Hi, Lauren Kaye with this week’s Content & Coffee. Let’s talk email marketing.

I get a lot of marketing messages. Some good, some just ok. I also work on email campaigns to promote content and nurture our leads, so trust me – I have a healthy respect for the amount of work that goes into these campaigns.

I’m always on the lookout for examples that inspire me, or make me cringe. and here are a few of my favorite email do’s and don’ts:

Do: Include visuals

Pictures and videos make your messages a lot more engaging and effective. The example above from BlueWolf shows the customer featured in its latest case study, which makes the message unique and personal. It’s a quick and powerful way to get your message across.


Don’t: Put pictures in your message if they don’t look good

Unless you’ve gotten a designer to sign off on your email message, pump the brakes. It’s better to include no picture at all than one that looks distorted, pixelated or just plain unattractive – recipients just won’t get a good impression of your business.


Do: Make your message conversational

It’s good to differentiate your brand by coming across as friendly, casual and a little less salesy. Done well, this makes an impact on recipients. Dropr made us think they actually found us online and wanted to catch up – it felt genuine, and made us WANT to respond.


Don’t: Sound sloppy

On the other hand, you still want to sound professional. Don’t get so casual that people will have a hard time taking you seriously. In general, avoid being the brand that uses terms like ‘bae’ and ‘fleek’ to look cool – it’s not working.


Do: Grab readers’ interest with sensational headlines

It’s a good idea to use powerful – or dare I say – even edgy language to make your messages stand out in a client’s inbox. Kapost’s message about “email hell” rings true because, as a marketer, it can be difficult to keep all your metrics straight when building campaigns.


Don’t: Hurt their feelings

Be careful not to take edgy too far. Fear mongering headlines might boost open rates, but be prepared for people to react defensively and be ready to respond with something helpful and nice to build relationships.


What are the best email marketing messages you’ve seen? I’d love to hear about them in the comments section. Thanks for tuning in, and happy content marketing!

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.