“Testing, testing.” Quick tips for email marketing

Email marketing is tricky. In order to reach the audience, one has to navigate a myriad of roadblocks designed to keep the modern mind sane. With out these roadblocks (things like spam filters, Internet protocols, and server best-practices) our inboxes would be bursting at the seams with unsolicited and unwanted messages about the plight of deposed Nigerian Princes and prescriptions for biological enhancements, if you will.

There are steps you should take to ensure your message reaches your customer.

  • Use a reputable email marketing service. – Don’t just send emails from your account. You’re putting own email address, website, and server in danger of ending up Blacklisted. Additionally, reporting features are invaluable to the marketing process.
  • Run a SPAM Test. – Your email marketing provider should provide this service. Take advantage of it. Basically, the service will run your content through a gauntlet of tests similar to a spam filter. These tests tend to include a design test component, important because email design can change wildly between email clients (Outlook v. Gmail, Gmail v. Apple Mail, etc.)
  • Write like a normal person. – There is a tendency to write marketing copy to “get the most hits,” and while important, this copy can come across as “spammy.” Include calls-to-action, but treat your readers with respect.
  • Look at your reports. – While it may be tempting to send it and forget it, don’t. Take time, even a week or two later, to see how the campaign did. Did you experience a high bounce rate? Tons of clicks? Very few opens? Answer these questions and use that knowledge next time.


While technology behind email marketing may seem confusing, following these simple steps should make the concept less daunting.

Kenton Hansen

Technical Co-Founder Kenton makes digital things. He is a technologist and has had his part in a few startups including software, advertising, and client services. @KentonH