Email marketing is not dead. Were it not an effective strategy, our inboxes wouldn’t be inundated daily with emails from the various businesses we have agreed to receive emails from. We want to stay in the know about deals, be the first to hear of sales, or learn of new and interesting industry trends and niche topics. Yet, despite our desire to be the first to know, we also get easily annoyed when our inboxes are full of crap.

So, how do you as a small business owner set up your email marketing for success rather than having your mail chucked into the trash folder? Well, first off – you want to provide valuable knowledge and make your message count by standing out from the rest. It is impossible.

Let us remind you that email marketing is extremely affordable. If your campaign bombs, you’re not jeopardizing your marketing budget. High spend advertising campaigns using direct mail via print advertising or radio ads can cost a lot of money and when they fail, well it hurts not only your ego but your wallet.

To make the most out of your email marketing campaigns and efforts, here are a few tips to guide you through crafting success worthy emails:

Getting Started

Subject Line

Keep your subject line short and simple and entice your readers with something catchy. Be provocative by utilizing the same skills magazine editors do when creating headlines for magazine covers. You know, like when you’re standing in line waiting to pay for groceries and a headline/s captures your attention. They’ve mastered the art of creating buzz by using words that compel readers to want to know more and you want to do the same for the emails you send out.


Your company name goes here.

Email Lists

Your email list is indispensable to you as a business owner as it is the means with which you can send out your awesome marketing messages. You want to consistently be adding to your list with free opt in offerings, social media requests, new blog followers or by asking people you meet at networking events to sign up so they can stay in the know.                                                                    

The Elements of a Great Email


Include a well designed area for your company logo, tagline and or description. Graphic designers can do wonders for setting up an email template where you can easily modify the text while the actual layout remains the same and looks great. Part of having a “template” is to establish a brand identity that is consistent and that your readers can identify as being from your company.


You gotta grab your reader’s attention from the get-go and this is where crafty writing comes in. Just like your subject line, you want your email’s headline to be something that makes them want to know more. It should be engaging and inform them of the content that follows and if it is applicable, link to your website if there is a need. 

Sub Headings

Short phrases help communicate salient points and help your readers move through your copy more easily. They can help break up the visual wall of text, as well as act as markers for your readers which help them easily identify the information they’re looking for.


Great visuals draw people in and can help to accentuate your points. Whether it’s a great photo, an infographic, an illustration or a video, great images capture our attention and can help to tell a story graphically.


Keep your sentences and paragraphs short. Use headers, subheads, bulleted and numbered lists where applicable. Bold type and italics can help to emphasize key points, as well as move your reader through the piece. In addition, never forget to double check your copy for grammar and spelling.


Always be sure to include a line with your website’s URL, contact information, and a call to action so your reader knows what to do next and can get in touch with you.

What Content Should You Include?

By providing helpful and valuable content that is relevant to your email subscribers, you’ll be sure to keep them engaged and have them welcome your periodic emails. Keep content on-point, well-written and short. You’re there to help them and in turn, be received as an expert in your field with inside insight and knowledge to share.

Blog Posts

Go ahead and repurpose your content by reformatting blog posts published on your website into an email format.


Include 3-4 features in your e-newsletter to keep your subscribers informed of what’s going on with your business including recently published blogposts, company announcements, industry news or insider tips and tricks. Link to the content on your website that is more in depth where applicable to drive traffic to your site.


Keep your customers informed about an approaching deadline on offers you are holding or let them know about new services you provide or have improved. If something is newsworthy, let them know about it.

Also, Don’t forget to include:

Call to Action

End your emails with a request, whether it’s asking your readers to share your content, sign up to your blog or make a call for further questions or comments. Tell them to follow you on your various social channels if that’s applicable to your business. If you don’t ask, you don’t receive.

Share Buttons

Include share buttons so your readers can post your content to their social media sites. More shares equal more exposure. In addition, be sure to have your social media icons and links available, so your readers can subscribe to your social media channels if they wish and connect with you that way.

Contact Info

Always include your contact info – email address, website URL, phone number, and mailing address. If your readers want to reach you, they shouldn’t have to hunt for the information. It should be readily available.

See the Results

Don’t just send it and forget it. Take a look at your analytics to see what is effective and what isn’t and make adjustments accordingly. Most email sites provide reports that track email open rates, click-through rates and shares. This is valuable information that helps you gauge what strategies work and what don’t so you can continue to improve your marketing techniques.

Good luck and happy emailing wink

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Located in Calgary, Alberta, Blue Ocean Interactive Marketing creates online marketing strategies that enable your business to grow.

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