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5 things every email marketer should consider before hitting “send”

So you’ve created an email marketing campaign…

Your mailing list is filled to bursting, your links are on point, and your products/services are above reproach.

Let’s do this thing.

Image credit: NBC


Not so fast…

In these days of “email blasts”, overflowing inboxes and email marketing proliferation, there is something to be said for taking a moment, breathing deeply, and reflecting on the work we have just completed, lest our best intentions lead us astray…


5 things every email marketer should consider before hitting “send”


1) Is this subject line giving my customers a positive brand experience?

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Are all our marketing emails going to get opened?


In fact, we can pretty much guarantee that they won’t. Many will sit in inboxes, lonely and unloved, as more pressing business moves to the forefront.

But all is not lost.

There is value in this, too.

Gone are the days where opens, clicks, and conversions were the only measurements of success. Every email leaves an impression, whether opened or unopened, for better or for worse.

And “impressions” as Facebook loves to tell us as they line their fat pockets, have a value all on their own.

So what is our “impression” meant to be?

A boring, spammy subject line that will invites our recipients to relegate us to the much-maligned spam box or unsubscribe from our newsletter? Or something interesting and dynamic that will pique their curiosity enough to keep us in their good graces?

The devil is in the details…

A strong subject line is our only defence. We should- nay – MUST ensure that our subject lines keep our brand experience positive. If nothing else, it will keep our audience listening.

And isn’t that really the whole point?

2) Would I want to receive this email?

Image credit: 20th Century Fox


An open is good. A click-though is even better. But what will our audience find once they have followed us that far?

Hopefully, something worthwhile.

It doesn’t take much, really. People are generally pretty forgiving.

After all, we built our mailing list somehow. Clearly these people believed, at some stage, that we could add some semblance of value to their lives.

That is a sacred trust.

To violate such a trust is to damage our brand in the eyes of our audience, and this, for the email marketer, is the greatest crime of all. Our dialogue MUST survive. Anything less should be viewed as a massive failure.

So the question is: If I found this email in my inbox, would I be happy that it was there, or would I view it as a nuisance?

If it looks like a nuisance, we probably shouldn’t send it.

3) Does this email offer value to our audience, or does it look like spam?


Adding value to our marketing emails is not that much to ask, really.

This “value” can take many forms, from exclusive discounts to an interesting gif or even a funny joke. Our email construction process is rife with opportunities to add value to the lives of those on our mailing list.

But will we make the effort?

We’d better.

Emails that are perceived to waste people’s time, bringing nothing to the table, will invariably be viewed with scorn. They will damage our brand, and can relegate us to the aforementioned status of “nuisance”, slowly shifting our emails into the category of “spam”.

Which would be bad. Very bad indeed.

The invested time in making our emails entertaining, interesting, or funny, can make a huge difference in the way our correspondence is viewed.

Regardless of whether our audience is prepared to subscribe, look at our website, or buy today, adding value is the jamb in the door that keeps it open until our audience is ready, which is important, right?

4) What is my “bait”?

Image credit: Kennedy Miller Productions


As “The Godfather” of copywriting, Robert Collier once famously wrote:

“It’s a matter of bait, that’s all. The youngster knew what the fish would bite on, and he gave it to them. Result? A mess of fine fish for dinner. The “sportsman” offered them what he had been led to believe fish ought to have – and they turned up their fishy noses at it.” 

Sure, these words were written 70 Years ago, but they still ring true.

So, just exactly what is on offer here?

We must present our readers with a reason to buy. Sales are the lifeblood of the email marketing industry. Without them, we are lost. So we must ask ourselves the same question our audience will ask themselves: “Why should I?”

If we can find no worthwhile answer in the body of our copy, we have missed as trick, and it is time to re-evaluate our approach.

We must identify, and then push, the “bait” that will get us the bites.

5) Should I split test this first?

Image credit: NBC



Yes you should.

In our humble opinion, to launch an email marketing campaign without first split testing our subject lines and copy is to make a grievous and unforgivable error in judgement and strategy.

It simply isn’t good enough.

At Phrasee, our own experiments with split testing and automated subject line optimisation have yielded results too clear to be ignored any longer.

In one case, simply split testing subject lines on a large scale through deep learning algorithms and optimisation has increased email marketing revenue for said customer by 417%.

The data is clear, and we aren’t alone.

Our industry is currently undergoing a machine learning revolution, which has already changed the email marketing game forever.

It is time for all email marketers to get on the bus, or be left behind in the dust by those who have embraced split testing and its demonstrably strong benefits.

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