5 Tactics to Become an Email Marketing Ninja: Part 2

wheel of digital marketing
Image courtesy of fresh lime
Image courtesy of fresh lime

In Monday’s post, I introduced you to an infographic from my friends over at Online Course Reports (I’ve included the infographic again below.

We got through about half of what I wanted, so today, I’m picking up where we left off.

To refresh your memory on how to become an email marketing ninja, last post we talked about 2 aspects of becoming an email marketing ninja:

  1. List building
  2. Headlines, subject lines

Today, we’ll finish off by talking about:

  1. CTAs (Calls to Action)
  2. Designing images
  3. Making email marketing mobile friendly

Becoming an email marketing ninja


You can’t become an email marketing ninja without using your email to generate revenue — otherwise what’s the point. You also can’t become an email marketing ninja by over-promoting yourself.

A good rule of thumb is the 80-20 principle: 80% of your content should be valuable content for readers, 20% promotional. My way of managing this is by adding a little CTA at the end of each email, but ensuring the rest of the email is valuable to readers.

Your CTA can be anything from an offer of a free white paper to a buy button and everything in between. The key, for me, is that the ask (CTA) matches the value you offer and where the reader is in the process — a reader who has received a lot of value over a long time might warrant a big ask, while someone who recently joined your list might be better matched with an offer of a white paper or asked to complete a survey.

I guess at this point, it’s a good idea to discuss how your email clients can help segment your list so you can tailor your CTA to the list. If you use a free email client like MailChimp, you might be very limited in terms of help with managing your list. Other products, like Constant Contact, provide an array of tools, such as sublists and options to email only folks who opened a particular email message, that make segmentation easier.

Designing images

I could, and have, filled a number of posts with advice for crafting images for lots of social media marketing activities. There’s really no difference when crafting images for email marketing, except for size limitations.

While great big images fit well in a blog post, they don’t work so well on email newsletters, especially if they’re read on smartphones. More than half of all email newsletters are opened on mobile. Keep that in mind as you continue your journey to become and email marketing ninja.

Most email programs, including major ones like Outlook and Apple Mail, won’t display your images without permission from the recipient. So, be sure to include plenty of text to tempt readers to download the pictures and ensure they get the most important parts of your message without downloading pictures.

Check out this email newsletter from Amazon — who obviously considers their newsletters so interesting they don’t have to show any text:

I’ve heard arguments about the “right” length for email newsletters. I’m not sure there’s a RIGHT length, but experts advise keeping paragraphs should and readable. I generally use my perspective learned in journalism classes — lead with the important stuff, then add details for folks who’d like to learn more in-depth information. Also, linking back to your website allows you to provide a short snippet then let interested folks learn more with a single click.

Making your email marketing mobile-friendly

Mobile is really the buzz word of the year. Sure, we’ve talked about the importance of mobile for years, but 2015 really lived up to our predictions for mobile.

As I mentioned earlier, most emails are opened on a mobile device. So, make your emails mobile-friendly.

What does mobile-friendly mean?

Obviously, be respectful of data usage as most carriers now charge for data. Send a few “data heavy” emails and you’ll see folks unsubscribe in droves.

Then, be careful about the size of images. Large images just look stupid on mobile.

Next, although all newsletter readers tend to scan, mobile readers are much more likely to scan your email as they’re often busy with other things. Be sure to hook them with a great opening sentence to ensure they read on.


Finally, no one can be an email marketing ninja without a knowledge of analytics.

Marketers used to survive without ever looking at the first number. Those days are long gone. Today, you need to pay attention to your metrics (and most email providers give you a plethora of analytics), especially comparing your metrics to others in your industry.

If your open rates drop, maybe you’re overloading readers with too many emails or not giving them a good reason to open with a tantalizing headline or subject line.

If your click rates drop, maybe you need a stronger offer.

Reality is, you can learn a lot and optimize returns by paying close attention to your analytics.

Need help?

We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE with our data-driven, results-oriented marketing strategies.  Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get the 1st chapter of our book on digital marketing analytics – FREE, or contact us for more information on hiring us.

Hausman and Associates, the publisher of Hausman Marketing Letter, is a full service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media.


Anatomy of Email Outreach
Source: OnlineCourseReport.com