5 Ways to Optimize Your Emails for Better Inbound Marketing

By Lindsey Framer

What communication strategy are you using? Are you pulling prospects in or just pushing your information out? Chances are your customers aren’t going to appreciate you very much, if you just “spray and pray.”

It’s not an email blast.

Pull marketing is also known as inbound marketing. Email newsletters are great for “pull marketing” campaigns because you can include special offers in them without forcing them on to your subscribers. When someone opts in to receive emails from you, that’s your inbound (pull) marketing at work.

When you push the “send” button to email an offer to recipients, you’re using an outbound (push) technique. When used to its full potential, email can be a valuable asset in your push-pull strategy.

However, your messages need to be relevant and unobtrusive. If you did something crazy like purchase an email list so you can shout at anybody and everybody, perhaps you should take a step back and consider a different strategy. Riddled with dead email addresses and spam traps, they quickly inform ISPs that you break the rules by sending unsolicited emails.

Back to optimizing your message. If you really want to make your emails pop and encourage interaction, remember these 5 tips:

1. Use preview text to capture attention

When someone scans their inbox for something interesting, they’ll be more inclined to click on a title that’s clear and enticing. Adding witty preview text—a sentence that elaborates on the subject line—will also help increase your open rate.

2. Include the proper alt text in your images

Alternative text (Alt text) is text associated with an image the user will see if an image does not load properly, or if they choose not to display images to protect against viruses. Make this text colorful and related to the subject line, inviting the reader to click to view more.

3. Make the body copy short and to the point

People have a lot of emails to get to. They don’t have time to read a novel. Break your body copy into short blocks of text so that it’s easily scannable. Don’t feel like you have to tell them everything in one email. Lay out the most important and relevant information. If they like what they see, they will click through to your website or landing page.

4. Create an effective call-to-action

Speaking of landing pages, always make it clear where the user should go next. After reading the email, they will be thinking, “Ok, what am I supposed to do with this.” Give some direction by making the CTA big and bold. It should tell them exactly what they are getting by clicking.

5. Add social media icons

Emails with three or more social sharing buttons have click-through rates that are 55% higher than those without social options. Make sharing your content on multiple platforms easy and convenient for users by making those buttons readily available. View this Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Creating Social Media Buttons.

In addition to these tips, it’s a good idea to make sure that your emails are optimized for mobile. Check out responsive design, and how it makes your content easily readable on smaller screens.


Lindsey Framer, CEO & President of Responsive Inbound Marketing, has been in Marketing for almost ten years. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2004 and fell completely in love with marketing shortly thereafter. Lindsey has worked at large corporations, small startups, and has a wide array of experience with both outbound and inbound marketing. While working at HubSpot, she found a fantastic little niche where organizations didn’t have the time to do their own inbound marketing or the money to hire someone full time — and that’s when Responsive Inbound Marketing was born.

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