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What’s missing from your email marketing strategy?

With 64% of marketers lacking the time and resources they need, it’s only natural some best practices might slip through the cracks when it comes to your email marketing. That’s why we put together this quick, step-by-step checklist to evaluate what might be missing from your email strategy, so you can quickly get more ROI from your marketing efforts.

Email list growth shouldn’t be an afterthought.

Email is the top channel for generating ROI, which makes your email list your most valuable marketing asset – so treat it as such. Lists churn by 20-30% per year on average, so it’s absolutely crucial that you make it a priority to grow your list with the right subscribers.


Offer easy email signup opportunities at every customer touchpoint.

Provide a valuable incentive to sign up (e.g. a discount, contest entry or exclusive content).

Set clear expectations for what will happen after signup, then deliver on them.

Ask for only the information you plan to use right away (the fewer fields the better).

Don’t treat every new subscriber the same.

A healthy email list is not only growing, it’s also segmented. List segmentation helps you guarantee you’re sending the right message to the right folks, and small tweaks to your email content for each of your segments can make a huge difference in engagement.


Segment by how they joined your list (signup form, at an event, brick & mortar location, etc.)

Segment by demographics, like age or location.

Segment by behavior, like purchase history or open and click activity.

Tailor your content so it’s relevant to each segment you’ve created.

Email design matters to all audiences.

Regardless if you’re a retailer, a B2B brand, or a nonprofit, your audience is made up of people who receive a ton of email every day. To make your email design stand out, it should look clean, stylish, and easy to read (and engage with) on all devices. No excuses.


Incorporate plenty of white space so you don’t overwhelm the eye.

Make sure your text is large enough to read on a small screen (at least 16 px).

Use a CTA button instead of a text link for your main call to action.

Organize content into sections with clear headlines for easy scanning.

Revisit your email content strategy.

Email isn't a landing page or a tweet. Make sure you're optimizing your content specifically for the inbox and your audience's expectations for the channel. And reject the impulse (or the directive) to cram everything into a single email. If you keep it focused, your results will rise.


Personalize your content based on the segments you’ve created.

Keep it fresh by linking out to different types (blog posts, landing pages, videos, etc.)

Pay attention to ALL of your content: Subject lines, preheader text, headlines, and CTAs all impact engagement.

Make sure your content is either helpful, valuable, or informative. If it’s not, don’t hit send.

It’s time to fully embrace automation.

Email automation is the key to making the most of your resources and content. It helps you save time, repurpose content, and deliver some impressive results. And since emails trigger based on subscriber activity, they’ll be the most relevant and timely messages you can possibly send.


Start with a welcome email or a whole series for new subscribers.

Automate based on key dates and milestones, like birthday or signup anniversary.

Set up different workflows based on what links they click – like choose your own adventure for email.

Automate based on behavior outside the inbox, like shopping cart abandonment and web browsing.

A/B testing is your secret weapon.

You should always be A/B testing something: There’s no better way to learn about your audience. It’s easy to make assumptions about what you THINK they want, but when you’re testing, you’re actually giving them a vote in how you market to them. It takes the guesswork right out of it.


Start with your subject line… the rest of the email doesn’t matter if they don’t open it.

Test the from name to see if your brand name vs. a person’s name impacts opens.

When is the best time to send an email? It’s different for everyone. Test your send times and find out.

Test any element of your email (but only test one at a time): CTA copy, image choice, content placement, etc.

Want a printable version of this checklist? We’ve got you covered.

Download it here »

See the Checklist

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