Email marketing is the single most effective marketing channel out there. Doing it well is not easy, but very worth the effort. Studies consistently show that emailing a subscriber base regularly translates into revenue over time.
These email marketing best practices can set you on a strong path to fine-tune your email marketing strategy as another revenue-generating marketing channel.
9 Essential Email Marketing Tips for Your Business
1. Drive More Clicks To Your Landing Page With Clear & Focused Call to Action
The whole point of your email messages is to drive traffic to your landing page. It’s really just that simple. If you’re not driving clicks to your page, your email subscribers can’t be converted into customers.
The key to driving traffic to your landing page is quite simple: have one primary call to action (CTA) in the email message. Having multiple CTAs will only distract the reader and make them confused. When they’re confused, they will leave your email or delete it.
What you want is to guide your reader to take a specific call to action. Tease them on the benefits they will get by visiting the landing page. For the best user experience, the email, CTA and landing page must be congruent.
Although you’re using one primary CTA, don’t be afraid to include it in multiple locations. You can place them early in the email above the fold, in the middle, towards the end, and remind them again in the P.S.
2. Encourage Your Readers to Reply
In the old days of direct mail, you would send out your correspondence, and then wait for your readers to act. Not anymore. Today, email marketing opens the door for meaningful conversations with your potential customers. We’re talking about real people who are interested in your business. With that in mind, you’ll want to encourage this back-and-forth in three ways:
- Enticing email subject lines. Speak directly to your subscribers and promise them something that will stand out. The best way to achieve this is with automated personalization.
- Use a distinctive and entertaining voice. Just because someone opened your email, doesn’t mean they’re actually going to read it. Always make sure your message sounds like it’s coming from a real person who cares, not an emotionless robot.
- Target content. Email marketing best practices are to segment your email lists by your subscribers’ demographics. This makes it easier to create messages that resonate with each segment’s needs and interest, making them more likely to be converted, engage with you, or at least pass it along to someone else.
The focus here is to get people to respond. That may mean just clicking a link, but wherever possible, encourage them to actually reply to your emails. It’s the best way to show you’re interested in what your subscribers are thinking.
3. Personalization is Key
It’s a good idea to add personal elements to your emails wherever you can. Address your subscribers by name. Craft your message to dive deep, addressing their interests and needs. These practices are not only becoming more commonplace, but they’re also becoming expected.
There are many ways to achieve this personal touch:
- Most modern email tools allow you to use short-codes that will be replaced by the recipient’s name once the email is sent out.
- Try mixing and matching your email content by location.
- Customize your subject lines.
- And of course, be sure to segment your list by behaviour.
4. Make Sure Your Emails Look Great
It might sound somewhat obvious, but you may be surprised at how many businesses still send emails that look like those free, amateur websites from the ‘90s. Once you entice subscribers to open your emails with engaging subject lines it’s crucial to keep their interest, so they’ll continue to read your emails. The best way to do this is:
- Use short paragraphs and make sure that your keywords and any phrases that may be important to your readers stand out.
- Include bullet points to help people skim the important content.
- Use images sparingly – you want them to illustrate your point, not take over your content. Besides, some email providers will block images or think of them as indicators of spam. So your emails need to make sense even if the images don’t load.
- Make sure your emails look good on both mobile and desktop devices. According to Campaign Monitor, more than 70% of emails are opened on mobile apps.
5. Include Links to Your Social Media Profiles
Encouraging your readers to engage with your business on social media should be one of the key ingredients of your email marketing pie. Therefore, email marketing best practice is to include links to your social media alongside a call to action to share this promotional offer with their social media followers and friends.
Not only does this give you an added opportunity for promotion, but it also builds trust between your business and your audience. If a visitor has already given you their email, the odds are good they will follow you on social media too. Make it easy for them to follow you!
6. Send Test Emails Before Distributing to Your Email List
If you want to continuously see your subscribers open and click on links in your emails, you’ll need to make sure every message sent is working properly. Double-check that each of your messages look the way you want them to by first sending them to employee accounts. Preferably, you should view them in several different email clients and providers (like Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo), as well as on a variety of mobile devices.
This is a best practice for email marketing campaigns. Sending mass emails without double-checking the content is like showing up to a business meeting having gotten dressed in the dark. If it goes poorly, you won’t just look foolish; you’ll look unprofessional too!
7. Keep Track of Your Data
Keep a keen eye on your data, like how many email addresses were undeliverable, how many were never opened, and what time of day people did open your message. The tiny details in your data can tell you an awful lot about your campaign’s performance.
If you’re using Google Analytics for your website, you’ve got even more powerful data at your fingertips. Try tagging your emails with custom campaign tracking so you can see how they’re driving traffic to your landing pages, and how those people behave once they get there. With this information you can really personalize your messages for people who want it.
Here are some metrics you want to keep track of:
- Open rate – Tells you if your emails are landing in the inbox and if your subject lines grab the reader’s attention.
- Click rate – Tells you if the email content provides enough benefit for the reader to take action.
- Unsubscribe rate – If it’s too high, your readers don’t resonate with your message.
- Earning per Subscriber – Tells you how profitable your email campaigns are and how much you can spend to acquire a lead.
- Time of day your emails are opened – Tells you the best time to send your email campaigns to maximize your results.
8. Set Up A New Subscriber Welcome Sequence
There’s one email that gets read much more than any other email – the welcome email. That’s because when someone first signs up to get your lead magnet, they’re at the highest interest level.
But at the same time, they’re still a stranger to your business. They don’t know much about your brand.
The welcome sequence is an excellent opportunity to welcome them and introduce them to your company. It’s like meeting a person for the first time. It’s just polite to introduce yourself, so they get to know you. Use the welcome sequence to bring new subscribers on a journey where they go from “stranger” to a “friend”.
Email providers enable you to send a series of emails that gets dripped out over time. The idea is to share what your brand is about and what they will get by being on your email list. The welcome sequence will get them up to speed and they will be more receptive when you start sending them regular email broadcasts or newsletters.
9. Increase Your Sender Reputation By Cleaning Your Mailing List Regularly
Most businesses often overlook this. They’re focused on growing their list and sending out emails, but not cleaning up the list. Cleaning up the list means getting rid of the inactive subscribers.
Email providers like Gmail are tracking how readers are responding to your emails. When you have a low open rate or high bounce rate, your reputation as a sender decreases. This hurts your deliverability. Subsequently, more of your active subscribers aren’t going to see your emails because they’re getting flagged by the email providers.
Moreover, keeping inactive subscribers means that you’re paying for extra money to keep them in your database. That’s money down the drain, spent on people who aren’t seeing your emails or no longer interested to hear from you.
You’ll want to do regular maintenance on your mailing list. Compile a list of subscribers who haven’t opened your emails in the last 90 days and send them a re-engagement campaign. If they still don’t respond, then it’s time to say goodbye.
Removing inactive subscribers from your email list can sound scary. But it’s an important step to keep your sender reputation high. It tells the service providers that you respect your readers’ inbox and are not merely spamming them.
The Future of Email Marketing
Even though email marketing is one of the oldest forms of communicating with your target audience, it continues to change and evolve. The root reason to start using email marketing is still the same as it has always been – to get your business out there. But the branches have changed.
It isn’t about incessantly marketing a product anymore. Today, it’s all about creating an emotional connection and driving engagement. Email marketing is a way to connect with your audience, build trust, and develop a relationship. You do this by showing that your business is willing to provide solutions no other business can.
If your small to mid-sized business is looking to help grow though the opportunities that can be found with email marketing, outsourcing to a full-service email marketing agency can fast track your efforts. Our team at Asset Digital Communications offers full service email marketing that includes list building, drip campaigns, email nurture campaigns, email analytics, and content creation for B2B. It has constantly been shown that for every $1 invested in email marketing, businesses have seen an average return of $38! Can you afford to leave digital marketing’s biggest ROI on the table?