Email Marketing is one of the easiest ways to reach your consumers at a location they regularly visit, their inbox.

In recent years, email marketing has moved beyond the one-size-fits-all strategies into personalized experiences that are a powerhouse for driving engagement and conversion.

Get started with email marketing with this Introduction to Email Webinar.

Email 101 Transcript

Taylor: Hello, my name is Taylor Pettis and I’d like to welcome you to today's introduction to email webinar. This is a continuation in the Three Deep series covering various digital marketing topics. Today we're going to learn about email marketing from Scott Pearson.

We hope the presentation will be informative and interactive. To help make it interactive please share your comments and questions in the chat area of the webinar screen. I'll do my best to help Scott answer your questions during the presentation as well.

We're recording today's webinar and all of you will be emailed a copy following the event. If you like what you see and want to share it with your friends or connections, please feel free to do so.

Now it's my pleasure to introduce Scott. Scott is a Vice President and Partner with Three Deep Marketing. He has over 20 years digital marketing experience and is an expert in email marketing and eCRM. He leads the strategy, planning, and implementation on over one-thousand email campaigns and 245 million permission based emails each year. Here’s Scott Pearson.

Scott: Thank You for the great introduction Taylor. I am very excited to be here talking Email 101 today.

I want to start by saying Welcome and Thank You for joining us. As mentioned this presentation is meant to be an introductory 101 look into email to help move you past simply batch and blast tactics, but my hope is that even for more experienced email marketers participating today that there will be some best practice takeaways that you will be able to incorporate into your campaigns or even just some simple reminders to get back to focusing on the basics that work. Also, as Taylor mentioned these slides will be emailed to all registrants at the conclusion of this webinar.

In case anyone was curious what I look like there I am.

Again, my name is Scott Pearson and I am a Partner and Vice President of eCRM at Three Deep, a digital agency located in St. Paul MN. As Taylor mentioned I have a long history working in both CRM and Email Marketing. My background includes both B2C and B2B Businesses and I have done a lot of work with Large Enterprise companies all the way down to small Mom and Pop Shops. If you want to check out more about Three Deep, I would encourage you to visit our website at

So, Why Email?

Why are we all gathered here today?

After all, Isn’t Email Dead? I mean the first email was sent back in 1971. In digital marketing terms that’s like a million years ago.
Over the years Emails Death as been predicted several times. First it was Instant Messaging that was going to kill email. Then it was SMS and Text Messaging. Then it was Social Media. You get my point. Email has been around a long time and it will continue to be. If it wasn’t this would be the shortest webinar of all time. But, the fact is we are expecting Businesses to actually focus more on email marketing in the next 10 years than they have since the beginning of the internet.

But why? Well, three reasons. First, Email is Cost Effective. In most cases companies report that Email is either their best or second best marketing channel in terms of ROI. Second, Email can be very effective in building new relationships, but more importantly new revenue. As Exact Target stated 70% of people say they always open email from their favorite companies. And lastly, and probably the best reason email will continue to be so successful; is its ability to nurture repeat business from your existing customers. eMarketer released a report earlier this year showing that in 2014 email marketing was cited as the most effective digital channel for customer retention.

So hopefully we all agree that email is and will continue to be a powerful tool in our bag of marketing tactics. Or at least I am assuming that is why you are attending this webinar today. With that let’s jump into best practices around Email Design.

But before we get too far into images and content. To truly understand the whole of Email Design we need to understand the parts that make up the whole. This is something I learned in my 8th grade Biology class. Whoever thought I would be relating Frog dissection to Email Marketing? Well, I can promise that this will be a lot less painful for you, and the frog.

Before we slice this email up. The first question that I always get is what size should my email be? The answer is somewhere between 550 and 640 pixels. 640 used to be the magic number before the iPhone got bigger and better screens. Now the number is probably closer to 600. Just make sure you are under the 640 mark. If you are wondering how to calculate pixel size of your design. You can check it in a tool like Photoshop or an even easier way is to download a browser plugin like Measure IT for Firefox or Chrome. This will let you drag a virtual ruler over your creative and measure in pixels. You don’t need to worry too much about height as long as your email template will scale vertically. You do want to consider how much your viewer needs to scroll though; just make sure to keep important content up top. The other spec to consider is File Size. You want to make sure that the size of your html email file is between 15 and 100 kilobytes. Files larger than that can get caught in spam filters and experience delivery problems.

Ok, let’s get to the slicing. Our first slice is From Name. The From Name is basically the name of the sender, but that name could be a person or it could be a company, business division or even a communication name. The best practice is to make sure to use the value that will relate most to the reader when engaging with the content. For example, if you are sending an email to existing customers and a contact has had the same customer service rep for the past 10 years, it may make the most sense to have the from name be that of the Customer Service Rep. However, if I am a prospect and only vaguely aware of your business. Then having the Company Name as the from may make more sense. The From Name is one of the most overlooked aspects of email marketing. Consider this 43% of email recipients click the SPAM button based just on the From Name.

The next slice is From@Address. This is the email address that the email will appear to have come from. Again, like From Name this could be the email of a person, general company or more specific to a division or communication stream. The Best Practice – Make sure your From@Address works in conjunction with your From Name. You want them to work together. For example, if I was to send out an email with the From Name as myself – Scott Pearson then it makes the most sense to have the From@Address be listed as my email address - and not a general company address. Make sure not to over look the Tip on this slice. Take the time to work with your Email Service provider and your IT resources to get your From@Address configured correctly. An incorrectly configured From@Address is one of the quickest ways to land all your emails in the Junk folder. For more information on finding out if your From@Address is configured correctly you can visit, type in your domain name and it will tell you what issues you may have with deliverability based on how your From@address is setup.

The Next slice is Subject Line – We are all probably very familiar with Subject Lines. The goal of the subject line is simply to describe the theme of the content and identify what the main offer of the email is. Best practices include writing shorter subject lines because of the explosion in mobile email views - Long subject lines tend to get cut off on mobile devices. You want to make sure you include the main offer in the first 35 characters of the subject line. Another best practice is using personalization in the subject line. The most common execution of this is inserting first name, but you could use other personalization's such as company name or product purchased. Or you can go the simplest route like HP did below and simply use the word “you”. At least this gives the impression that this email was personalized just for me with out needing any data or additional technology to make the personalization happen. Is personalization worth the effort? Take note of the fact listed that you can see an increase of 22.3% in open rate by using personalized subject lines.

Slice 4 – Is Preheader Text. In short Preheader Text is simply the first line of actual text in your email. Why is Preheader Text so important. Well it is important because on mobile devices there are three values that show up in the preview pain of your email client. From Name, Subject Line and Preheader Text. Don’t waste the opportunity to optimize this content and make it enticing for the recipient to actually click and open your email. Best practice is to keep this line of text under 50 characters. And make sure the first line of text in your email is not something like – If you are having trouble viewing this email click here. This gives the reader absolutely no extra value in why they should open and read your email. If you are not focused on Preheader Text, you are not alone. We did a study last year that showed that almost 70% of email marketers were not dictating what the Preheader Text of their emails where. Still confused about what Preheader Text is? Don’t worry we will be seeing lots of examples in upcoming slides.

Slice 5 – Is the Header – the Headers main job is to provide branding. This usually means it includes the company logo. For Best Practice you want to focus on using a Narrow header. A Header that is less than 75 pixels. The reason is simple. If the Header is Narrow, it keeps the important Body content and Call to Action up above the fold. The Tip on this slide brings up a good point. Not every email is going to need a header. Especially B2B sales driven emails. In that case you will want to remove the header to make the email seem more manual and less automated. As if the sales rep took the time to write it out and send personally. We will see some examples of emails like these in upcoming slides.

Slice 6 – Is the Headline – Writing good headlines is an art. The goal of the headline is to illustrate the theme of the email and most importantly the offer. You want the Headline to gain enough attention from the reader that they invest additional time in reading the body copy. Best Practices say to keep headlines under 40 characters and on one line if possible no more than 2 lines. You will want to use at least 30-point font for readability on mobile devices. Take note of this tip – Don’t embed your Headline in an image. Keep your Headline as text so it is visible when images are not displayed in email clients like Microsoft Outlook.

Slice 7 – Is the Body – This slice should really read Body and Offer. The goal and purpose of the body copy is to provide just enough information about your offer that the reader searches out the Call to Action or CTA. Best Practices are to use sub-headlines, lists and bullets to make skimming the body content easy. An additional Tip is to also include text links in your Body copy that convert to your offer.

Slice 8 – Is the Heroshot Image – A Heroshot is an Image that relates to your body content and offer but sells or draws attention to the CTA. Your Heroshot should show additional detail about a product or improve relevance about a service. Typically, Heroshots are of two types – Product or Lifestyle. A product Heroshot is just that an image of the Product. A lifestyle Heroshot is more about the experience the product or service could offer. A best practice is actually to combine the two. Such as in the example listed here. This Heroshot shows some type of electronic measuring device. But it shows the Product in use in the field. Products in use tend to draw much more attention from readers than simple product shots. If you are interested in more information on what makes a good Heroshot; please visit the link located under the tip for an entire presentation on what makes a great Heroshot. There is even a Scorecard you can download to score your Heroshot on your next email.

Slice 9 – Is the Call to Action or (CTA) – This is the purpose of your email. If you do not have a clear call to action in your email than I would argue that you may not need to send the email. Email CTA’s are almost always a click with the request to take some specific action such as Download, Register, Review, Purchase, etc. But in some cases it could be to take other action such as Call or Schedule an Appointment. Keys to creating a good call to action are utilizing contrasting color for your CTA Button. The CTA Button should stand out from the rest of your email. It should draw all the attention. The wording should also show some aspect of urgency. You will see that the word Now or Today is most often used. For more information on how color can impact conversion of your CTA you can visit our blog at the link under the tip section.

Slice 10 – Is Secondary Content – Secondary Content includes all other content areas typically below your Body Copy. This could be one section or multiple sections, but I would suggest that you do not have more than 3 Secondary Content areas. More than that can greatly distract from the main Body Copy and CTA. You will note in examples that we take a look at in future slides that Secondary content is optional. As long as you include main Body Content and a CTA you do not necessarily need Secondary content.

Slice 11 – Is the Recapture Area – This section of your email is meant to try and provide something of relevance if in fact the Body, CTA and Secondary Content was not suitable for the reader. This section usually houses links to Highly visited portions of your website or customer service links. You will also see Social Media asks made here. As a tip I would suggest removing this section of your email template and testing without it. Some times the more links you have the more distracting it is and can decrease the number of clicks you get on your main CTA.

The final slice #12 – The Footer – The last but probably one of the most important parts. The footer includes compliance items including but not limited to Unsubscribe, Physical Address, Privacy Policy, Contact Information and any Legal information you may need to include. A best practice is to make sure the Unsubscribe link is obvious. People will often try to hide the unsubscribe link by making it small and a light colored font. This is wrong. The reason you want it obvious is simple. You would much rather the person Unsubscribe from your emails if they truly are not getting value from them than to click the Spam or Junk button in their email client. Spam or Junk clicks are one of the top reasons for emails to get blocked from specific Email Providers. In regards to Compliance - Follow the link in the tip section for compliance rules and regulations for the Geographies that you market in.

That completes the dissection of a standard email layout. Again, I hope that was a lot less painful than the Frog you may have dissected in your school days. Now let’s take a look at some examples and see how all these parts are pulled together to create an over all design.

As an example lets use an email that I received from a company called Grainger after signing up to receive emails from them on their website. Remember your preview window in your email client or your phone will be the first interaction you have with the email. If the From Name, Subject Line and Preheader Text don’t do their jobs at this point the chance the email will get opened is minimal. In this example you see that they used the Company name “Grainger” as the From Name. Probably a good choice as I just signed up with them. They did a good job of personalizing the Subject line with my First Name, but they could have done a better job of describing the offer or value that is contained within the email content. The Preheader Text is redundant to that of the Subject Line. The Preheader could have been much stronger in telling me why I should open and read the email.

This is what the same email looks like on my mobile phone. Here you can really see the value in creating good Preheader Text as it actually gets most of the real estate in your mobile preview pain.

Here is the full email once opened. You can see that it represents all the slices that we just walked through. Overall, I would say this is a good representation of a pretty standard Welcome email. The Header is narrow and provides branding. The Headline is personalized and short. It could probably do a better job of getting me excited about what other information is contained in the email but over all it’s ok. The Body content Uses Lists and is scanable. The Heroshot Image is excellent in that it incorporates an actual Customer Service Rep with a Catalog and the Website pulled up on a computer Illustrating all the ways I have to Shop Now. The CTA is Clear and obvious. The Secondary Content adds value but stays out of the way of the Body and CTA. The Recapture Area provides some social icons as well as some common Customer Service elements if I need help. The footer contains all the necessary compliance elements for the US geography and it is clear on how I can Unsubscribe or change my Email Preferences. Overall this email represents all the parts of an email quite nicely.

So, that was one example. But just like Frogs, Emails have many shapes, sizes and colors. Let’s take a quick look at different types of emails to help us better understand further design considerations.

When we talk about email types these three values are most often considered. Text – Html – and Multi-Part.

Text emails are just that Plain Text. No Images. No Hyperlinks and have very limited tracking available to them.

HTML emails can be a mix of Text and Images, you also have a lot more control on how you can stylize text with colors and sizes and you can Hyperlink images or text in the email. Html emails also offer much better measurement of Open and Click Rates.

Then you have this thing called Multi-Part. What this means is the email platform with actually send your email as both a Plain Text email and an Html email. It will be up to the contacts email client to decide what version it is best suited to render.

This is the option you always want to send. It is best practice to always have a Text version of your email. You may not think many people will view your email as plain text but we see on average that still between 3-5 % of views come from Text versions. A big enough number to still care about creating it.

Since creating a Text version is best practice here are some tips for making them better.

  • Since you can’t include image buttons or inline links use a CTA like “Paste This Link” or “View Link In Your Browser”
  • Use special characters like equals, dashes or plus signs to help break up the email and draw attention to the CTA

Finally use line breaks to create White Space to make the content easier to scan and read.

Here is a quick Pop Quiz – Is this email Text or Html?

The answer is, it’s Html. The dead giveaway was - they used an image of the logo at the bottom. Next they included inline text links. And finally they used stylized text including a different font and color.

Another set of email types to consider are the following, Cold – Permission and Transactional.

Cold emails are typically sent to purchased lists or lists obtained by other means such as trade events or business development research on the Internet. Cold emails mean there is no past relationship with the contact and the contact has never provided permission to be emailed. Please note there are many compliance issues to be aware of, especially in Canada and some EU countries.

Permission Based emails are contacts that have explicitly opted in to receive marketing emails from you. That means at the very least there is that relationship, but often these may also be your customers. Note while not as many compliance concerns as with cold email there are still rules for Permission based emails in most countries.

And finally Transactional – Transactional emails are triggered after a specific transaction occurs. Think of requesting a White Paper and immediately receiving an email with a link to download. Or Ecommerce emails such as Order Confirmations or Shipping Confirmations. While Transactional email is very important in the overall scope of email marketing it tends to be a more advance topic so we will spend most of our time taking a further look at Cold and Permission based emails.

Here are some links to Compliance Regulations. There is one for US and One for Canada. The third link will lead you to a resource that will have links to other countries and geographies

Let’s take a look at some of these email types. Here is a Cold B2B email example Requesting a Meeting. You can see many of the elements are missing. As mentioned earlier this is ok. Removing these elements make this seem more like a one off email sent directly from the sender. They do a good job of personalizing the subject line and even though the CTA is an ask for a meeting there is a clear CTA button to reply.

Here is another Cold B2B Email Requesting a Webinar Invite. Again we have many of the elements missing to represent a more one off look. You will also notice that while these are html emails there are almost no images. I find that this can be very effective for these types of emails.

This Cold email is asking for a White Paper Download. There is a better balance of images to text in this example, which makes sense so they can include a Heroshot of the White Paper. You will also notice that some of the items have been rearranged vs. our original example. Again, not all emails are alike. I would encourage you to test and experiment with your email templates, include, remove or just move around parts to see what gets the best results.

Here we have a look at a Permission email for Evernote, a Software program. The main CTA is to download the Evernote App. This template includes almost all the elements but they have been moved around a bit. I would definitely encourage them to incorporate the Preheader Text that they are missing.

This Permission Email is that of a Newsletter. It has one main CTA with additional news content sections below. You can see this email is also missing Preheader-text and is missing the Recapture Area, but overall has most of the parts we have reviewed. My one comment on this email is they could do a much better job of personalizing the content. This email feels a lot like a one-size fits all message. They could avoid that by personalizing the Subject Line and at least providing a personalized salutation.

Here is an example of a Permission based Promotional email. The CTA is 21 days of Free Access to a product LinkedIn owns. Again it includes all the elements minus the Preheader Text. As you can see even big brands and experience email marketers forget the basics some times!!!!! Otherwise this email is great. It has personalization elements, and a great CTA.

As I mentioned previously we will not be focusing on Transactional Email for this presentation but I have listed some examples of common emails. Order Confirmation, Shipping Confirmation, Change Password, Download Request and Product Recall are all versions of Transactional Emails. From a design aspect in most cases they will include more text than images. And because of their Transactional nature, in most cases they do not require Opt-In or Permission Compliance.

Bad Ideas - lets take a look at some things Not to Do.

This is a big No, No. This email arrived to me as One big image. The problem is I use Microsoft Outlook and Outlook doesn’t download images by default so what I see is the view on the right. A RED “X” were the content is supposed to be. There is not a single aspect of this email creative I can see with Images Off that would lead me to understand what the email is about or has to offer. Without downloading the image there is no value. To the left is what it looks like with the images downloaded.

This is actually a better example of what to do in that case. Here we see our email from LinkedIn that uses a good balance of images to text. Even in the version on the right without images downloaded I completely get the idea and value of what the email is about. Even the buttons represent well with out images.

This email from Menards is a perfect example of Content Overload. Um, what am I supposed to focus on? Menards has sent me way to much to think about. Too many click possibilities lead me to choice trauma. My next action is simply to ignore this email and move on.

This is an email I received at 8:03 AM the other morning while trying to drop my kids off at daycare and get to work. All I saw was the Subject line on my phone and quickly freaked out and scrambled to dial my IT guys to figure out what was wrong with our Blog. Only to take a closer look when I got to the office to discover that it was just a misleading Subjectline to get me to pay some guy named Charles to write blog posts. Misleading Subject Lines and Misleading Headlines are actually part of CAN-SPAM compliance here in the US. Your company can face fines by the FCC if it finds you deliberately sent marketing email to mislead your contacts. Don’t do what Charles did.

Gerber did a great thing here by sending me a Welcome email when I signed up to receive email from them. But, Hey Mom? They clearly can Identify that it is me as they have it personalized with my name. A much better and more relevant experience would be - Hey Dad and a picture of a Dad holding his baby!

Ok, enough with the bad. Let’s take a look at some more good ideas to Focus On when developing and deploying email campaigns.

It is not only a good idea, but a great idea to focus on deliverability.

Solutions to deliverability issues are more suited for an Advanced session. But here are a few things to consider. Try not to use phrases like Click Here or definitely not “Free Viagra”. Also, don’t use excessive exclamation points or all CAPS. Even Red or Green Colored fonts have been known to cause problems. Make sure the person that codes your emails has at least basic skills in html or delivery issues could arise. And finally make sure you clean your list. If you don’t remove all the hard bounces, unsubscribes and SPAM complaints from your list before every send – I can 100% guarantee you will run into significant email delivery problems.

It is a good idea to Focus on Rendering…

Focus on Mobile Optimization and Responsive Design…

Here is that Red wing example - you can see that they used Responsive Design to keep the offer button up above the fold so you do not need to scroll. Even on a phone they put the Heroshot down below the body copy, combined the Headline and Sub-headline into one and moved the CTA button up so no scrolling is required to convert on the offer. There is one device however that is not optimized. Do you recognize which one? It’s the iPad in Portrait. You can see that you would need to scroll to the bottom to see and click on the CTA button. That is something that they should address in the future.

Focus On Relevancy...

Here is a great example of Gerber using a combination of Calendar Based Sending with Triggered Lifecycle dynamic content to achieve a high level of relevancy.

Something that is easy to do to increase relevancy is to use at least Simple Segments. Even simple segments can make a world of difference in how relevant that message will be to your contact. Listed are just a sample of some easy segments to target. Segments like Prospects vs. Customers or segmenting based on a customers last purchase or web behavior. Or one of the easiest is simply segmenting based on geography were the contact is located and providing relevant content based on that.

It is a good idea to Focus On A/B and Multivariate Testing. Here is a list of just a few of the variables you can test on.

When you start to Test and Optimize your emails! – Simple A/B Testing of From Name and Subject Line is where you should start! These two items can drive immediate increase in open rates. Once you have maximized your viewership of your email then you can move on to items like creative and offer testing that focus more on conversion improvements.

I get asked a lot about the Best Time of day and week to send email. My answer is to Test! There is no Magic date or time but the Highest Opt out day is Tuesday. Know Why? Because someone published a study that says that Tuesdays are the best time to send email. So now you have a lot of email being sent on Tuesdays so the most Opt outs happen on Tuesdays. Guess what might not be the best day anymore? Tuesday! I do know that for B2B we have had the best luck sending Weekdays (Tuesday – Thursday) early morning between 6:00 AM – 8:00 AM. For B2C it is more varied depending on your offer and your audience. You should Test your own database and see what your best day and time is.

Probably the next most frequent question I get asked is How frequent should I being sending emails? As for sending Frequency. The rule of thumb is to Send more often to your active contacts. There is no magic frequency number, but these can by general guidelines. For your engaged contacts send Weekly to Monthly. For those that have not even opened one of your emails in several months I would drop down to a Monthly or Quarterly interval.

Everyone – Even the most experienced Email Marketer needs to remember to focus on this. Do your due diligence and check your emails over before you send them. You would be amazed at how many forget to even spell check.

Here is an example. Mistakes really do happen. Here is an email I got just a couple of days ago from Petco. If you look up at the pre-header text you will see that the personalization of “Pet Parent” is duplicated, but the big mistake is on the offer. It says $15 eGift Card with your $15 order. Well, that should read $50 order. These are the kinds of mistakes that will drive your legal department nuts. So what do you do when you make a mistake?

You look to correct the mistake and resend the email as soon as you can. In this case Petco didn’t acknowledge that they made the error. I would have probably advised them to put a couple lines of text in the header illustrating the earlier mistake, but at least they followed up right away with a correct version of the email.

Here is a basic punch list to use before you send out your next email to avoid a mistake like Petco. Make sure to Proofread, Spellcheck and confirm that your CTA’s are correct.

  • Test all the links.
  • Make sure that all images are loading correctly.
  • Check that the email is mobile responsive or at least mobile friendly.
  • Check that the Email is rendering correctly in all Email Clients including Desktop, Web and Mobile.
  • Verify that your Send Counts Match what you were anticipating.
  • And finally make sure that all necessary Compliance Items are in order for your specific sending Geographies.

Another rule that we have in place at Three Deep is we do not allow any Campaign Managers to send their own campaigns. That means if they setup the content and the campaign that another Campaign Manager must review with them and actually schedule or send the campaign. It is amazing what a second set of eyes will catch.

It’s a good idea to Focus on Metrics. And make sure to compare them to Industry averages. Included on this slide is a link to Silverpop’s 2014 Industry Benchmarks so you can check your delivery, open and click rates against others in the same industry. You can use a tool like Litmus to gain some insight into other metrics such as Mobile Device Breakdown, Skim/Read Rate – which is a metric similar to Website bounce rate and Litmus can even track number of times your email was Printed. One note about metrics. Open and Click rates only go so far. Make sure what you are really measuring are business results. Like Sales, Appointments, Downloads etc.

And of course it is always a good idea to Focus On Education - Here are some of my favorite Blogs for Email Marketing Education. Technology and tactics for Email are constantly changing, especially for Mobile design and deliverability. Make sure to stay up to date by reading the latest information.

And Finally – A Little Something to Chew on.

If you are to takeaway anything from this presentation today, I would hope it would be the following.

  • Start putting more effort into your selection of From Names, Subject Lines and Preheader Text. Optimizing here can give you immediate results.
  • Simple Segmentation works. Don’t just blast to your whole list. Segment it out. Even if it is basic.

Think mobile. Not ready for Responsive Design? That’s ok, still use some of the best practices we talked about today on your next email.

And to help you with planning your next email to be Mobile Friendly, we are offering a Free eBook called “Energize your Engagement with Mobile Friendly Email”.
You can download the eBook by visiting

And that concludes our webinar on Email 101 Best Practices. I appreciate everyone's time today and think we still have a few minutes for a couple of questions.

Taylor: Yes, it looks like we have had some great conversation in the chat field during the presentation, so there are a few questions. I’d like to thank Scott for his time and the outstanding presentation today. If you do have questions or comments, please make sure to add them in the chat field now.

Here is one question that quickly caught my eye. I noticed you included an icon in one of your Subject Line examples. We know images and emoji’s are used more often. Do you recommend using icons in the subject line, or have you had any good results using them?

Scott: You need to be a little careful when using icons. [Here let me go back and find that example] In this example we used a scissors icon to represent the clipping of the coupon CTA. The reason that you need to be careful is that not all email clients will support all icons. I think there are like 28 icons that the majority of email clients will support. I would recommend doing some research and testing on the icon you want to use before sending it. Contact me offline if you have questions or are unsure of what icons might be ok to use. As for results we have seen mixed results when using them. We have not seen big gains in open rates when we do use them. However, we do have good success with them when sending to non-engaged segments. I think the icon can help break up the subject line in inboxes were people receive a lot of email. Especially lots of promotional email.

Taylor: That’s a great answer. Here’s another one. Most of your cold email examples seemed like they were B2B examples. Do you recommend sending cold emails to B2C contacts?

Scott: In most cases we are not big fans of sending unsolicited mail to B2C contacts. That is pretty much the definition of SPAM and there are many compliance issues you will need to look into before you engage in any cold emailing campaigns whether targeted at B2B or B2C contacts. If you are looking to grow your email database, I would recommend first looking to do that organically through getting contacts to opt in and next I would look at things like Co-registration were at least a contact is opting-in to hear from 3rd parties with content like you are offering.

Taylor: Here’s a question that is a little more technical. I’m glad someone decided to ask it. I’ve been told that our email platform uses a “Shared IP” and this is the reason our emails are being sent to the junk folder. What can we do about this?

Scott: Well, just using a “Shared IP” doesn’t automatically mean your emails will be sent to the spam or junk folder. There are many other aspects to email delivery that could be and probably are playing a role in your delivery. So without some more specific information it is hard to give a definitive answer. As a best practice a dedicated IP, meaning an IP address that only you are sending email from is easier to control deliverability since you are only governing your email campaigns and you have control over the send practices that you are deploying. In a shared IP you can’t control the policies and practices of other companies so they maybe damaging the reputation of that Shared IP and helping to land your email in the junk folder. At the same time just moving to a dedicated IP will not mean all your email will be delivered to the inbox. You still need to do a lot of work to maintain your IP reputation as well as follow best practices for content and other aspects that can effect delivery.

Taylor: We’re nearly out of time, but I did see this question and want to make sure we got to it before ending today’s session. The world is transitioning to a mobile first mentality and this question is about mobile email. Should all emails be designed to be mobile responsive? If not what emails would you not design responsive?

Scott: Yes, in all cases I can think of I would utilize responsive design. All of our clients are now seeing more than 50% of email views coming from mobile devices so it makes sense to design for that user experience.

That is also a nice transition into our mobile email marketing resource I wanted to mention. We have a mobile friendly email marketing eBook that is available for download and hope that people will check it out.

Taylor: That’s another great resource. Thank you again for your time today Scott and the outstanding presentation.

Scott: Thank you and thank you everyone for attending.

Click Here to See Slides from the Presentation

Scott Pearson

Presented by: Scott Pearson, Vice President and Partner at Three Deep Marketing

Scott is forever focused on high-conversion digital marketing campaigns. He has over of 20 years experience driving rapid business growth through CRM and Email Marketing strategies. Each year, Scott manages over 1,200 email campaigns and 245,000,000 permission-based emails for Fortune 100 to Small Businesses. He is an expert in B2B and B2C marketing and a recognized thought leader on mobile marketing and email strategies to support mobile devices. Scott has been with Three Deep Marketing since 2004 where he is a Vice President and Partner.

Tools to Create Better Emails:  

Heroshot Scorecard

Color Usability: 4 Keys to Clockwork Conversion

Guide to Mobile Friendly Email 


Compliance Resources:

United States 


General by Country


Resources for Email Marketing Education: