I love email marketing, which puts me at odds with some of my social media brethren who like to tell me that Facebook messages are the new email. Short answer: they’re wrong. Longer answer: They’re really wrong.

For you, I want to share my five best email marketing tricks and tips, which have given me open rates as high as 78% on my list.

1.) Be Personal

I write all my email newsletters in the first person. I write them with a custom firstname field and do a lot to evoke a very personal and one-to-one tone. I never use “you guys” or “all of you” or anything that intimates that the conversation is beyond you and me.

2.) Be Brief

No one has time to read more than 500 words. Maybe that’s even too much. We’re a world of people who scan the preview pane to determine whether we should read further. Honor that.

3.) Be Succinct

Use only one call to action per email. Any more than that and you run the risk of getting nowhere. Too many links mean too few clicks of what you want them to click. Stop sending catalog pages through the mail.

4.) Be Consistent

Send out email as consistently as you can muster without annoying people. I see email marketers really ramp up and over-message their lists when they have a desperate need to sell something. That just fatigues your list and forces unsubscribes. Was your cost-to-acquire those subs worth you bullying them into pushing the spam button?

5.) End with Social Sharing

Your email service provider should have social sharing, like “post to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter,” etc. If not, you’re missing the biggest reach-booster ever invented for email. Demand it if they aren’t providing it. It’s a few lines of HTML.

These tips have really pushed my email efforts well. I follow the rule of never sending an email I wouldn’t want to receive myself. I hope you find that useful.

See for yourself by subscribing to my free newsletter for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Chris Brogan is President of Human Business Works, where we provide tools and smarts for small businesses.