Marketing Email Best Practices in 2021

So you wanna send some emails, huh? Well, you’re gonna need these marketing email best practices in hand! Don’t go blasting your audience the first chance you get without a plan of action.

Apply these marketing email best practices to execute a more intentional strategy and win over your audience AKA your potential purchasers.


Contrary to the name, you can NOT spam your email subscribers – and, that’s what this law intends to prevent!

It’s an acronym: The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003.

This law sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.

Each of these separate email violations is subject to penalties of up to $43,280.

  • Don’t use false or misleading header information
  • Don’t use deceptive subject lines
  • Tell recipients where you’re located
  • Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future emails from you
  • Honor opt-out requests promptly
  • Monitor what others are doing on your behalf

Do you have +40K stowed away in a shoebox somewhere? No?? Us either.

So, proceed with caution. However, email hosts like MailChimp will send you a warning if a recent campaign resulted in a spike in unsubscribes or bounces.

marketing email best practices abuse rate example

Generally speaking, this can be prevented by cleaning your email list regularly – removing and not sending to email addresses that have hard-bounced, soft-bounced multiple times, or have unsubscribed.

And, experimenting with audience segmentation – so, you’re sending the right emails to the right people at the right time. Right!

Subject & Preview Lines

It’s your first (and sometimes only) chance to make an impression – say something bold, fun, and always direct.

And, mention a deal if there is one!

marketing email best practices subject line

3 Irresistible Subject Lines:

  • Promote a deal
    Example: Take 50% Off

  • Use customer call-out
    Example: Hey ##name##, check this out now

  • Insight intrigue
    Example: Have you ever wanted to start your own business, ##name##?


Every brand is different, but we generally recommend sending ~4 e-blasts per month!

You have to consider how many other automated emails your audience will be receiving (the last thing you want to do is blow up a new subscriber or recent purchaser’s inbox).

And, you’ll want to remain agile about that frequently. Make adjustments as needed depending on your open and unsubscribe rates.


This is totally dependent on your brand and audience.

You have to test different send times to get a real understanding of your audience’s behaviors.

With that being said, we have a few favorite times: Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday before work.

This is when you’ll be able to catch those early birds who scroll through their email when they wake up, during their morning commute, or first thing at work.

Most email clients now offer a “send at the best time” option – that’s a great place to start!

Design V. Copy Template

Designed emails (a single or series of PNG, JPG, or GIF images) quickly captivate audiences.

Copy-heavy emails (consisting of plain text copy and/or sparingly used PNG, JPG, or GIF images) often have a longer story to tell.

You can always combine these types of email or commit to one style over the other.

marketing email best practices design or copy

Google Postmaster

If you really want to understand what Gmail thinks of your emails – which you should – you can use the free tool: Google Postmaster.

Google will tell you exactly what Gmail thinks of your domain reputation – that’s a Good, Medium, Low, or Bad rating.

Then, you can make more informed email decisions based on your score.

Essential Email Automations

These are our MUST-HAVE automations! We recommend that you get at least 2-3 of these running ASAP.

1. Welcome Series

Introduce your brand to your newest leads and email sign-ups! This is your first impression, so you want to make it right.

Answer the following questions –

  • Who are you as a brand?
  • Why did you create your product (or service)?
  • What are the benefits associated with your product (or service)?
  • What problems does your product (or service) solve for?

2. Customer Win-Back

Depending on your product’s shelf-life or the time it takes a customer to consume your product, you can (and should!) set up a reminder automation to ping the customers when it’s time to order again.

It’s much easier to get someone to purchase a 2nd time, so these win-back automations can be great money makers!

3. Abandoned Cart

It’s best to assume that something blocked a user from buying, not that they intentionally exited your site – who knows, they could’ve been late to pick up their kiddos from school!

Remind them that their cart is waiting for them by creating automated email reminders. In most cases, this will reduce your customer drop-off rate and increase purchase conversions on your site.

4. Post-Purchase

Finally, nurture your relationship with those who’ve purchased your product or service! Create a series chalk-full of resources, a testimonial or two, as well as a call to follow your brand on social.

Anddd, send message!

The folks on your email list are hot leads. Take advantage of their interest in your brand and deliver content that serves them, and sells product, direct to their inbox. Apply these top marketing email best practices to do exactly that!

Those are just a few of our marketing email best practices that we’re sharing with y’all for now! Head to our CPG CORE 3 Facebook Group for additional email inspiration.

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