Despite being one of the oldest, email marketing is one of the most effective marketing channels available. With over 4 billion email users worldwide, and over 293 billion emails being sent daily, it is no wonder that many marketers are looking to increase their email marketing budgets. By following these 15 best practices for email marketing, you can ensure that your email marketing campaigns generate leads and convert prospects!
Let us first recap what email marketing is and why marketing with email is so important in the current day and age.
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Best practices for email marketing: What is it and why is it important?
Email marketing is a great way to connect with customers and promote a business. It allows marketers and businesses to reach a large audience with minimal effort and cost, and can be a very effective way to drive sales and grow a business. However, it’s important to understand what email marketing is, and why it is important before you get started.
Email marketing is one of the forms of direct marketing that involves sending promotional messages to customers or prospects via email. It can be used to promote products or services, build brand awareness, and generate leads. Email marketing is often used in conjunction with other marketing channels such as social media, paid advertising, or website optimization.
To be successful with email marketing, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your target audience and what they’re looking for. You also need to create compelling and relevant content that resonates with your audience. And finally, you need to make sure your email marketing campaign is properly executed and tracked so you can measure its success.
Now that we know what email marketing is and why we should focus on it as digital marketers, it’s time to get into the best practices for email marketing.
1. Keep your list clean and updated:
As any seasoned email marketer knows, one of the most important aspects of a successful campaign is having a clean up-to-date, in-house built email list of subscribers. Not only do you need to make sure you have the correct email addresses for your customers, but you also need to ensure that they haven’t changed. After all, there’s nothing worse than sending out a beautiful email only to have it bounce back because you’re using an outdated address.
To keep your list clean, it’s best to use an email validation service. This will help to ensure that all of the addresses on your list are still active and that the email addresses have no errors or typos. Additionally, it’s a good idea to regularly check your list for duplicates and unsubscribe any addresses that are no longer active.
2. Segment your list:
Email marketing is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes, but it’s especially important for small businesses. With a limited marketing budget, email allows these businesses to reach a large audience without breaking the bank. But simply sending out mass emails to all of your subscribers is not enough – you must segment your list in order to send more targeted and relevant messages.
Best practices for email marketing recommend segmenting your list according to customers’ interests, preferences, geographic area, or past behavior. This way, you can make sure that each email is highly relevant and engaging, and that you’re not wasting your time (and your customers’ time) with messages that aren’t pertinent. So take a few minutes to segment your list, and you’ll be on your way to more successful email marketing campaigns.
3. Personalize your messages:
Best practices for email marketing always include personalizing your messages. Include the customer’s name or other information that makes the email feel more personal. Plan your content around their needs and interests, rather than yours. Speak to them in a way that feels natural, not like a one-sided commercial-based conversation. Make sure every email has a call to action, so they know what you want them to do next. Finally, don’t forget to proofread before hitting send! A few typos can make your brand look unprofessional.
A great way to ensure your emails look professional and are personalized is to use email templates for common business messages. This will allow you to pre-build messages that get automatically personalized and include only relevant information for the recipient. Just remember not to fall in love with templates, people can always tell when they are receiving a templated message and a unique one.
4. Ensure that the subject lines are clear and concise:
As anyone who’s ever sifted through their inbox can attest, a good subject line is key to getting someone to open your email. But what makes for a good subject line? Here are a few best practices to keep in mind:
- Keep it short and sweet. You want your subject line to be as concise as possible. This not only makes it easier for the reader to understand what your email is about quickly, but also helps to prevent your message from getting truncated in their inbox. Remember, time is money, and it is hard to capture someone’s attention for that long. So get your message out quickly.
- Be clear about what you’re offering. Your subject line should give the reader a good idea of what they can expect to find in your email. If you’re promoting a new product or service, make sure that’s evident in the subject line.
- Use keywords sparingly. In general, you want to avoid loading up your subject line with keywords, as this can come across as spammy. However, if you do choose to use keywords, be sure to use them judiciously. A Few well-chosen keywords can help increase the open rates of your email, but too many will turn people off.
5. Keep your message focused:
Although it may be tempting to try and sell several products or services in one email, it’s important to keep your message focused. Best practices for email marketing dictate that you should focus on one product or service per message. This allows you to provide your recipients with the information they need without overwhelming them. It also helps to create a sense of urgency and encourage them to take action. So, next time you’re crafting an email marketing campaign, remember to keep your message focused. Your recipients will thank you for it!
6. Use images sparingly:
One of the most important things to think about while sending emails is to make sure to use images sparingly. Too many images can make an email feel cluttered and can be slow to load on mobile devices. Stick to one or two key images per message. And make sure those images are relevant and help to tell your story. Of course, depending on the design of the email, you can incorporate more images. There are a lot of different drag and drop email builders out there now. So play around with these tools and build captivating designs.
A good practice while building your email designs is to run them by someone outside of your immediate team. This will give you an opportunity to gain some valuable input regarding the design and the images used from someone that is not an expert on email design.
7. Make use of rich media:
There’s no denying that we live in a world that loves its visuals. And why wouldn’t we? After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. But what about when you’re trying to get your point across in a blog post or article? In those cases, rich media, such as videos and infographics, can be a great way to grab attention and drive engagement. Just be sure not to overdo it, as too much rich media can be overwhelming for users. When used judiciously, however, rich media can be a powerful tool for getting your message across.
Again, remember to use a team member to get feedback about the media you decided to use in the email. It’s best to have a fantastic looking email design before it gets sent out to your email list.
8. Use actionable language:
When it comes to email, one of the most important things to keep in mind is to use language that will inspire action. This means using calls to action (CTAs) throughout the email, and making sure they are clear, concise and provide value to the subscriber. By doing this, you are more likely to get the response you want from your recipients.
Additionally, using actionable language shows that you are a professional who is serious about getting things done. So next time you sit down to write an email, keep this tip in mind and see how it can help you get the results you want.
9. Keep your email content relevant:
The contents of your email should always be relevant to the interests of your subscribers. If you’re constantly sending emails that aren’t relevant, you’ll quickly see a decrease in click-through rates and an increase in unsubscribes. Keep your content focused on topics that will interest your readers, and make sure to include a call to action so they know what to do next. By relevance we don’t just mean industry news – it could be a new product launch, an upcoming event, a new feature or even just a helpful tip. As long as it’s something your subscribers will find useful, you’re on the right track.
If you are actively engaging in segmentation of your email list, you will be able to ensure that your email campaign is targeted and relevant. Email subscribers hate receiving emails that have zero relevance to them, as they spend time and energy looking at something that has zero value. So next time you sit down to write an email, ask yourself: is this something my subscribers will care about? If not, it’s time to rethink your strategy.
10. Test, test, test:
As any marketer knows, testing is essential to success. The best way to find out what works best for your audience is to experiment with different elements of your email. Try different subject lines, images, rich media, and calls to action to see what gets the best response from your subscribers.
Not sure where to start? A/B testing is a great way to compare two different versions of an email side-by-side to see which one performs better.
But what exactly is A/B testing, and how can it help you improve your email campaigns? A/B testing is a technique that allows you to test two different versions of an email (or any marketing asset) against each other in order to see which one performs better. The best way to do this is to send each version of the email to a randomly selected group of people (known as a control group and a test group) and then measure the response rate.
If the response rate for the test group is significantly higher than the response rate for the control group, then this is an indicator that the version of the email that was sent to the test group is more effective.
This technique can be used to test anything from subject lines and images to call-to-action buttons and even the time of day that an email is sent. By testing different elements, you can fine-tune your email strategy and make sure you’re always sending the best possible content to your subscribers. Testing your email copy and designs is considered one of the most important best practices for email marketing. So make sure to take time and do it correctly the first time!
11. Don’t buy email lists – build your own organically:
It’s tempting to think that the easiest way to build an email list is to buy one. But resist the urge! Not only is buying an email list a bad idea from an ethical standpoint, but it also won’t do you any favors in terms of deliverability or engagement. If you want to build a healthy, successful email list, you need to do it the old-fashioned way: organically.
There are a few key reasons why buying an email list goes against best practices for email marketing. First, you have no way of knowing whether the people on the list actually want to receive your emails. Second, bought lists often have high bounce rates, which can damage your sender reputation and result in your emails being delivered straight to the spam folder. Finally, most people who receive unsolicited emails from strangers are likely to mark them as spam, which again hurts your deliverability.
Organically building your email list may take a bit more time and effort than buying one, but it’s well worth it in the long run. Start by attracting attention with high-quality content, then make it easy for people to sign up for your mailing list. Keep your subscribers engaged by sending interesting and relevant emails, and you’ll soon have
12. Comply with spam laws (CAN-SPAM in the US, CASL in Canada) to avoid running into legal trouble:
Any email marketer worth their salt knows that complying with spam laws is essential to avoid being blocked by ISPs or running into legal trouble. The CAN-SPAM Act in the US and CASL in Canada are two of the most well-known sets of laws, and compliance with them is crucial for any business that sends emails to customers or prospects in these countries. There are a few key things to keep in mind when complying with these laws:
First, always include a clear and conspicuous opt-out link in every email you send. This gives recipients the ability to unsubscribe from your list if they no longer want to receive your communications. Second, make sure your subject lines are clear and not misleading. Deceptive subject lines are a surefire way to get your emails flagged as spam. Finally, don’t forget to include your physical address in every email you send. This helps recipients know who they’re dealing with and can also come in handy if they need to contact you for any reason.
As a responsible email marketer, it’s important that you comply with these laws and best practices. If you don’t, you run the risk of being blocked by ISPs, which can damage your reputation and make it difficult for people to receive your emails. Worse still, you could face legal trouble. So please, do yourself and your recipients a favor: play by the rules and avoid being marked as spam.
13. Keep your branding consistent across all channels:
As a business owner, you know the importance of building a strong brand. But in the age of digital marketing, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of emails, social media posts, and web articles. That’s why it’s important to keep your email marketing branding consistent across all channels. By using the same logo, colors, and style in your email signature, you can help create a cohesive brand identity that will stand out from the competition.
In addition, make sure to write in a clear and consistent voice that reflects your brand personality. And finally, don’t forget to include a call to action in each email so that your subscribers know what you want them to do next. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your email marketing efforts are working together to build a strong and recognizable brand.
14. Make it easy to unsubscribe:
The average business professional receives 121 business emails per day, and that number is only increasing. As a result, it’s more important than ever to make it easy for people to unsubscribe from your emails. After all, no one wants to be bombarded with messages they don’t want to receive. The good news is, there are a few simple ways to make unsubscribing easier.
- First, include an unsubscribe link in every email you send. This way, recipients can quickly and easily opt out of your emails with just a few clicks.
- Second, make sure the unsubscribe link is prominently displayed and easy to find.
- Third, don’t try to trick people into staying subscribed by hiding the unsubscribe link or making it difficult to find.
Finally, give people the option to unsubscribe from specific types of emails, rather than all emails from your company. By following these simple tips, you can make sure that your email list stays clean and up-to-date.
15. Timing is everything – send at the right time for maximum impact:
As any email user knows, timing is everything. Send an email too early and you run the risk of it getting lost in the recipient’s inbox; send it too late and they may have already moved on to other things. So what’s the best time to send an email for maximum impact?
According to a recent study, the answer may depend on what kind of email you’re sending. For instance, promotional emails are more likely to be opened if they’re sent on a Tuesday or Wednesday. In contrast, transactional emails (such as receipts or shipping notifications) are more likely to be opened on a Monday. Moreover, the study found that emails sent in the morning are more likely to be opened than those sent in the afternoon.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. The best way to find out what works for your audience is to experiment with different times and days until you find a pattern that works for you. But if you’re ever in doubt, remember that timing is everything – so send your emails at the right time for maximum impact.
A great way to ensure that your emails are sent out at the right time is by using email marketing automation. Automation software will send out emails at the desired time, as well as make sure your customers get timely responses to transactions, questions, and after completing certain tasks.
Key Takeaways: Best practices for email marketing:
Email marketing is not a dying marketing technique and it is here to stay! The number of email users worldwide continues to grow and many of them prefer to get information from companies they like in their email inbox. By following these best practices for email marketing, you can boost your email click-through rates and conversion rates.
If you need assistance with your email marketing campaign, then make sure to reach out to Clear Door SEO. Clear Door SEO is an Oregon SEO company in Portland that offers digital marketing services including email marketing. If you are interested in taking your email marketing to the next level, then contact us today!