Welcome to another end of the year roundup! In this series, we’re collecting some of the best posts we’ve come across that encompass the entirety of the industry. Whether we focus on local marketing, mobile advertising, web design, and inbound marketing, we pick the most valuable pieces of content and share their insights.

Email marketing continues to be a point of contention for the majority of marketers. On one side of the spectrum (arguably the much bigger side), blog owners tend to gate their content behind an email subscription requirement.

On the other side, blog owners lead with value in order to entice readers to sign up. And even then, the subscriber is rewarded with more free content the moment they join the list.

Is one tactic better than the other? Well, that depends on what you’re measuring. If you’re measuring subscription counts, it seems likely that the email capture method could be more effective. If you’re recording email list engagement, it may be better to take the latter route.

Whichever mindset you decide to take in your marketing, we advise you to learn from the best in the industry and focus on testing your email communications to improve conversions. In order to help you, we’ve picked some of our favorite email articles from 2014 for you to read.

Enjoy the lessons!

  • Don’t treat your audience like lower lifeforms. Educate them with smart content so they can become smarter, and ultimately, more loyal to you. Edward Gotham teaches us to use smart content for more engaging emails.
  • Would you rather automate your marketing or do you want to invest in successful email marketing campaigns? It depends on what your sales and marketing goals are. Marketo pens this article.
  • We don’t exactly know why your emails aren’t getting results, but Kristen Dunleavy lists some pretty powerful reasons why that might be the case. Check out this post for the full list!
  • Building an email list is often times a slow and steady process. Although there are ethical ways to speed it up, we do not advise buying lists to boost your numbers. Daniel Burns gives us five strong reasons why.
  • As we say repeatedly, if you want to be the best, you have to learn from the best. Tracey Vides highlights 18 brands that get their email voices just right.
  • Learn how Jason Acidre increased his email subscribers by 532% in a single month by reading this post.
  • It’s one thing to blast our email to several thousand subscribers. It’s another to have them actually open it. Elisa Silverman shows us how to structure our email messages.
  • Grow your email list using a number of smart hacks from brilliant Neal Taparia.
  • There’s more than one way to amass a significant following by email. Read through Jeff Bullas’s six simple tips to grow a larger list today.
  • The perfect set up for your email list is here! Rob Walling gives us basic guidelines for starting your email list.
  • What can you possibly learn from 12,500 emails from Internet retailers? Quite a bit actually. Luiz Centenaro analyzes the common threads in these emails with a case study. Enjoy this smart read!
  • First impressions matter, especially on the Internet. Mustafa Khundmiri details how to make a great one through your first email.
  • Dynamically target your subscribers through email using two powerful tools Vamshi Mokshagundam expands on in this post.
  • Don’t just setup your email list and forget it; continue to add value in order to grow your subscriber count. Satish Patel posts five tips to get you on track to your first 1,000 readers.
  • If you’re a startup, your email list is your biggest ally. Joelle Steiniger lists three dead simple tactics for a robust list of loyal followers.
  • Even though the first 1,000 email posts are admirable, I go by the philosophy that your first few followers are your most important. Bryan Harris exemplifies this notion in an article.
  • Don’t kill your open rates with these five mistakes! Abigail Waterer presents them in a post.
  • Use the VENT methodology presented by Justine Jordan in order to create compelling content for your email marketing campaigns.
  • You think you know how to build a sturdy email list? Here’s everything you need to know, and more, by Nate Desmond.
  • People can spot a sales email a mile away. John Bonini makes sure you write tight email copy that gets you the right response in this article.

Do you have any other posts that would fit into our top email marketing roundup of 2014? Let us know your top picks in the comments section below!