business & marketing

You’ve Got Mail: Email Marketing 101

March 16th, 2017

The time that “Baby Got Back” was a hit song was also the time email was just starting to get popular. Sir Mix a Lot and email both have the commonality that they both give off the impression of being a thing of the past. But just as Nikki Minaj brought back this iconic song in her hit song “Anaconda”, so too should you bring email to the forefront of your marketing campaign.

Email marketing isn’t something marketers do just because it is relatively simple and easy. The strategy of email has been proven to work, if implemented correctly. Email is a constant connection brands have with their customers, a connection that is desired by both parties.

In order to truly reap the benefits of what email marketing can offer while also not falling into breaking email regulations, it is important to keep in mind the guidelines and tips below.

Email Marketing has an ROI of 3800%

Email marketing is one of the most cost-efficient and effective marketing strategies out there. Although it may seem like you are resorting back to out of date practices, it is tremendously effective in reaching potential customers and driving traffic to the website.

Since it is critical that the journey from the email to the website is as seamless as possible, hiring a team of UX designer’s may pose as crucial to ensure such a journey.

The ability to test, track and measure the email are very powerful tools an email can offer. Seeing that email is in the digital sphere, by utilizing the latest tracking and measuring tools, you can have a clear picture of how effective the email was to the recipients.

You can even get more specific and track the click through and journey of an individual user. This is something traditional marketing just simply cannot accomplish.

In addition to being trackable, the content that you can incorporate in an email is above any that you can fit in a print advertisement, television spot, or social post. For example, you can include text information, pricing, product features and images with a direct path to purchase.

Finally, the type of email can range depending on the individual customer. For instance, not all emails have to be strictly promotional, but can offer tremendous value to the user. Some examples include a reminder about shopping cart items, coupons, order confirmation and shipping information.

Make Sure You Get Permission

Obtaining permission is a critical component in ensuring you have the best and most effective email list. Sending an email to individuals who did not provide consent is just going to result in them getting annoyed that you filled up their inbox.

The three aspects of permission marketing to keep in mind is that they are anticipated, personal and relevant. Anticipate in the regards that the users a expecting to receive your emails. They are personal meaning the email is only being sent to that individual only. Then finally they are relevant in which the content pertains to the recipient’s interest.

Ensuring that an email follows these three criteria will help improve the overall click through rate of the email.

The Can Commandments: You Must Not Break Them

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 was the first national standards for the sending of commercial emails which requires the Federal Trade Commission to enforce the regulations. This law is critical to keep in mind when conducting any email marketing campaign because each separate email in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties of up to $16,000.

That can cost you your whole marketing budget. So avoid that mistake and follow these five parts of the act.1. Must be a valid ‘from’ email address 2. Must not include a deceptive header, subject line or message 3. Must include your valid physical postal address 4. Must have an opt out option with a prompt action 5. Must be identified as ‘advertising’

The Anatomy of an Email

In general, the anatomy of an effective email should follow an inverted pyramid style. In which you grab the reader’s attention, build anticipation and have a call to action. The following points are a dive deeper into each component.

You’ve Got Mail: Email Marketing 101


From Name

The from name needs to be simple and one that represents your company or brand. You can have the from name be as generic as “The Codal Team” but for a more personalized touch including your first name may create a stronger connection.

Subject Line

When writing a subject line it is important to be mindful of the length, for only a particular amount of characters will be visible to the reader.

The best practices of a subject line are incorporating the brand, including a call to action, creating a sense of urgency, daring to be different, asking a question and adding an element of personalization.


The preheader is often the most overlooked aspect of an email, it is the first text that the reader sees after the subject line.

Some good preheaders include providing a link to the online version of the email (example below), delivering a compelling one-line summary of the email, provide an unsubscribe link or remind subscribers why they are receiving the email.

You’ve Got Mail: Email Marketing 101

The overall body of the email should be engaging and quick to read. Including multiple call to actions, links, bullets, and images (Don’t forget about the alt tags) will help accomplish this goal.

Additionally, it is key to keep in mind the use of whitespace and balance of the email and what kind of screens the readers are using. For example, UX design companies are constantly making sure everything digitally made are also designed for a mobile screen.


The footer is a spot that is great for putting necessary information that is not as sexy. Some things you can include in the footer are an unsubscribe link, privacy policies, and contact information.

Top 3 Tips for Email Marketing

1. Use Buttons

Buttons are more of an appealing feature to click on then just a simple link. They also allow the ability to incorporate humor or a bright color to entice more action.

You’ve Got Mail: Email Marketing 101
2. Create an Exclusive Club

Making the user think that a particular deal or offer is just for them will help persuade them to read the email and offer included.

You’ve Got Mail: Email Marketing 101
3. Leverage the Zeigarnick Effect

This is the uncomforable feeling you get when things are left unfinished. Creating an email initiating this feeling will result in more action.

You’ve Got Mail: Email Marketing 101


Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach a targeted audience. With that reach and also being able to provide a direct path to purchase, one that is trackable and measurable, it is an opportunity not to overlook.

Jenna Erickson


Jenna is the Marketing Manager at Codal, blogger, and technology + startup enthusiast. With a responsibility of Codal's marketing programs and brand management, she is always strategizing new ways to reach clients through content and inbound marketing tactics. In her free time, Jenna enjoys traveling, cooking and reading.


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