15 Email Marketing Best Practices that Really Helps
Whether you are doing business or developing your brand, the most important part is to reach your audience. So, how can you do that?
The answer is simple- you have to perform marketing activities. Sounds, easy right?
Well, it's not easy at all. If you are a marketer yourself, you know how difficult it is to reach the right people at the right time.
Among different activities that people are doing to get the best results, Email Marketing is the central part of marketing. It can bring you the best possible results if you do it properly. For that, you must stay up to date with the latest trends and also adopt the best practices.
In this article, we will walk you through the latest email marketing trends of 2018 along with the best practices that you should follow for a better result in the competitive market.
How to Get the Best Results from Email Marketing
If you are planning to nurture your leads or upsell your products, the best option is email marketing. You can generate email data from your day to day business operations. This means you can inform your customers or subscribers about your activities, what you are going to do or what benefits they get from your products. The options are endless when you are doing email marketing and you can easily create a strong relationship with your clients. This is what that creates better customer lifetime value.
Let's find out the email marketing best practices that we think are important for any business. We have catered this list from our own experience and hope this will help you to boost your business.
1. Create Your Own Email List
The most important part of doing email marketing is to have a list to work with. There are many ways of preparing or developing an email list.
You should create your own customized email list and send your campaigns to them only. There are many agencies or companies who sell email lists containing thousands of subscribers. However, they will make email marketing worse for you. When you send emails to irrelevant people, it is possible that they will report abuse to the provider you are using for sending emails. Ultimately, your campaigns will have low interaction rates and end up being in the spam folder.
So, you should prepare strategies to build your own list from scratch. You can add subscription forms on your blogs and also use the emails of your existing customers.
2. Segment Your List Properly
Email marketing is a kind of direct marketing because you get to engage with your contacts, subscribers, leads personally. So, it is possible to experience the highest engagement possible through emails and newsletters. If you cater your messages properly while doing email marketing, it is more likely to trigger your contacts to transform into leads, even customers.
When you are able to cater your messages to specific key points depending on the characteristics of your customers, you will face success in no time!
This is where segmentation comes in. You should segment your email list according to the characteristics of your contacts. Here are few things that you should consider for segmentation –
- Where your customers live
- What they have purchased recently
- Whether they added something to their carts
- When they are engaging with your emails etc.
Basically, you should look at the behavior, demography, geography and the actions they have triggered on your website.
3. Email Sending Frequency
While doing email marketing, you should know when your contacts prefer to check their mailboxes. Besides that, you should understand how often they want to receive your emails. If you continuously send them emails that they do not prefer. They will eventually unsubscribe and your bounce rate will increase.
In modern email sending applications, report abuse is a common feature. When you are sending too many emails to your subscribers, they might report you. This will greatly affect your reputation.
You can add a section to your emails footer asking them how many emails they want per week and also if you are sending too many emails or not.
4. Optimize Your CTA (Call to Action)
The purpose of email marketing is to let your subscribers know what you are offering or some important information. If you can't lead them to your landing page or the store where you have placed your products, there is no meaning to it.
Thus, the most common trick is to add buttons or CTAs (Call to Action). Please note that your CTA should be engaging and interesting. Otherwise, your subscribers will not feel compelled clicking them. The goal here is to make your contacts click your CTA as much as possible.
So, you have to optimize your call to action button to get the best results. Using too much longer or too much shorter buttons are ineffective. You have to find the which length works better. Besides that, using interesting words and asking questions on your CTA is a good strategy to follow. However, be clear with your CTAs and don't clutter space around it.
Also, make sure to design your email concentrating the CTA and try multiple placements as it draws the attention of the readers.
5. Write Compelling & Trendy Subject lines
The most important piece of your email is the subject line and headings. So, it is crucial to give your best while writing the subject lines.
Try to use trending words inside the subject and asking questions is a good way to engage with your customers. Don't make the subject lines too big or too small. Using 5 to 6 words in subject lines is the best way to get good results.
Make your subject lines engaging and inspiring so that your contacts open the emails out of interest. Try clever tactics as the opportunity of making your reader open the email is none other than the subject line. Finally, build your email content around your subject line and CTAs.
6. Send Offers and Discounts Regularly
There's a saying – give something before you take. So, isn't it obvious that you give something to your subscribers? If you are not offering them something, then why would they consider opening your emails?
It's natural for any company to offer 5-10% discounts. So, you should offer small discounts on a regular basis to your subscribers so that they feel privileged. This is a simple strategy to keep your subscribers in touch. Besides that, offering bigger discounts on various occasions and sales is the best way to boost your sales.
7. Consider the Design of Your Email
How does your email or newsletter looks like is a very important thing to consider. So, what you are doing to design your email does matter.
You can hire a designer or developer to code your emails. You can also use templates and customize them according to your need. Most of the modern email marketing tools have their own drag and drop email builder. This effectively helps you to prepare appealing emails.
However, you should maintain the branding of your website while designing emails. This makes sure your contacts are getting a similar experience when they click the CTAs and land on your website.
Don't use unprofessional colors and small font size. Try to understand the market and follow trends. You can always subscribe to popular companies like Hubspot, Trello, Github, Slack, Kissmetrics, Sumo etc. and observe their emails. This way you can create your very own design from scratch.
8. Allow Contacts to Manage Subscription
Giving freedom of choice a good thing to do. You should not annoy your contacts with unwanted emails. So, letting them decide whether they want to receive your emails or not is a must for any email marketer.
So, you have to include unsubscribe button with your emails. The best practice is to add them in the footer section. If you don't add unsubscription button, there is a high chance that your email will go to the spam folder.
9. Make Emails Mobile Friendly
In this modern age, everyone likes to use portable devices such as mobiles, smartphones, tablets, notebooks etc. So, you should make your emails mobile friendly. This means, your email will have the capability of showing everything in a proper manner for mobile devices.
This includes making the email readable, using images that have a proper aspect ration and also writing optimized subject and CTAs.
10. Do A/B Testing Whenever Possible
A/B testing is a good way to find out what brings you better results. So, it is important for any email marketer to consider A/B testing for every part of their emails. This includes subject lines, CTAs, sender's name and email content.
You can create a better strategy from the lessons you acquire from A/B testing campaigns. Here are some factors that you should consider while doing different types of testing with your emails –
- Try to test one element at a time. This helps you to understand the result properly. Otherwise, you will not find out which change helped you the most.
- Run your test campaigns on a large contact list. If you don't, the results will not bring any value to you.
- Give your campaigns some time to determine the winning element and move on to the next one.
11. Add Company Details and Important Links
Building credibility to your emails can bring good results sometimes. Besides that, many users optimize their inbox with spam filters. When you include your company details and other relevant links, it can help you to pass through those filters and reach the inbox easily.
So, always include your company name, mailing address, phone number and also social links where appropriate.
12. Make Good Use of Automated Emails
One of the blessings of modern email sending tools is automatic emails. You can trigger pre-built specific emails based on different events that your contacts perform on your website.
For example, you can trigger an email when someone buys something from your online store or when someone subscribes to your email list. You send set welcome email, thank you email or even onboarding emails just in case.
13. Perform Spam Tests
Always do spam testing before sending your campaigns. There are many websites that provide spam testing services for free. They even give you scores based on different email criteria. You can potentially improve your email from the test results.
14. Avoid Small Mistakes
Small mistakes in your email may lead to a greater unsubscription and bounce rate. Because, it's easy to annoy a person, but it takes a lot of time and effort to impress them.
Always check your email preview carefully before sending them. Proofread your email copy for avoiding silly mistakes. Find out the image to text ratio as too many text or too many images can ruin your awesome email. Finally, test your email on various devices and browser to find out minor problems so that you can solve them.
You can also create a test list and send your campaigns to that list first. Add your team members to that test list and ask for suggestions. Who knows, one of their simple ideas can help you to get the best possible results.
15. Don't Create Just Another Email
Finally, make sure you are creating something unique that will bring value to your readers and also yourself. Try to stand out in the crowd with growth hacking and new tactics. Here is a checklist of email marketing best practices and tweaks that can help you to make a difference.
- Customize the ‘From' field of your email sending form
- Try to be transparent with your email subject; don't be misleading
- Address your contacts by their First Name
- Tailor your email copy based on the subject line and CTAs
- Add an appealing call to action button
- Send plain text and HTML emails
- Add your location/address to your emails
- Learn to say ‘thank you' to your readers
- Put unsubscribe link in the footer
- Try to send emails from the same IP address
- Give importance to your audience first
- Try to keep your email list clean
- Make good use of metrics and results
- Perform A/B testing on a regular basis
- Learn from your mistakes
Email marketing drives the largest number of people to your business and this makes it the primary driver of customer acquisition. Besides that, it brings the highest ROI (Return on Investment) of all marketing channels including advertising, social media, paid media, blog etc.
So, you should make the best use of email marketing. For that, following the best practices may help you achieve better results and establish an email marketing strategy that would bring value to your brand or company.
If you know about some other effective email marketing tips that we have missed, please tell us in the comments. We would love to hear from you and will add your ideas to this list.