DO’s and DON’T’s of Email Marketing – The Golden Rules


Mobile email will account for 15 to 70% of email opens, depending on your target audience, product and email type (eMailmonday “The Ultimate mobile email stats” 2015)

Just like the stats that tell us that more people are shopping using their smartphones rather than their desktops, so seems to be the case with people reading their emails. 36% of respondents check email, social media, and texts before doing anything else after they wake up and 21% check their email before breakfast ( Acxiom Digital Impact “2013 Consumer Digital Study”) With these kind of numbers, if you aren’t marketing via email as part of your low cost marketing campaign, you should be.

But, if you haven’t done it before, there are some things that you definitely need to know to get started. The list of all that you need to know about email marketing is pretty long, but these are the Golden Rules.

Do Keep Your Email Address List Up-To-Date
Any list of emails obtained properly will be stale in about six months. If you are using an old, stale list of email addresses, there is a good chance that many of the addresses could be defunct causing them to “bounce back”, meaning they never reach a recipient. Or, worse, people won’t remember your business or think they previously unsubscribed, and will mark your email as spam. Too many bounces (or people marking your email as spam) can cause you to get flagged by email providers, which can ultimately mean blacklisting.

Related: Small Business Marketing – SEO Don’ts

To help prevent people from marking your email as spam, use an explainer line at the very top of the email describing how you know them and why you are emailing them.

Do Follow The CAN-SPAM Rules
The CAN-SPAM act of 2003 created federal regulations to protect consumers from receiving spam emails. You need to make sure that you always have the following in every email you send:

  1. Business name and address: Put your business name and address in plain sight (they are usually found in the footer of emails).
  2. Unsubscribe: A clear and simple way for people to Unsubscribe from your emails and then get their email address gone from your list within 10 days and keep it gone.
  3. From: You must use an accurate name in the “From” line, meaning that you can’t put that the email is from Grandma if your business name is Party Fun Time.
  4. Subject Line: Use relevant subject lines that aren’t “spammy” sounding – Skip the “Act Now” or “Limited Supply” in the subject line. Your subject line should tell the recipient what kind of content they will find in the email. It should be interesting and brief; short subject lines work best.

Don’t Ever Purchase A List Of Email Addresses
This is biggest and most important rule to follow: Don’t purchase and send emails to a list of email addresses that you purchased. Ever. Sending email to a purchased email list is in direct violation of the CAN-SPAM act. You must have a reason to email people; most often you want explicit opt-in permission to protect yourself and keep yourself from being banned by big email providers like Gmail or Yahoo.

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If you already have a relationship, i.e., they are existing customers or they have inquired about your services, you don’t legally have to have explicit permission to email them again for something related but why run the risk? You will likely get marked as spam if the person doesn’t know why or how you have their email address, or if they just feel spammed by your company. If that happens enough times, your IP address will be blacklisted and you won’t be emailing. Period. If you are using a third-party, they will kick you off and that will be that.

Following these Golden Rules will guarantee that your low-cost email marketing campaign will live to see another inbox. Tune in next time to hear about how to write your emails so people will want to read them.

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