How To Send Great Emails

If you ended up here, you’re probably wondering what we think makes a good email. And maybe you’re wondering a little bit about how Hive can help you send great emails. Luckily this post answers both questions.

Let’s get into it!

The Only Thing That Really Matters

If you learn one thing from this post, let it be that you should keep your emails simple! It can be tempting to blast your whole list with all the information they’ll ever want from you, just out of convenience. But you don’t even know how powerful your emails could be if you sent specific bits of information to specific people who are specifically interested in what you’re offering.

How? Let’s start with what you should think about before you start crafting your email.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. What’s the goal of this email? Do I want people to sign up for something, buy something, or simply just read the email? Figure this out and you’re on your way to crafting a great email.

  2. Who’s the target audience of this email? Is the content I’m sending relevant to my whole list, or should I segment out specific audiences? (We’ve found that the answer is usually the latter!) Who will engage with this content the most, or, what kinds of content can I use to engage this specific segment?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you can start on content.

Some Content About Content

Quick tips for creating the content of your email:

  1. Make it easy to read. Use simple language and let images speak for you when you can. Here’s a cool tool that will help! Speaking of images…

  2. Make it visual. If you have a designer or you’re particularly gifted, you’re one of the lucky ones! If you have no idea what to do for images, these are some great free stock photo sites:, Unsplash, Pixabay, Pexels. Combine your photos with text and other elements with these free image creators: Pablo by Buffer, Canva

  3. Pay attention to the content above the fold (i.e. what someone can see before they have to scroll). If the main goal of your email is to get your audience to do X, they should see X without having to scroll through the email.

  4. Make your call-to-action (CTA) obvious. Try making it a button. And avoid putting too many CTAs or links in your email - give your readers too many options and they’ll often do nothing.

  5. If it smells like spam and it looks like spam… It’s going to be caught by spam filters! Avoid subject lines or content in ALL CAPS, too many exclamation marks, or anything gimmicky (e.g. WIN A FREE CRUISE NOW!!! or LIMITED TIME OFFER 100% OFF probably won’t get through spam filters).

Once you’re happy with your content, who will you send it to?

Segment, Personalize, Target, Whatever You Want To Call It

With Hive, you can send emails to people based on what you know about them. It’s tempting to just email everyone and see what sticks, but truly powerful emails target the right people who are most likely to engage.

Have an email list that’s just names and emails? Hive can enrich your email list to uncover locations, demographics, social details and more that you can use in targeting.

Once you have this data in Hive, there are so many options to test! Some examples:

  1. Send your email to relevant segments. Have an event coming up in New York? Target everyone in your list within 100 miles of NYC. Having a sale on women’s clothing that you promoted on Instagram? Target females in your email list who’ve engaged with that Instagram photo.

  2. Send the same email to different segments. Make sure the difference is based on one variable (like age) so you know what’s causing the results you see. Then send the same email to two segments, for example, 18-24-year-old males in Chicago who’ve opened one of your emails and 24-30-year-old males in Chicago who’ve opened one of your emails. Learn more about your most engaged audience by seeing which group opens and clicks these emails more.

  3. Reward people who are taking the actions you want. Send promos, discounts, and exclusive content by filtering down your list to people who have clicked a link in your emails.


Ready to hit send?

Review & Don’t Forget Mobile

First things first, always double check your links and images to make sure that links aren’t broken and that images load. Hive lets you preview your emails and send a test email to yourself so you can make sure everything works and looks great!

When you’re designing and sending campaigns from a computer, it’s easy to forget about mobile. But over 50% of people open emails on mobile (and it might be even higher for your brand’s demographic!), so you definitely need to test your emails on a mobile device as well.

Now that your content is on point, you’ve chosen specific segments to target, and you’ve reviewed everything (twice). You can send your email! Go, hit send!

And then come back!

Tracking, Because It’s Not Over After You Click Send

Make sure you check your email’s results after you’ve sent it. This is an easy way to inform what you send and who you send to in the future.

  1. If people aren’t opening your email, maybe you need to clean up your email list, collect new, relevant emails, or test out new subject lines. Use subject lines that explain what’s in the email - for example, if your email’s about how you’re giving away free tickets or having a 50% off sale, say it right in your subject line!

    Need help? Here’s more info on cleaning up your contact list, and how to create a signup widget to collect new emails with Hive.

  2. If your click-to-open rate is super low, you can use less links in the body of your email or test out a more well-defined CTA. (Did we say use a button already? Use a button.)

  3. If a lot of people are unsubscribing, think about where your contacts originally came from. (Did you receive consent to market to these people? We hope so!) Alternatively, try targeting your emails to more specific segments that will care about your content (here’s more on how to do this with Hive!).

If you tested specific things in your email (like the previous example, will 18-24-year-olds engage more than 25-30-year-olds?), check the results of each email and use those results to inform future email marketing campaigns.