5.5 Email Marketing Best Practices They Don't Want You to Know

Written by Michael Cheney. Last updated on 13th January 2021

Email Marketing Best PracticesEmail marketing best practices get written about a lot but here's the truth;

Most of it is written by software companies with a vested interest in you buying their product.

By the way, if you're brand new to email marketing and want to see some best practices this video from HubSpot isn't a bad place to start;

The free training you're getting here from me on this page is not designed by some software company to get you to buy their shizzle.

No siree.

It's written by me, Michael Cheney, an email marketing veteran of 20 years who's been fighting on the frontline of the email marketing trenches (and largely winning).

My business has generated over $6 Million in revenue from email marketing during this time.

Not too shabby...

In this training I want to share with you the 5.5 email best practices THEY don't want you to know.

And by "they" I mean the software companies who are out their peddling their biased content.

What you're about to learn is the real tactics which work.

"When it comes to email marketing best practices there is a specific process you need to be aware of which will help you get the best results possible."

The Email Marketing Waterfall ProcessI call this The Waterfall Process.

If you think of a prospect as first seeing your email in your inbox;

This is the top of the waterfall.

But at the bottom of the waterfall, your objective is to get a sale.

In order to take a prospect from the top of the waterfall to the bottom of the waterfall there are a number of steps involved.

Let's talk about them.

#1. The King of Email Marketing Best Practices - Getting into The Inbox

Email InboxNumber one - you need to get your email delivered in the first place.

In this training I'm going to give you some little-known email marketing best practices you can use to make sure your email reaches your prospect's inbox.

You can also check out the article about boosting your email marketing engagement here for more insider tips on this particular strategy.

Over the past two decades I've helped a lot of businesses improve their email marketing engagement.

"One of the mistakes I see people making is they focus on the content of their email, or the subject line when it comes to trying to get into the prospects inbox instead of this..."

Now yes, admittedly, these two things are important, but there's actually a third, which can really make a big difference to getting through to the email inbox.

And that is - the status of your domain name.

When you send bulk emails using an autoresponder, although that email is sent from the autoresponders server it is also directly linked to your business domain name or website.

So if your domain name has any kind of black marks against it, (according to the email providers like Gmail, Yahoo, and so on), then you run the risk of your emails going straight to spam trash or the promotions tab.

"If your emails are going to spam it could be because your domain has a bad reputation..."

Domain Name Blacklist CheckerThe easy way around this is to check the status of your domain name before you start an email marketing campaign.

You can do it using this simple domain blacklist checker tool. 

This lets you see if you are in good standing with your domain name.

(And if your emails will go straight to the inbox).

If you find that you are blacklisted for any reason, you can appeal this process, and have your domain given a clean bill of health.

And don't worry if you are on the blacklist;

Quite often, this can happen completely through no fault of your own.

Perhaps some shady websites have linked to your website, or maybe an angry ex-customer has clicked the "report as spam" button too many times.

Either way, if you jump through the necessary hoops, you can quite often remove these black marks fairly quickly.

Run a Spam-Checker

Email Marketing Best Practice - Check For SpamThe next step in this triple threat method, to get your emails into the inbox, is to run a spam check inside your autoresponder.

This is one of those things that should become part of your email marketing routine...

Before you send any email, you should always run it through a spam checker.

All the best autoresponders have this tool available.

I've been doing this for over 20 years, and I use Getresponse I highly recommend that you do too. 


Because they offer great deliverability and a good price.

Plus - their support is always easy to get hold of.

So, running a spam checker tool will let you know if there are any trigger words in your email, which might set off an email spam filter.

You can edit your email accordingly so that it is now safe and has a greater chance of reaching the inbox.

And lastly, something you want to do, that very few people even know about, is what I call the Boomerang Boost Method.

This involves a number of strategies to get your prospects to reply to the broadcast emails that you send out.

This boosts your responsiveness and your email marketing engagement, giving you a better score with email providers.

It's one of the best ways to build a quick relationship with your prospects and also make sure your email goes to their inbox and not their spam.

Now it's time to talk about...

#2. How to Create Email Subject Lines Which Stand Out

Write the Best Subject LinesOnce your email has reached the inbox, the next mission, of course, is to ensure that your prospects read it!

But before even that happens, you need to stand out in the email inbox and try to get your subject line noticed.

By the way;

You can check out a very comprehensive guide to writing the best subject lines that stand out here.

Once you've stood out in the inbox, using powerful subject lines, then the chances are you will actually get your email opened but...

"Just because a prospect has opened your email, doesn't mean they're going to read the rest of it."

It doesn't guarantee that they're going to read it to the end.

Email Deliverability

Or they're going to click the link at the end.

This is where the waterfall process comes in;

#1. The prospect receives your email into their inbox

#2. Your prospect notices your email because subject line stands out

#3. They open the email

#4. The first sentence of your email draws them in to start reading

#5. The main content of your email entices them to read it in full

#6. A compelling call to action at the end of the email gets the click and the sale

Each one of these steps is a vitally important component of all email marketing best practices.

If you get any one of these steps wrong or miss them entirely.

The chances are you will not be getting a good return on investment from your email marketing.


Many businesses focus on making sure they have catchy headlines or subject lines.

But they miss out on deliverability.

So their emails are not even reaching the inbox in the first place.

Alternatively, some businesses obsess on making sure that emails get to the inbox of prospect but then not writing the best subject lines that stand out, so nobody even opens them.

But even if your email DOES get received, reaches the inbox, stands out and gets people to open it that really is only half of the battle.

Once somebody opens your email - this is where the challenge begins and why you need to...

#3. Get People Excited to Read Your Email Content

Getting somebody to open an email using a powerful email subject line is really the easy part.

The challenge really begins after they have opened it - to get them to continue reading and take action on what you're saying.

This is where using curiosity, storytelling and other powerful mechanisms can come into play.

What many people don't realise is;

"Writing emails is just a powerful form of copywriting, sometimes referred to as "salesmanship in print."

Email Marketing SalesIf there's a big disconnect between what you said in the subject line, and what you say in the first sentence of your email then people will probably just delete it.

So there needs to be consistency of approach.

Let's assume you've hooked them in with a great subject line.

Next, you followed up with this with the first sentence of the email, maybe addressing the curiosity that you raised in the subject line.

And maybe planting another seed of what you're going to share inside the email.

Quick Pro Tip;

Look at the first sentence of your email like a new subject line or headline...

It needs to really evoke curiosity and leave an open psychological loop that people can only answer if they keep reading.

Think of it like the first sentence in a story, here's some examples I've used;

First Sentence: It was raining cats and dogs...

First Sentence: My finger still hurts.

First Sentence: What a douchebag.

First Sentence: My wife is always right but not on this day.

Notice how each one of these first sentences evokes questions and curiosity in the mind of the reader.

You now need to continue this throughout the email...

#4. Turn Your Emails into Sales-Magnets with This Easy Method

Tunr Your Emails into Sales MagnetsOne of the most important factors when writing your email is formatting.

Regardless of the words that you use if your formatting looks boring then people won't read it.

Some businesses get the wrong end of the stick on this and try to use fancy images, different colours, different sizes of fonts and crazy things in their email to make it look interesting.

This is the wrong approach.

You need to almost treat your emails as a visual piece of art.

But you will only be using words.

"I don't recommend you use images or HTML or any fancy gimmicks or tricks in your emails - keep it simple for the best results."

It's the words you use which make people buy and click.

Not anything else.

So how can you treat an email an a visual way when you're using his words?

It's simple - you need to change up the length of sentences have longer ones sometimes.

And then shorter ones.

Make sure back-to-back sentences are different lengths so they look different and stand out on the page.

Have lots of line breaks.

After a sentence, rather than trying a bunch a whole collection of sentences together in one huge paragraph, just start a new line.

Like this.

Don't Put Too Much Content Together in One Chunk

Break Up Your Email Content into Smaller ChunksEven if the words are the most exciting words you've ever written - if there's a whole bunch of them all together, it will put people off from reading it.

Your email needs to flow like a waterfall.

It needs to be easy to read, and it needs to look interesting.

Even if the person isn't seeing the words.

This is where the formatting comes into play in a big way.

Using short sentences, using longer sentences, and using line breaks - sometimes even just using a single word.


This approach makes your emails look interesting, even before people start reading the words that you're using.

Let's move onto...

#5. How to Boost Your Email Click Through Rate

Improve Click Through RateCongratulations!

You've done a great job of getting your email to your prospects inbox, getting them to notice your subject line, getting them to open your email, read the first line of your email and read the main content of your email.

Now, it's money time.

You don't want to do all this hard work, and then have people see the link in your email, and not want to click it.

It's very important you include a key word or trigger word in the web address for your link.

It's best if you use an action word for this.

Examples include;

  • Grab
  • Get
  • Take action
  • Now
  • Buy
  • Order

Quite a lot of business owners just throw the link into their email, almost as a last thought.

"Your call-to-action needs to be structured in a way that it's the most natural conclusion to the story that you've been telling."

The ultimate email marketing best practice is to use the same theme or story for;

The subject line

The opening sentence of the email

The content of the email

And the call to action at the bottom of the email

An example for you;

SUBJECT LINE: The $5,000 index finger method

OPENING LINE: The index finger I'm using to type this email made me $5,000

EMAIL CONTENT: (The content of the email then went on to explain a story about how I made $5,000 with a simple online method)

CALL TO ACTION: Take your index finger and click this link to grab this offer:

So this way, the same device or trigger that got people to notice the email in the first place is also the same device that carries through the entire email and gets them to click the link.

Ideally, your call to action needs to have a level of curiosity.

You do not want to answer all the questions that people may have about an offer in the email.

This is the job of the web page, not your email.

Some effective ways of using curiosity to get people to click a link include;

(You won't believe the price.)

(Check out the extra bonus at the bottom of the page)

(Read the full story at this link)

Two more things you can do to get a higher click through rate is to use scarcity and urgency.

If you have an offer that's expiring at a certain time, then you can talk about this right next to the link, which encourages people to click.

And if you are only selling a specific amount of units you can also mention this right next to the call to action as well.

And finally, let's talk about how to...

#5.5 Use These Powerful Psychological Triggers

Use Sales Triggers in Your Email MarketingAs a little bonus, here are some of the most powerful psychological triggers you can use to increase your email marketing engagement across the board.

By using these in combination with all of the email marketing best practices we've already covered you can really ramp up your open rates, and your click through rates, as well as your sales.

#1. Use Stories

People love stories.

We've have this innate connection to them ever since we were children and, as a species, this dates back hundreds of 1000s of years.

"You need to let go of the idea that your emails are about your business - they need to be personal and written in a one-to-one way."

The more you can incorporate storytelling into your subject lines, your opening sentences and the main content of your email, and then link it to the call to action, the more sales you're going to get.

#2. Emotions

By expressing emotions in an email, you are forming a direct connection and relationship with your prospect.

Most people who do email marketing, avoid this, or don't even recognise it as a strategy.

But the more you can connect with people in this way via email the more you will get to change their emotions;

Buying anything is always an emotional transaction.

If you can open up a little bit and tell a personal story about yourself, or connect with people on a deeper level, then you are more likely to get the sale.

#3. Fear

Fear is a Powerful Sales TriggerFear is one of the main driving factors behind any purchasing decision.

People have fear of the future, fear of what may happen if they miss out and fear of what may go wrong if they don't take a certain action, and so on.

It's not your job to invent fears, or to try and make things worse than they are.

It's your duty to shine the light of truth.

Just get into detail in your emails about what the actual situation is that people find themselves in.

People will sometimes bury their head in the sand about their circumstances.

It's your job as an email marketer, to bring home what is sometimes a painful truth to them - tapping into people's fears can do this.

#4. Desire

Desire Can Drive Email Marketing SalesDesire is the flip side of the fear coin.

Many purchasing decisions are taken because people desire a certain thing.

True - it's not quite as powerful as fear but it is still the driving force behind many decisions.

As an email marketer, you should really understand the main desires and wants of your prospect.


The more you can address these desires and talk about them in your emails, the more sales you are going to make with your email campaigns.

Simply put...

By dangling the carrot of desire in front of your prospects you will get more opens, clicks and sales.

So talk about what they really want;

Not the product, or the offer - go deeper.

Tap into the desire they have that they think your product or offer will satisfy.

#5. Empathy

Use Empathy in Your Email Marketing EffortsWhat you're really trying to do here is get people to see you as similar to them and on their level.

Don't put yourself on a pedestal.

You need to be relatable to them on a human level.

So rather than you appearing as some mythical business owner in his ivory tower, you want them to connect to you on a personal, almost friend-like, basis.

You want them to have empathy with you.

The quickest way to achieve this, is to have empathy for them - walk a mile in their shoes, understand what they're going through.

Talk to your prospects in the same way their friends talk to them.

If you apply all these methods, strategies and email marketing best practices that we've discovered here you will be well on your way to becoming an email marketing master!


I hope you enjoyed this free training content.

You now have a better understanding of the email marketing best practices you need to put in place to get more clicks and sales from your emails.

Now grab this free training which shows you how to turn emails into money...


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