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Email Marketing

Email marketing usually finds us. I have yet to meet someone who actively searched out email marketing as their career but 100% KUDOS to those folks!!


Since I started working in email marketing years ago, I documented basic resources for best practices, inspiration, character counts, and any helpful tools because:

  1. most of us don't go to school for this

    1. I was well into my role before I knew about certifications, conferences, and Email Geeks.

    2. I went to school for copywriting in the advertising world so character counts and actionable verbiage is in my arsenal but email is a long-term game, not a radio script or social post.

  2. we hope to have an awesome mentor and/or ESP Account/Customer Success Managers who help us (mine was Yari at Klaviyo and Kelly at Iterable. LOVE them).

  3. sometimes/most times we are hired as a lone-wolf team and we figure it out aka bookmark a lot of sites.

  4. we don't always have a designer.

    1. I always had an Art Director partner to brainstorm with, collaborate with, pitch with, and rely on. You don't need to be a Photoshop or Canva whiz but understanding how graphics and color blocks work in an email alongside the copy is important.

My #1 piece of advice:

DO NOT RELY ON BEST PRACTICES AS THE END ALL BE ALL! They are guidelines per niche, not per brand or business. Utilize them as an estimate and test your audience to determine your own best practices. Email marketing is all about testing communications and creative with your own users. They are your users, so find out what makes them tick.

This is free and very basic but it brings nuggets of info that I would Google when I started, into one spot.

You can take it, copy it, share it with your org and edit to make it your own. I really am only here to help.


Overall, push your brand's tone in your copy. An email is a 1:1 conversation without the distractions social media has. Use the time wisely. Here's a simple template I started with (it's a Word Doc; you can upload to Google Docs, too).

For subject lines:

  • RUN TESTS on short 5 - 7 word lengths to find your sweet spot. Maybe your sweet spot involves emojis🥳

    • Use words that drive action (opens)

    • Get inspired by your own inbox

For body copy:

  • TEST

  • Paint a picture. Yes, even with imagery

    • Your reader should be able to connect with your product

    • Marketing 101: features & benefits, provide the solution to your user's lifestyle or work conundrum

For CTAs:

  • TEST (sense a theme 😉)

  • Actionable. You want your user to do something

    • Get Started, Claim Now, Start Today, Sign Up, Read More

For Footers:


    • Unless it's a transactional email, your emails must have an unsubscribe link.

  • Copyright + year (add a calendar to update the year every Jan. 1)

  • Any legal and contact info

  • Optional: social links, app links, witty lines



I am far from a designer. When I didn't have a designer to work with, I relied on color blocks, inspiration, and my teammates.

Also...truth bomb here: a lot of users have images turned off. Make sure you have Alt Text at the very least and Live Text if you can.

My imagery rules:

  1. Think mobile-first

    1. Majority of emails are read on a smartphone

    2. Test the responsiveness so your images are still clear (Email on Acid and Litmus are great tools)

  2. Keep it small

    1. Inboxes do not like large images, users don't like slow loading, and inboxes will clip your email

    2. Your imagery can still be epically vibrant

    3. Keep it under 200kb

  3. Use good Alt Text

    1. "picture of dog" is boring. Imagine you are looking at your email and wondering what the image is of. "Cute picture of a husky puppy rolling in fresh grass with wildflowers". Paint a picture in 1 sentence.

  4. When you're ready, read about Live Text here:

    1. Listrak has a nice guide

    2. Litmus article

💡Examples & Inspiration


  • Really Good Emails: This is a known go-to resource in the community. You can create a free account to group together any templates/examples/inspiration into Collections. Look at a range of brands that you believe are within your own and study them. Don't copy them, but look at their patterns that they found to work.

  • Litmus: Email marketing industry leader and go-to resource knowledge base

  • Other great inspiration and resource sites (there are a lot. These are the spots I like):

ℹ️Helpful Groups

  • EMAIL GEEKS! This is a Slack channel filled with wonderful, helpful, charismatic professionals of all levels in the email, sms, lifecycle, and even marketing generalists who love learning, teaching, and lifting each other up.

  • Women of Email: WoE is a godsend of a community. There is an active Facebook Group and they have a private channel on Email Geeks.

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