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Dara Turransky
Print and Digital Designer, Marketing Communications
Snohomish, Washington
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10 Ways to Improve Your Email Marketing Messages

10 quick tips to help you improve your eMail marketing messages.
Written Mar 24, 2010, read 2131 times since then.


Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective methods of engaging prospects and customers. You know this so you sign up for an email account, collect addresses from your Web site, but folks are leaving your list faster than the Kentucky Derby. What can you do to stop the stampede?

Here are some tips to help improve your eMail marketing messages:

Spell check to look for typos or misspelled words. - How can someone trust your company if you don't put your best foot forward?

Use upper and lowercase letters in the subject line as well as the body copy. - It's very difficult to read any amount of copy in all caps. Use upper and lowercase letterforms for your subject line, especially, and keep it 10 words or less.

Avoid punctuation marks and numbers in the subject line. - Use a colon or dash if neccessary, but avoid numbers at all costs. Please don't put your phone number in a subject line.

Don't repeat the same words in your body copy as in your subject line. - Be creative with your copy. Excessive repetition of words can become annoying to the reader. For example, your subject line is "Free Report: Pet Parents and the Shopping Experience".  The body copy reads: "Get your report now, it's free! Free report! Send us your email address and you get our, you guess it, free report!" You don't want to repeat the word "free" (or any word) excessively in the body copy – you'll start to sound like an infomercial.

Write your copy in the active voice. - For example, instead of  "We are a natural product manufacturer for dogs" you want to say, "We manufacture natural products for dogs." Short sentences are best, especially when combined with bullet points. You need to be succint with your copy to grab the prospects attention so you can tell them your product/service's benefits.

Include expiration dates or deadlines. - You want to create a sense of immediacy with your eMail offer, but you don't need to create a panic. Customers and prospects sign up for your email offers as a way to stay informed of sales and specials. Inform them of your offer and nudge them, but there's no need to create a state of panic. Email itself is urgent enough.

Utilize strong calls to action. - eMail readers are sophisticated buyers, but still need a strong prompt to elicit your desired result. For example, instead of saying "Click here" try "See Our New Spring Line" or "Download Your Free Catalog".

Be modest and succinct. - Your readers will already know that your content is revelant to them so why hype up your email with exxagerated copy? Stating that your product or service is "great" and "revolutionary" is moot. Your readers will already know this or they wouldn't subscribe to your content.

Don't use the word "spam" in your subject line. - "This is not spam" in your subject line will throw your eMail in the junk folder faster than anything else. Besides, why state the obvious? The purpose of the subject line is to engage your reader, not state what the eMail is not.

Write alternative tags for all images. - You want to be certain that you engage your reader even if they don't view the images. Writing alternative copy for your images will help you with this objective. For example, you have a product called "Joe's Scrappy Dog Shampoo" and you want to create an offer around this product. You include an image of the shampoo as well as "Joe's Scrappy Dog Shampoo - great for dog's with sensitive skin and allergic to FHA" in the alternative text tag. A reader can still understand the offer if they can't view images in their eMail.

Learn more about the author, Dara Turransky.

Comment on this article

  • Sales and Marketing Coaching 
Arden, North Carolina 
Marian Hobson
    Posted by Marian Hobson, Arden, North Carolina | Mar 25, 2010


    Thanks for the great reminders. Simple things that are easy to let slide.


  • Print and Digital Designer, Marketing Communications 
Snohomish, Washington 
Dara Turransky
    Posted by Dara Turransky, Snohomish, Washington | Mar 25, 2010

    Thanks for the comment, Marian. It's so easy to forget the simple things in life.

  • Social Media Strategist  
Burbank, California 
Trevor Eisenman
    Posted by Trevor Eisenman, Burbank, California | Mar 25, 2010

    Typos are killers. When I read something with numerous typos, it really turns me off. Not that I am immune to the mistake!

    Once I found a website where the company's name had been spelled incorrectly. They were a PR firm! I always alert people to such errors, and I hope they would do the same for me.

    Anyway, my company does use Constant Contact to promote our going-ons, and I do think many people prefer email as a way of getting updates on information, especially if they are not grooved into using other channels like social media. It really can't be ignored. Thanks for the tips!

  • Business Consultant  
Taipei Taiwan, Province of China 
Elbert Villariza
    Posted by Elbert Villariza, Taipei Taiwan, Province of China | Mar 26, 2010

    Thanks for reminding. Very simple and clear.

  • Print and Digital Designer, Marketing Communications 
Snohomish, Washington 
Dara Turransky
    Posted by Dara Turransky, Snohomish, Washington | Mar 26, 2010

    Thank you for your comments, Elbert and Trevor. I appreciate it.

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