email marketing best practices

Keeping Email Marketing Relevant Amidst the Social Sphere

Lately, buzz isn’t buzz unless it contains the word “social.” Social media, social sharing, and social sites are getting all the attention while email marketing is ignored.  But is email marketing fast going the way of the pony express (which is to say, down the road to extinction)? Absolutely not.

In fact, thanks to social media and all of other social sites proliferating daily, email marketing is more powerful than ever. The purpose of email marketing is different to the purpose of social media, and this small but important fact is getting lost in the “social” hubbub. Social media is about conversation and connection, and email marketing takes that conversation one step further: to conversion. A person’s email inbox is infinitely more personal than any social site they may be frequenting, and smart email marketers know this.

Savvy email marketers understand what makes email marketing the most direct line of communication to a sale, and how to utilize it in the most cost effective way. They understand that effective email marketing is all about good content, followed closely by an opportunity for conversation.

Your subscribers initially signed up with you because they wanted something from you. They believe you have something of value to them, whether that’s a great product, useful information, excellent deals, or leading industry news. In a show of trust, they provided their email address to you, for a true value-exchange. Reinforcing this message through a consistent and effective multi-pronged content strategy will strengthen their trust in you.

But what do we mean by multi-pronged content?

  • Effective subject line writing: Many don’t consider subject lines when they think about “content” but subject lines are content too! Furthermore, it’s important content. This content is what leads to increased email open rates. For the “magic” subject line words that almost always lead to an opened email, see our recent blog post.
  • Your stylistic flair: Is your email easy to scan? Is it optimized for both web-based email and mobile viewing? For more on how the overall look of your email can help – or hurt –your email campaign see our recent blog post on Typography.
  • A unique voice: The overall readability of your content should be consistent and unique. Does it flow well? Is it concise, witty, smart, and/or snappy? It doesn’t have to be ALL of these things, but your content should carry a unique and identifiable voice, and ideally, the voice should be accessible to all of your readers.
  • Quality content: What are you communicating? Your content should be niche-specific, and interesting. The better quality content you provide, the more click-throughs, forwards, and social shares (yes, we’re back to social!) you’ll receive, which all serves to reinforce your effective email marketing campaign!

If you need help developing an effective email marketing strategy, give ClickMail a shout: this is what we do. We love talking content and email marketing strategy, and we love to help!

Published On: September 7th, 2011Categories: Email marketing best practices

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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