Email Marketing Made Simple

The subject line of an email is the first thing that people will see and in fact in many instances the only thing people will see before they made the decision to open and read, or delete your email marketing.

Depending on the local setting on the mail client recipients of your mass email marketing communication may also see ‘from’ details, and ‘date’ information but other than that, the only element specific to the communication messaging itself is the subject line.

I find it useful to see the subject line of an email communication in the same light as I would see a title in a PPC advert and the <title></title> tag on a webpage.

So how can you make the most of a subject line/field for greater returns and what are the key consideration areas?

Email Recipient & Target Audience Technology

Finding out what devices people are using when they open your emails (or ignore them) and finding out the typical mobile devices in addition to laptops and desktops that people are using is an important consideration to positively affect open rates.

Why is this? Simple.

People using a mobile devise like a Samsung GT-I9100 Galaxy S II, an Apple iPad, a Sony Tablet S (the list is endless nowadays) will have differing screen sizes to view emails and therefore likely to have less visible characters to see than someone using a traditional 14 inch monitor and desktop PC or a laptop user on a 8 inch screen.

Systematically Test your Email Communications

Do this before, during and after bulk email marketing activities.

The single most effective way to improve almost anything online including email marketing is to scientifically test what works and use your results to improve things. A/B split testing, multi variant testing and more.

This doesn’t need to be a complicated activity and most likely taking out the time and setting up a good template testing file in Excel (or something similar) will save hours of work later on.

Get your test template right, get all of the key parameters to test in there and enter in all the information with each marketing activity completed.

Before long this will just form part of your email marketing working practises and you will have lots of management information to optimise your online marketing campaigns.

A laptop screen expels letters

Understand Why You Are Using Email Marketing In The First Place

Nothing is worse than receiving the same or very similar communication month after month simply because a company wants to put a tick in the box for ‘sent out monthly newsletter’.

If there is nothing interesting, new, relevant, or value adding that you want to communicate to your target audience then don’t send anything out.

Yes, you might miss a handful of responses but by getting those few people to respond you will undoubtedly increase the quantities of people requesting to be removed from your mailing list two fold.

Don’t be an email pest, be an email pleasure.

Your mailing list should be treated the same way as when a customer walks in your office and shakes your hand – don’t misuse your distribution lists, don’t spam people, respect peoples right not to see your communications and give something of value to your recipients.

Direct Messaging Doesn’t Always Mean Being Direct

Repeatedly getting a message of “Buy! Buy! Buy!”, “Now! Now! Now!” just gets boring.

People are hardened to these types of tactics; spam filters know how to filter out these types of messages and people are generally fed up with messaging like this.

Feel free to try it for yourself if you feel that you need to get this out of your system but don’t complain when the responses that you do get are less than fruitful.

If you have something genuinely interesting to tell people, then be interesting and tell them about it, don’t just try to hard sell them it through your email marketing campaign.

About Stuart Wooster

Stuart Wooster works for clients in the digital arena such as email marketing companies and lives on the south coast of England, UK.


  1. Hi Stuart,

    Yeah email marketing is probably one of the best tools for internet marketers. Also starting your email lists early on will benefit you in the long run. I’ve recently started to use free reports to build my first mailing list, it’s proven to be a very effective method to do it so far.

    Thank you for posting this, enjoy your weekend Stuart.


    • Stuart Wooster says:

      Not building your email list early is often a regret that many businesses make, and of course people love free stuff. Hope you had a great weekend!

  2. Timothy Abbott says:

    Email marketing is important tool, hope with your advice to improve my performance. I want to add that it is very important to have a sense of the text, number of characters and the title. It is important to interest the reader

  3. And most importantly, don’t just use email to sell to people. Selling is fine, but at least provide legitimate value to people who trusted you enough to give you their contact information. Pat Flynn is the guy to model email marketing after in my opinion – totally stands out from the crowd in the way he handles it.


    • Stuart Wooster says:

      Hi Thomas,

      You’re right there, I find the best email campaigns are those that provide value, or point to a valuable resource which then offers a service/product. First prove that what you sell is valuable through valuable content that builds trust. That is a whole other topic of course! :)

  4. Hi Stuart, first of all great post, email marketing has survived the test of time that is for sure, whilst many marketing tactics and methods come and go, email marketing still remains the core of online marketing.

    I use email marketing not to sell or promote anything at all, but more over to help and provide value to my subscribers, being resourceful can go a long, long way. It’s important for anyone starting out to keep that in mind.

    Today the headline titles and the device people are accessing your email marketing newsletter are extremely important and I was pleased to see that in your post. Thanks again mate.

    • Erik Emanuelli says:

      Great words, Fabrizio.

      I think that the email is and will remain the best means of communication, as a fast and efficient way to establish a lasting relationship with your readers, audience, customers or fans.

      Give value and information first and then offer useful products.

      Thanks for the comment and have a great weekend, mate! :-)

    • Stuart Wooster says:

      “Email marketing has survived the test of time that is for sure, whilst many marketing tactics and methods come and go, email marketing still remains the core of online marketing.”

      I couldn’t of expressed it better myself, going back to Philip’s comment, start early because of the very reason you state.

  5. Many people think that email marketing not works these days, but I can say one thing, email marketing is the best way to get some leads, if you do it perfectly, email marketing requires lots of Research about target audience, Testing and many things, if you do everything perfectly then email marketing gives you awesome results.

  6. Video is huge for the easy, memorable show and tell and has so many applications!

  7. Maybe one should look at another marketing opportunity and that is the emails we all send every day. I represent a company that has developed a solution for just those emails and thus this post.

  8. Hi Stuart
    Its Really a essential tool,I hope with your advice to enhance my performance. Thanks for sharing this particular

  9. “Don’t be an email pest, be an email pleasure.” – I have to remember that. Email marketing may be the best option for communicating with your customers but with so many emails being received everyday, I’m afraid most of them will just browse through it, or will not read/open your email at all.

    I’m glad I read your post, Stuart. I’m going to try your tips. Hoping for positive results! :)

  10. Hello Stuart

    The basic idea behind WRAPmail is to utilize the facts that almost everyone have websites, social network site(s) and also send emails every day. These emails can become complete marketing tools and help promote, brand, sell and cross-sell in addition to drive traffic to the website and conduct research.

  11. Actually, in my opinion, when there’s no news to send via newsletter, you can make a poll for improvements and ask feedback/reviews about your content/product/services.

    • Stuart Wooster says:

      By all means Cristian, I would say that should be part of your mix of the emails you send out anyway. I would just avoid making it a tick box on the to-do list. Think of it as avoiding any of the following:

      The movie sequel that is a flop just because the director ‘had to do it’ off the back of the success of that first one, or…
      The second book that was published just because the author is now signed to a publisher and is expected to do so, or…
      The one hit wonder band that produces an album that is lack lustre…

      All these scenarios happen because it is a ‘to-do task’. I would avoid letting your email campaign becoming a non-valuable item in a customers inbox just because you felt it had to be sent that week.

      • But I’m not saying you should send a newsletter just because it’s on to-do list, I’m saying that if you don’t have any information worthy for your subscribers, why not ask them their opinion about your site/ product/service, or ask for improvements; you show them that you care about their thoughts and interests, plus when they reply to your email, most probably your email address will be added to their Contacts, thus it decreases the risk that your next emails will get in Spam/Junk

  12. Thanks for sharing this very informative article. I agree that email marketing is a great tool publicize products or services. Just in the real estate for example, this is a great way to save time and energy looking for prospective buyers. :)

  13. Hi there! I think most bloggers are using AWeber or MailChimp these days and both make it easy to split test email messages.

    With that being said, I must admit that I haven’t tested any yet, but it is on my to do list. Thanks for the encouragement.

    • Erik Emanuelli says:

      What a great pleasure to see you here, Ileane.
      I smiled when I saw your comment. :-D

      I use Aweber and I have been testing email messages and opt-in forms, most of all for the colors, but also for the words included.
      I must say that you can always improve, but finding the perfect message and opt-in is an utopia!

      Once you reached a satisfactory subscription rate and percentage of open/answer/reaction with your messages, you can focus your attention on something else. ;-)

      Thanks for your visit, Ileane, always appreciated!

      • Stuart Wooster says:

        Don’t be scared about making drastic changes either. If you have a far fetched idea, go with it. Sometimes a whole redesign A/B test on a newsletter may produce results quicker than the small testing of say the colour one week, then the new headline format next week and finally a redesign.

        The far fetched idea may just hit the nail on the head for your open-rate and click through in one go. That would prove more fruitful than waiting each week for just a small win. I obviously don’t recommend mass change on important newsletters such as product launches, but a weekly newsletter? Give it a shot!

        • Erik Emanuelli says:

          Thanks for the suggestions, Stuart.

          Actually I agree, if you have an idea on how to implement something new or make some changes, it could improve your overall results.

          Like small changes to a website or a landing page, also for the newsletter small improvements could bring to great results.

          Thanks again, Stuart.

  14. A/B Testing has to be the most forgotten unthought of aspect of marketing. People never seem to test their headlines, much less general campaign ideas. It’s what makes hit or miss campaigns succeed much more frequently. Let the data inform you!

  15. This is a great post especially for people who are looking to manage there email marketing in house. For those without the time for doing everything themselves I also saw a great post on choosing an email marketing company that’s worth a look –

  16. Hi,
    This very informative article. I agree that email marketing is a great tool publicize products . It is a great way to save time and energy looking for prospective buyers.Its really helpful.
    Thanks for the sharing.:)

  17. Very good blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any tips? Thank you!

  18. Thanks for the valuable advice. Email marketing is such a highly efficient way to send pertinent business information that potential customers can easily refer to.

  19. Email marketing is such a remarkable channel that reinforces my social media marketing strategies significantly. Thanks!

  20. I’m planning to initiate an online marketing campaign that also involves email blasting. I think that we must also develop strategies to make sure that the emails I will be sending out will not be merely ignored. Thanks for sharing these guidelines!

  21. Email marketing today has gained immense popularity and is one of the very important tools for the marketers. Great piece of info you have shared for the newbies.

  22. Email marketing holds an important place today due to its effectiveness. You have explained it very well here. Thanks for sharing this useful info.

  23. Of course you always have to determine and understand why you are utilizing email marketing. It’s an effective tool but if you don’t know why you used it, then good luck with your online marketing endeavor.

  24. I agree with your point that direct messaging does not always mean direct. That’s because they could mean a group message, or advertisements directed no a number of clients, not just to one person. Very nice article!

  25. email marketing is probably one of the oldest internet marketing techniques to drive traffic, promote online campaigns, or simply make sales lead generation without much labor and time. email marketing has an inbuilt power to spread by itself.

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