February 13, 2024  

Following these Email Marketing best practices will help your emails land in your subscriber’s inboxes.

The world of online marketing is a continually changing and dynamic scene where you can quickly become overwhelmed as you try to keep up with the latest trends, technology updates and ever-evolving tactics. As coaches, course creators and small business owners it isn’t easy to stay up to date with every facet of online marketing. Therefore, I highly encourage and recommend all my clients and those I speak with to focus the majority of their time and energy on email marketing.

Email marketing is the one facet of online marketing that has proved time and time again to bring in an ROI much larger than any other method of marketing online. If you are skeptical about the benefit of investing your time and energy in email marketing, learn more about why email marketing continues to be a good choice for coaches and course creators in the online world by reading this article Is Email Marketing Dead? 

In today’s article, I am sharing 10 email marketing best practices for coaches, course creators, and any small business owner who relies on being able to reach their audience and share their services and products through email.

Some of these best practices have been influenced by the recent updates implemented by a couple of the larger email service providers. Both Google and Yahoo are introducing new requirements for anyone who has email marketing as part of their marketing strategy to help “keep [people’s] inbox[es] even safer and more spam-free.” Now, who doesn’t want that?

What do Google and Yahoo’s 2024 updates mean for coaches and course creators who rely on email marketing for their business?

There has been a lot of hype about these updates and new requirements and yes, Google and Yahoo are changing the rules.

However, you don’t need to be scared about these new updates. As long as you follow the below best practices, (and especially the first 3), you will be on the right path to increasing your email-sending reputation and deliverability.

10 Email Marketing Best Practices Every Coach and Course Creator Should Know

1. Use a Custom Domain for Your Email Marketing

One of the important changes that Google and Yahoo have implemented this year is that they are no longer delivering marketing emails that are sent from free email accounts such as Gmail or Yahoo.com. If you are still using a free email account for your business, I highly recommend getting a custom domain and start using your custom domain email address. This will not only comply with these updates but will ensure the professionalism and authenticity of your coaching services or online courses. It will enhance your brand credibility as well as improve the deliverability of emails to your audience.

2. Authenticate Your Email and Take Ownership of Your Own Email Reputation

Up until this year, the majority of small businesses were borrowing the email reputation of their Email Marketing Platform (EMP) such as ConvertKit or Mailerlite. It is time for us to stop relying on those EMP’s and to take ownership of our own email domain reputation by authenticating your emails with SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records. By authenticating your emails you are proving that these emails are legitimately coming from your domain, and ensuring that your messages land in the inbox and not in the dreaded spam folder.

If this all sounds like mumble-jumbo to you here is a quick analogy of each of these records and why they are important for building your own email reputation:

  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework) Record is your approved senders list. Think of it as your return mail address. It lets the email service providers (ESP’s) like Google know which senders are allowed to send email from your domain.
  • DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) Record if like your wax seal. It makes sure that emails coming from your domain have not been tampered with or the content hasn’t been changed.
  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) Record is your contingency plan. It is a set of instructions for the ESP’s of what to do if an email is not authenticated with your SPF or DKIM records.

3. Avoid Spamming Your Subscribers

Respect your subscribers’ inboxes by refraining from bombarding them with excessive emails. If your subscribers have signed up for a weekly or monthly newsletter, don’t start sending out emails more frequently. Stick to your schedule and be consistent. You don’t want subscribers to suddenly start marking your emails as spam. Those spam complaints can severely damage your email reputation and visibility.

It is even more important to be aware of any spam complaints you receive and maintain good email marketing habits as Google and Yahoo have changed the way they measure those spam complaints. The percentage is now based on the number of complaints compared to the number of engaged contacts and you must stay under a 0.3% spam rate.

4. Don’t Sell, TeachThe best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing. - Tom Fishburne

Focus your marketing emails on value-driven content that educates and empowers your audience. Providing free, insightful content establishes your authority, credibility, and fosters a genuine connection with your subscribers.

5. Provide Interactive Content to Encourage Active Participation

Encourage active participation and engagement from your readers through interactive elements such as questions, quizzes, surveys, and clickable Calls-To-Action (CTAs). Interactive content not only captivates subscribers but also guides them toward taking the desired next step after reading your email.

Encouraging participation and engagement from your subscribers not only helps with better deliverability of your emails. It also helps you to get to know your subscribers better.

6. Plainer Emails are Better for Deliverability

Craft emails in a personable tone, akin to a friendly conversation you would have with a friend or family member. Minimize the imagery included within the email and format your emails so that they are easy to scan by those who prefer to quickly glance over your email. Keeping your emails plainer will help to improve deliverability and ensure mobile responsiveness for seamless viewing across devices.

7. Regularly Clean Your Email List

Maintain a healthy email list by periodically purging unengaged or dormant subscribers. Quality trumps quantity in email marketing, and a clean list enhances deliverability and engagement metrics. This is even more important as keeping unengaged or dormant subscribers on your list can negatively affect your email reputation.

To learn more about the importance of regularly cleaning your email list, check out this article: 5 Reasons Why You Should Clean Up Your Email List.

Ready to clean your list? Learn How to Clean your ConvertKit Email List in 5 Steps here.

8. Never Stop Growing Your Email List

Just as you should never stop marketing your coaching services or online courses, you should never stop growing your email list. It should always be a part of your overall marketing strategy. Follow Kotler’s 5 A’s of Creating an Effective Customer Journey to continually implement lead generation tactics to attract new subscribers and continuously nurture existing ones into long-term relationships.

9. Resend Emails to Unopens

Maximize your email reach by resending your newsletter broadcasts to subscribers who haven’t opened them, albeit with a different subject line. With average industry open rates varying between 20% – 25%, it is typical that the majority of those on your email list have not opened your newsletter. This simple yet effective tactic can significantly boost your open rates and engagement by giving that 75% extra opportunity to see your valuable content.

10. Monitor Email Marketing Metrics

Track key email marketing metrics such as open rates, click rates, click-through rates, spam complaints, and unsubscribes in a spreadsheet. (I do recommend tracking these metrics in a separate spreadsheet and not just looking at them in your EMP as it makes it easier to compare and see what has worked and what hasn’t worked to encourage more engagement with your emails.) Use this data to refine your marketing strategies, identify trends, and optimize future emails for greater success.

To recap, here are the 10 email marketing best practices every coach and course creator should know:

  1. Use a Custom Domain for your Email Marketing
  2. Authenticate Your Email and Take Ownership of Your Own Email Reputation
  3. Avoid Spamming your Subscribers
  4. Don’t Sell, Teach
  5. Provide Interactive Content to Encourage Active Participation
  6. Plainer Emails are Better for Deliverability
  7. Regularly Clean Your Email List
  8. Never Stop Growing Your Email List
  9. Resend Emails to Unopens
  10. Monitor Email Marketing Metrics

In the ever-changing landscape of online marketing, focusing on these 10 best practices of email marketing is essential for coaches and course creators looking to grow their online presence, engage their audience, and create a lasting impact.

Email Deliverability Audit Are you ready to elevate your email game but unsure of what needs to be done to comply with these new requirements? Don’t bury your head in the sand. Start with our Email Deliverability Audit and get your roadmap to email marketing success. Learn more and secure your audit here.

About the author 

Natashia Tiel

Empowering Coaches & Course Creators with All-in-One Digital Marketing & Kajabi support to propel their business to new heights. Our mission is help you stand out online, build authentic connections and create a lasting impact in this world – without the marketing or tech overwhelm.

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