The Ten Commandments of Great Email Marketing

We are often asked at GetResponse what can be done to improve conversion rates (how many people respond to your calls to action) and what makes up the fiber of an engaging, dynamic message.



After much thought on the matter, we decided to put together what we thought were the ten commandments of email marketing to help guide you down the righteous path of success!


1. Thou shalt have a plan

As my mother always said, “plan your work and work your plan”. The same reigns true in the world of successful email marketing. The more organized and prepared you are before launching your campaign, the easier it will be to start the success ball rolling.


Plan your work and work your plan


Prepare your newsletters, have your autoresponders set up and in place beforehand. Give yourself some time to review them and see if there is anything that comes to you after creating them that might make them more captivating to your target audience. A little preparation goes a long way!


2. Thou shalt keep it simple and to the point.

Just as it sounds, it’s important not to overwhelm the subscriber and potential customer. With most people spending on average mere seconds looking over your email, it is important to have something that really gets to the point and is simple to read.
If it is cluttered and crammed with information, chances are most people won’t read it. As Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. People will be more likely to remember what was written if it is simple and catchy, which brings us to the next commandment.


Keep It Super Simple


3. Don’t be boring, bring some fun and excitement!

Remember that brutal textbook from school that you really didn’t like reading? Avoid that style of writing like the plague. Bring personality and fun! Make it enjoyable and people will not only like reading your emails, but look forward to you sending them!


Fun and excitement


A few jokes and witty lines will catch people’s attention. This should be ever more evident in your subject line. Make it jump out and make it fun to read. My all time favorite subject line was simple but amusing: “This time it’s war…”. The email started with a continuation “….On boredom!” It was an advertisement for a new television entertainment system. The point is to create something that makes people smile and enjoy. If you can accomplish that, you are already winning.


4. Thou shall not spam

No one likes spam, and I’m not referring to the lunch meat. Don’t send too many emails. Keep it down to one or two a week at most. The more you inundate a subscriber’s inbox, the less likely they are to open your emails as it becomes a chore.


No spam


Throw free will into the mix and you have what most would consider a problem.
As Walt Disney once said, “always leave them wanting more”. You’ll always be in demand that way!


5. Measure and adjust, measure and adjust

Do you remember when you were younger and you were taught the old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”? The same can be said in successful email marketing. Measure your success, find what works and then adjust your future content.


Measure and adjust


Cut what doesn’t work for you and include more of what does. Just be careful with your unsubscribe rates. You can check this in our Email Analytics option. Much like a sculptor chisels away at his masterpiece, a successful email marketer must do the same. You will find that things might not always happen overnight, but remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day! Just keep at it and be persistent. That brings us to our next important commandment.


6. Be consistent

Building a solid relationship with your subscribers is integral to success. Make a mark in their hearts and minds! You can do this most easily by establishing consistent presence in their inbox, but also by using a personal name. Make it human and make it regular. People are more likely to remember you this way and in doing so you make it easier to establish trust.


Customer relationship


.Include your company name or your own name in your from field and don’t change it. People will remember you better that way, and it gives something to look forward to. Loyal customers will appreciate it, which is what consistency is all about. Using our autoresponder feature makes this quick and easy. If you are unsure of how to set one up, our manual give you a head start. The thing to remember is that a name is good, but a name with a story behind is better. This helps to establish the next important commandment!


7. Share who you are!

Tell the story of who you are. If people know who you and your business are, they will be happier to read your emails. Give the history of how your business started and the primary people behind it. It gives your subscribers a chance to relate to you and a sense of identity.


Once upon a time...


It can help grow a vested interest in you what you are doing, too. How many times have you opened the newspaper or looked at your favorite news website and read an article on something that you knew about, just because you knew something about it? Why not create the same for your brand!


8. Social media, a little bird told us it’s a good idea.

It lets you get ‘face to face’ with your subscribers and it’s free! Through the power of social media, you can reach larger audiences faster. Our social media integrations are designed specifically for this. Integrate services like Facebook and Twitter and you will have opened up your business to a massive potential audience.


Social media


If people like what you are marketing and think it is useful, they will share it with others. Great ideas spread quickly. This leads us to another important tenet of good email marketing!


9. Build a better mousetrap and they will come.

Let your business be a force of change in a world of problems. Establish a sense of authority and utility. If you can solve a problem with what you are marketing, people will pay attention. solutions to problems are things we all need in life.
If you can incorporate useful tips with your product, your readers will take notice and come back. When you are helping people you are at the start of the last but certainly not the least important commandment.


Problems? Solutions!

10. Walk a mile in their shoes

“Would I enjoy reading this?” should be the last question you ask before hitting that ‘send’ button. Carefully review your masterpiece. Are there any spelling or grammatical errors? What does it look like from the end reader’s perspective?




We can help you do just that. Check out our preview options while editing to see exactly what your subscribers will see. Check your facts, and make sure that you use quality images. We make that easy with our library of professional iStock photos at your disposal.

Walking a mile in your subscriber’s shoes is easy with GetResponse, because we want to do the same for you!

  • Karolina

    very good post!

  • Stella

    Very well thought and written.

  • Brooke Forbes

    This is a great post! Timing is also important when using email data in successful marketing campaigns.

  • Bentley Group LLC

    Great post! Who can I make lol@ help today!

  • Matt Web Services

    I wish i could get subscribers :(