The 80/20 of Email Marketing

If you’re not using email marketing optimally, then you’re missing out on a HUGE opportunity for your business.

“Hmmm, email marketing? But I already have FB ads running and they’re bringing me a ton of business.”

Right, and that’s great! But doing email marketing the RIGHT WAY can bring you even more profits.

Whether you have a huge email list or are just getting started, these best practices will help you dominate your email marketing and rake in the cash. I’ve also included a real email that I wrote for a client (the Ice Man AKA my hero) to help illustrate these points.

Subject Lines: Reel ‘Em In

This is often overlooked, but it is the most important part. If your subscribers don’t open the email, they can’t read it. Subject lines should be a healthy balance between clickbait and the actual content in your email.

Best practices:

Using a question mark is usually a good idea because it provokes curiosity

Using ellipsis (…)

Using the word “you” or their first name (Fname)

Our favorite subject lines:

I’m sorry, Fname…

Quick question…

You’ll never believe this

Try to think of something that invokes curiosity. What kind of subject lines make you open an email?

Subject lines are like the title of a blog post – you should put a lot of thought into them. We often write down more than five ideas before choosing the best ones to send out.

Multiple Links (but the SAME CTA)

Each email should have one clear CTA. If you are sending out a four-day video course, then the emails for days 1-4 should all point people towards the video of that day. If you are sending out a newsletter with the new content for that month, then the links should be for that content. People skim emails and also get confused easily.

It’s easy to get excited and send out too many calls to action:

“Watch this video! Oh, and here’s another blog post! Follow me on Instagram! And…if you’re ready to buy, click here!”

Simple is better. Use links for only one CTA in each email. And while you’re at it, use different links.

There are three main styles for linking:

Brackets : << Click here to see our website >>

Full url (because some people don’t realize they are links without the http) :

Typical backlink: “We just launched our new website.”

If your email is long and most of the links do not appear until the bottom make sure you use….

A Header

According to Digital Marketer, 90% of opened emails do not scroll. That means, if you place a link at the bottom of the email, many people won’t even read it. So put the most important information (a link) at the top.

A header is a beautiful way to give a sneak peak of the email and sneak in a link. Here’s a common example we use for e-commerce products:

“FLASH SALE: 20% ALL PRODUCTS UNTIL MIDNIGHT! Don’t miss out: (link)

Hey Fname,

Blah blah blah,”

Use First Names

Humans are more likely to resist a message when it’s obvious that they’re being marketed to. We put up a wall when we realize something is an advertisement, etc. so try to make your emails seem as non-markety as possible. If you have their first name, use it. (Plus, people love to hear/read their own name so it will make them like you more).

Avoid using plural pronouns such as “you guys”, “everyone”, etc so the reader can pretend they’re getting a personalized email instead of a mass email sent to your entire list. The more personal you can make it seem, the better so…

Mimic Your Audience’s Language:

Be casual and informal. Don’t write like a robot. It’s okay if you have minor typos or grammatical errors… it reminds them that you are human. Be funny, cheesy, and silly. The less it seems like a marketing ploy, the more interested your reader will be.

Match their tone/style/word choice as much as you can. This is very important.

if ur target markt types like dis, theyll be more responsive 2 an email thats also written like dis. (Even if it makes you want to bash your head against a wall)

Always Use a P.S.

And make it worth their while. You want to train people to read to the bottom so make your PS’s exciting and valuable. Throw in a coupon, a joke or a funny story. Or at the very least, a sneak peak for the next email. Reward those subscribers who read to the bottom. They’re also top candidates to become customers.

Tell Stories

Humans are wired to love stories. It’s just how we are. So use stories as often as possible. Make people feel like they are reading an email from their friend. If you can create a positive bond, it’ll be easier to convince them to buy your products. The more you can entertain them, the more they’ll like you, and the more they’ll want to buy from you. Even if you think the story sucks and isn’t engaging, it’s probably way better than your boring sales letter.

Connect the Emails

You want each email to be good as a stand alone (in case it’s the only one they open), but also to fit together with all the other ones in the sequence.

Refer to previous emails so they are motivated to look back and reread. Leave an open loop (cliffhanger) so they’ll be motivated to read the next one. Give people shout outs for their replies.

Sometimes people ask us for only a few emails at a time, but I tell them that’s not how it works. An email campaign has to flow for it to work well. Simply by writing your 10 email autoresponder at the same time, your emails will be much better.  

Tell people when to expect emails, how often, or even as blatant as, “be on the lookout for an email with the subject line “Read me” within the next few days”

Use Images

Emails with images have a higher click-through rate than those without. Use compelling images (these can be the same from the blog post). Selfies are nice and show personality (again, you want the reader to feel like they are actually your friend).

For videos, we like to use a thumbnail from Youtube and then link that to the video.

But be careful. You don’t want to use images that are too large because they will slow down the downloading speed…another reason to…

Send a Preview/Test Email

Send a test before you blast out an email to 40,000 people. Double check the spacing and make sure it doesn’t go to spam.

Make sure the images look okay, the spelling isn’t horrible (little mistakes are okay as they’ll be reminded you are human), and THAT THE LINKS WORK. The last thing you want is an email going out with a major error, which is why you should also…

Quadruple Check All Your Links

Broken links = broken heart. It doesn’t matter if 9 million people are reading your emails. If the links are broken, you won’t get any sales. Make sure the links are sending people exactly where you want them to go.

Invite Engagement…and Reply!

People that reply are your lowest hanging fruit. They have entered the door of your shop and are talking to the clerk to make sure they can trust your company and make a purchase. Invite conversation early and often.  

Ask questions that provoke responses: “What do you think about X? Am I wrong?” People also like to feel like their voice matters. Ask them what they want to read, learn about, etc. (And then give them that!!)

If they are willing to take the time to hit ‘reply’ and actually type out a message, they’re one step closer to taking the time to whip out their wallet and type out their credit card information. So hold onto these people closely!

Respond to their emails if you can (or make sure you outsource it to friendly staff). Again, you want to establish a positive relationship with these people. The more they like you, the more they’ll want to buy from you. Which is another reason to carefully consider…


Every business is different. If your audience is 70 year old grandmothers in Alaska, then they probably do not check email daily. But, the rest of the world does.

It really depends on your business and your audience, but here’s our “one-size-fits-all” recommendation.

1 email per day for the first 7-10 days

2 on major sales/last minute offers

If you’re not sure how often to ask for the sale, then provide as much value as possible and offer a subtle soft sell at the bottom or in your header.

It doesn’t really matter if your email is a cute story about your cat taking a shower and your CTA is for an online course about paid traffic. If people read the email and like the story, they will like you and be more likely to click whatever it is you put at the bottom. Just remember to stay relevant.

Try to maintain a high value-to-selling-ratio. If the emails are valuable, people will want to read them. If each email is super salesy or boring, people won’t want to read them. There are two types of value: education and entertainment.

To keep things fun for us and whoever is reading our emails, we try to use a lot of entertainment in our emails. People appreciate learning, but not everyone has the time to read long, dense emails. The point of educating them is to gain credibility, so they trust you. If they like you and think you are funny, they’ll probably trust you too.

Frequency does not matter as much as quality. Keep the emails valuable to the reader, and they will continue to read them. If you have a ton of helpful content or a 10-day mini course, then obviously it makes sense to email them every day until the course is completed.

But if you are emailing them every day as just a “reminder” that your product exists, then you are going to annoy people and your time is probably better spent otherwise.

If you don’t have any great content to send out, pictures, quotes, or stories are an excellent way to entertain your audience without selling too hard.

Sell HARD on the Last Email

The longer they stay on your email list without opening your emails and reading them, the less likely they are to buy your product. Unless you offer an extremely high priced product or service (in that case, phone sales calls or in person meetings would probably convert better anyway), a sales cycles won’t typically be longer than 60 days.

When I worked for Drop Ship Lifestyle, the average sales cycle for a $1,200 info-product was one month. The point is to engage early and often and hook people in from the get go while your business in fresh in their mind. But there’s no point of keeping people on your email list if they aren’t going to buy. So feel free to sell super hard on the last email. If you push too hard and piss them off, you aren’t losing a customer. But if the extra push finally encourages them to buy, you win!

Email Marketing IRL

I know when I’m learning a new thing, it always helps to look at examples. Take a look at this email we wrote for our client, Wim Hof. I’ve highlighted the tips that we used.

Half-Assed Work Yields Half-Assed Results

Like everything in life, whatever you focus on becomes real. If you take the time to do your email marketing properly, you could have an autoresponder that works for years. If you neglect it and half-ass it, you probably won’t get much ROI.

I hope these tips help you! I know it may seem like a lot, but the big takeaway is to do whatever it takes to keep your audience reading your emails.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment and we’ll keep the conversation going!  

If this list made you realize that you have no idea what you’re doing and you want to pay someone to do your email marketing for you, shoot me a message or sign up here:


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