There is a top secret coded message inside this article. If you have the sharp eye and the wherewithal to decode this secret and thoroughly hidden message, then please accept it as a fervent expression of thanks and appreciation from yours truly and all the fine folks here at Benchmark!

Help out your readers by being generous, friendly, and providing real value in exchange for their courteous permission to send them emails. Your customers are looking for authoritative information from you but they don’t want to put up with pontification.

Always compose your emails as if you were writing to one person only and never an entire email segmentation category. We’ve all seen the really bad versions of these types of emails which take generic content to a new low: “As a dirt bike rider…” should always be substituted with: “As the proud rider of a 2014 Yamaha WR450F…”

Personalize your emails but be very careful to not cross over into the creepizoid spectrum by using their names as often as a Nineties website would use a keyword. Your customer knows who they are and don’t need your email to keep reminding them of their name, as well as those of their spouse and kids and pets over and over and over again.

Pique your customer’s curiosity by crafting the best microcontent you possibly can. Remember that the rule of thumb is that you should spend half the time writing your email content and the other half working on your microcontent. That’s the best way to ensure that your emails will catch their attention and get read.

You is possibly the most magical word in online marketing, so rely on it in your writing emails. It just happens to be one of the most persuasive words in the entire English language, and is one of the rare ones of its kind that hasn’t been spammed to within an inch of its life and would therefore trigger IP blacklists in a subject line.

Never write your email content in a prolonged, overly-structured, and outright boring manner as if you were writing a doctoral thesis on the molecular structure of lint. Your sentence structure should be short and punchy. Get to the point quickly, and then immediately proceed to making point after point after point until you have done everything you can to drive your reader to checkout … not to sleep.

Eliminate all the distractions in your emails. Some marketing emails are starting to resemble 1995-standard websites with dancing mice and flashing marquees. Just because they’re rendered in HTML5 rather than animated GIF doesn’t make them any more palatable. Your emails should reflect a restrained taste and integral elegance, not a circus tent huckster’s nightmare.

Write your emails in a manner which leads logically to the Call To Action (CTA) without making it seem like a bald-faced pitch. Your CTA should be woven logically and seamlessly into your overall email content so that your reader arrives at it at the same time that they recognize that your email content is leading them to a resolution of a problem that they are facing, or a fulfillment of one of their desires.

You’re missing the boat unless you are extensively testing each and every email send through A/B Split and multivariate methods. There literally is no element in your marketing emails which isn’t suitable for testing so leave no stone unturned in your search for the most refined and effective emails.

Establish and maintain respect for your customer by strictly adhering to the parameters that they have set out in their Preference Center. If they have asked for emails to be sent only on a monthly basis don’t fool yourself into thinking “oh, it’s the holidays… they really want one every day!”

Adopt Responsive Web Design (RWD) for all your emails and really push your designers and coders to produce the most advanced and truly “responsive” designs possible to accommodate the widest range of both mobile and desktop displays. For an example of what RWD can really do, check out bloomberg.com’s new site. Wow.

Really have one! The secret message, that is!