5 Principles of Effective Email Marketing: Know How to Send the Right Message at the Right Time

Email marketing is one of the most common ways of reaching a new audience, and it can be highly effective when done correctly.

Sending something rather generic without a clear purpose in mind won’t stand out and even runs the risk of appearing as spammy. So to avoid that, we’ve compiled a list of the top principles of effective email marketing that will help guide you to success.

1. Readability

The number one thing you want your emails to accomplish is for them to be read. Just sending them out and receiving no replies or even reads is throwing money down the drain. That’s why you have to make sure your emails are readable, and there are quite a few tactics you could use to achieve this.

The number one thing is to keep things brief; no one will read a 1,500-word email, it’s just too long, and attention spans are just too short. So, try to be concise and to the point.

The second thing you could do is make sure your text stands out and is nicely broken up. What we mean by this is that you should be creating some sort of contrast between the background and the text or even adding an interesting backdrop that draws attention.

For instance, take a look at this email:

Manach welcome email

While what’s written in it is quite good, it doesn’t draw you in. It’s just a simple email.

Shopify livestream announcement

This one, however, by Shopify, is a lot better. It features multiple different colors. It’s interesting and dynamic. Whoever receives this email is bound to read it.

2. Make an Offer

How do you expect anyone to sign up for your service if they are unsure what they’re signing up for? It’s very tempting to speak in general terms in hopes of attracting more people, but this is a mistake – specificities convert, not generalities.

If all your email does is remind people that your company exists, it doesn’t push anything forward. The best thing you could hope for if you take this route is a measly “Oh yeah, that place”.

And let’s face it, that’s not what you’re looking to get out of an email marketing campaign.

To combat this, here’s what you should do. Have a specific subject line that makes what you’re offering 100% clear, and then the email itself should clarify the details and have the best pitch possible. What you’re aiming for in the end is something engaging and specific enough to get people to click on your website and inquire further.

3. Make It Personal

We’ve all heard about personalized email marketing campaigns and how they tend to perform way better than general ones, but how does one go about this?

Well, the first step is to market only to the right target audience, aka the people that might be interested in what you have to offer. Say you just sent a random email to a person that works in arts about the latest deals in your e-commerce tech store. This is not very likely to succeed. So, find your target audience, and stick with them.

Young woman smiling at laptop

Another thing worth talking about here is sequencing. Using sequencing and drip emails to personalize your approach towards a potential customer and/or subscriber can make a huge difference.

4. Mobile Optimization

This one kind of goes without saying, but it’s simply so important that we had to include it. About 47% of people prefer using their mobile phones for checking their email, while over 80% prefer using mobile phones over tablets. These statistics alone should point to how important mobile optimization is.

Default templates that email marketing services offer are usually mobile-friendly. These do a significant chunk of the work for you, but if you’re designing a custom email, ensure it’s readable on any device and test it.

5. Test and Don’t Expect to Get It Right From the Get-Go

Pretty much everyone knows by now that to get the best possible result out of any type of marketing you have to test, test, and then test some more. If you’re using email marketing tools, you’ll likely have access to features like A/B testing and analytics. We strongly suggest you utilize all of them to their full potential.

Email marketing has proven to be very effective in the last couple of years, so it would be too much of a waste not to make the best out of it.

Person pointing pen at printed chart

But to get the most out of analytics, you’ll need to have something to analyze. Once you start with your campaign, you’ll be able to see which of your emails are doing the best, which are getting more replies, etc.

It’s always a wise idea to rely on analytics rather than assumptions because, as we’ve mentioned before, specificity over generality. This is what’ll get the job done, not only in email marketing but also in your market research and planning.


Email marketing is only growing in popularity, and there’s no reason why your business shouldn’t be one of the many that benefits from it. But, just like with many other things in business, you’re not going to get far unless you plan carefully and take every step seriously.

The tips we’ve listed above are something you should seriously consider before starting your next email marketing campaign.

They might not seem like the most important thing in the world at first glance, but they make a huge difference in reality.

Have any other tips on creating an effective email marketing campaign? Let us know in the comments section below.

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