Grow And Maintain Your List: 8 Email Marketing Tips From An Experienced Buyer

Grow And Maintain Your List: 8 Email Marketing Tips From An Experienced Buyer |
NOTE: This content may be out of date. There are plenty of solid takeaways that stand the test of time, but some strategies and ideas may not be relevant any longer. This blog is no longer actively maintained nor supported. The author has moved onto different things present [ here ]. Thank you.

What can I tell you about email marketing that you don't already know?

There are a million-and-one posts about "How to Wildly Grow Your Email List", but I found one huge issue with most posts on email marketing.

They leave out the most important part: The Relationship.

So, instead of telling you how to grow your email list super-fast (while being riddled with people who only opted in for the content upgrade), I created this simple, actionable list of 8 tips for the starting or stuck solopreneur to increase your email open rate.

If you're ready to un-muddy your email marketing efforts, then this post is exactly what you're looking for.

But first, snag my 8 simple content hacks to help you create a better, stronger blog. [ It's FREE. ]

8 content planning, strategizing, and development email tips to stimulate growth in your online presence.

1. Personalize Without Always Personalizing...

Somewhere down the line, sleazy sales crap weaseled it's way into email marketing.

I don't know who started it, but when I read, "Hey, Sara!" I think, Ugh. What are they going to try to sell me now...? 

Even if it's just sharing free content.

I'm sure you've gotten one of those salesy emails that include your name at least 2-3 times right? Yeah...

No, it's not always appealing to use someone's name in an email newsletter — E-Blast, broadcast, weekly/bi-weekly-monthly mass email.

It's the 21st century.

Unless people are emailing you directly, they know they're receiving an email that hundreds or thousands of others are getting, too.

The continued use of your reader's name can come across as creepy or salesy.

(Frankly, I don't want to feel either way about an email newsletter that lands in my inbox.)

But again, an actual, personalized email should always be addressed to the receiver. You know, when you respond to someone's direct contact.

But, what's even worse than "Hey, Sara!" is *|FNAME|* or {{ insert first name }} or another blanked name tag insert.

Sorry Sarah! I still love ya! Just needed an example...

Sorry Sarah! I still love ya! Just needed an example...


If you don't have every single subscriber's first name, don't even waste your time with name tags, ever. Been there.

It wasn't worth it...

WHAT YOU CAN DO INSTEAD: Keep introductions simple, or just jump straight into the content.

Yes, collect first names if you want to.

When I come across an email opt in box that only asks for my email, it makes me feel like a number (or email address) instead of being in someone's "email tribe".

Until someone contacts you directly, think about how seeing your name in an email (that wasn't a reply to an email you sent) makes you feel.

What does it make you think?

It's likely that even a small sliver of yourself is in your target audience.

Go with your gut before you *|FNAME|* people. (Sounds wrong, doesn't it?!)

Depending on your brand personality, some alternatives to addressing your recipient could be as simple as:

  • Hey / Hi / Hello there

  • Hey / Hi / Hello You

  • Hey / Hi / Hello

Simple. Get creative with ways you can say "Hello" without offending your target reader. 

(Or scaring them away with the creepy or salesy use of their name...)

2. Have One Main Focus Throughout Your post-Sharing Emails

Just like with a strong blog post, you have one objective for your content.

Maybe it's to collect emails, to sell something, or to reveal your expertise on a specific subject.

Each email—like with each blog post—should have one objective.

But unlike a blog post, your email's main content should literally have one focus.

EXAMPLE: Let's say your focus is on selling a digital product you created.

You could:

  • send a link to the blog post about that product and a direct link or 2 to the sales page.

  • send a direct link to the sales page. With a couple of the same link woven throughout the email.

Your email's call-to-action (CTA) should align perfectly with your goal for that email.

If you're sending a blog post-like training to your subscribers, that's fine to include different links to valid and valuable content on your blog.

But if your focus is to get your reader to click through a read a blog post, only include the link to that post. You can use in multiple times, just make sure that they all lead to the same place.

Neil Patel does this well:

From Neil Patel of +

From Neil Patel of +


Neil includes a link to his latest project in the "P.S." of his emails. Not in the main message content.

(Great idea if you're looking to add in a little extra content unrelated to the blog post or item you're sharing in your email.)

Two more examples:

From Tim Bourquin of

From Tim Bourquin of

From Brian Dean of

From Brian Dean of


When I decided to reassess my approach to email at the goal-achieving end to 2015, I went through every single influencer I was subscribed to.

I realized there were only a few people's emails I actually read from top to bottom. And each of them had the same overall appeal:

  • Simple, uncorporate-ized design

  • One email focus—not a bunch of different links

  • Concise—able to read the entire email "in one swipe" on an iPhone 6 Plus

Why was I doing the opposite of what I actually read? I thought.

Think about what emails you read: Are they fancy and loaded with style? Or are they simple? Like a real, personal email?

Match up your new email layout and design via your own actions within (or to) others' emails.

SUGGESTION: Have only one focus with every email and see it through.

If you're sending a training with several different links, make sure they all contribute to the goal and point you wanted to get across to your audience.

If you're sending a sales email, focus on relaying the benefits of the product.

If you're sharing your latest post, focus on introducing that post in a click-and-read deserving fashion. (With one link throughout your main email content.)

RELATED: How To Begin With A Purpose-Filled Online Presence (And Website)

3. Get To The Point

I know, I know. I write a minimum of 1,500-word blog posts.

But, there's a lot of good info in them. 

(Plus, it definitely doesn't hurt my Google search rankings either.)

Anyhow, emails can be lengthy, too. You just need to get to the point faster.


Because an email is fighting for your reader's attention more than a blog post is.

To reference Neil Patel again, he keeps his emails super short and to-the-point.

His blog posts, however, tend to be 2,000+ words long.

A tip I picked up along the way (and I can't remember for the life of me who said it first) is to switch things up.

Let's say you write long blog posts. Try shorter emails introducing the blog content you want your subscribers to click through and read.

Let's say you write 500 word blog posts. Send your subscribers a bonus, exclusive piece of content in addition to the link to your new blog post.

See where I'm going with this?

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Be mindful of what you're including in your email content.

Although you should read through your blog content with a fine-toothed comb, too, your emails need to cut to the chase quicker than blog content.

If you have a story to tell that leads up to the point of your email, share the point in the very beginning (with the link). Then share the story with another lead in to the link again.

EXAMPLE: Here's a full length email I sent to a group of my email subscribers who hadn't segmented themselves into 1 of the 3 new groups I created. 

And here's how getting to the point quickly in an email that could use more context can look like:


4. Deliver Expectations From The Start

What's your goal in collecting email subscribers?

Is it to sell to them? To build a community? To educate, build a relationship, and create lifelong, happy customers?

Whatever your reason, you've got to relay that quickly.


EXAMPLE: I [used to] get emails from ULTA—the massive beauty store.

As you can imagine, they send "special offers" all the time.

I've come to expect that.

If one day they just up and shared a blog post on free beauty advice in an email, I'd either unsubscribe thinking it was email spam or contact them asking if it was actually them sending free info.

WHAT YOU CAN DO INSTEAD: If you're collecting emails to educate subscribers, build a relationship before trying to create a customer. And follow through on your intention.

Regularly post fresh content and share it via email (on a solid schedule) with subscribers.

Be friendly, care about them, and care about what you provide for them. 

Be sure to tell them what to expect from your emails in your welcome email.

If you intend to sell, use a series of welcome emails that lead into a pitch or include sprinkled in opportunities to buy low barrier to entry products — like the $9 New[er] Solopreneur Handbook, the $7 Striving Solopreneur Handbook or the $6 Goal Development Workbook.

They're both introductory products that help to create more customers. They're valuable and are low cost — they remove the "risk" from your potential customer's mind.

And, in turn, build trust with the amount of value such a low cost product offers.

No matter how you pitch people — whether blatant or suggestive (like I do it) — you're going to get several un-subscribers.

But those that stick around will know what to expect from you. 

They won't be annoyed and hit the SPAM button when they get your succession of sales emails.

They knew, from the beginning, that you don't work for free.

BONUS TIP: Remember to separate your emails.

If you want to sell something, create an email with only that focus.

Don't send subscribers a bunch of different links in an email you want to sell one thing in.

If you want email subscribers to read your latest blog post, send them an email highlighting it and one URL to direct clicks to. (Meaning you can include multiple links, just of the one blog post or page.)

EXAMPLE: Say you want to send your email subscribers several different offers. You could break it down like this:

  1. Tuesday's Email: Share latest post

  2. Thursday's Email: Business tip plus product introduction in P.S.

  3. Saturday's Email: Business tip or challenge

  4. (Following week) Tuesday's Email: Share latest post

  5. Thursday's Email: Soft sell of product mentioned in P.S. from last week

  6. Saturday's Email: Focus on how product has helped someone / you accomplish something

  7. Tuesday's Email: Harder sell

And so on.

Keep it simple.

Keep your emails separate.

CREATE A COMPELLING CONTENT PLAN THAT GETS RESULTS know, the kind of results you want from your business. Learn everything you need to know to create better, smarter, more audience-driven content, development and planning in 90 minutes.


5. Send B2C Updates Or Sales On Tuesdays Or Saturdays

Personally, I've found much higher sales success rate when sending on weekends.

In a "Business To Customer" (B2C) or "Business To Business" (B2B) climate, you're more likely to ingrain a sale over the weekend than you are during the work week.

That doesn't necessarily mean you'll see more income on weekends, though. However, for me, I've received more sales from the links in Saturday emails than through weekdays.


6. Send B2B Emails On Weekdays

Business owners tend to be active in their inbox and on social media during the work week. 

So if you have something business-geared — Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are great days to get your emails opened, read, and clicked.

Mondays are generally flooded with work-related emails as the start of the week. And on Fridays those B2B people are winding down for the weekend.


7. Always Be Testing

To continue from the last point, always be testing.

I could tell you up-down-and-sideways what works for me. But it won't always work for you.

That's why you should add testing and tracking to your schedule. With specific time cut out for both.

What's the point in writing a ton of blog posts and sending emails, while circling the drain with a rabbit-holing problem. (And never stopping to figure out why you're not getting any traffic. Nor why your emails aren't getting opened.)

To test, you have to have the right tools to do so.

Luckily Google Analytics is free. And most email automation services like ConvertKit, AWeber, Infusionsoft, and MailChimp all have built-in analytics systems to track your email success.

SUGGESTED: The Second Edition Content Strategy Planner

8. Focus On The Relationship

Even big companies like ULTA understand the value in a quality relationship with their customers.

Simple things like a birthday discount or "double points in your birthday month" is a great way to show appreciation. 

Example of customer appreciation through birthday [month] rewards | Ex. ULTA |

Us solopreneurs can offer subscriber exclusives, free resources, a series of tips, and also birthday and anniversary goodies for clients.

Another part of the relationship is making your brand real. 

Especially as solopreneurs, we have a unique shot at being extra-real as opposed to big brands with content style restrictions that every content-creating employee needs to follow.

Customers are more inclined to trust you and stay on board with you when you're a real human being. So be one.

Be you.

SUGGESTED: Are You Human? (A Simple Guide To Creating Authenticity In Your Blog Content)

BONUS: Break Up Your Text
(If You Want It Read, Of Course)

And lastly: break up your sentences, paragraphs, and keep them simple.

Reading online isn't the same as reading a book or on an electronic reader.

Chunky paragraphs are tiresome. So, hit "Enter" and break 4 to 5 -sentence paragraphs into 2 or 3 sentences.

One-sentence lines too.

Sentences longer that 24 characters exhaust readers.

If need be, read your sentences aloud. Where you feel a natural stop, break the sentence in two.

This means you can start your sentences with "And", "But", "Because" and "Or".

It's not grade school...

Broken sentences make reading a lot easier.

Your goal is to make your content easy to scan and easy to read.

Get more content writing info here »

Grow And Maintain Your List: 8 Email Marketing Tips From An Experienced Buyer |

There are tons of email marketing tips out there.

But you can take all of our tips and toss them. Because really, it's up to you in how you'll deliver your message.

The best advice I can give you is to go with your gut.

Ask yourself these questions when laying out your next email:

  • How do emails with your name in them feel?

  • What do you like to read in your inbox?

  • What do you click-through on?

  • Why (if you do) do you buy through email?

  • What are the benefits of the content I'm writing? How can I convey that simply?

  • What results will my reader get when they click through and read? How can I, also, convey that simply?

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