Updated: February 6, 2021

21 Email Marketing Core Tips, Tricks And Hacks

Email marketing can get overwhelming and complicated but at its very core, it’s about consistency, preparation and relationship building. I’ve put together, and regularly update, this list of tips, a few hacks and one or two tricks to help you optimize your email marketing campaigns.


Build Your Sender Reputation by Warming Up Your List

High email bounce rates, undelivered messages and poor open rates all add up to a lower sender reputation as an email marketer.

An easy way to protect your deliverability is to first warm up your mailing list. Essentially, that means that you’re going to segment a small part of your list of only your most engaged and active subscribers (can be friends and family members) and send to them for a week or so. Ask those you know personally to open the emails, click on links for strong click-throughs, and to add the email address to their whitelist.


Ask Your Friends To Join and Open Each One

Keeping your sender reputation is important, particularly if you’re a service such as Mailchimp or Aweber. In general, it’s always a good idea to think about your reputation as an email marketer. 

For this reason, ask your friends and family members to sign up. Kindly request that they open each email they receive from you before deleting it. Those consistent open rates can have a positive effect on your sender reputation.


Send To Your List Consistently

As with most worthwhile things in life, consistency is key. You’re building a relationship with your subscribers, so show them that they can depend on you. Let your subscribers know when they will receive your emails and how often, and stick to it.

Never wait long periods of time in between emails and likewise, never bombard your subscribers too frequently. This consistency will keep complaints low and satisfaction high.

Don’t go long periods without sending emails and likewise, don’t go through phases of bombarding your audience. Let your recipients know what to expect, and they’ll be less likely to complain or get frustrated with you.


Tease the Next Email In A Single Sentence Preview

With a consistent schedule, you can tease the next installment and let your subscribers know what content, special treat or bonus is coming next. This will lower your unsubscribe rate and increase your open rates.


Use Split Testing

Split testing means that you are going to send out two very similar emails, but with only one major difference between them. Often, with different subject headings, and then see which performs best.

This will help you determine what style of headlines those specific list subscribers engage with more readily. In time, you’ll be able to use this valuable information to optimize each email to achieve the highest conversions and engagement.


Use Professional Landing Pages

When a subscriber clicks on a link in your email newsletter or autoresponder sequence, where does it take them? Do they head to your website, a specific page on your site, or to a professionally designed landing page with hyper-targeted information?

If you are a ServerWise customer, we provide a complete landing pages and funnel building software solution that you can see here.

Or you may consider a hosted service such as Leadpages.com or ClickFunnels.


Calculate How Much You Can Spend on PPC to Grow Subscribers

A hyper-targeted landing page with your lead magnet and subscribe box can be easily integrated into any CPA (cost per action) or PPC (pay per click) campaign to grow your subscribers.

A good lead magnet or an enticing social media group giveaway offer can often draw hundreds of new subscribers to your email list weekly.


Offer a Valuable Incentive

A good incentive or lead magnet can be anything from an ebook, white paper or action guide. It must be full of actionable information and prove your authority over the subject.

Remember, they are not getting this valuable incentive for free. They must part with their email address and name, and in return they receive your lead magnet. You want every subscriber to feel good about parting with their contact info, so make the content they receive in return worth it.


Don’t Make The Lead Magnet Too Valuable

You want to win as many subscribers as possible, you need a worthy lead magnet. But there’s a catch – you don’t want it to be too good.

Depending on your niche or industry, oftentimes you’ll have better luck and higher conversions with reports, three-page guides or checklists rather than a full ebook.

Firstly, if your lead magnet is too good, you’ll end up with a bunch of subscribers who only wanted the free book (and probably will never read it) and will never buy from you or open your emails again. That can harm your sender reputation.

Secondly, you’ll want to err on the side of caution when it comes to your business. What happens if you write a great ebook next year and want to sell it for $77? Sounds great, but why would your email list subscribers want to pay for your next ebook when they received your previous one for free?

A free ebook will inevitably cause any future ebooks you write to be undervalued.


Be A Good Storyteller

People love a good story, and a good storyteller can sell anything to anyone. In other words, when you write your next marketing email, try to frame it as a story.

Instead of blandly talking about the features or describing the benefits of your next product or service, talk about the impact it has had. Set the scene, introduce yourself or a real user with a real photo and share how your product helped that person. Whether it changed his or her life or solved a difficult problem. 

Storytelling is a far more persuasive sales method.


Personalize Each Email For Google

Your autoresponder contains a feature in it that allows you to include the recipients’ names in their emails. This will automatically replace the {FirstName} tag in every single message so that they say ‘Hi Joe’ or ‘HI Dave’ instead of just ‘Hi’.

You’re not doing this because your subscribers are morons who believe you sat down and sent out individual emails. Everyone knows this trick is created automatically by your autoresponder or email marketing software. You’re doing this for Google itself.

Using this strategy can help you avoid ending up in the ‘Social’ or ‘Promotions’ inbox of Google Mail because it appears to be natural and normal correspondence.


Be Brief

Whenever you send an email, you always need to make sure that it contains value of some sort. That means it should provide a tip, a lesson, instructions or perhaps just entertainment. Whatever the case, your audience needs to feel that it was worth their time reading that message.

Better yet, you want to ensure that the amount of time they spend is short. After all, you want them to feel that each message from you provides maximum benefits with minimal time required on their part.

It’s important that your emails are written efficiently and get right to the point. Be succinct and show that you’re respectful of your subscriber’s time. 


Use a Normal Email Structure

Earlier we mentioned that using the first name in your email could help you to stand out from other marketing messages to Google and bypass the Social or Promotions folder.

Another trick you can use that will do the same thing, is to try and use a more conventional structure. In other words, instead of creating an elaborate newsletter template with headings and flashing lights, instead try writing a normal email as you would do to a friend. This will feel much more authentic and personal, and it will also be more likely to bypass those various filters and make it to the inbox.


Ask to be Whitelisted

If you are still facing emails that end up in the spam folder, then one of the simplest and most effective solutions is just to ask your recipients to whitelist you.

On Google Mail, that’s removing you from any spam lists and putting you in the primary inbox rather than the secondary ones.

A great time to do this is in your welcome message for your double opt-in. Your audience will need to see this message in order to sign up, and you can warn them that it might go into their spam folder. Ask them to help prevent that by moving you to the primary inbox right now, so you’re able to send them future freebies, promotions and insights.


Use Your Subscription Box As An Exit Popup

We all agree that popups are annoying most of the time, with one exception – the exit-intent pop-up. As a site visitor moves to leave your website, a pop-up appears, grabbing their attention and offering your subscription box and incentive.

Promoting your mail list on a user’s exit is a win-win. You’re losing them any way, might as well try to capture their email on the way out.

Studies show that a decent exit pop-up increases conversions by as much as 400%, which makes them very valuable.


Subscribe Box As Sidebar Widget

Remember that a lot of your visitors won’t land on your website or blog through the home page. If you have popular blog posts or pages within your site, then you need a sidebar widget that will contain your opt-in form. This way, people will be able to sign up wherever they land on your site, and you’ll have higher conversions as a result.


Mention Your Mailing List in Your

Another way you can get people to sign up from your blog is simply to mention your email list in your blog posts. Again, if you have a post or two that is very popular, you can simply add a little section toward the end saying that you have much more content like this that you’d like to share and that you’d love it if people could sign up.

Sometimes the simplest methods involve just asking! And you can do the same through your social media too or on your YouTube channel. And it works both ways: don’t forget to ask your email subscribers if they’ll consider following you on Twitter.


Try the AEIST Format

If you want to sell through your mailing list, then don’t go straight in for the kill. Instead, try to build awareness and attention first and take advantage of the serialized nature of your emails. You can do this by using the AEIST structure (formerly known as AIDA). Interested? You can learn all about it on my article by clicking here.


Ask People to Share and Forward Your Emails

People like to help, and they often will simply for the asking.

You’ve probably noticed that all YouTubers ask that you click to subscribe in each video. Why? Because it works.

Ask people to forward your emails to friends and family. Ask for social media social and reposts or retweets. 

But of course, you’ll need to pack a lot of value into an email to make it worth sharing.


Include an Opt-In Form

If you are going to ask people to spread your emails around, don’t forget to include an opt-in form right in the message itself, or at the very least, a link to one.

The easier you can make it for people to sign up, the more sign-ups you’ll get.


Grab Attention With a Giveaway

It’s very common for an old list to get tired and sleepy. Five years ago it was vibrant, and your subscribers were excited, but now they’re tired and rundown. You need to wake them up and force them to take notice!

One good option is to give something away for free and to mention that right in your subject line.

I’m not suggesting a lead magnet such as a handy action guide or ebook. I’m talking, a very real, very solid item that you’ll box up and ship straight to the winner.

A tangible gift mailed straight to their home always gets attention because so few do it these days.

You’ll wake up your subscribers while building a lot of goodwill. After all, you’re not asking for anything in return. No upsells. No cross-marketing. Just a genuine gift from you to one (or more) lucky subscribers with your gratitude for hanging in there with you.

What a way to remind your once loyal fan base that you’re still around and going strong.

J. Fleischmann
J. Fleischmann
James is a content strategist, sites manager and copywriter for ServerWise. He's written 51 e-books for clients resulting in over 600,000 new leads as a ghostwriter. James lives in Texas with three dogs and has a Longhorn as a neighbor.