7 Actionable Marketing By Email Tips to Grow Your Big List

If you want to do any marketing by email, then what I am about to tell you will dramatically improve your email marketing results.

I can tell you from my 20+ years of marketing by email the 7 actionable tips I reveal will save you countless hours of frustration.

If there is one overarching key, it is knowing who your audience and subscribers are and what are their needs.

Email marketing has been around for years and is a well-explored topic. I have tried affiliate marketing by email using just about every approach imaginable over the last 20 years. With this in mind, here are seven tips to follow when marketing by email.

man pressing email icon

​Marketing by email boosts your overall success.

1. Never Buy a Mailing List

Never purchase a mailing list. These lists are typically sold many times over and have low open rates with high complaint rates. For starters, people harvest email addresses to sell to unsuspecting beginners or naive marketers.

Buying a mailing list sounds like an easy solution when starting to build an email list. Easy, fast, and affordable. However, it comes with a massive downside.

First of all, most lists include email addresses harvested (scraped) from websites without permission. The CAN-SPAM Act makes automated scraping of email addresses illegal when the site has a notice that the website operator states they will not give, sell, or otherwise transfer addresses. (My website Privacy Policy states that I will not give, sell, or transfer any personal information.)

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​The CAN-SPAM Act Section 5(b) states (underline added):

(1) Address harvesting and dictionary attacks-


(A) In general It is unlawful for any person to initiate the transmission, to a protected computer, of a commercial electronic mail message that is unlawful under subsection (a), or to assist in the origination of such message through the provision or selection of addresses to which the message will be transmitted, if such person had actual knowledge, or knowledge fairly implied on the basis of objective circumstances, that—


(i) the electronic mail address of the recipient was obtained using an automated means from an Internet website or proprietary online service operated by another person, and such website or online service included, at the time the address was obtained, a notice stating that the operator of such website or online service will not give, sell, or otherwise transfer addresses maintained by such website or online service to any other party for the purposes of initiating, or enabling others to initiate, electronic mail messages; or

Another reason, even if the list is from a reputable list company, the people on the lists do not know you. You have no prior contact with them, or they have not seen your website.

68% of Americans say they base their decision to open an email on the ‘From’ name. If you are unknown, you risk the email recipient ​fil​ing a complaint or reporting your email as spam. You could get blacklisted.

2. Never Mix Your Opt-in List with a Purchased List

Should you buy a list ignoring Rule 1, do not mix your acquired email addresses with your opt-in addresses. You will contaminate your entire list. Purchased email addresses are known for low quality resulting in low delivery rates. Fake, closed, or inactive email accounts cause low delivery rates.

When your email service provider sees a high number of undeliverable email or email marked as spam, the ESP may cancel your account.

3. Split Test Your Email

If your email service provider allows it, run a split test to see whether you get a better response. Split tests, or A/B tests, are a way to compare two versions of a single variable such as the subject line of an email. The test examines a Subscriber's response to variable A against variable B.

Other testable variables include plain text or HTML emails. If you find that HTML emails are converting better, then run another spit test to see if long or short emails covert better. You can split test many other things as well, such as in text headings, calls to action, among other things. You'll never know what works best unless you test it.

4. Give Subscribers Your Best Content

Feed them quality information. Besides generating income, your email marketing goals should include establishing credibility and building a relationship with your readers. Never skimp on giving your readers plenty of high-quality content to meet their needs.

Subscribing to my list is the only way I give out some of the valuable digital products I have.

balancing promotional and informational emails to subscribers can be a challenge

​Balancing promotional and informational emails is challenging.

5. Balance Information with Promotion

A good rule of thumb is 80-90% of all emails you send should be useful quality information and only 10-20% promotions. Focus on delivering value and building trust rather than just selling. Like many people, I unsubscribe from mailing lists when every email I receive is trying to sell me something.

However, some marketers promote aggressively to their mailing lists. Their purpose is to create a smaller list of known buyers. Their attitude is that they don't want subscribers who don't buy.

That is too bad because I have been on lists where I have not purchased anything until months later.

6. Write Several Subject Lines

Write several subject lines for each email. Subject lines should include a benefit. Then choose the best one or split test them if possible. The subject line determines whether or not a subscriber opens your email. Including a benefit gives the subscriber a reason to open your email.

So spend some time and get this right before sending your message. I once had an 85% improvement in an email open rate by changing one word in the subject line.

Want to analyze your headline? I routinely use the free CoSchedule Headline Analyzer to find the best headline to use. The headline analyzer tool checks the headline type, word balance, and length for the optimum results.

"On average, 5x as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you’ve written your headline, you’ve spent eighty cents out of your dollar." ~ David Ogilvy, Father of Advertising

7. Send a Variety of Emails

Mix up your emails. A variety of emails keep people from getting bored with your emails. So be sure to mix things up a bit. 

While you always want to stay on topic, sending a variety of emails will keep your readers on their toes. For example, you might typically spend out tips to your list.

Occasionally, toss in an email answering a reader question or comment on a story you read. Interview a successful customer and share that with your readers, so they stay tuned in to what you say.

Marketing by Email Bottom Line

Marketing by email may seem like a challenge for anyone, particularly new affiliate marketers.

There are so many parts and things to do to start and build an online business.

By following these seven rules, you are well on your way using email marketing best practices to creating a happy, healthy email list, not to mention happy subscribers.

If you have questions or comments about when to use email marketing, please fill out and submit the form below. I am looking forward to responding. 

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