8 email marketing do's and don’ts

Phil Vallender avatar
Phil Vallender

Jan 07, 2013


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For a long time now its been getting harder and harder to derive results from email marketing campaigns. But what does this mean for your email marketing plans in the future?

It’s the effect of well documented changes in buyer psychology and the shift of power from outbound to inbound marketing techniques. In the face of such difficulty it can be tempting to shy away from the challenge of developing emails that meet the rising standards required to illicit a response from the recipient. You might start to look for new uses of email and your data; uses that circumnavigate the need for a response all together.

If you give in to this temptation the result will be some lousy emails going out the door. I'm talking about the kinds of email that promote the event that you are exhibiting at but didn’t organise, or promote another companies product but fail to mention yours. In some cases such emails even lack an appropriate call to action - 'Visit the website' may be a valid CTA in a social media context, but it no longer cuts it in email marketing.

Read our guide to B2B email marketing here and start improving your email  marketing today.

It's even more tempting to compensate for the lack of substance in an email with fancy design, which merely have the effect of making emails harder to develop, open, read and respond to.

Our advice to our clients, and to you, is clear:


  1. Email your database unless there is content of great value or a mutually beneficial call to action. If it's the former, consider putting it on a blog instead.
  2. Send pallid emails for the sake of it. Instead, save your precious email trust for something more important.
  3. Waste time developing meaningless campaigns. If you cant agree the objective, strategy, content and call to action of an email within 10 minutes, give up and wait for a better opportunity to use email to come along - it will.
  4. Compensate for content with design. Your emails need to look good but they do not need to look like print brochures.


  1. Use email when you have valuable information for your audience i.e. new content, a well prepared (and regular) newsletter, industry news or case studies.
  2. Have a specific, mutually beneficial call to action i.e. free download, event registration or sales promotion.
  3. Use privileged access to data to support the investment that won it - i.e. if exhibiting, email the delegates, not your database.
  4. Keep email design simple. Your recipients will thank you if your emails are easy to digest. And the simpler the design, the more cross-email-client compatible it can potentially be.

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