email marketing best practices make email from real person

Email Marketing Best Practices for Growing Your List: Use a Real Person!

Sometimes in my continuous search for email marketing best practices advice, I get the sense that I’ve seen it all before. Being surprised with new ideas is a treat.

At first I would have claimed there was nothing new in this short MarketingProfs article on growing your in-house email list. I would at first glance have deemed it advice worth repeating just the same…because if everyone were applying these email marketing best practices, we’d stop talking about them.

However, among Tim Grahl’s five tips for increasing email subscriptions–most of which should be familiar to all of us, even if we aren’t implementing them yet—was one tip that stood out to me as new and something I hadn’t considered: making your email seem like it’s from a real person.

Tim suggests even including a photo of the person who will be sending out the email. That makes perfect sense. Your email will be much more attractive to a potential subscriber if they get the sense that they will hear from a real person rather than an automated system or faceless corporate voice. We are social creatures. We want to connect with other people. And we’re visual. We want to know what they look like.

As he says, “Nobody wants another corporate newsletter. They want to hear real stuff from a real human being, so assure them that is what you will be sending.”

(He also says if you’re a one-person show, you probably don’t need to use a photo, but hey, it can’t hurt to remind them what you look like and reinforce the idea that the emails will come from you!)

Other tips from Tim that are worth repeating (and implementing, mind you!) follow, with additional advice added for emphasis:

  • Making sure you answer the “What’s in it for me” question. Very clearly, I might add.
  • Making signup as obvious as can be. (And the benefits of doing so obvious as well.)
  • Making a great first impression with the first email. (Your welcome can wow! And it should!)
  • Making sure you do A/B split tests. (Yes, a recurring theme in this email marketing best practices blog…for a reason!)

Thanks, Tim, for reminders about the basics that we will need to work on applying until they become email marketing best practices we no longer even have to think about, just benefit from! Read the full article of email marketing best practices.

Published On: April 13th, 2011Categories: Email marketing best practicesTags:

About the Author: Sharon

Sharon Ernst from is on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes. Her newest class on intermediate email copywriting covers 19 tips and techniques non-copywriters can put to use right away for better results. The class has real-life examples and before/after comparisons to make the lessons stick. Find her class at When she’s not busy helping employees, managers and marketers master their writing skills, she and her husband are busy raising pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables on their 20-acre farm.

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