email marketing 101

Email Marketing 101 for Beginners and Beyond

Email marketing can be a huge benefit for your business if done properly. If you do not have a subscriber list you are missing out on a huge portion of a successfully ran business.  Not only can an email marketing list bring in revenue, it can also drive traffic to your website and develop customer loyalty.

Email marketing is often abused, getting people to click on something that they never signed up for in the first place.

Below are some tips to make sure you get your email in the inbox.

email marketing 101

Capturing the email is the first thing that you have to do

So you ask, how do you capture an email?

First thing you need to do is entice them by providing value, and then deliver on your promise. Something I learned from one of my favorite fellow marketers Vince Reed is do not have them opt in and go directly to an offer. This may get you a sale if your lucky but it will not get you a customer for life. This is where so many marketers go wrong because they think that hiding behind their computer and sending out offers is going to work.

Capturing leads is done through various formats. You can do a traditional capture page, a Lead Box or a Lead Link. The verbiage I am using refers to my favorite lead capture system LeadPages.

A capture page looks like the picture below:

email marketing 101


The capture page above converts about 60%. Not only that, it puts a face to who is behind the offer and lists everything that the subscriber is going to get. This is something that a lot of marketers don't do and it leaves me scratching my head.

What does converts mean? Converts or conversion means how many people who look at your capture page actually opt in with their information. I have had capture pages convert as low as 20% (horrible) to my highest 83%. It just takes time to find that one page that really converts like a rockstar. It also depends on what type of traffic your sending to it as well.


After someone opts in to your capture page it is a must to have them go to a thank you page. I have tested numerous thank you pages, and in most cases the video thank you page works better because you are building a connection with your subscriber.

The thank you page can do a mutitude of things.

  • Puts that personal touch with a video or a picture.
  • It can give them the content that you had promised them from the start and also give them a brief introduction to who you are and how you sincerely want to help them.
  • It also can be a buffer to showing them a product you endorse or your own product.

This my friends, is where I floundered like a fish out of water when I first started. I put an unbelevable claim and then sent someone to an affiliate offer that I really did not know how good it was. I guess it goes with the saying “You live and you learn”.

If you sincerely want to help people than you take the time to develop a relationship with them, not club them over the head and hope they buy from you.

Here are some key pointers you should relay to your brand new subscribers when they hit the thank you page:

  • First of all say Thank you for subscribing,
  • Ask them to “please add me to your contacts so you will continue to get my valuable emails full of great content”. This will help your cause by staying away from the dreaded junk or spam folder.
  • Rule of thumb is when they go to my thank you page I ask them to do just that, and when they get my first follow-up I do the same as a friendly reminder. Your not only directing them the right direction, your asking permission to be a VIP in their contact list. Just remember, you can lose that VIP status if you start hammering them with garbage so keep it relevant.

Note: It is always good to include exactly where they subscribed from in the thank you page. This shows that your on your A-game and adds a little personal touch.

The one thing that I highly recommend is to make the investment and use a trusted autoresponder to send your emails. My favorites are Aweber Communications (try it for $1) and GetResponse (try it free). This is another smart measure you can take because they are trusted in the industry and have a lot of the tools mentioned below already built-in, saving you time and headaches. They will ultimately give your customer the best experience as well. Note: They absolutely do not tolerate SPAM and will boot you in a heartbeat if you do so.

Now I am going to get into some of the best practices when it comes to actually sending out your email, this is some good sauce so take some notes:)

Email Marketing 101

Each area is going to go over a different aspect of how an email should be structured, tools on how to stay out of the spam box, plus much more.


Subject Line

  • Keep the subject line less than 49 characters, reason being, it is likely going to get cut off in their user preview depending on who they have their email through. Also, don’t go too short because that can trigger some bad results.
  •  keep the punctuation down to a bare minimum, there is no need to give blast them with exclamation points or crazy dollar signs, cause that is a good way of getting kicked straight out of the inbox.
  •  Eliminate the “CAPS” – Do not hit your subject line with a ton of Capital Letters, it will not get you through a lot of the SPAM Filters.
  •  Test your subject lines, split test them. Make them relevant to your email content. A very cool tool I came across is called the Free Subject Line Checker, it grades your subject line based upon thousands of emails submitted.
  •  Don’t copy other peers emails, it is okay to get different ideas from different avenues but if you copy it looks sloppy and just doesn’t sit well with fellow marketers. Be an innovator of your craft, and you will stand out.

Email Body

  • The email body is one of the hardest things for an email marketer because so many times they get caught up in the long, drawn out emails. The first sentence or 2 have the most impact.
  •  Don’t copy other peers emails, it is okay to get different ideas from different avenues but if you copy it looks sloppy and just doesn’t sit well with fellow marketers, Be an innovator of your craft.
  • Keep it Relevant to the subject line and to the point . Don’t be sneaky and try to lure someone into just clicking on the email with some off the wall verbiage. One thing you need to always remember is why did they sign up for your email newsletter in the first place? If you promise them training, give them training. Once someone sees that you are legitimately there to help them they will be looking forward to your emails and will trust you.
  •  Always use your real name or business name, if they find out that you're not who you are prepared for the unsubscribe.
  •  When sending an email message make sure the offer is relevant to the target audience!

Recommendations for Avoiding Spam Filters
Industry experts estimate between 10 and 20 percent of permissioned email messages do not arrive in the inbox as intended because the receiving ISP incorrectly identified the message as spam. This presents a problem for marketers because revenue is lost and campaign results are inaccurate.

Message Guidelines
You may wish to follow these guidelines when designing a message. Please remember that these are general rules and do not provide a 100% guarantee that a filter will not tag your message.
Message Length
Keep the message short and to the point (about one page maximum in length). The additional details of a message should be provided on a hyperlinked web page.

Key Selling Points
Use bullet points to illustrate the key selling points, which will tell the user why they should respond to the call-to-action.

Use ALT tags in the HTML code for each image used in the HTML design. Minimize graphics and images to logos, photos of products, or situational photos that support the message and appeal to the target audience visually.

To Share or not to Share?
Include share buttons for one or more social marketing sites. This will enhance credibility and help your campaign to go “viral.” If I get an email that really grabs me I share it, so the goal for you is to want someone to share the love. Sharing = More Prospects. Social media is so powerful that there is really no reason to not take advantage of the many benefits it has to offer.

Should I use P.S.
This is one thing I have realized it is very beneficial to use, because next to the Subject line this is one of the most widely looked at areas in the email. Now remember, you still have to keep it relevant and use a lot of the tips above.

The p.s. or even p.p.s. gives you another chance to reaffirm your call to action or even put another offer on the table with a different link. You just want to make sure that you are not bombarding your subscribers with offer after offer and no substance.

If you don’t explain your product or opportunity you are losing a major chance of generating a sale, but remember…you want them craving for more.
Your message will get deleted and you will not build any trust with your subscriber, and that in turn will result in wasted time and wasted sales.

The thing is the email structure and content will reflect your sales, hands down

The links

How many links should I have in my email?
That is a good question, it really depends on what you are offering. Rule of thumb is to have
2 to 5 links, but make sure they are relevant to the email.
If they are in the right position of the email, they will get clicked.

Note: I personally only like to use 3 at the most.

Email font, does it really matter?

It sure does, and here are the reasons why?

You should only use universally available fonts. Any other fonts will resort to a default font if the recipient doesn’t have it installed on their computer. Minimize the number of fonts, sizes, and colors for an overall more efficient look and design.

If you have different sizes and different fonts it can create a very messy, unprofessional looking email.

Best fonts to use:

  • Arial
  • Veranda
  • Tahoma
  • Times New Roman

Note: You can use others fonts if you wish but I have had the best luck with these.

Call to Action, do you have it?

Always remember why you're sending the email, of course to make money, but how are you going to present it.

A few key pointers to remember

The Product or opportunity

  • What will it do for them?
  • Tell them why they need to look at this now!
  • Tell them what they need to do after they hit the page. “after they watch the video instruct them on how to take advantage of this amazing opportunity. You want them to know more…so they want to click on the link to find out more about your product or opportunity.
  • Try to make it in a story format, like something going on in the world or a personal thing that you have been dealing with. The goal is to incorporate your story with your product.
  • Don't do a bait and switch, that is a great way to lose a subscriber.
  • Be real, be yourself.

Remember, practice makes perfect.

Don’t be a car salesman, Hype is overrated, pretend like your writing to a friend. Do not
sound desperate either. build trust. Once trust is built you have a customer for life, and that is priceless.


Consider designing a template that will render in a mobile device.

According to 21st Century Marketer, 32% of U.S. mobile email users age 18 or older with an Internet-enabled phone check personal email via a mobile device between one and three times daily. And that percentage is growing every year. Capitalize on this statistic and increase your open and click rate.

As a marketer you must follow new email best practices to ensure emails are easy to read on a mobile device, or the opportunity to market to a prospect may be lost.

Aweber Communications or GetResponse really make this process easy because they already have pre-made templates optimized for mobile. This can take a lot of the guess-work out of trying to ensure your emails have mobile capability.

In 2012, The Radicati Group put out a report that states that the total number of worldwide email accounts are expected to increase from 3.3. billion accounts to over 4.3 billion accounts by 2016, 730 million of these accounts access email via mobile or tablet devices.


Use HTML software such as Dreamweaver, FrontPage or Adobe GoLive to create the HTML. Do not use word processors or publishing software that isn’t specifically created for website or email production. ImageReady or Fireworks can be used in some instances, along with HTML software, if used properly.

The email itself should not include Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), JavaScript, Submission Forms, Layers or Rich Media (Flash movies, animation etc). These cause deliverability issues that can affect the campaign responses, hinder deliverability for future campaigns, and render incorrectly in many email ISPs.

Use basic HTML tags for the coding. If your HTML software uses CSS for formatting, adjust the preferences to apply formatting as basic HTML tags only. If absolutely necessary, inline style sheets are an acceptable substitute for CSS.

Do not use comments in the HTML code of your email as they can potentially trigger spam flagging.

Provide a hyperlink to a related website or at least an email address that the recipient can contact if there is not a website available.

Keep the width of the HTML message under 650 pixels to ensure the design is not cut off in the recipient’s preview panel. This eliminates the need for scrolling horizontally to see the whole design.

Keep the message size under 50KB for consumer emails and under 75KB for business emails to optimize download time and deliverability.


Whenever possible, minimize the use of images in the design to avoid potential problems. The more images there are, the more time it takes for a recipient to download the email. If a recipient’s Internet speed is slow, your images may just be an obstacle to viewing.
The higher the ratio of image-to-text area in an HTML, the higher the SPAM score. We recommend that no more than 33% of the design area be images or graphics, and the rest should be formatted text.

Many recipients have images disabled in their email account on any emails from unknown senders. They won’t see any information that is in the images unless they choose to download them. If you have formatted text in the HTML, the recipient can at least read the text part of the email. After being able to read the text and discover what the message is, they will be more likely to allow the images to download and act on the offer.

Remember that text within any images needs to be a larger size. When images are optimized or compressed to reduce file size and maximize download speed for email, the text tends to blur a bit, and will need to be larger to be legible.

You can check this before sending but it’s better to know this up front than to have to redesign the images after the fact.

Do not use background images that are not supported across all email clients. Test your content rendering with Return Path and Pivotal Veracity to provide campaign preview reporting on a given offer. This type of reporting will provide a real-time snapshot of how the email content is rendering across all major ISPs and mobile devices (with both images on and off).

Here are some of the best Email Marketing resources that you can use to build your business and gain more customers.

These resources are used by all of the online marketing experts and gurus today.

Build a better business today with this resource guide:


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2 replies
  1. Jason
    Jason says:


    I have had a website for some time now but have been a bit timid when it comes to sending out emails.

    For the most part I have not had quite the response to them as I had hoped but after seeing some of your pointers I think I know where I went wrong.

    You have pointed out some of the email no no’s that I know I have been guilty of.

    Thanks for the recommendations on the best (easiest) places to get a mobile design because to be honest I didn’t give a mobile template much thought.

    So as always Fred thanks for keeping me in the now of the industry.

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