How to Create Better Emails - The Basic Guide

We here at Web Design Library know how to create better emails. And we are going to share this valuable knowledge with our readers now, read on to never miss(loose?) a subscriber!

In case you have your own blog (it doesn't matter if you are a designer, a developer, an illustrator or any other kind of blogger), you should think on a strategy to gather more subscribers. This guide is build on recommendations of the best email experts (such as Jimmy Daly and Tim Soulo) and will help you create that strategy, gain more subscribers and communicate with them via email more effectively.

Lack of Purpose in the Email Campaign

I've gathered here a short but intensive list of the most common email mistakes, try to avoid them and your emails will shine like a star!

1. Lack of Purpose in the Email Campaign

Lack of purpose or an unclear call to action is a common mistake in email-campaigns. More often than not we send letters to our customers weekly/monthly/daily simply because we MUST do it! Moreover, it is a common situation when bloggers forget about goals of their weekly/monthly letters. A letter should be sent only in case you have a newsmaker!

Lack of Purpose in the Email Campaign

Follow the KISS principle to create the best email campaign ever. Remember, you have only those 3 seconds to get your customer's attention.

2. Don't Overhype the Subject Line

Overhyped and "too smart" titles is a common mistake not only for email subjects, almost all kinds of media play with it. And it is a bad practice!

Your title should clearly reflect the information disclosed in the article.

How often have you seen the overhyped headlines that pushed you to open an article? And when you opened such a post (or a letter) you couldn't find the anticipated information. It is quite annoying, isn't it?

Subject Line

I'm sure that such tricks will kill your brand trust and are not worth even a click. Your headlines should be interesting, informative and first of all - substantial. Only this way you can build long-term, trusting relationship with your readers and customers.

3. Don't Underestimate Preheaders

There are no minor details in your newsletter: name, email address, title, preheader - all these seemingly trifle things are very important. You have only 3!!! seconds to capture the attention of your email recipient, that's why you should use all the tools and odds at your disposal.

Most of the email clients are able to display a small text preview next to the title. This text is called preheader, with its help you can significantly increase the open rate of your emails. You can use preheaders to provide a strong call to action, add more personalization to your letters etc.


I've seen many emails where people still don't even have preheader copy, or if they do, it's "To view this email in a browser, click here." Moreover, often people build their emails as an image (a bad practice too, by the way), in which case the preheader looks like a bunch of code or a very long URL.


TIP: Keep your preheader short and catchy. Your clients are busy and probably have a dozen other emails to get through. Preheader should consist of less than 30 words, even 20 if possible.

4. "Noreply" as the Email Address or From Name

If you want to build strong rapport with your clients, you should forget about "admin" or "noreply" in the "from name" section. The clients' answers are a great source of feedback and other valuable information about the service you provide, you can't lose this chance!

Moreover, "noreply" can be regarded as a reluctance to talk with your clients. Rude!

5. Too Many Calls to Action

"One letter - one call to action" is an ideal situation. Don't overload your message with too much information.

Marketers that create huge letters are trying to do too much in one campaign email. Maybe they don't want to send too many letters and hope to put all the information they have in one letter, in any case - it isn't a good idea.

6. Email Clients are Your Friends!

Your letter should be displayed correctly in all popular email clients. And their number is huge! Here are just a few of the most popular email clients: MS Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo!, Thunderbird, Hotmail, Apple Mail, AOL Mail, theBat!, etc.

Email Clients

I suggest you take a look at The Ultimate Guide to CSS, this is a complete breakdown of the CSS support for every popular mobile, web and desktop email client on the planet.

Wanna learn to code emails yourself? Download our Beginners Guide to HTML for FREE right now:

7. Stop Sending Letters to Those Who do Not Need Them

Most companies regularly send emails to the same people day after day. Usually it isn't an issue, but some people don't open your emails. Remember - if your open rate is too low, email clients may mark your letters as spam. And you absolutely do NOT want that!

I have an obvious solution for you here - stop sending letters to the people who don't read them!

8. Emails With the Focus on Product, not Customer

How often do you see a letter in your inbox with such an offer: "Oh, go click this and do this and just PAY US NOW!"?

Before sending your email just ask yourself: "Are my emails valuable for my clients? "

Your emails should serve the clients, not your product.

9. Using Images as the Entire Email

Using images in your letters is a great idea, but creating a letter entirely from images... nope, not great at all.

First of all, such letters are not mobile friendly, moreover, image-heavy letters often fall into the spam folder. Or imagine the situation when a client's settings are "images off"...

10. Let Your Personality Shine

Be unique! Most probably your clients like your creative style, your sense of humour, your point of view, maybe these things are why they subscribed in the first place!

Even if you sell something in your newsletters it is not a reason for them to be boooring.

11. What about email frequency?

How often do you email? What day and time are the best for an email campaign? These are frequently asked questions. Moreover, frequency of your emails is one of the top reasons for unsubscribing from an email program. Just look at this statistic:

The Basic Guide on How to Create Better Emails

You can find lots of answers and tips on these topics but... Do you really think that a solution that suits a crafts online store is gonna work for your web design blog?

Don't make this mistake! Remember that other people's research results are just an inspiration for your own A/B testing.

12. Make Presents

Practice shows that unexpected gift can help you increase your sales by 30%. Make a present to your subscribers (it can be a free eBook, a webinar, any other freebie). Psychologists say that gifts provoke a desire to do something good in response.

In any case, a pleasant gift from a company brightens the mood of a user (everyone loves free stuff, even the Rockefellers! ), the said client will remember the company as a result and who knows, he might buy its product or service in the future.

13. The Best and the Worst Words to Put in Your Email Subject Lines

Alchemy Worx analyzed 21 billion marketing emails that were sent by 2.500 brands. Their research shows the best and the worst words for email subject lines.

I have to say - it was quite a surprise for me that words "Friday", "Learn" and "Miss" have a negative impact on the open rate.

The Basic Guide on How to Create Better Emails

The Basic Guide on How to Create Better Emails

They even analyzed symbols in email subjects:

The Basic Guide on How to Create Better Emails

More mistakes: too long emails, emails without text links, bad personalization ("Dear *|FULLNAME|* ").

14. The Worst Mistake EVER

The biggest mistake that you can do in an email campaign is to ask your customer to login before she can unsubscribe. Very often people just mark such letters as spam.

15. Don't forget to test your emails!

What has always amazed me the most is how we all love to read "smart posts", find some incredible statistics and amazing ideas and just plainly copy them with no thought.

A cool infographic says that you should send your emails on Mondays. WOW! Ok! Another recommends you to post on Facebook from 3 p.m. till 5 p.m.? Done! But...

Very often bloggers don't take their audience into account at all, and this is a very VERY bad business practice.

The first thing you should do before creating your email campaign is to get acquainted with your audience. More often than not marketers don't know for whom they write their letters. Not good! You should know exactly who you're writing for, how that person thinks, what that person needs. It isn't an easy task and needs lots of A/B testing, but it's worth it.


Sure thing - you should learn from others' experience, but you can't just copy a successful tactic of other business and blindly implement it in your own. It can only be a cool source of inspiration for your own A/B tests.

Test it, and let your users' opinion win!


So that's it! Go on, create cool email campaigns, share only useful for your readers stuff and test-test-test it! Wish you only interesting letters in your inbox, friends!

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