In the age of short attention spans, we all struggle with getting the maximum number of our emails read by the recipients, whether these are personal emails, regular business emails or newsletters. We have to get past super aggressive spam filters as well as the low attention span of the users and these email best practices can give you an unfair advantage.

Users check emails with one hand on the Delete button and if they cannot clearly recognise the sender and the purpose of the email, boom. The email gets deleted and there goes our all important message.

Mobile First design

Where do you read most of your emails? I won’t be surprised if you said – your mobile. Most people read theirs on the mobile or smartphones as they are constantly on the move and the mobiles are with them all the time. Get up in the morning, check your email. On the way to meet someone – check your email. Going to the bed – check your email.

You must format your emails properly so that it can read on a mobile device without any problem. If the mail is very important, consider sending to yourself, read it on your mobile and then only send to your final recipient.

Here are some important components of the email that you should format correctly for increasing your read and response rates:

Sender Name

The sender name is one of the most vital elements of our email that can help in avoiding the DELETE button. Use something that the reader will identify easily. I prefer to use “Arun Agrawal – Ebizindia” so that the user can identify me either through my name or my company name. When I send emails on behalf of WedPlan, I use “Arun Agrawal- WedPlan” as they may not identify Ebizindia so easily.


Always use meaningful subject lines and put some text at the beginning that they can easily identify. You can try simple & short subjects or intriguing subjects that arouse curiosity. I prefer to avoid getting too smart as that is what the spammers do. Clarity beats smartness in my experience. The primary job of the subject is to make sure that the receiver opens the email and reads the body.

A typical subject for me might look like: “[WedPlan] Demo login details as requested by you”. Or: “Order confirmation for Acme web design project”


The body of the email is again very important. Get straight to the point and convey the important part of the message as quickly as possible. I recommend that you greet the reader (Hi Mark) and then mention the main news in the 1st paragraph. You can provide supporting information or further details in the following paras. Keep all the paras short. Bullet points work great if you can use them in your emails.

When sending a longer email, sub-heads can break up the wall of text quite nicely and avoid reader fatigue. End with a note about the next steps (will you send more information later or are you expecting a response?). Sign-off with your name and co-ordinates – company name, website URL and phone number if appropriate.

Naturally, all emails cannot follow this template but this will give you enough idea about how to compose your email to get maximum reader engagement.


Firstly, if you are attaching a file, you must mention this fact in your email outlining the purpose of the attachment (invoice, whitepaper etc). People are very skeptic about opening attachments nowadays (rightly so) and you do not want them to miss your valuable information.

You must name the file properly (file1.docx, writeup.pdf are not great names). The name should give enough hint about the content (ex: Proposal for Acme Website redesign.PDF).

Adapt these email best practices and get much higher open and read rates thereby resulting in more business and closer connections.

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You have tons of very important digital assets on your computer. Those lovely photos of your adventure tour, the birthday party of your kid, a romantic anniversary or some cosy time spent with your sweetheart. May be scans of important documents? Have you ever thought what will happen to these if your hard disk crashes? Or God Forbid, there is a fire in your office building?

You need to have an offline place to store such digital assets so that they are safe in case an unforeseen situation causes you to lose your local copy on your hard disk. People have saved copies on CDs, DVDs and LAN servers but it is well known that at least one copy of the data must be kept off-site. Now you have a cheap option that is extremely reliable.

Consider saving a copy of the data on Amazon S3 (aptly called Simple Storage Service)  if you might need instant access when you need them. At a rough cost of about $0.11 per GB per month and a small access fee when you download your files, this is one cost effective solution, specially because you get reliability factor of 99.999999%. What’s more – this is completely maintenance free. You do not have to bother about testing your media once in a while and keeping them in a dry, safe location.

And if you can afford a delay of about 3-5 hours when you need to retrieve your data (this is really rare, right?), you can opt for Amazon Glacier which is even cheaper at $0.01 per GB. So storing 100 GB of data costs you $1 or about Rs 60 per month. Excellent storage option for your archival files which have to kept in a safe storage but you might never need them, except may be once in a lifetime.

Ask us to setup these storage options for you at a nominal consulting fee that covers installation of a free software and one time training on saving and retrieving your data!



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We have noticed that some people have received PDF attachments from unknown people with enticing subject lines and messages. Please do not open such attachments through your PDF viewer (Adobe Reader or Acrobat etc). You should immediately delete the mail if the sender is unknown.

There have been instances where these PDF documents have managed to install virus/Trojan on user computers once they are opened, using some vulnerabilities in the PDF reader software.

Play safe – open attachments from known people only.

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Why did your prospect land up on your web site? To buy something from you? Not really. He is there because he needs help solving one of HIS problems and he thinks – you might be able to help. Your web site should show empathy towards his problem and offer advice and solutions that help him solve this problem.

We understand that when you visit our website, you want to grow your business and get new leads. So we advise you on ways to improve your marketing with various tools – including a a well designed web site.

Similarly, if you sell a software for retailers, your web site should focus on helping these retailers increase the sales at their stores. It is ok to remind them that your software can help them increase their store’s efficiency and their bottomline in the process. But the focus of the site should be these prospects.

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I have noticed a growing trend of web site hacking which involves insertion of iframe based code in various pages of the sites, getting the site black listed in Google search results and resulting in a serious decline in the incoming traffic.

If any one tries to access the site through Firefox or with Google toolbar activated, the site is not allowed to be displayed and an error page is shown instead. This also hurts the credibility and goodwill of the site and your company.

You should keep a strict watch over your site so that you can get alerted as soon as this happens and you can take corrective action. One way is to open your own site at least once everyday with Firefox. Also you should search for your domain name (eg in Google and make sure that Google does not show a “This site could hurt your computer” type message with your listing.

In case you see this, you should immediately change the FTP password from a different computer (your computer might have been hacked too) and check all the source files (the files on the server) to locate the extra IFRAME code and delete that. After this has been done, you should also log in to Google Webmaster Tools and file a review report so that the warning is withdrawn.

If you find the above too complicated or geeky for your taste, you should contact your web master to arrange for this.

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I have seen quite a few sites where the designer has put the email address like at the bottom to encourage people to contact the business owner. This is a strict no-no. Here’s why…

You see the spammers employ robots (automated software) to scan the web sites on the Internet and locate the email addresses that they can use to send unsolicited offers to people. If you publish your email address openly on your site, this address is going to be harvested for sure and then you can look forward to more spam that you can imagine.

What’s the way out? You can publish your address like info AT domain DOT com and put a note for people to replace AT and DOT with ‘@’ and ‘.’  – easy to figure out for a human being but difficult to identify for the robots.

However the best method is to put a contact form where the visitors can fill their request and contact details. The form processing script can then send a mail to you as well as send an automated thank you response to the visitor.

Are you using any other process to provide a channel for your visitors to contact you? Why don’t you post a comment and share that with us and other fellow readers?

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I have noticed that some people have recently complained about not getting their emails. On investigation, we found that their quota was all used up and that is why the emails could not be delivered – they were lying in the server queue waiting to be delivered.

Why does this happen? Most of the times, the problem lies with some users who do not check their mails regularly or leave a copy of the emails so that they can get a backup copy if something goes wrong. Naturally this consumes server space.

You can check who is using up how much space by accessing the Cpanel | Mail | Manage email accounts and clicking on disk usage. You can also check the disk usage option in the main Cpanel menu. This will give you an idea of where the space hogs are and how to clear up space so that the emails can be delivered smoothly.

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You might be knowing this already – our email system offers very powerful anti-spam features. While the Spamassassin system works very efficiently, the spammers have lots of resources at their disposal (funny that they don’t spend these in quality marketing) and keep inventing new ways to penetrate your shields. I invite you to try the email filters to get rid of some of these spam mails.

Login to the control panel (visit and click on the Mail Option. Then click on E-mail Filtering. Now click on Add filter.

Say you are getting lots of spam, all with the subject “someone wrote:”. Now if you are sick of these and think that nobody is going to write a genuine mail with ‘wrote:’ in the subject, you can create a filter for killing these spam mails.

  1. Login to Cpanel.
  2. Click on Mail.
  3. Click on email filtering.
  4. Click on Add filter.
  5. Select Subject in the first drop-down.
  6. Select contains in the next drop-down.
  7. Enter wrote: in the next field.
  8. Select discard in the next field.
  9. Click on Activate.

Now you will not be getting all the spam that someone wrote:  🙂

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You might find updating your website a cumbersome job unless you have a full fledged Internet division. And most small to medium level companies cannot afford a dedicated Internet division. However we all know that it is essential to update the site regularly to –

  • attract repeat human visitors
  • appeal to the search engines

Here is an ideal solution for the Small and Medium Businesses like yours:

  1. Get a blog setup in a section of your website, say at
  2. Post news about all the developments, big or small, in your company and the industry, on the blog. Add some commentary or your views about the external events. Give them insights about new appointments at the senior level, new divisions you have opened and like.

Soon you will find that you are developing a loyal readership and your customers, prospects, investors and shareholders have started to watch your blog for updates.

Are blogs easy to update?

Yes, it is quite easy to post to a blog. When you make a new post (as easy as clicking on an option and writing something in a window like you do in Word), all the related tables of content get updated automatically without you needing to bother about any technical issues.

Benefits of blogging:

  • You can disseminate information about your company in a way that is favorable to your company.
  • You can collect feedback from the people by looking at their comments on your posts.
  • Improve branding by the extra exposure.

There are a few drawbacks too:

  • You will have to keep the blog updated. The best solution is to assign the update responsibility to a knowledgeable person at a fairly senior level. Or you can assign the responsibility to update the blog to an external agency like us.
  • Your competitors may try to sabotage your blog by posting negative comments. You can filter out the obviously spurious ones and respond to the genuine comments to set the record straight.

If you have got all fired up but not sure who will help you set up and manage the blog, I can help. Read the details about our blog setup service here.

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When you are deciding on the space you require for your web hosting, you have to keep several things in mind. Here are a few of them-

1. Your total space will cover the web site space and all the email accounts. So you have to provide ample space so that emails for all the accounts can stay there till you download them.

2. We provide unlimited email accounts. However if you open 20 email accounts in 5 MB space, you can easily understand that there will be too little space for each account. So you should order enough space to provide a decent storage for each account.

3. It is possible to save a copy of incoming mails to any or all accounts, in a separate account. However if you do not download emails of this ‘archive account’ to some computer, soon it will overrun all the space in your account.

Recently a client had his 100 MB account full and was wondering how it can be. After scrutiny we realised, he had one such archive account. This alone was taking 81 MB because he had never downloaded the emails from this account.

4. You will need more space if you do not download your emails frequently. You can manage with much lesser space if you download quite frequently.

5. Similarly some people get only text type emails while others get large attachments with drawings and photos. This can be a factor too.

6. You can manage with lesser space if your web site has only few pages with a few photos. If you have several pages and photos with a bigger versions also (click here to enlarge type), you might be needing more space.

7. If you are using one or more databases, that will also take up space. Do a rough calculation about the number of records that you will store and the record size too. Keep ample margin.

That said, the rate per MB for hiring space on the web servers goes down with higher slabs. So it is not very expensive to go for one slab higher than what you think you will require.

If you are not hosting with us already, you are missing out on a terrific deal and a super personalised service. See our web hosting offers here.

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