Golden Rules of Email Marketing: 20 Secrets for Email Success


By applying golden rules of email marketing to your marketing strategy you can seriously step up your success and ramp up your ROI.

Yet despite the billions of dollars that are made from email marketing every year it is not uncommon to hear someone shouting from the hill tops that “email is dead.”

Don’t listen to those people who try to say email is dead because email is more than just alive, it is thriving.

A recent study by Econsultancy ranked email marketing as the best channel in terms of return on investment, with 68% of companies rating the channel as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.

Check out this graph for the stats to back this up:

Q: How do you rate the following channels in terms of return on investment? (company respondents)


So much so according to a recent study by Econsultancy “On average, companies are attributing 23% of their total sales to the email marketing channel, compared to 18% in 2013.”

But not all email marketing campaigns are created equal, and perhaps contributes to why some people think email is “dead.”

In this post I reveal 20 golden rules of email marketing so you can take your earnings with email to the next level! Enjoy. 🙂

1. Email Often

Perhaps the most powerful of all my golden rules of email marketing is to email as often as possible.

every-day-is-a-good-dayAweber and most other email marketing service providers offer the ability to send unlimited emails to your list.

Yet many marketers only send emails to their list once a month.  Some do better than this monthly frequency and send weekly or occasional emails, but few marketers tap into the profitable and relationship building power of sending daily emails to their list.

My marketing funnel operates at peak performance when I email daily.

If you want to maximize your profitability with emails I encourage you to send emails daily as well, and to really unleash your profit potential email multiple times in a day during special promotions.

Emailing every day will sharpen your email marketing skill, and strengthen the relationship you have with your subscribers.

2. Subject Lines Are Vital

Compelling subject lines are the key to unlocking successful email marketing campaigns.

Without a compelling subject line your emails will never get read, will never make you any sales, and will never get you any results.

Subject lines are a lot like headlines and the best ones will make your readers curious about whatever it is you have to offer.

Here are five best practices for top performing headlines:barackobama-email-subject-line-example

  • Use Your Reader’s Name in the subject when it is relevant to do so.
  • The subject lines “Check this out” and “Hey” have worked well for me.
  • Write multiple subject lines then choose the one that sounds the best or do an A/B test to test the best two head to head.
  • Keep it under 50 characters. It’s general best practice to keeps subject lines to fewer than 50 characters. Subject lines with less than 50 characters have higher open rates and click-through-rates than those with 50+.
  • Avoid All CAPS. Using all caps in your subject line in caps WILL NOT HELP YOU. Caps are powerful, but use them sparingly and responsibly, like grenades.

3. Include A Link In Every Emailhyperlink-3d

Another one of my golden rules of email marketing that you should definitely us is to always include a link.

Every email you send using email marketing software has a link already. The unsubscribe link.

Many people are accustomed to opening an email and clicking a link, and if you don’t include one more people will click the unsubscribe link.

By including a link in every email will benefit from the traffic you send to that link.

If you don’t have a fresh piece of content to promote ask your subscribers to connect with you on one of your social media profiles like Twitter or Instagram.

4. The More You Tell The More You Sell

Don’t be afraid of writing long emails because often these perform best.


When writing long emails you can also get away with including multiple links and calls to action and this will improve your click through rate.

5. Write to be Read

Short punchy paragraphs work best.easybutton

You are not writing a novel, you are writing an email, and whoever is reading it probably has dozens of other emails in their in box as well.

So make your emails as easy as possible to digest.

Use bullets, short paragraphs, and space your text out as much as possible so it is easy on the eyes.

Using bold, italics, and underlining words can add color to your emails that will give your writing a favor that keeps your readers coming back for more.

6. Bullets are Your Friend

Bullets are bad ass.

Here are a few reasons why you should use bullets in your emails often:A selection of bullets isolated on white.

  • Bullets are easy to read
  • You can write bullets about any topic
  • Bullets look cool
  • Bullets are a great way to hammer home any point

See how fun bullets are?

When you are pitching a product or service bullets work especially well, which is why most sales letter feature plenty of bullets, and yours should too.

7. Plain Text Is Powerful

Do you prefer to get brochures and flyer’s in the mail, or a hand written letter from a friend?

Unless your friends are jerks you probably prefer a hand written letter.

I think of email in the same way.

When I get a flashy email with tons of graphics I almost always treat it the same way I would with junk mail and hit “delete.”

However when I get a plain text email that looks the same way as email from my friends or colleagues I treat it in the same way and am much more likely to read and act on it.

8. Never Send From a noreply Email Address

Sending from a noreply address is possibly the worst email marketing mistake you can make.

Using an email address like this will stop your subscribers from emailing you, which is what you should be wanting them to do.


Instead, use your real email address, let your subscribers know you check it, and encourage them to contact you.

By establishing an open line of communication between you and your readers you establish trust and this will cause more people to read your emails and act on the calls to action that you recommend.

9. You Don’t Need a Massive List For Massive Results

Even when your list is small sending to it on a regular basis can still be far more effective than one on one emails due to the scale.

You can even repurpose email content on your blog and share it on social media to gain extra traction from the content you create.

10. Segment and Re-send Profitable emails

Re-sending emails that made sales is one of the best ways to make even more sales.

Since only 20-30% of your readers will open your initial email (if your lucky) you can potentially double or triple your sales by sending the email again to the people who did not open your original email.

To do this create a segment of you list of all the people who did not open your initial email and then resend your original email with a different subject line.

Doing this typically takes only a few minutes and it can help you amp up the success of your profitable campaigns.clean-email-list

11. Clean Your List

Email marketing is my #1 digital marketing expense.  Minimizing your email marketing will maximize your marketing ROI.

Most email marketing providers charge you based on how many subscribers you have on your list. That’s why one of my golden rules of email marketing is cleaning your email list.

Within Aweber you are charged for the total number of leads that are managed within the software – and this includes unsubscribed and unresponsive leads.

On more than one occasion in the past removing dead leads from Aweber has cut down the cost of my monthly bill so I recommend cleaning your list on a regular basis.

12. Create Buyers Lists Automatically

Within Aweber you can set automation rules to move subscriber from a “leads list” to a “buyers list” after they make a purchase with a shopping cart system like PayPal.

This is easier to set up than it sounds.

Once you have buyer list automation set up you can repeatedly send promotional content to your lead list without worrying about your buyers getting annoyed with promos for something they already own.

find-your-brand-personality13. Be Yourself

People connect with other people, so don’t hide your personality.

One method I use to add character to my emails is to start them off by relating something about my day.

By making the first sentence or two about what’s new with you, you remind people that you’re not a robot, and that’s a good thing.

14. Include a Firm Call to Action

People don’t take action if you softly or passively suggest

To get people to make a purchase you need to be clear and firm about what you want then to do.

The two call to action phrases I use most ofter are…

Check it out: [Link]


Here’s the link: [Link]

15. Use a Bold Post Script

The post script, when included, is one of the most read parts of an email.

There are a couple of ways you can capitalize on this.

First, embolden the P.S. so it stands out and catches your readers eye.

Next, reiterate your call to action and give your reader another opportunity to click through to the link you are promoting.

16. Limited Time Promotions Crush It

motion-mail-appLimited time promotions are easily one of the best ways to boost sales for any promotion.

Out of all of these Golden Rules of Email Marketing this one can likely produce the most sales in the short term.

The most profitable email marketing promotions I have ever done have been limited time promotions with countdown timers.

Often when I am doing a promotion I will include the time limit directly within the subject line and start the subject off with [Less Than 4 Hours Left] or [60 Minutes Left] to emphasize the evaporating nature of the offer.

Another way you can stress the time ticking away on the offer is to include an animated countdown timer within your email itself.

Motion Mail App is countdown timer for emails with a free option that integrates with all email providers.

17. Lead Magnets Are Great For List Growth

Nothing has accelerated the growth of my list like offering a free gift to those who subscribe.

In my post about 50 ways to get more leads I explain how adding a lead magnet with 3d graphic increased my daily subscribers by over 500%.

18. Get Your New Subscribers To Email You

Since email is such a profitable channel used by so many marketers Google and other email providers have set up multiple in boxes to help users filter out the noise.

Gmail for example has Primary, Social, and Promotions tabs.

Whenever possible you want your emails ending up in the “Primary” tab.

You can achieve this by getting your subscribers to reply to one of your initial emails.

One way to do this is to ask a question.

If you publish a newsletter about marketing you might ask new subscribers: “What is the #1 thing about Marketing you’d like to know more about?”

Not only will this get you into the primary inbox of your readers starting a conversation with your readers will also give you great insight into what they are looking for and help you build deeper relationships with people on your list.

19. Set Up a Custom Thank You Page

Thank you note with smiley face , isolated on whiteThe default thank you page from Aweber and most other email service providers is pretty basic and does nothing special to set you apart from everyone else with a newsletter.

Typically it features a simple text message that says something like “Thank you very much for subscribing.”

You can take this to the next level by adding a personalized message for your new subscribers and encouraging them to check out cool content you might have or social media channels you are active on.

To really make the most of this important point in your subscribers indoctrination you should create a video thanking them for subscribing and giving them a quick introduction to you. Golden Rules of Email Marketing

20. Let Your New Subscribers Know What To Expect

Do you email once a day? Once a week? Hopefully it’s once a day, but whatever it is let your subscribers know what to expect.

The more you can let your new subscribers know about the topics you cover in your emails the better.

Ninja Bonus Tip: Set up an auto-responder with at least 10 emails.

Auto-responders are emails that deploy to your new subscribers automatically in set time intervals after someone joins your list.

When done right these can create loyal subscribers and generate sales on autopilot.

To do an auto-responder right you should ensure that all content you include within your emails is as evergreen as possible.  This means that the content in your auto-responder emails can stand the test of time.

If you’d like help setting up email marketing or an effective auto-responder email sequence for your business contact me and I’ll be happy to help.


What do you think is the most valuable of the Golden Rules of Email Marketing above?

Let me know with a comment below.

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