Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach and engage customers. According to a study by the email service provider, GetResponse, email marketing yields an average ROI of 4,300%, making it one of the most profitable digital marketing channels businesses can use today.
But despite this high ROI, many small businesses are still not taking advantage of this kind of marketing. In this article, we will discuss five top email best practices that will help you generate more leads and sales through emails.
Why Follow Email Best Practices?
Email marketing is one of the most effective means of reaching and engaging customers. Even if you’re simply using mobile devices, it is a cost-effective way to promote and sell, build relationships with leads, and stay in touch with current and potential customers.
When understood and performed well, especially with email marketing tools, it helps businesses assist their leads, prospects, or customers in moving from one stage of the value journey to the next.
And to maximize results, experts follow email marketing best practices.
This type of marketing allows a business to gather information about email clients, such as their interests, needs, and preferences, that can be used by their marketing teams.
Email marketing can help businesses grow by reaching new customers, retaining current customers, and increasing the loyalty of the customers they already have through nurturing.
Through email marketing, businesses can improve:
- direct sales
The 3 Types of Emails Used in Business
Before someone can even begin designing an email marketing strategy, it is vital that they first understand the three types of emails available. Without knowing the basic types of email, one’s email best practices may eventually prove lacking.
The three types of emails used for marketing are transactional emails, relational emails, and promotional emails. From time to time, email marketers will use these email templates to build the best email campaign.
A transactional email is an email that is automatically sent to a customer after they have completed a specific action, such as making a purchase or subscribing to a service. These emails are typically used to confirm the customer’s action, provide information about their order, or deliver receipts.
Examples of transactional emails:
- account registration
- order confirmation
- shipping updates
- unsubscribe link
A relational email is a type of email sent to email clients to build a relationship with them. These emails are typically used to provide customers with valuable content and to keep them updated on the latest news from the company.
Examples of relational emails:
- welcome emails
- blog post or newsletter
- exclusive content
- social updates
- referral request
A promotional email is a type of email that is sent to customers in order to promote a product or service. These emails typically include images, videos, and text that promotes the product or service. They also often include a call-to-action that encourages the customer to purchase the product or service.
Example of promotional emails:
- announcement of sales
- product release
- promotional content
- announcement of events
The Top 5 Email Best Practices
Emails are extremely powerful tools for marketing businesses of all sizes. But to get the most out of email marketing, you first need to know what’s going to make your lead or prospect open your email.
By putting these email marketing best practices at the top of your strategy, your campaigns will have far better chances of sparking interaction, attracting website visitors, increasing the click through rate, and converting leads.
1. Use a good sender name
First up. Don’t use a ‘no reply email address’ or an email address that looks like ‘firstname.lastname@example.org.’ We see this a lot from different companies.
A good sender name is one of the most important email best practices because it helps to build trust with the recipient. When people see an email from a company they trust, they are more likely to open it and read it.
When choosing a sender name, avoid using generic names like ‘email@example.com’ or ‘firstname.lastname@example.org.’ These types of sender names can make your email campaigns seem less personal and can decrease the response rate.
When created properly, a good sender name can help to increase the response rate of an email campaign.
To find a good sender name, use the name of a real, live human being from your company. If you are sending out email marketing campaigns, it is important to use the name of a real person in a sender name to create personality and relatability.
Instead of ‘email@example.com,’ you can use the first name of the key person spearheading the campaign. If that key person is Ryan, make your sender name ‘firstname.lastname@example.org.’
This can be helpful if you are sending email marketing campaigns to a very specific target audience as it can help your emails foster better connections with your prospects.
You can also try A/B testing your options for sender names.
A/B testing is a method of testing two or more email campaigns to see which one performs better. To do this, you can send out two email campaigns with different sender names and track the results. You can also use email marketing software to A/B test other sender names.
If you are picking an email marketing platform to use, check to see if it offers A/B testing.
2. Greet new subscribers with a welcome email
Sending a welcome email is also among the most important email best practices that you can apply. When a customer signs up for your email list, you have the opportunity to introduce them to your brand and start building a relationship.
In addition, it is a great way to increase engagement with your email list and encourage customers to buy your product or service.
This kind of email can also serve as an assurance for your leads or customers. When someone is a new subscriber, usually, it’s because they opted-in from your landing page that promised them something for free. After subscribing, email subscribers are going to check on that promise.
Welcome emails are a way to provide that assurance.
By using a welcome email that reflects your brand voice, personality, and appreciation of your subscriber as a brand, you can ensure that your prospect will see you more as a value-based business and not just some company that asked for their email online.
3. Craft good subject lines
An email’s subject line is often the first thing people see when they receive an email, and it can be a major factor in whether or not someone opens an email. Keeping an eye out for sketchy email subject lines can also do you good against emails that have dangerous intentions.
Because of this, it is important to spend time crafting an effective email subject line that will get your prospects to open your email message and, eventually, increase your click through rate.
However, if you do not spend enough time on your subject lines or if you write them poorly, they can have negative effects on your email marketing campaign. Poorly written subject lines can cause people to unsubscribe from your email list, ignore your emails, mark them as spam, and decrease your click through rates.
As a result, it is important to take the time to write effective subject lines that will get people’s attention and encourage them to engage.
4. Plan when to send your email campaigns
Timing is also an important factor in email marketing best practices. Even though you have a target market for your campaign, individuality can still get into the mix when distinguishing the best time to send an email. Because of this, ‘the best time’ is never just one thing.
To get ahead of this, it’s best that you use tools from trusted email marketing platforms that can send automated emails according to the ‘best time’ of your intended recipient.
These tools can take into account the technicalities in how your lead previously interacted with your email and use them to schedule your next email suitably.
But let’s say you can’t use these tools/software yet. In this case, you can still find great value in using data and statistics that show when the best time to send an email is within a market or demographic that is relevant to your target.
Here’s a quick takeaway.
Based on multiple marketing studies, like what we mentioned above, the best time to send an email is not one-size-fits-all. Different studies conclude different results. However, despite the many varying answers, results lean towards 9-11 a.m. as the timeframe to use for the best time to send email campaigns.
5. Always end an email with an official email signature
Email signatures are also an important element of email marketing best practices because they allow you to include additional information about your company or product. Additionally, email signatures can help increase brand awareness and encourage new subscribers to buy your product or service.
Email signatures should be included at the bottom of every email you send. Just like your sender name, it should include a real human representative’s name from your company and not just some generic brand signature that uses only the name of your company.
Your email signature should include a real name, the company name, website URL, sender address, and contact information. You can also include a call-to-action (CTA) in your email signature, such as “Buy Now” or “Sign Up Today.”
Including an email signature is a simple way to increase the response rate of your email marketing campaigns and generate more leads and sales. To come up with an effective email signature, you can also use email marketing platforms that offer tools that can generate them for you.
The 5 Phases of Email Marketing
Email marketing has five phases that serve as a guide to every email marketer or anyone in a business’s marketing team. These phases indicate that an email marketing strategy is not something to be rushed.
In addition to applying the top email best practices, understanding these five principles of a well-executed email marketing campaign can help you get the most out of your leads.
Phase One: Indoctrination
The indoctrination phase is the first phase of email marketing. You brief a prospect about what they can expect from your brand, how they can benefit from it, and the necessary action they will need to take.
In this phase, you want to capture the prospect’s email address and other basic information. The goal is to get the prospect onto your email list so that you can begin to market to them.
Phase Two: Engagement
The engagement phase is the second phase where you turn subscribers into buyers. It is when you start marketing to the prospect. In this phase, you want to engage the prospect by providing value through relevant content.
The goal is to acknowledge the positive move the prospect took by opting in. Next, move the prospect further down the funnel and closer to making a purchase by helping them overcome hesitations and guiding them to realize the importance of making the next step.
Phase Three: Ascension
The ascension phase, or the third phase, is where you accelerate the sales journey for the prospect. In this phase, you want to provide offers and discounts that are relevant to the prospect’s needs.
This stage aims to get the prospect to buy your product or service by nurturing them and exciting them.
Phase Four: Segmentation
The segmentation phase is the fourth phase that focuses on subscribers that don’t seem to be progressing in the value journey of the email campaign. After you determine these subscribers, it is when you start targeting different segments of your email list.
In this phase, you want to target people who are most likely to buy your product or service. The goal now is to increase your conversion rate. Here, you use different kinds of content and offers to gauge to help segment subscribers according to what they respond to.
Phase Five: Re-engagement
The re-engagement phase, or the last phase, is when you try to re-engage people who have stopped interacting with your email list. To re-engage an email client, you increase deliverability, remind them of the benefits of opting in, and draw them a picture of what they could possibly miss out on.
In this phase, you want to provide content that is relevant and valuable. The goal is to get them interested in your product or service again. If a subscriber is still unresponsive after the re-engagement phase, this is the time for you to clean them out of your email list.
More Reasons to Design Your Emails Well
We already discussed the best practices that you can apply right away to your email campaigns above. But knowing the numbers that make these practices common throughout the industry can better help you understand why you do them.
Every marketer knows that not all email campaigns will instantly get desired results. That also implies that not all of your campaigns will be opened. To increase your open rate, the first step to take is to move away from generic email campaigns.
According to a data compilation by Data Axle, emails with personalized subject lines have 50% more open rates than those that are generic. Unfortunately, only 2% of emails are personalized, it adds.
Adding videos to your email campaign can also increase engagement and interest from your email recipient. Today, everyone loves video because it’s easy to consume and can contain a lot of value.
The craze over YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, and Tiktok is a testament to that. Did you know, according to AB Tasty, that emails with videos garner 300% more click rates than those without?
With 58% of consumers checking their emails first thing in the morning after waking up, the great opportunity to market through emails is clearly something every business should take advantage of.
FAQs About Email Marketing
The following are a few of the most commonly asked questions online regarding email marketing. A quick search shows that most people’s concerns with email marketing circle around its legitimacy and other techniques that help it work.
Can we still consider email marketing effective in 2022?
Yes—marketing through email is still effective in today’s state of e-commerce. According to a study by, 42% of small firms with more than 500 subscribers think their email marketing best practices and strategies are effective or highly effective, while businesses with subscribers below 500 are only up to 20%.
This goes to show that having a bigger email list poses a significant impact on a business’s digital reach.
The 5 T’s of Email Marketing. What are they?
Using emails to market can help your business grow in many ways. It can build a brand, drive customer engagement, and increase your business’s revenue. But to do so, it’s essential to include in your “email marketing best practices basket” the 5 T’s of email marketing: tease, target, teach, test and track.
How often should you send marketing emails?
For a start, it’s a safe number to send twice a month. Then, as you go along, you can increase it week after week. In that manner, you can also gauge the results if it’s favorable or not.
But suppose you’re a dedicated content creator, or you have someone to do the job of creating content that can easily be automated. In that case, you can try sending emails more than once per week.
Just be sure to measure your metrics. By using email service providers, you can make monitoring easy for you too.
Email marketing can be a great way to reach and engage customers, but it’s important to remember the best practices so that you can generate more leads and sales through your campaigns.
By following the tips we’ve outlined in this article, you can create emails that are more likely to be opened and clicked on, which will help you achieve better results from your email marketing efforts.
Brian Shelton is an entrepreneur, marketer, and life-long learner committed to helping businesses achieve impactful results. He founded Grow Predictably to provide tailored marketing strategies to generate predictable, profitable growth. With over a decade of experience in the industry, Brian has helped businesses, large and small. reach their goals and drive positive change in the world.