Marketing

email marketing

The power to attract and capture your audience lies, not only in the quality of the content you’re creating, but also in the process you’ve put in place to continue the conversation after they’ve given you that one precious piece of information – their email address.

Why do so many marketers ignore the power of email? The Twitter-obsessed might think it isn’t “social” enough. Or perhaps the idea of creating an email marketing campaign is a little daunting. Or maybe the one-to-one relationship doesn’t seem as valuable.

In fact, it can be more valuable. If someone has given you a direct line to their inbox, you should use it!

First things first: Get the email address

I’m one of those people that will happily give you my email address. If I think you might provide content, a service or product that I’d find interesting or useful, it’s yours in a heartbeat.

But if you don’t ask for it, you won’t get it. Adding a CTA (call-to-action) to collect email addresses is easy and every day that your content is live without one is another day you’ve ignored your audience.


A few tips for adding a call to action:

  1. Make sure it’s relevant. According to HubSpot, there is a 42% higher click-through rate for dynamic CTAs that change based on who is using them.
  2. Tell people what they’ll get when they subscribe. Give them a glimpse into the type of content you’ll be sending their way.
  3. Thank them for subscribing right away. Most email marketing platforms like MailChimp, Hubspot or AWeber allow you to automate a thank you email. Take the time to customize the email to your audience.

Second: Automate the process

There are a ton of great tools for automating your emails but ideally, you want to trigger the process directly from your content.

Here’s how we do it at Uberflip:

  1. Our marketing team chooses which content will be featured in our Hub.
  2. From our Content Hub we add a form CTA that is relevant to what we’re talking about (Hubs lets us do this without any coding so our marketing team can move quickly without waiting for the dev team).
  3. The CTA is linked to our MailChimp account so as soon as people fill it out, their contact info is synced with our MailChimp list.
  4. In MailChimp, we’ve automated a campaign for this list, so we can immediately start sending relevant content to our new friends.

Third: Give me the good stuff

Don’t ask me for something right away. Give me something first.

If you’re being  introduced to someone for the first time, would you immediately ask them for a favor? Probably not. Email marketing works best if you use the same social etiquette as when you’re meeting  someone for the first time.

Rather than bombarding me with sales offers, give me more of what I initially signed up for. For example, if you’re managing a blog, deliver more great content straight to my inbox. Once you have established a relationship – wooed me a little – then, ask me to buy your eBook.

Fourth: Measure and make it better

Are people opening your emails? If not, you might need to test your subject line.

Are people clicking on your links? If not, maybe you have too many within the emails or maybe you’ve omitted links altogether.

Is your unsubscribe rate high? Maybe the content isn’t connecting with your audience.

You can find benchmarks for email metrics here, here and here. It matters less where your start, but more that you establish a baseline and build on it, increasing the metrics that matter to you – be it open rates, click through rates, and so on.

Pro Tip: Be sure to stay up-to-date on any changes that might affect delivery to your readers, such as the change Google made earlier this year to Gmail Inboxes.