Every time you email a cold contact list, pretend a kitten dies.

That might be a bit extreme but email marketing is a serious business.  If you’ve ever hesitated before sending an email out to a group of contacts – wondering how it would be received – then there’s a good chance you could have done something a lot better.

And I’m not talking about typos, glaring mistakes and orange boxes.

Before you send your next message on its merry way, here are a number of resources to help you build out your email marketing like a champ… and save the kittens.

Building Out Your Email List

1. Contacts are Not Created Equal

Every person is different, and that goes double for your customers.  You need to treat these groups differently when it comes to getting them to opt-in and join your mail list.  Your lists can be broken down to 4 different types of contacts; Subscribers, Prospects, Leads and Customers.  Hubspot does a great job of showing use how to treat these folks right when it comes to list building.

2. Why Purchasing Email Lists Should Be a Crime

You’re not a jerk.  You know it, you friends and family know it, and I’m fairly certain you’re not simply because you’re reading this.  If you were haphazardly clicking “send” though, that would be different.  Another way to be a jerk is to buy email lists.  Here are some great reasons why you should never – EVER – buy or rent email lists.

Remember the kittens.

3. Stop Selling while you Sell

No one likes to be sold anything.  We might be looking for a specific solution to a problem, but the last thing we want is someone trying to push that solution into our face.  If you’re using email marketing to sell a product or service, you have to strike the right balance between free quality content that is informative, and content that persuades your subscribers to open their wallets.  Copyblogger shares a few techniques that help improve the value of your email marketing.

4. Carefully Balance the Length & Message

A lot of marketers believe that you use as many words as you need to in order to get the message across.  At the same time, there’s proof that brevity brings more clicks.  MarketingExperiments showed us through testing that shorty copy brings a lot more total clickthroughs.  More is more, but less is more.  Check out the article to find the right balance.

5. Want More Clicks?  Share More News

If you’re looking for an edge in your email content, then stop focusing on promotional content and give your readers something they love.  Bloggers and content writers have known all along that trending topics, seasonal focus and news always deliver higher open and click through rates.

6. The Must-Have Components of a Killer Email

There’s more to your email than the subject and the body.  When you sit down to write your next email marketing campaign or newsletter, take a moment to refer to this handy guide.  It’s a must for anyone handling the marketing for their business.

7. Getting Stupid with Email Design

Sometimes businesses put too much time and effort into the design of their email templates.  From ugly orange call to action boxes to over-cluttered images that bury the primary message, a reader can be turned off in less than 2 seconds after opening your email.  Check out these 7 design mistakes that make people click “unsubscribe”.

8. Beautiful Examples of Email Design

We can’t feature bad examples without some good examples.  Hubspot shows us some of the most perfect examples of attractive email marketing designs that can capture the attention of your audience.


If you’ve ever received a reply like this, you know there’s something wrong.  Everyone should know how often is “OK” for marketing emails.  The Email Genome Project scanned over 1 billion emails to identify trends and the results are astounding – read and pay attention.

10. Get to the Point

People want to know what’s in an email before they open it.  With the right subject lines you can double your click through rate or more.  Testing your subjects and doing A/B testing is one of the most important things you can do with your email marketing.  It’s in depth – this resource has an hour long video that guides you through the ins and outs of testing subject lines to perfection.

Get your customers buying again, minimize your unsubscribe rates, improve click throughs and avoid being a jerk.  All it takes is a little time running through these resources and you’re well on your way to seeing greater success from your email marketing.