Marketing Best Practices: Email

Mailboxes surrounded by plants image for Dandelion Branding Email Best Practices

On any given morning there are at least 10 emails in my inbox from companies I’ve signed up to get mail from.

I look through those emails with a different eye than “what is this sale?”

I look for ideas to test, trends in templates, and new best practices. Email Best Practices change all the time, so this article would be outdated really, really quickly if I told you what to do right now.

What I will tell you is that email creation is detailed work that needs to be focused on one element at a time—starting with why even send them.

Why Should My Company Send Emails?

This discussion is long and can lead to lots of circular thinking. Don’t do that—keep it simple.

You should send email to get in front of potential customers again and again—and to get those people to your website.

Email is intimate. It’s not a social message or something that you can send without permission (don’t do that).

When people give you their email, they’re offering you access to be the first thing they see in the morning, a break at work, or the last thing they see before bed.

They’re asking you directly to entertain them and they’re giving you a chance to earn their trust. Take the chance and become and authority. Loyalty of your audience will serve you and your company for the long haul.


This topic is hardly ever spoken about outside of an email professional’s group, but it’s really important and can make all the difference for your brand.

Deliverability is a word that indicates that your ESP put your email into your recipients email account. You should see it in your stats—and you should watch it like a hawk.

The companies that I work with typically see between 98-100% deliverability. If it falls below 95% from that 100% mark, I email the ESP customer support to ask what’s going on and then start digging about how to boost it back up. Falling deliverability rates are cyclic, don’t let it happen.

If your company has a deliverability lower than 90% right now, you need to start here and work on it. I just made this your number one priority to put a plan into action because this takes time.

The only way to improve your deliverability is to improve the trust that your subscribers have in your brand. You need positive engagement from them—opens, clicks, replies—to increase your chances of getting into their inboxes.

Send GREAT value content to the people that do receive your mail and ask them questions. Don’t send sales, image heavy emails, or emails with a lot of content. Keep it simple and interesting.

When you start to see this number increase, don’t immediately switch to sales, solidify your placement and stick to your strategy until you’re comfortably in the 90 percentile.

As email coordinators we have to remember: we will never beat Google’s Algorithm to an inbox and people can see (and click) spam from a mile away. Just be forthright with your subscribers and don’t buy emails lists.

How Often Should I Send Emails to my Subscribers?

This is pretty brand specific.

If you’re an ecommerce brand once per week at a minimum is necessary to stay top of mind. It’s a great way to warm up your business so that your customers know they can look at your brand as a reliable authority. Try to always send at the same day/time (run testing to find the right one).

If you’re a client based business and you work one-on-one, email when you have something to say. That might be everyday with some clients or it might be twice a month—find the balance that works for you and for your customers.

The most important thing to watch here is your open rate and click rate. If you’re sending every day and your open rate is at 10%, back off. If you’re sending once a week and 30% of people are opening your mail, your audience is super engaged and could use a second email.

Note Here: If you’re running a sitewide special or launching a new product, increase your email sends for a short time to give information in digestible pieces.

Should Every Email Offer a Special?


Don’t put a sale in every email. Remember how I said you’re not smarter than Google? You will end up in a promotional folder. Your deliverability will stay high, but your open rate will likely be lower or gradually increase over time as people make their way to the promo tab.

The difference in Open Rate between a promotional email and a content email can be upwards of 10%.

The more incredible content you create, the more engagement your company will get. The more email engagement you get, the better deliverability you’ll have. The better deliverability, into the right inbox, the more visibility you have with potential customers when you do have a sale.

To note here, yes I know that you want to use your email to drive sales. You need to do that strategically. Don’t just expect sale after sale, don’t be that friend that only reaches out when they want something. I often see that brands that provide value in every email produce revenue from most of them, regardless a sale.

What do I Put in an Email?

If your Brand is properly Blocked, you won’t have any shortage of content to put in your emails.

Each time you write a new blog article—send a short and interesting snippet to drive traffic to your blog.

If you have a story or a question that you would like to ask your subscribers (literally anything), send an email—by the way, sending a question is an awesome way to get engagement and boost your deliverability.

My advice: Keep it simple and always follow your Brand Value System.

You have MAYBE one click from people, don’t overwhelm them, just lead them to click on the thing you want them to see. Don’t put 15 links in there and don’t send people to 5 different pages (unless it’s a round up/digest).

Don’t overfill with images or use only images—there’s a significant portion of people that can’t see images in emails.

That’s it—everything you need to know to get you started. Everything else for you SHOULD BE TESTED and over time you will figure out exactly how to create your messaging.

Was this helpful? Leave your questions in the comments below.

If you’re already here, and you’re looking for more guidance for YOUR brand, book a strategy session.

Photo by Mathyas Kurmann on Unsplash

Want to elevate the sustainability efforts of your organization?

Read More from Dandelion

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *