Email marketing is a very effective marketing tool – but only if you know how to use it effectively. 

You may have seen some really bad examples of email marketing, where you’re bombarded with emails daily demanding that you ‘buy this’ or ‘subscribe’ to a webinar you know is a thinly disguised opportunity for someone to sell their stuff to you.

But I bet you’ve had email marketing that you may not have recognised as such.  The emails are friendly, chatty and often amusing.  You feel like the writer is talking to you directly and, even though there may be the occasional offer in there, they give away massive value along the way – without you having to part with any money.

How do you feel about receiving either kind of email?

My bet is that in the first example you hit the delete button or unsubscribe.  However, you probably read most of the emails you get from the sender of the second example.

Open me!

The secret of getting your email read is to have a great subject line.  People see the subject line and that is often the point at which they decide if the communication is worth taking a look at.

Effectively, your subject line is your headline.  Ted Nicholas said “You should spend 80% of your writing time on the headline.”  It’s the point at which people decide whether the rest is worth reading so it needs to get your reader’s attention.

If you know your audience well you should know what they’re interested in.  What are their pain points?  What will make them sit up and take notice?  What will intrigue them or engage their curiosity?  This is all good raw material for your subject lines.


When someone has given you their email address they don’t want to be spammed.  My advice is to deliver value first and foremost. 

Put yourself in the reader’s shoes – what would help them?  If they’ve signed up to a lead magnet, that will give you an idea of their interests, so more around the same subject or allied subjects will usually work well.

By all means promote other things, but primarily aim to add value first.  If you add enough value, people will be open to purchasing from you.

Ask for action

If you don’t ask, you don’t get!  Also if your reader has to work hard to find what you’ve asked them to do, most will give up.

If you want people to do something don’t forget to ask.  Then make it easy for them to take action.  That means a button with a link directly to the web page you want them to visit.