Email Marketing Best Practices You Need to Deploy ASAP

Email Marketing Best Practices You Need to Deploy ASAP
Email Marketing Best Practices You Need to Deploy ASAP
Julie Zubak
By Julie Zubak

For those of you that have experience with e-marketing, then you probably know it’s not for the faint of heart. For those of you that are trying to revamp or optimize your e-marketing campaign, then you’re most likely in the throes of the same lesson. The truth is that converting leads via emails is immensely difficult. Most of us are not unfamiliar with spam emails and if they do find their way into our inbox, we’re quick to look past them or hit that trash can button.

You have to be catchy, unique, and entirely different than your competition. Oh, and you only have but a second before your audience decides whether or not your email is worth opening. Still, despite these difficulties, email marketing remains to be one of the most popular and effective (if done right) ways to generate leads. Like social media, almost everyone has an email. And like social media, it’s a direct link of contact between you and your customer.

Thus, it’s imperative that you know the best practices to employ when it comes to e-marketing. At least, when it comes to fundamentals, you’ll be able to capitalize on the ‘what works’ that are ubiquitous across successful e-marketing campaigns. Ultimately the line of success will depend on your diligence, creativity, and the quality of content you provide in your emails.

Mobile Users Are Now The Most Important

Who doesn’t have their email linked to their phone these days? In fact, who doesn’t first receive their email via their mobile device before checking it on the computer? The reality is that almost all emails are first opened on a mobile device and, being that it happens so often, consumers have trained their brains to recognize good from bad. This means you need to optimize your emails for mobile use. If your design looks like a godsend on a computer but something thrown together in Microsoft paint on the phone, your leads are going to be nearly nonexistent. You have to incorporate responsive design, large call-to-action buttons that are easily clickable via finger or thumb, and vertical orientation that allows for easy scrolling, readability, and navigation. The rule of thumb these days is to assume your email is going to be opened on a phone not a computer. Don’t forget this. This is now e-marketing 101.

Subject Lines, They Need To Be Fantastic

The difference between a good and bad subject line can translate to the difference between a blocked or opened email. If there was ever a time for brevity, it would be here. You basically have one or two sentences to insight intrigue and enough of it that this user, who doesn’t know who you are or how they received the email, is going to click through and interact with your product/service/brand. That’s why incentives and urgency is often seen as a must. Sound a siren for people to act. This isn’t just a product they need to buy, it’s a deal that expires tomorrow. Not only that, but remember that subject lines are like the opening scene of a movie; they’re a promise that speaks on what the consumer is in for.

Use Content Metrics

Many of these e-marketing platforms are going to offer their own metrics. The golden age of marketing offers us tools advertisement gurus would’ve never dreamed of in the past. Today, you can evaluate every facet of your email’s travel in detail. It is important to utilize these metrics to determine what works and what does not. Do some A&B testing to see what design had a better conversion rate. Assess where people spend the most time once they open your email. Dive through data to figure out where people bounced most often, if your CTA is being utilized or clicked in, how many click-throughs you’re receiving, and so forth. We can gauge the success of our emails via analytics. Take advantage of these tools that can help optimize your e-marketing campaign.

Personalize Your Emails

When you target an audience, if you’re specific with your emails, then it will read more as the opening of a dialogue rather than a sales pitch. Use data to iron out each target demographic and then personalize your emails in accordance. On average, personalized emails (not mass-batch deliveries) have a 15% higher likelihood that someone is going to open it rather than trashing it. Furthermore, personalized emails—once a conversion is made—makes it easier to re-market your product or service in the future. In which case, segment your email lists and then use the aforementioned practice to gather data for each group individually.

Be Authentic And Avoid Being Labeled As ‘Spam’

We know: just telling you to be authentic is like telling someone to ‘have talent.’ It’s not an easy thing. Still, it’s a valuable tip because often e-marketing campaigns fall victim to replication. You’re out there trying to integrate all the practices you know work and ultimately your email starts to mirror your competition’s. It’s paramount that your email, outside of trying to convert, also portrays your voice (brand). What exactly are you trying to sell? Better yet, what exactly are you trying to say? How can you create an email that is engaging, personal, and dynamic and done in a way that is unique to your business? Within this criterion, always avoid being labeled as spam. That means you need to at least know the basic spam words (win, bargain, buy now, free, time sensitive, etc.).

Stay Active And Continue Dialogues

Nothing is worse than having a first interaction with a company’s email, only for the sender to be ‘no-reply@insertbrand.com.’ Nothing reads less authentic and sales-like. If anything, it should be precisely the inverse of this. If you end up generating leads and clicks, then you want to be fully responsive during the first go (and the many more after that). If your recipient emails you, the quicker and more thoroughly you respond will only improve your brand’s credibility. Have a team (or just yourself) ready to respond to these emails throughout the day and to do so in a timely manner. This is exponentially important when welcoming new potential subscribers/customers.

Don’t Forget Preview Text

Have you ever seen an attractive email headline, only for your phone to populate with the first sentence of it and think, ehh, this is a sales email? Preview text is nearly as important as the headline, as with many user interfaces it will populate together. You have on average around 1-2 seconds to grab your user and thus the importance of these first two sentences is monolithic. Add a CTA in there. Exercise your creativity and be a bit more flexible with it. If it fits your brand, use humor or be satirical. Think of your preview text as your second opener, one that needs to be even more honest and engaging as your headline.

If we were to fill this article with all of the best practices, it would go on for pages and pages. The truth is there is no right way to run an e-marketing campaign. Companies use a variety of methods and many of them are only discovered after plenty of failure. Yet, the core values remain to be principles you should practice. Your users are probably opening the email on mobile, your headlines are extremely important, data is a godsend, be personal, available, and don’t forget that your preview text is often read at the same time as your headline.

Now go out there and generate some conversions!

Email_Assessment

Julie is the VP of Email Marketing at Power Digital. A Chicago native and University of Arizona alum, she focuses on creating lead generation funnels, product launch strategies, and email sequence maps.