Best Practices for Email Marketing

Before you send email to your subscribers, familiarize yourself with the basics of email marketing and how to stay compliant with MailChimp’s Terms of Use.

In this article, you’ll learn some best practices for email marketing.

Test Email Content

Before you send a campaign, be sure to test your content so you don’t send emails with missing data or broken links. MailChimp’s preview and test tools help make sure your images load properly and that all the hyperlinks and buttons in your campaign work.

It’s considered best practice to send a few test emails to yourself, to ensure everything works and looks the way you want. Try out MailChimp’s Inbox Preview feature to see what your email will look like across different email clients and devices.

Preview and Test Your Campaign

Email Campaign Testing Tips

Test with Inbox Preview


Track Clicks and Open Rates

Open and click tracking are turned on for your campaigns by default. To maximize the benefits of your campaign reports, we recommend you leave this enabled so you can see how your subscribers engage with your campaign content.

Tracking gives you an idea of the kinds of content your subscribers respond to, which can inform future campaign decisions. Be sure to enable these settings in the campaign Setup step, because you won’t be able to make changes after you send a campaign.

About Open and Click Rates

About Campaign Reports

Avoid Spammy Content

As an email marketer, you want to send campaigns that entice subscribers to engage with your brand. Keep your content relevant and consistent with your brand and use your subject line to tell your subscribers what’s in your email.

Spam filters look for certain types of content, so avoid using all capital letters, too many exclamation points, and gimmicky words or phrases.

Best Practices for Email Subject Lines

About Spam Filters

Design Guide: Text Content and Messaging

Terms of Use and Anti-Spam Requirements

Build a Clean List

If you've been collecting email addresses for a while, but haven’t sent email to your subscribers yet, it’s best to send a quick reminder campaign to make sure they still want to receive emails from you. Even if you’ve collected addresses through an opt-in form on your website, we recommend you confirm their interest before you send your first campaign.

You must provide an unsubscribe link in every campaign to comply with anti-spam laws. All our templates include a customizable unsubscribe link. If you remove the unsubscribe link, we’ll add it to the bottom of your campaign when you send. This helps you remain in compliance with the law.

Requirements and Best Practices for Lists

How to Reconfirm a List

Why We Require an Unsubscribe Link

Use Footer Content Blocks

Avoid Excess Code

Email uses HTML for content structure, but it doesn’t support Javascript and CSS the way webpages do.

Most email applications will block JavaScript as a security measure to prevent viruses, so avoid JavaScript elements, like form submit buttons and pop-up windows in your campaigns. If you copy HTML from an existing web page, remember to remove all the JavaScript from the code.

Typically, CSS is placed in HTML <head> tags, but most email clients strip the <head> and <body> tags out of your email’s HTML. If you use CSS, be sure that it is inline with your HTML.

Your link URLs and image files are an exception to the excess code rule. When you code your own template, be sure to include absolute paths, the full URLs, that link back to your server for image sources and click-through URLs.

About HTML Email

CSS in HTML Email

Use the CSS Inliner

Common HTML Mistakes

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