Email marketing is still the most effective online marketing tool with an ROI of $44.25 for every dollar spent. Consider:

  • 91% of people check their email daily
  • 88% regularly check email on their smartphones
  • Email gets delivered 90+% of the time (Facebook reaches just 2% of fans)
  • Email marketing has 3x the conversion rate of social media

But email marketing has changed. If you’re still using the old “newsletter” format, I guarantee you’re not seeing these kinds of results.

First step? Learn the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Email Marketers:

Habit #1 – Mobile First

Sending emails that don’t look good on a mobile device results in 80% of recipients deleting it and 30% unsubscribing.

The importance of designing emails with “mobile first” in mind cannot be overstated. And bonus! When you design for mobile, you also improve the desktop experience.

Mobile Responsive vs Mobile Friendly

When using a reputable email service provider such as Constant Contact, you don’t have to worry being mobile responsive. Their templates are already mobile responsive, meaning it will automatically resize itself to whatever device it is viewed on.

You do have to worry about being mobile friendly.

Using tiny fonts, lots of text, multiple images, tiny call to action links, turns your mobile responsive template into a non-mobile friendly email.

Here’s how to keep your emails mobile friendly:

  • Minimum font sizes: Headlines – 22 point. Text – 12 point
  • Go easy on the images. 1 is best. 3 at most. (More than 3 reduces click through rates.)
  • Keep your call to action “above the scroll”.

Habit #2 – Use the Magic Formula

Make your life easy with this magic formula:

  • Image
  • Text (20 lines max)
  • Call to Action

It’s easy for readers to grasp in a micro-second, focuses attention, and gives a clear and easy action step.

Habit #3 – Images Done Right

Images pack a punch. 82% of us pay more attention to emails with pictures. You already understand this.

Techniques to make sure your images shine:

As before, use 3 images max. 1 is best!

Don’t use an image as your entire email:

When a graphic designer creates a beautiful flyer for you, made up of images, text, logos and contact information, you might be tempted to take that one large JPG or PDF and pop it into an email and send it out, thus turning your email into one large image.

That’s a mistake. Why? Because when your email arrives, if a recipient has turned off the ability to see images in their emails, your email is simply one big white square with a little red x in the corner. Not good!

Recreate that beautiful flyer within your email program as a combination of text and images. More work but more effective.

Size header images at no more than 600 px W and 200 px H.
This ensures that the header doesn’t take up the entire preview screen on a mobile device, obscuring your message.

COOL TOOL: – Amazingly Simple Graphic Design Software

Habit #4 – CTA Faithful

Your Call To Action (CTA) is the third element in our magic formula. Some do’s and don’ts for your CTA:

Multiple CTAsA Single Call to Action focuses the reader’s attention.
Link CTAs to Home PageDedicated Landing Page
Give each email a single focus and a single call to action.  When readers click the CTA button, send them to a dedicated landing page that talks about the topic of the email, not to your generic home page with too many options.
Leave Images UnlinkedLink Images to Landing Page
Readers love clicking images. Link your images to the same landing page that your CTA button links to.
Hide Your CTAsShow them Off!
Keep the CTA above the scroll, large enough for fat fingers, a vibrant color and framed by white space.
Use “Submit” or “Click Here”Describe the Destination, Not the Mechanics
It’s easy to say “click here” but using means fewer clicks, it isn’t SEO friendly nor informative. Instead, describe what’s on the other side of that click. For example:
– Get a Romantic Moonlit Patio for Your Backyard– Save Money with Automatic Shipping

Habit #5 – All Around Social

Leverage your email by sharing it on social media. Ask your readers to do the same.

Share it to all your social media platforms.

Inside the email itself, specifically ask your readers to share your email with their social media connections.

Tools for both of these recommendations are right within your email service provider account.

COOL TOOL: “Words That Sell” by Richard Bayan

Habit #6 – Swipe Files

Sometimes it’s tough to get your creative juices flowing. Get some inspiration by creating a swipe file of other marketing messages that grab your attention. Then, when you’re stuck and frustrated, pull out your swipe file for ideas:

  • Subscribe to emails that capture your attention
  • Snap a photo of an intriguing billboard
  • Grab a screenshot of a Facebook post with lots of interaction
  • Download a list of headline formulas to help with subject lines:

Habit #7 – Campaigns – NOT Blasts!

Eliminate the phrase “Email Blast” from your vocabulary. You’ll be more effective when you speak, think and act in terms of email campaigns, not one time blasts.

Campaigns don’t have to be complex. A strategic email campaign could consist of 3 emails, focused on one objective (a special sale, an event, a new product).

Think strategically rather than throwing blasts out there because “we haven’t done an email in a while we better get one out there today who has some ideas?”

Be Easy On Yourself

Don’t overwhelm yourself with these 7 habits. Start with the one that made you slap your forehead and say “of course!” Then move on to the others.

You don’t have to be perfect. Just take action.

Sources: Litmus; Direct Marketing Association; Pew Research Center, 2015; Forrester Research, 2014;; Constant Contact Small Business Growth Survey,, Blue Hornet.