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Stop! 3 Things You Need to Know Before You Send Emails

(Article 3: Marketing with Emails for Beginners)

So, you have your email customer list in hand and picked out your Email Service Provider. You’re ready to get started emailing so those orders can come pouring in. But wait! Before you do – there are a few things you should know. For starters, keep in mind that emailing your customers and prospects is about more than sales – it’s also about building relationships. And like any other relationship, developing an email rapport takes time, nurturing, and trust. Here are 3 things you need to know before you move further into the email marketing adventure.

1. Create Relevant Messages

Make sure you familiarize yourself with your customer. In part this means knowing why they are your customer. Everyone on your Email list are interested in your company in some way because they signed up. But that doesn’t mean they are all interested in the same thing. For instance, shopper A goes to the grocery store to pick up milk while their neighbor picks up laundry soap. Same store, different needs. “Providing the right message, to the right person, at the right time does produce results.”1 This means you should develop a variety of messages that are relevant to the different customer subgroups on your list. For example create segments by what they buy, how much they spend, how often they buy, interests revealed when they opted in, surveys and questionnaires. As you go along you’ll develop more subgroups – like which customers respond to emails frequently – and who responds less frequently. Create a tracking system for all this information which will be useful as your database expands and grows.

2. Are you Test Ready?

So, you’ve created the perfect messages, sure to entice your customers and you’re ready to send.  Since this email represents your company, it’s important to set up your email development system so that a fresh set of eyes checks your emails before you send them to your client base. The industry refers to this as a “seed” list; A group of recipients who will receive the email before anyone else.  These fresh eyes need to check for typos, make sure all your links work correctly and for any other errors. Also, your emails need to be tested on a variety of servers (AOL, Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.) because your email will likely look different on each. Set up a personal email account for each domain so that your test email goes to each one of these accounts and you can check the quality.  On all emails you prepare make sure your company is clearly identified in the subject line so customers know who the email is from. Each email should promote your brand in a positive manner. How? Make sure they are “well-designed, organized, and relevant.”2 And, don’t forget your clearly linked privacy policy on all of your landing pages.

3. Keep your List Updated

To help you stay up-to-date with your customers and messages, set up a system for processing the information you gather from your emails. You need to make sure that you only add additional prospects to your email list by best opt-in practices.3 Be prepared to deal with any complaints as soon as possible. And when emails are bounced back, or when you get unsubscribe requests, you should update your list immediately. If you don’t, customers may report your emails as spam. “Mailing lists with more than 10% undeliverable email addresses is a red flag to Internet service providers (ISP).”4

Once you’ve checked your emails on different servers and you have your feedback from your seed list you’re ready to send. Yippee! So get emailing and let us know how it goes.


  1. Five Small-Business Email Customer Lifecycle Tactics for the New Year by Kara Trivunovic and Andrew Osterday
  2. Optimize Email Deliverability With Best-Practice Strategies by Dan Forootan
  3. NextDayFlyers Blog: 3 Basics You Need to Build a Successful Email List
  4. Spinning Your Way to Email Marketing Success by Louis Chatoff
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2 thoughts on “Stop! 3 Things You Need to Know Before You Send Emails

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