How to SORT out your Email Marketing

Posted on June 17, 2016 at 1:11 pm Written by

Have PowerPoint, will travel…

SORT out your email marketingMy role as Sales Director has me up and down the country speaking at a variety of trade shows and exhibitions, wandering the land like an Email Marketing evangelist!

Last month I was invited to speak at The Global Travel Groups annual conference in Dubai, after maybe one to two seconds consideration I snapped their arm off and took my seat on the flight!

Then, the nerves kick in… Is my talk any good? Is it relevant? Is it useful? Turns out, it’s all of the above!




I’ve been in this game for over 12 years and in all that time the topics remain the most important to new email marketers and seasoned pros. It’s a long one so I’ve gone for a two parter!

How to SORT out your Email Marketing – Part One.





I like to start on the hard one!

Gary Thuerk sent the first email spam in 1978. He was reprimanded and told not to do it again. That said,  spam works, a few recipients were interested in what he was selling…

Since its inception we’ve had to battle hard to get past the by-product of spam, the spam filter. By understanding how they work, we can ensure more of our emails get through these electronic nightclub bouncers!

Watch your wording
BUY NOW!! OFFER!!!! SPECIAL!!!! Keep an eye on the words you use and how many times you use them. All goes towards a poor score. If you do want to use these words, put them on an image, spam filters cannot read pictures.

Poor quality purchased lists.
It’s tempting, but never really worth it. Bought data often contains honey trap email addresses (fake addresses set up by spam filters to catch you sending) so you run the risk of getting yourself blacklisted.

Image to text ratio. 60/40 balance.
A nice balance of text to images so the spam filter can “read” your email to check it. Try to host your images rather than embed them and don’t try to send just one large image.

Not having SPF, DKIM and DMARC set up.
A real tech alert on this one, if you are using an email marketing provider like NewZapp or MailChimp etc. make sure you have the appropriate SPF records set.

Sending it yourself.
Try to use an email marketing provider if you can, we use more reputable email sending servers than your outlook does. Spam filters monitor millions of email from us and so put us on alert if we have a problem which we fix in minutes. If you get a problem your Internet provider may shut you down for anything up to 48 hours.

Check your email before you send

Mail Tester is a fantastic piece of kit and COMPLETELY FREE! Simply go to the website, send a copy of your email to the address it shows you and click check your score.


If your email has any issues it will tell you in the report. One of my favourite email marketing tools and well worth the effort. Shows you potential blacklisting’s poor formatting and spam pitfalls.


The Second Filter

Stage one, success, you’ve got past the spam filter. The second stage is just as tricky.

It’s the mobile phone, or as I call it, The Second Filter

Over 75% of activity on mobile devices is email. And emails are deemed worthy of opening based on subject line alone! It’s fast becoming the most important handful of words ever typed in marketing. So why should your subscribers open the uninspiring subject line of:

“Company name Newsletter”

All that’s going to happen is:



We’re checking our emails 24/7. We get hundreds a day. At work, at home, walking the dog, on holiday, sat on the loo?

Most of this time is spent clearing emails we don’t want to read. Swiping left like a demon! Your subject line can make the difference.


Steve the Barman and Monkey’s Paw and good examples. Strong on brand coupled with interesting & intriguing subject lines. Sorry is a great word to use in subject lines, second only to “Thank you”.

Those emails are keepers and survive “The Second Filter”

Aviva and EuroCarParts are good on brand but have got too wordy, too shouty and slow on the intrigue. EuroCarParts make good use of the text below the subject line that said.

If only you could check your subject line before you send…
Well you’re in luck! a great company called Phrasee offers another FREE system that allows you to check your subject lines.


Click on How it Works and try Phrasee Pheelings Lite. Phrasee Pheelings is the world’s first Artificial Intelligence technology that predicts your audience’s emotional response to your email subject lines.

Phrasee Pheeling

Simply enter your subject line, email address and industry sector in the form below. You’ll get sent an email with a link to your results. It’s awesome.


Information overload!

That’s it for part one I think, lots of great new toys to help SORT out your Email Marketing. Next week in part two we’ll have Responsive and Targeting.

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