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25 Email Marketing Best Practices That Actually Drive Results

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It's no secret that email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your audience. In fact, it's the most popular form of digital marketing for a reason.

To get the most out of email marketing, you need to make sure that your emails are easy to read and understand, they're not just promotional messages, and that they are consistent with the rest of your branding efforts.

Table of Contents

What is Email Marketing?

What-Is-Email-Marketing

Email marketing refers to any type of marketing material sent via email. This could include newsletters, company updates, or special offers sent directly to your customer database.

Informs and Entices Your Email Subscribers to Take Action

The goal of email marketing is not only to inform or entertain but also to entice customers into purchasing products or services that they may not have considered before receiving your promotional material.

For example, if you sell shoes online, you may want to send out an email announcing new styles or discounts on specific products that are relevant only to customers who have purchased from your store before.

Builds Lasting Relationships

Email marketing is a great way to build lasting relationships with your customers and prospects.

It's a way for you to reach out to them when they need you most and let them know about special offers, new products or services, pricing changes, or any other important information that may affect their business.

It’s one of the Main Marketing Channels

The email has become a primary channel for marketers, and it continues to grow in popularity.

According to the DMA (Direct Marketing Association), over 25 billion emails are sent every day.

But with that comes the responsibility of making sure your campaigns are effective and don’t turn off your subscribers.

Email Marketing Best Practices

helpful-email-marketing-tips

If you want your emails to get opened and read, here are some email marketing best practices that will help you make the most of your email marketing efforts:

1.    Use A/B Testing

A/B testing allows you to test different email versions to see what works best.

For example, you might send out two versions of an offer; one with a blue button and one with a green button and see which performs better.

Then, you can use that information to make changes to future emails (such as changing CTA buttons).

This is a great way to improve open rates and click-through rates over time.

2.    Make Sure Your Subject Line Is Compelling and Intriguing

 You only have a few seconds to catch someone's attention and convince them to click through to your email, so make sure that the subject line is good enough to do just that.

Make it action-oriented and include keywords that describe what you're offering in the body of the email (if applicable).

3.    Test Different Email Subject Lines

Test-Different-Email-Subject-Lines

 The subject line is arguably one of the most important parts of email marketing because it determines whether or not someone will even open up your message in the first place.

To get people interested in opening up your emails, try testing different subject lines so that each one has its own unique value proposition (such as "7 Tips for Better Email Marketing" vs. "Our New Product"). The more specific and relevant your subject line is, the better your open rates are likely to be.

4.    Personalize Your Subject Lines

Personalized subject lines have been shown to increase clickthrough rates by up to 30%.

If you're using Salesforce or HubSpot CRM software, it can be easy to personalize these emails without having to manually input this information with every new message you send out.

Just remember not to go overboard; keep it simple so that your message doesn't look like spam.

5.    Use A Personal Tone in your Emails

If you're sending out mass emails to everyone on your list, it's okay to use a more professional tone in each message.

But if you're sending personalized messages to prospects or customers, it's best to adopt a friendly, conversational tone that feels like you're speaking directly with each person individually.

This way, they'll feel like they're receiving a genuine message from someone they know rather than just another sales email.

6.    Use an Email Marketing Automation Platform Like MailChimp or AWeber

Email-Marketing-Automation-Platform

Image source: mailchimp.com

If possible, use email service providers for all of your email marketing campaigns. Automated emails will save you tons of time and allow you to focus on other important tasks for your business.

Handles your Email Campaigns Very Well

Email marketing platforms are a great way to handle your entire email campaign and stay on top of subscriber lists, segmentation, and automation.

These tools allow you to track opens, clicks, and unsubscribes so that you can see which content resonates with your subscribers and adjust accordingly.

Sends Automated Emails Based on Users Activity

Email marketing platforms allow you to send out automated emails based on user activity (such as when someone signs up for your mailing list).

For example, if someone signs up for your newsletter, you could automatically send them an introductory welcome email that introduces them to your brand and offers them valuable content like blog posts or videos.

You can also use these software platforms to create drip email campaigns; a series of emails that roll out over time so you can continue engaging with new customers even after they've been added to your list.

7.    Use Opt-In Forms in your Blog Post

Another way to increase the open rate on your emails is to make sure that you’re asking people for permission to send them messages in the first place.

This is where an opt-in form comes into play; it’s a simple form on your website or blog that allows people to sign up for your mailing list in exchange for something valuable such as a free e-book, video series, or other resources. And don’t forget about social network signup forms.

Create An Opt-In Form On Every Page of Your Site Where Possible

Not only does this help increase conversions, but it also gives you another way to collect email addresses for future marketing efforts. 

Putting one at the end of each blog post also works well for this purpose as well as driving traffic back to other pages on your site like the homepage or category pages.

8.    Send Relevant Content in All of Your Email Marketing Campaigns

Send-Relevant-Content

Don't send an email blast about your new spring line if it's still winter where your customers live. Make sure that your content is timely and relevant for your audience.

If you're sending an email blast about a sale on swimsuits but it's March in Chicago and people are still wearing sweaters, they may not be interested in buying swimsuits right now.

Another example; if someone's been shopping around for new shoes on your site lately and recently added a pair of tennis shoes to his cart but hasn't checked out yet, you might send him an email with special offers on tennis shoes.

9.    Email Marketing Best Practices-Have Clickable Links

Make sure that all of the links in your emails are clickable so that when someone clicks on them, they're taken directly to your landing page or the page you want them to go to rather than being redirected through another website first (like Google).

This will make it easier for people to find what they need when reading through their inboxes and less likely for them to abandon their shopping cart before completing their purchase.

10.  Include A Call-To-Action

When it comes to getting people to click on links in your email, you have to have a strong call to action that prompts them to take action right away.

You can do this by telling them, "Don't miss out on amazing deals!" or by giving them an incentive like "Subscribe today for free shipping."

11.   Use a strong CTA (call-to-action)

Use-A-Strong-CTA

A CTA is what prompts someone to take action when they're reading an email; whether that means signing up for an event or downloading a whitepaper, etc.

The most effective CTAs tell people exactly what they'll get if they click (for example: "Download Our Whitepaper Today!").

Make Sure that the CTA Stands Out- Email Marketing Best Practices

It's also important to make sure that the CTA is prominent and stands out in the email. You might want to use a contrasting color or bold text.

 In addition, it's essential that you don't overwhelm your subscribers with multiple CTAs in one email. Having too many options will confuse people and make them less likely to take any action at all.

12.  Keep Your Emails Short and Sweet

The average attention span is just 8 seconds; that’s less than a goldfish!

If an email takes more than 10 seconds to read, chances are your email subscriber will move on before they finish reading what you have to say.

Keep your welcome emails short and sweet by being direct, concise, and relevant to your audience.

13.  Don’t spam

Dont-Spam

Unfortunately, many people still have misconceptions about email marketing.

From "spam" to "scams," there are lots of reasons why people might be reluctant to open emails from companies they don't know.

To help you avoid these pitfalls and make sure your emails reach your audience, do not spam.

Avoid Spammy Words in Email Subject Line

This includes using spammy words like free, win, or sale in your subject line.

It might seem like a good idea at the time, but once people start marking those emails as spam and clicking on unsubscribe links, it could be detrimental to your business relationship with them down the road (not to mention hurting your brand image).

14.  Send Emails at The Right Time

There are many factors that go into determining when you should send out email blasts: from the time of day to the day of the week (Wednesday tends to be better than Thursday). But generally speaking, sending out emails between 8 am and 5 pm.

15.  Include Images and Videos in Your Email Campaigns

Include-Images-And-Videos

People love images; they're a great way to break up dense text and keep people engaged. Video works even better because it's easier to watch than reading.

Also, people are more likely to respond positively to emails that contain images or videos than those that don't have any multimedia content at all.

Click through Rates for Emails with Images is Higher

According to MailChimp research, the clickthrough rate for emails with images was 3x higher than those without images. 

Emails with videos also saw a significant boost in clicks (1.9x higher).

If you do include videos or images in your email campaigns, make sure they're relevant to the content of the email and not just there for decoration.

16.  Make Use of Attachments in Your Email Campaigns

If your email program is set up to send attachments, use them as much as possible.

According to Return Path's "Email Marketing Industry Benchmarking Study," 76% of consumers prefer receiving regular updates from brands via email over other channels.

And the most common reason they give for preferring this method is that it's easy to open and view in their inboxes.

This means you can include attachments such as PDFs or product brochures that help explain your business in a way that makes sense for your readers.

Attachments Are Ideal for A Downloadable Product or Guide

If you have a downloadable product or guide, include it as an attachment in your email so your email subscribers can access it easily.

You can also encourage them to print or save the files themselves by putting them on Dropbox or Google Drive first; that way they won't clutter up their inboxes with unnecessary attachments.

Include A Coupon Code or Discount Code in The Attachment

You can also use this tactic to send over a coupon code or discount code so that customers can see how much money they're saving by buying from you instead of someone else.

17.  Make Use of Social Sharing in Email-It’s A Great Email Marketing Strategy

Social-Sharing-In-Email

Social media is one of the most important tools for growing any business, so why not use it in your emails?

Many email providers now have built-in social sharing functionality that can easily be added to your newsletter template.

It Increases Engagement with your Audience

This will increase engagement with your audience, and it will also help you build a stronger relationship with them.

If you're using a service like MailChimp, there's even an option to include "Sign up with Facebook" or "Sign up with Twitter" buttons in your emails.

If you will be doing it manually, include buttons for Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest in every email you send out; this will encourage people who read your emails to share them with their networks on these platforms, which helps spread the word about your business even further.

18.  Use Colors That Match Your Brand

This is one of the crucial email marketing best practices that you should adopt in your email message.

Your brand colors should be reflected throughout your email marketing strategy; from the colors used in your subject lines and CTAs all the way down to the colors in any graphics you include in your emails.

 The best way to do this is by using a color palette that matches those colors from the start of your campaign so that everything looks cohesive from day one.

19.  Don't Send Too Many Emails at Once

While it's tempting when you have new content or promotions coming out all the time, sending multiple emails within a short period of time can actually hurt your engagement rate because people don't want to be bombarded with messages all at once.

Instead, space out your emails over a few days or weeks for maximum impact.

20.  Correctly Segmenting Your Lists

Correctly-Segmenting-Your-Lists

Segmenting your email list correctly is important because it allows you to target your audience with relevant content.

There are two main ways to segment your list: by demographic and behavioral data.

Segment Email Clients by Demographic and Behavioral Data

Demographic data includes information like age, gender, and location, while behavioral data includes actions taken on your website or interactions with your business (like buying a product).

By segmenting both types of data together, you can create audiences that are more likely to engage with your content.

21.  Not Sending Enough Emails in your Email Campaign

If you’ve been sending emails for years without seeing any results from them, then you should consider increasing the frequency of your email campaigns.

Best Email Marketing Strategy- Send 3 to 4 Emails per Month

Sending a few emails may not bring the results that you want, so try sending between three or four emails per month instead of one or two on an inconsistent basis.

 You can also send fewer emails but make them longer in length; this way there will still be enough content for subscribers without overwhelming them with too many messages at once.

22.  Make Sure Everything Is Mobile Friendly

Everything-Is-Mobile-Friendly

 According to Litmus, about 70 percent of emails are opened on mobile devices these days so make sure that your emails look good on all devices.

Optimizing your images for mobile is also important because many email clients won't load large images unless they're absolutely necessary (i.e., they contain vital information).

23. Optimize Your Landing Pages

Your landing pages should be optimized for conversion. The goal is to get website visitors to take action on the page (sign up for a trial or download an e-book, for example), so you want to make sure that it contains a clear call to action, provides value (so they want to take action) and doesn’t overwhelm them with too much information or links.

24.  Reward Loyal Email Subscribers

This is one of the best email marketing best practices that can you adopt if you have loyal email subscribers.

Offer incentives and rewards for those who open and click through their email messages on a regular basis.

Send out coupons, sweepstakes entries, or other prizes based on how many messages they open or click through.

25.  Make It Easy to Unsubscribe

Make-It-Easy-To-Unsubscribe

You are required by law to include an unsubscribe button in every email sent by your organization.

This link should take users directly to an unsubscribe page where they can opt-out of future communications from your company.

FAQS Related to Email Marketing Best Practices

What Are The 5 Ts of Email Marketing?

5-Ts-Of-Email-Marketing

Tease

The teaser is the first email you send to your subscribers. It's often a subject line that promises a benefit or makes an announcement.

For example, "You don't have to be a genius to use this software.

Target

When you're targeting prospects, it means you're sending your emails to people who match certain criteria such as their geographic location or their job title.

For example, if you were selling dog food, it would make sense to target people in the pet industry.

Teach  

After the tease and before the sale, this email helps educate your prospect about a topic that will ultimately benefit them by providing value for free.

For example, if you were selling dog food, this email could teach them how to train their dog or how to take care of its health.

Test Subject Lines

Most people open emails based on their subject lines alone. If the email subject line isn't compelling enough, it may get buried in their inboxes and never even opened.

Make sure you test different subject lines by using A/B split testing software like MailChimp or ConvertKit so you know what works best for new subscribers.

Track

The last T of email marketing is track. You need to track your results.

If you're using a good email marketing platform, it will have some tracking built in. You can see who opened your email and when if they clicked on any links and where they came from, and more.

The more metrics you have on your campaigns, the better you'll be able to fine-tune them over time.

If you don't know who's opening your emails or what they're doing with them, it's really hard to know if they're effective or not!

What Are The 4 Types of Marketing Emails?

4-Types-Of-Marketing-Emails

Promotional Emails

It’s crucial to include promotional emails in your email campaign. These promotional emails are sent to people who have opted in for them and include sales or special offers.

This type of email should be used sparingly because they have a higher chance of being deleted by subscribers as spam.

Transactional Emails

These emails are sent after a customer makes a purchase or completes a transaction on your website. 

They're often used for order confirmation and shipping notifications, but they could also be used to provide updates on the status of an order or to send receipts or other relevant information related to the original transaction.

Informational Email

The informational email is the most basic type of email that you can send out. It’s a simple message that shares relevant information with your subscribers.

You can use them to announce new blog posts, point people towards interesting content, or just share something interesting you came across in your day-to-day life.

Welcome Email

There is also a welcome email. A welcome email is your first chance to connect with new subscribers and introduce yourself.

It’s also a good opportunity to share information about your business, explain what you do, or tell people why they should subscribe to your list.

What Are the Rules for Email Marketing?

Rules-For-Email-Marketing

Email marketing is an important part of any business's marketing strategy. But it's not as simple as just sending out a mass email blast.

There are rules you have to follow if you want to avoid getting your email address listed on a blacklist or if you want to be successful in your email campaign.

Know Your Audience

First, you need to know who your target audience is. You can't send the same message to everyone, because it won't resonate with everyone.

Be Relevant

Next, make sure that the content of your email blasts is relevant to the kind of person who will be receiving them.

If you're selling baby clothes for young mothers, don't send an email about how great your new line of winter jackets is going to be this year.

Get Permission to Email People

You can’t just send emails to anyone you want; that’s called spamming. 

To avoid being labeled as an email marketer who sends junk mail, makes sure recipients have given you permission to contact them by signing up for your list or purchasing something from you.

Don’t use a false email subject line

The subject line is important because it’s the first thing people see when they open their inboxes.

Don’t try to trick them by using misleading subject lines like “Urgent! Open Now!” or “Click Here to Win $1 Million!”

These kinds of false promises violate FTC regulations and could land you in trouble if someone complains about receiving them from you.

Don't Use No Reply Email Address

If you're going to send an email, make sure you include some way for people to contact you if they want more information.

Include an Unsubscribe Link

Don't forget to include an unsubscribe link. If someone no longer wants to hear from you, they should be able to easily opt-out of future messages. Make sure this button is easy to find and use otherwise it won't do any good.

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