Email marketing best practices

Is email marketing dead?

On this episode of Shop Talk, this is the topic I explore with my special guest Scott Hartley. We take an in-depth look into the best practices for creating a successful email campaign for small businesses that boost engagement and keep your emails out of the spam folder!

We’ll help you understand how to create a compelling email campaign that provides value and builds relationships with your customers without being “spammy.” So if you want to make sure your emails are hitting the inbox every time, check out our conversation so you can start building a successful email campaign to grow your business!

Snapshot of this episode:

  • 2:41 – The Purpose Of Email Marketing
  • 5:27 – Building A Relationship Through Email
  • 13:26 – Tips For Creating A Successful Email Campaign
  • 21:46 – Avoiding The Spam Folder

Email marketing can be an effective way for small businesses to reach their clients and engage with customers. Unfortunately, it also faces many challenges, such as deliverability issues, low engagement, and high unsubscribe rates. However, it is still an essential tool for service-based entrepreneurs looking to grow their business.

Even though it can be challenging to create successful campaigns that reach customers’ inboxes and avoid the spam folder, it is still possible to create successful email campaigns. I had the pleasure of speaking with Steve Hartley, where we explored the challenges of email marketing and provided some email marketing best practices for creating successful campaigns that engage customers and build relationships. Here are some of the highlights from that conversation!

The Challenges Of Email Marketing

There are several challenges that entrepreneurs can face when using email marketing. Some of the most common challenges include:

  • Deliverability issues: This refers to the ability of your emails to reach the recipient’s inbox. Emails may be blocked or filtered by ISPs, email providers, or spam filters, which can affect the reach of your campaigns.
  • Low open rates: Even if your email is delivered, it may not be opened by the recipient. This leads to low engagement, which can be caused by many factors, such as a poor subject line or a lack of relevance to the recipient.
  • High unsubscribe rates: If recipients are not interested in your emails or feel they are receiving too many, they may unsubscribe. High unsubscribe rates can decrease the size of your email list and affect the success of your campaigns.

Overcoming these challenges requires careful planning, targeting, and execution of your email marketing campaigns. You need to follow email marketing best practices and stay up to date with changes in technology and regulations to increase the effectiveness of your campaigns.

The Purpose Of Email Marketing

Email marketing aims to communicate with your audience through email to promote your brand, products, or services and ultimately drive sales or conversions. Email marketing is a cost-effective way to reach and engage with your audience, as it allows you to deliver targeted and personalized messages directly to their inbox.

Email marketing also allows you to build and strengthen relationships with your audience. You can foster trust and loyalty with your subscribers by providing relevant and valuable information as well as exclusive offers and promotions. This can ultimately lead to increased customer retention and referrals, boosting your business’s reputation and brand awareness.

Email marketing can be used for a variety of purposes, such as promoting new products or services, announcing upcoming events, offering discounts or special deals, or simply keeping your audience informed and engaged with your brand. By leveraging the power of email marketing, service-based entrepreneurs can establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry and create a loyal customer base that will support their business for years to come.

Building A Relationship Through Email

Steve had some great insight to share on building relationships. While some people may think that email marketing is dead, he explains how it is essential to any campaign’s success. Here are some best practices to consider:

  • Determine how often to send emails: One of the most critical aspects of building a relationship through email marketing is determining how often to send emails. Over-sending can lead to unsubscribes, while under-sending can result in forgotten subscribers. A good rule of thumb is to send one or two emails per week, but this can vary depending on your industry and audience.
  • Personalize your messages: Personalization is key to building a relationship with your audience. Use your email marketing software to segment your list and deliver personalized messages based on factors such as purchase history, behavior, or interests.
  • Provide value: Make sure that the content of your emails provides value to your audience. Whether it’s educational or entertaining, the content of your emails should be relevant and interesting to your subscribers.
  • Be consistent: you need to be consistent when it comes to building a relationship with your audience. Make sure that your emails are consistent in terms of design, tone, and frequency. This will help to establish trust and recognition with your audience.
  • Include a call-to-action: Every email you send should include a call-to-action (CTA) that encourages your audience to take action, whether it’s to visit your website, make a purchase, or share your content on social media. Make sure that your CTA is clear and prominent.
  • Stop sending emails to inactive subscribers: If someone has not opened or clicked on your emails in 90 days or more, it may be time to remove them from your list. Continuously sending emails to inactive subscribers can actually hurt your email deliverability and sender reputation, as it signals to internet service providers that your emails are unwanted. By removing inactive subscribers, you can increase your email open and click-through rates and improve your sender reputation.

By following these best practices, you can build a strong relationship with your email subscribers and increase engagement with your brand. Steve’s best advice is to remember to continually monitor and adjust your email marketing strategy to ensure that it meets your audience’s needs and drives results for your business.

Tips for Creating a Successful Email Campaign

During our conversation, Steve also provides his proven tips for creating a successful campaign. Here are some suggestions of some email marketing best practices for you to get started on a great campaign of your own:

  • Define your goal: Before you start your email campaign, you need to know what you want to achieve. Whether it’s driving traffic to your website, promoting a product or service, or building brand awareness, having a clear goal in mind can help create a more focused and effective campaign.
  • Write a compelling subject line: Your subject line is the first thing your subscribers will see, so make sure it’s attention-grabbing and compelling. A good subject line should be concise, specific, and clearly benefit the reader.
  • Personalize your content: Personalization can make your emails feel more relevant and engaging to your subscribers. You can personalize your emails by including the subscriber’s name in the greeting, using their previous purchase or browsing history to recommend products, or sending them targeted content based on their interests.
  • Focus on the email body: Your email body should be easy to read and visually appealing. Use short paragraphs, bullet points, and images to break up the text and make it more engaging. Keep in mind that many subscribers may be reading your email on a mobile device, so make sure your email is optimized for mobile. An important note: crafting a clear message is more important than creating a pretty design!
  • Include a clear call-to-action: Your call-to-action (CTA) is the action you want your subscribers to take after reading your email. Make sure your CTA is clear and easy to find, and use action-oriented language to encourage your subscribers to take action.
  • Test and optimize: Testing and optimizing your email campaigns is vital to improving your results over time. Experiment with different subject lines, content, and CTAs to see what works best for your audience. Use analytics to track your open and click-through rates, and use the data to improve your future campaigns.

By following these tips, you can create more effective and engaging email campaigns that help you achieve your marketing goals.

Avoiding the Spam Folder

The spam folder is every entrepreneur’s worst nightmare. But thanks to Steve, we now have some great tips for making sure our emails hit the inbox, not the spam folder!

  • Use a reputable email service provider: It is essential to use an email service provider with a good reputation and ensures that emails are delivered to the inbox. Most email service providers have built-in spam filters that help to avoid the spam folder.
  • Mindful of the subject line and email content: Avoid using spammy words and phrases such as “make money fast,” “lose weight quickly,” and “guaranteed.” These types of phrases are commonly associated with spam and can trigger spam filters. Instead, use a clear and concise subject line that accurately represents the content of the email. Avoiding excessive capitalization, exclamation marks, and too many hyperlinks in the email content is also important.
  • Encourage engagement and positive feedback: Emails with high engagement rates are less likely to be marked as spam. Include a clear call-to-action (CTA) in your emails to encourage engagement, such as asking your subscribers to reply to your email, click on a link, or forward the email to a friend. Additionally, make it easy for subscribers to unsubscribe from your email list. If subscribers cannot easily unsubscribe, they are more likely to mark your emails as spam.
  • Use a double opt-in process: A double opt-in process requires subscribers to confirm their email address and willingness to receive emails from you. This process helps to ensure that the subscribers on your list are engaged and interested in your content, reducing the likelihood that they will mark your emails as spam.
  • Remove bounced email addresses: If you have email addresses on your list that have bounced multiple times, it’s a good idea to remove them. Continuously sending emails to bounced addresses can damage your sender’s reputation and negatively impact your deliverability.
  • Monitor for spam traps: Spam traps are email addresses used to catch spammers. If you have spam traps on your list, it’s a strong indicator that you are not using best practices and may be sending spam. Regularly monitoring your list for spam traps and removing them can help you maintain a healthy list and avoid triggering spam filters.
  • Use a CAPTCHA: A CAPTCHA is a challenge-response test that is designed to determine whether a user is human or not. Adding a CAPTCHA to your signup form can help prevent spam bots from adding fake email addresses to your list.
  • Monitor for suspicious activity: Keep an eye out for suspicious activity on your list, such as a sudden increase in signups or a large number of unsubscribes. This could be a sign that a spam bot is targeting your list.

By following these best practices, you can avoid the spam folder and ensure that your emails are delivered to your customers’ inboxes.


Email marketing can be a valuable tool for entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses. While there are challenges to using email marketing effectively, there are also many benefits, such as its cost-effectiveness, personalization, targeting capabilities, and ability to build relationships with customers.

You can benefit from email marketing as part of your overall marketing strategy. By following best practices for building customer relationships, creating successful campaigns, and avoiding the spam folder, you can grow your business and maintain positive relationships with your customers through email.


and leave a review!

Join Our Private Community

Listen On

Listen On


Listen on
Google Play

Listen On
iHeart Radio

Listen On


Join Our Private Facebook™ Group Of