2023’s Do’s and Don’ts of Email Marketing (examples included)

email marketing examples

Email marketing is one of the best decisions your organization can make as long as you know the do’s and don’ts that experienced email marketers know. What are those? We have 22 solid best practices / practices to avoid below.

All updated with stats and data for 2023. So take three minutes to read our list and avoid mistakes that can waste the time and effort you spent to build an email list in the first place.

Email Marketing Examples – Top 3 Do’s

Inbox Mailers’ founders have been involved in internet marketing since Amazon only sold books! All those years of experience has shown them these 3 key do’s of email marketing.

  1. Do – Send only to subscribers who sign up for your emails.

The example below is an unwanted email in my own inbox! I never gave them permission to email me. So? I would never open their email – not even out of curiosity. It’s a waste of time to email those who have no apparent interest in whatever you’re offering. Please don’t.

email marketing examples

  1. Do – Segment your email list so each subscriber receives relevant messages.

A recent consumer survey found 62% of email users open messages they feel are relevant to them. Your subject line will convey this. Preview text can also. The example below is relevant to me – I hike + the mountain is 45 minutes away.

email marketing examples

  1. Do – Use triggered emails. Email marketing timing matters but without triggered emails, marketers are guessing at the best time to email their list. Triggered emails are based on your subscriber actions. Example is when they make a purchase. A follow-up email can provide shipping details, plus offer an upsell on a recommended product. 

Inbox Mailers’ own research shows triggered emails can see open rates up to 70%! How? Our platform ‘listens’ to inboxes for readers opening emails. We trigger our clients’ emails to send at this same moment. Our clients’ emails get more opens because they land in the inbox next to ‘keeper’ emails subscribers chose to keep.

Demo Inbox Mailers to see it in action and ask any questions you have.

inbox mailers

Email Marketing Examples – Top 3 Don’ts

Open rates and click-through rates plummet when these top 3 don’ts come into play with email marketing. 

  1. Don’t – Send mass emails as fast as possible. 

Brand-new email campaign launches can fall flat when a big email list is used too quickly. Internet service providers can see spikes in activity as… spam! No email marketer can afford to have messages look like spam. A ‘warm-up’ period is needed. Send emails to some of your list on day one. Then wait a couple days to send to more subscribers. And so on. Ramp up sends slowly and your sender reputation will appear clean and stay clean.

  1. Don’t – Buy email marketing lists. 

This breaks rules of governing bodies of email communication. Also, there could be dead email addresses on the list or spam trap addresses that are used to catch spammers. Spammers buy lists! Please don’t use this practice unless your goal is to land in spam folders early and often. 

  1. Don’t – Treat all subscribers the same. 

Segmenting is crucial to maximizing open rates and engagement. Your list should be broken down into segments such as VIPs, low-engagement, past purchasers, and inbox behaviors such as number of days since they opened an email from you. (How to segment article here)

Email Marketing Examples – 3 Do’s for More Subscribers

Most businesses have some customer / client emails before they start marketing via email.

  1. Those are great starts. Also, do contact past clients and ask them to subscribe as well. They did business with you before so access to their inbox is gold.
  2. Do put work into landing pages. Studies have shown that multiple landing pages are needed to be relevant to different users’ needs. These laser-focused landing pages can produce more sign-ups for your list than a generic form on your homepage.
  3. Do invest in awesome sign-up forms. Attention grabbers are needed in today’s noisy online world to get someone to give you their email address. Optinimonster has forms that are hard to miss! Below are a couple of their email marketing example forms to expand your list.
email marketing examples

email marketing examples

3 Don’ts for Subscribers

These don’ts will keep you from hurting your email marketing due to subscriber issues.

  1. Don’t keep sending emails to subscribers who don’t open, click, or buy from you. Make effort to re-engage them and if it fails, it may be best to delete the contact. Why? Their inaction makes your emails look like they are unwanted. Which can affect deliverability to your entire list over time.
  2. Don’t rest on your laurels. Up to 25% of lists erode or decay each year. Those users need to be replaced, so building a list is a perpetual part of any email marketer’s job.
  3. Don’t be caught with dirty subscribers. An email marketing example of disaster that can happen to any marketer is having a fake email address land on your list. Bots can use sign-up forms now. Also, real humans can use temporary email addresses just to get your lead magnet (ie. free ebook or webinar). Those addresses and spam trap addresses hurt your sender reputation, and again, make your emails look unwanted. 

Another note on subscribers. Re-engaging them after they become inactive is a top challenge for email marketers. There are campaign examples aimed to bring a ‘dead list’ back to life. Sadly, many of those tactics are disappointing. 

That’s why Inbox Mailers partners with reEngaged→ designed to grab the attention of inactive subscribers. We’ve seen 30% re-engagement in our case studies. Check reEngaged out here if your list has become inactive.

Email Marketing Examples of Goals

Do create a goal for every email. Examples include:

  • Warm welcome
  • Set expectations
  • Announcement
  • Nurture
  • Sale
  • Sign-up
  • Share 

Below are examples.

email marketing examples

Email marketing is known for using metrics to enhance results. Goals make these metrics actually usable though. Without goals, metrics can be misleading.

Don’t Miss out On These Email Marketing Hacks (Do’s💯)

  • Automation is your friend. Setting up automated emails can be intimidating. But the time saved long-term is worth it. 
  • Subject line testers can guide you on best practices to boost open rates (example: test using emojis)
  • AI help. AI writers are not taking over despite wild headlines. AI can help with emails though. They provide decent outlines and starting points when you’re stuck for ideas.
  • The flip side is to be human. Your readers expect a personal touch in their inbox. They can get irrelevant and impersonal ads on YouTube and social media. Invest time in learning to write to your readers like a friend would. Be of help to them in every way possible. 

Another don’t of email marketing? Don’t believe everything you read. Do test everything you can. Emojis in subject lines work for our sponsored newsletter (Inbox Hacking) but your audience may be different. Test and find out. The same goes for personalizing emails. It’s all about how the audience feels and reacts to it. Testing proves what works.

To Wrap Up, Below are 3 Email Marketing Examples of Great Campaigns. Do Use These for Inspiration.

But first, 3 more quick do’s:

  1. Do use calls-to-action (or no one will take action on your emails) 
  2. Do use video links in certain emails (*create a goal for the video)
  3. Do make unsubscribing easy. Counterintuitive, but remember, subscribers who don’t want your emails, shouldn’t be on your list.

Ok, the following 3 examples – just click on them to see the full email at Really Good Emails.

50% off works wonders.

email marketing examples

This one is personal to those interested in sustainability.

email marketing examples

Talk about calls-to-action! It has even more than the 2 shown.

email marketing examples
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John Gardner

John Gardner is an expert email marketer and co-founder of Inbox Mailers. He specializes in email segmentation and improving overall deliverability, helping top brands and businesses optimize their email marketing strategy.