Effective Email Marketing

Over the past several months I’ve been doing a deep dive into email marketing. I wanted to learn all the latest tactics and strategies for increasing open rates, improving readability and of course, raising conversion rates. The most surprising thing I learned was that many of today’s effective email tactics are derived from effective direct mail and advertising tactics from the years past.

Take for example, this fantastic Hubspot article on how to write catchy email subject lines. The article has many suggestions including keeping your words short and sweet, personalizing your message and A/B test in the subject line in order to entice recipients to open the email. These reminded me of a book I read year ago written by Eugene Schwartz in 1966 called Breakthrough Advertising (a book I borrowed from a friend). From my book notes (yes, back then I kept notes on books that I read) I wrote these tactics from Schwartz’s book:

  • Use simple language and speak directly to the audience
  • Understand what your audience really wants and then speak to them on a personal level
  • Fail often and test for big differences

Schwartz wrote his book in an era of direct mail and telephone/mail-back responses.

For more examples of books from past advertising/marketing masters that are still relevant today, check out this fantastic post by Neil Patel.

On next week’s #HITMC chat I thought it would be fun to discuss email marketing. For a long time email had been a mainstay of digital marketing strategies, but it’s effectiveness at attracting new buyers has waned as more opt-in legislation has been enacted around the world AND as audiences have migrated to new mediums like social media advertising and Google Adwords. However, email is still a very effective way to engage with existing customers and with people who have self-identified as interested in your product/service through other mediums.

Join me on Tuesday November 20th at noon ET (9am PT) as we talk about email marketing:

  • T1 Is there a piece of marketing advice from a pre-Internet thought leader that you feel is still applicable today?
  • T2 Is email marketing still an effective way to find/engage prospects? Why or why not?
  • T3 What makes a subject line enticing? Share examples.
  • T4 What are instant turn-offs for you when it comes to email (text, layout or images)?
  • T5 Share your “golden rules” (aka best practices) when it comes to email marketing.
  • Bonus What’s the email subject line you wish you could send?

About the author


Colin Hung

Colin Hung is an award-winning Marketing Executive with more than 15yrs of healthcare and HealthIT experience. He co-founded one of the most popular healthcare chats on Twitter, #hcldr and he has been recognized as one of the “Top 50 Healthcare IT Influencers”. Colin’s work has been published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, American Society for Healthcare Risk Managers, and Infection Control Today. He writes regularly for Healthcare Scene and here at HITMC.com. Colin is a member of #pinksock #TheWalkingGallery and is proudly HITMC. His Twitter handle is: @Colin_Hung.

1 Comment

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  • I found your tips from the book very interesting. It’s a good plan to captivate the reader’s attention. I will definitely try it for myself. I did find the testing part quite useful.




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