Sunny savings Save 20% now

checking an old school mail box
March 7, 2016
Email Marketing  |  10 min read

5 Things You Need to Read Right Now: Email Marketing Edition, Vol. 1

Created with Sketch.
Jeanette LeBlanc

Email Marketing. You could say it’s kind of our jam (no false modesty around these parts). And truth be told, the stats are clear—if you’re trying to market yourself online, it should be your jam too. With the fierce competition for valuable inbox space—and for those priceless click-thrus, it pays for every small business owner to become an email marketing maven. 

Jar of raspberry jam with label reading "email marketing"

We can’t yet offer an MBA on the subject, but we can help you cut through the plethora of information out there and direct you to the best resources we find out there in the vast reaches of cyberspace.

Consider this our version of Email Marketing 101—crowd-sourced style. Stay tuned, we promise there will be more. 

How to Stand Out by Writing with BS (When to Use Profanity in Email Marketing) (via @writeraccess)

Swear Jar filled with coins

“At WriterAccess we don’t take language lightly. So we defined a process to scientifically confirm whether or not we should use mildly offensive language in our content. First step, research.”

Whether or not you have the vocabulary of a sailor, or an angel, you may sometimes find yourself wondering how far you can push the envelope when it comes to your emails.

It is true that playing it safe can be the biggest mistake you make in marketing. No, you won’t get your mouth washed out with soap this time, but will courting a little controversy—whether it be in the language you use or the content you create and share—help you stand out from the crowd, or be buried until a pile of angry unsubscribes? Check out this experiment to see some surprising results Writer Access discovered when they tested some colorful vocabulary in a recent campaign. 

Gif from A Christmas Story getting mouth washed out with soap

Spoiler Alert: It may not make your mother happy, but the curse words win with 15 percent higher clicks than the PG version. 

Who should read this? Are you tired of playing it safe and itching to push the envelope in your email marketing? Read this for some data driven recommendations that can help you decide if you keep it PG, or go for broke. 

5 Preheader Text Ideas to Increase Your Email Effectiveness (via @emailonacid)

Subject line - Preheader text ideas to increase your email effectivness

"'Having trouble viewing this email? Click here to view it in a web browser.' No doubt you’ve seen this phrase at the top of hundreds, if not thousands of email messages. However, you don’t want this to be the first thing after your subject line that your audience reads.”

Preheader text. Now there’s a scintillating topic. 

Gif from Brady Bunch movie with Marcia saying "Sure Jan" sarcastically

Yes, we are being sarcastic. No, it’s not as enticing as whether or not to use colorful language, but it’s an important and often ignored opportunity improve your email open rates. That little bit of text that shows when your email is previewed can have an enormous impact on whether your marketing missive gets opened—or sent straight to trash. Learn to make the most of your pre-header with this example-filled post.

Who should read it? Do your emails rely on the generic text above? If so, get these over to this post and learn how to maximize every valuable character. 

We A/B Tested Our Email Subject Lines For Months. Here’s What We Learned. (via @coschedule)

A/B Testing Your Email Subject Lines

In the never-ending struggle to find a way to get readers to click and read your content, testing your email subject lines is important. Not only for that specific email, ensuring that your best email goes out to your list, but also to learn about what attracts your list the best.

You know to avoid spam worthy subject lines that promise instant riches, anatomical er…improvements, or anything involving a wire transfer from a recently deceased great uncle in Nigeria. But it can be tricky to navigate what words and phrases make the difference between your email being opened and enjoyed—or destined for the trash bin (or worse, a dreaded unsubscribe or spam complaint). To make it even more difficult, what works well for one audience may mark inbox death for another entrepreneur with a different target. The solution? Split testing. This post lays out the results of six months of testing, and their experiments can give you great insight into how to do the same for your own marketing efforts.

Meme of Fry from Futurama saying "Can't tell if spam or actual email"

Who should read this? Ever wonder if some small (or large) headline tweaks may make a big difference to your email list? Read on and learn. 

No Email Marketing Strategy is Complete Without These Two Tactics (via @Unbounce)

Candy hearts

“Segmented emails and landing pages are conversion soul mates. Conversion rate optimizers make landing pages. Email marketers send emails…if your marketing strategy isn’t unified across all channels, chances are you’re leaving conversions on the table.”

This example-filled post from Unbounce serves up the one-two punch for successful conversions—a dedicated landing page for each email marketing campaign plus a segmented approach that drives the right customers to the right pages at the right time. The post makes the cast for targeted, specific, and visually cohesive landing pages to make the most of your email marketing efforts. Combine that with a well-segmented list driving to a well designed landing page optimized for that segment, and you’ve got a match made in conversion heaven.

Who should read this? Are you still driving your list to general pages on your website instead of dedicated landing pages? Have you been avoiding segmenting your list? Get thee over to this post—test out this approach with one of your existing campaigns and watch your conversions increase.

How To Write an Awesome Newsletter (via @hootdesignco)

How to Write an Awesome Newsletter

So you're about to write a newsletter. What should you include? Well, after some trial and error (and lots of reading!) we've established some key elements for creating on-brand, readable, engaging newsletter content. Curious? We've compiled it all in one awesome anatomy lesson.”

The email newsletter. What on earth do you include? What do you leave out? How do you make it stand out from the veritable sea of similar email newsletters? How do you create a newsletter that gets opened—and gets results? This beautiful infographic takes you through each piece in the anatomy of a well-designed email newsletter. Open this sucker and compare it to see how your newsletter content fares in comparison. Did you find room for improvement? Good—now get to work.

Gif of Tom Hanks ready to work on a computer from "You've Got Mail"

Who should read this? Any small business owner who wants to create the very best email on the planet. So, basically, all of you. 

Bonus Video: 3 Quick Tips for Small Biz Email Marketing Success (via @NFIB)


Okay—so this is a video.  But technically, you still have to read it. Give us 54 seconds of your valuable time and get a quick reminder of why you can’t afford not to focus on email marketing.

Want some more email marketing tips? Check out these posts:

5 Ways to Know the Best Time to Send an Email

Copy Talk: How to Write Email Copy that Reads Like Buttah

5 Best Small Business Email Marketing Campaign Tricks


Was this post helpful?

Subscribe to our newsletter

Fresh small business insights and ideas delivered weekly to your inbox, gratis.

You may also like

{{ record.displayCategory | smartCapitalize }} | min read

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter!

What you'll get from it:

As a thank you for subscribing, we'll send you a copy of our 2018 Small Business Marketing Trends Report with insights from over 1,000 surveyed business owners. The gifts just keep on coming.

4 Reasons to Subscribe:
  • Weekly tips to dominate sales and marketing

  • Expert small business resources that cost you zero dollars

  • We're focused 100 percent on small business success

  • Righteous GIFs

    GIF of Ferris Bueler principal's assistant

P.S. We'll never give out your information. We'll only use it to send you awesome content and resources, if you're cool with that.