Best Practice

Email Marketing Best Practice Guide

By Natalie Rockall,
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About this guide

This year’s Email Marketing Best Practice Guide sees the original 2014 version rewritten to reflect changes in email marketing over the past 18 months. The strategic sections are organised around ‘pillars’, with new techniques and approaches mentioned throughout. Charts, surveys and case studies have been updated and incorporate the results of Econsultancy’s Email Marketing Industry Census 2017.

Given the ongoing significance of email to most organisations, sections of this guide will be relevant to CEOs and MDs; CMOs and Marketing Directors; FDs and data analysts; brand, content, digital, social, online and ecommerce managers; producers, creatives, and strategists as well as owners in editorial, PR, marketing and customer service departments.

This latest version of the guide contains notably more about the technology of email than ever before – including themes such as Artificial Intelligence and automation – as well as contributions from expert practitioners throughout. The report also covers the General Data Protection Regulation, and how marketers may have to adapt their email marketing strategies to ensure they comply with the new regulation. 

The report has been created so that marketers can either review their existing email strategy or build a comprehensive email marketing strategy from scratch, by focusing on the following strategic pillars:

  • Aims and goal setting
  • Segmentation and targeting
  • Communications strategy
  • Copywriting
  • Layout and creative
  • Testing and optimisation

The report also includes a ‘Quick Start’ guide for readers who are looking for short, immediately actionable steps, each set of suggestions tailored to a different level of experience:

  • Before you start email marketing
  • Intermediate level
  • Refresher tactics for advanced email marketers

Contributors and reviewers

This report has been updated by Natalie Rockall and Steffan Aquarone. Natalie is a commercially minded email marketing expert with more than 14 years’ marketing experience. Qualified with the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing, Natalie is also founder of Eleven11 Digital.

Steffan leads Econsultancy's Best Practice Report programme. He is a digital entrepreneur and speaker who has trained big brands and spoken around the world on innovation, entrepreneurship and digital marketing.

This report builds on a 2014 version, which was authored by Dave Littlechild. A founding member of email marketing software provider Adestra, Dave has been at the cutting edge of email marketing for more than a decade.

Natalie and Steffan have put together this updated report with the aid of an expert team of contributors who have kindly given their time and effort to producing this guide. Contributors to this report include:

  • Alice Cornell, Director of Email Deliverability, Change.org
  • Catherine Loftus, Senior Marketing Manager, TrustedHousesitters
  • Nick Crawford, Interim Head of eCRM, Travelodge
  • Rachel Whitter, Email Channel Manager, RSPB

Contributing Authors


Natalie Rockall

More reports from Natalie Rockall

Table of contents

1. Introduction

  • About this report
  • About Econsultancy
  • About the authors

2. How this Guide is Structured

3. Quick Start

4. Why Email Still Matters

5. Strategic Pillar 1: Aims and Goal Setting

6. Strategic Pillar 2: Segmentation and Targeting

7. Strategic Pillar 3: Communications Strategy

8. Strategic Pillar 4: Copywriting

9. Strategic Pillar 5: Layout and Creative

10. Optimisation 1: Testing

11. Optimisation 2: List Quality

12. Optimisation 3: Email Deliverability

13. Industry Experts’ Biographies

14. Appendix

Downloads

  • Pdf SAMPLE: Email Marketing Best Practice Guide (750 KB PDF)
  • Pdf Disabled Email Marketing Best Practice Guide (5.96 MB PDF)
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