Top 9 Email Marketing Best Practices

As our communication styles continue to change and adapt, there is one channel that has persisted: email.

Remember back to the day when you used to have an AOL or SBCGlobal account? While it seems like a lifetime ago and the majority of the public has moved on from using those services, the power of sending and receiving an email has remained strong.

Some email marketers believe that consumers are no longer reading their emails and view this channel of communication as outdated. The presumption is incorrect. In fact, email will top 3 billion users by 2020.

This marketing statistic proves that even with the rise of social media and new content platforms, email is nowhere near obsolete. As a marketer, as part of your efforts to keep your company relevant, email marketing strategy is essential to its ROI growth.

Therefore, in order for marketers to use email marketing to maximize their company’s outreach goals, it's essential to be knowledgeable of the best practices for email campaigns.

While there is a multitude of strategic actions to implement as part of your overall marketing strategy, here are a few suggestions that include how to create a healthy email list and another top eight email marketing strategies:

1. Create a Healthy E-mail List

One of the most important elements of any email marketing program is to have a well-segmented email list. Without this, all of the hard work you put into the content messaging will be wasted energy and your email will not be read.

Did you know that a third of consumers have visited a website or made a purchase by just seeing an email? This means that if the consumer didn't read your email in full, only seeing the subject line or first sentence might be enough to trigger the desired action you want.

In order to get your targeted consumer to this point, you have to have their correct email addresses. More leads will trickle into your workflow if you're able to reach your intended consumer and make a good first impression.

>>>SUGGESTED READ: The Best Types of Emails for B2B Lead Generation <<<

2. Carefully Craft Your Subject Lines 

Grabbing the reader’s attention in the first few seconds is the reason why you should take time to develop your subject line. This is a must. Your email’s subject line is a good indicator of the overall success and health of your email. It's what convinces the subscriber whether or not to click open your email and read it.

Individualized subject lines help. This is why your email lists must be updated constantly to make sure that you're not using any email addresses or including any information that are no longer accurate.

3. Create a Cadence Strategy

Now, let's think about how frequently you want to send out emails or, in other words, how to develop a cadence strategy for your email campaign. Even though the amount of content you'll be sending will ultimately be dependent on the actions the consumer takes, you need to hit the once-a-month mark as a bare minimum. Instead of picking a random date and time to send out emails to your subscribers, think about what is upcoming for your company. From there, develop an email content marketing calendar that highlights events, promotions, and other interesting content.

Initially, this will create a loose schedule of email opportunities. Worried about being in constant contact and sending too many emails? Your subscribers will tell you if you are, which is indicated by the rate of unsubscribes. This will help you adjust your email marketing strategy to best fit the needs of your consumers. The key here is to plan as much as possible since, the sooner you do, the better, as it gives you more time to fine-tune your copy and approach.  

4. Determine E-mail Frequency

From here, put the power into the hands of your consumers. Nowadays, consumers are ahead of marketers, meaning that they have already made a decision about what they like and want or don't. In terms of email marketing, let your subscribers choose how frequently or infrequently they would like to see emails from your company in their inbox.

Such ideas include allowing consumers to choose if they prefer to receive fewer emails overall, or perhaps want to put their subscription on hold for a specified amount of time.

While this may sound alarming, fear not. Hubspot experimented with this practice, and found that their subscriber churn rate went down after providing their consumers with options. This is evidence that the subscribers you want on your email list will choose to stay by not being suffocated or overwhelmed with the volume of emails your company sends.

5. Engage Your Subscribers

Another way to lose your audience’s attention is by not immediately engaging your subscriber. When it comes to content creation, a rule of thumb is to keep your message short and sweet. Grab your consumer’s attention by crafting engaging content and follow up with a strong call to action right after.

Most consumers don't have a photographic memory, but if you want your subscriber to remember any part of your email, it needs to be the call to action (CTA). In order for this to happen, your CTA has to be placed strategically above the fold and easy for the subscriber to comprehend what they're being offered.

Here’s where your desk-mate comes in handy. Ask them to simply read the CTA. If they're not able to regurgitate the main point of your email in mere seconds, your email is not clear and it needs to be rewritten.

6. Plan Your Drip Campaign

Once you're confident that your email message will resonate with your subscriber, it's time to create a drip campaign. Don't panic if you're not familiar with this term. In simple terms, a drip campaign is a predetermined number of follow-up emails based on the actions of your subscriber in order for your company to stay top-of-mind. Think of a water drop falling from your kitchen sink to help visualize the subsequent flow of actions.

Common emails that are included in drip campaigns include a thank you or welcome email after the consumer subscribes to a CTA and more informative emails to provide them with additional content.

In order to create a successful drip campaign, you have to understand your consumer personas like the back of your hand. If you don't, you will not be able to assess what further content to provide your subscriber to help address more of their concerns and questions.

Examples include case studies, a downloadable e-book, and webinars. From here, adjust your email frequency and copy to be tailored to your subscriber.

7. Personalized E-mails

Readers react positively to personalization in general and personalized emails have a 17 percent higher open rate than those that are not. So with each and every email that you send, don't forget to personalize the email by adding the recipient's name as the pre-header.

8. Scheduled E-mails

If you choose not to manually send out your emails, make sure you are scheduling them strategically.

Based on your own and outside marketing research, identify the best days of the week and times that your unique consumer group will most likely see your email in their inbox. This will lead to higher open-rates as well as an increase in responsiveness. Also, be wary of your recipient's time zone and adjust accordingly.

9. Take One Last Look 

Finally, make sure to send your email to yourself before hitting the send button. Not setting aside time to do this could be the nail in your coffin. This will give you a final opportunity to look for any spelling errors, grammatical mistakes or visual mishaps.

Here’s another opportunity to reach out to your work colleague and have them take a quick glance over your finalized email. They will provide a fresh pair of eyes to find any mistakes or make suggestions from an outsider’s perspective.

One of the worst mistakes any marketer can make after not having correct contact information is misspelling the consumer’s name. If you do, your email will end up in the trash without hesitation.

Remember, perfecting your company’s email marketing strategy does not happen overnight. If you want to have an in-depth conversation about what you just read or want even more advice on email marketing campaigns don't hesitate to contact us. Give us the opportunity to let our passion for all things marketing and content writing help advance your company’s business goals with measurable results.  

Get Your Grade

About the Author: Elena Tardella

Elena Tardella

Elena is a public relations and digital media professional. Having worked with several PR firms and now at an inbound marketing agency. Elena has experience with SEO optimization, content strategy and planning, media relations, social media strategy and community management, coordinating regional and national press opportunities, and more.

Recent Posts