Email marketing may not be getting the best of attention right now. But I tell you, it is a really great way to generate leads. And also convert these leads into customers and paying users. However, to achieve this and more, there are email marketing best practices you should consider implementing.
This post would cover a number of these practices. Please put in mind that some of the points about to be listed can, sometimes, require custom data to be applied. (This will be expatiated on as I take you through the points).
If you want to know the difference between an email blast and an email campaign, you should check out our piece on it.
20+ Email Marketing Best Practices You Should Implement
1. Build your email list. Don’t buy
Yes, you heard that. You should build your email list, it’s one of the things that differentiates what you’re doing – maybe an email blast or a campaign. And trust me, you’re better off doing the latter. Asides that buying people’s email data is not legal in many places, it doesn’t just make complete sense.
Building your email list helps make sure that the people you send your email campaigns to are very likely to convert. I mean, what’s the point of sending emails to people if they won’t carry out the action you want them to after reading? No point, right? Got it. So, once again, don’t buy email lists, build!
2. Personalize your emails
Have you ever received an email that felt like it was spam? Yes, it dropped in your ‘primary’ inbox but deep down, it just feels like you can’t connect to it. It felt generic. Does that ring a bell? Exactly. That could be because the sender failed to add a bot of personal touch to it.
Personalizing your emails is one of email marketing best practices that could make or mar your campaigns. And this can come in various ways like using the receiver’s first name, sending action-based emails, and segmenting your campaigns.
3. Send emails at the right time
There are days and times when you should send your email campaigns. And this largely depends on your audience. This is one of the parts where custom data can be applied.
To send email at the right time, you should do a bit of testing. Every audience are different. Hence, what works for your email audience might not work for another company’s. So it’s best you do a series of A/B testing to determine when exactly is the right time to send out your email campaigns.
(Also keep in mind that these sorts of behavior can change even for the same audience over time.)
4. Write a great email subject
One of the determinants of your email open rate can be how your subject is written. Since this is like the most pronounced part a receiver sees before opening an email. You should spend time writing your email subject and make sure you come up with a great one.
Email subjects that pose a question, or leave room for more questions from the receiver have been proven to work well. This initiates curiosity on the part of the receiver. And this often leads to opening the email. So, write great email subjects, guys.
5. Track the right metrics
Focusing on results is an important one of email marketing best practices. It is important that as you send email campaigns, you track the right metrics. As this would help you make better decisions off them in the long run.
Generally, email open rates and click rates are two important metrics you should track. Open rates tell you the rate at which people open your emails. It could inform a lot of other things like are you email subjects great? Are your emails dropping in the ‘primary’ tab? Or ‘promotions’, or even ‘spam’.
Click rates, on the other hand, tell you the rate at which people click links in your email. So, that can be used to determine how well your recipients are carrying out the actions you want them to.
6. Send consistent email campaigns
When it comes to email marketing, or any other thing, consistency trumps one hit wonders. It’s best to be consistent with your campaigns and this can be done by creating a schedule for it, and sticking to it. Consistency with email marketing, if done right, can change your recipients’ behavior such tat they subconsciously expect your emails.
Creating email schedules can be done using Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel, or any other basic tools out there.
7. Customize the email preview text
By default, the email preview text for most emails reads “open in browser”, “can’t see images?”, and other phrases. You should change this to a more customize text. The default preview text most times, gives the impression that something could go wrong with the email.
You should change your preview text to something that corresponds with the email subject. While the email subject should make the recipient curious, the preview text should double down on that.
8. Sound more human in your emails
Even if emails are sent out on behalf of a company, it’s great if you sound more human in them. One of the email marketing best practices is making the recipient aware that there’s an actual human on the other end. This can drive actions and conversions up.
Sounding more human in emails can range from adding a person’s name to the “To” field. And example of this is, “Sandra from Sendmunk” as the sender name instead of just “Sendmunk”. It’s also using first person words like “I” in the email content, where applicable. As opposed to writing like a robot.
9. Clean your email list periodically
In email marketing, there are some people that’ll never open your emails. And they’ll never opt-out too. These people would keep hurting your open rates because they have become redundant and inactive. This could happen for a variety of reasons.
Great advice is to keep trimming your email list from time to time. This helps you remove inactive recipients, grow a healthier list, and by extension, improve your email open rates.
10. Emphasize your CTA
A Call-To-Action like the most important part of an email. Because, it tells your recipients what exactly you want them to do. That is, after reading the email or in the course of reading. It’s like the whole goal of sending out the campaign in the first place.
You should lay emphasis on your CTA throughout the email. And if possible, keep it above the fold. You can also repeat the action up to 3 times in the email just to make sure your recipients know what they are supposed to do without much stress.
11. Create an email drip campaign
Many times, sending emails manually is not scalable. Especially when there has to be persistence and follow-up emails in order to convert users. There’s no way you can keep up with sending these sort of emails to every potential customer on your list.
To navigate this, you should create a drip campaign. One that sends these emails to the right people and resend if needed. A drip campaign is an automated campaign that sends emails based on actions, and triggers, and user behavior in those emails.
12. If an offer, add a sense of urgency
If your email campaigns include offers or discounts, it is important to include a sense of urgency. This helps to drive conversions as it tells the recipient that there’s a limited time frame for a particular offer. Procrastination, as you would know, might just be man’s best superpower.
Including a sense of urgency can be using phrases like “offer ends in two days”, “Get this before the weekend”. Basically, just including a time limit so they don’t think they have all the time in the world. That could be counter-productive.
13. Allow your recipients to unsubscribe
I know, this sounds counter-productive too yeah? But really, the last thing you want to have on your email list is recipients who are not interested in receiving your emails. That can hurt open rates, click rates, and subsequently, email deliverability.
So, there should always be an “unsubscribe” button preferably at the footer of the email page. This helps users who don’t “dig” your content to unsubscribe and keep your list healthy.
14. A/B Test everything
A/B testing can not be over emphasized as one of the most important email marketing best practices. This is because you don’t know what would work for sure. So, you have to do a lot of testing and testing to find the right combo.
So, from subject lines, to CTAs, to preview texts, to send time, colors, offers, and more. Please, just A/B test away.
15. Encourage conversations with your recipients
Email campaigns don’t have to be just you sending emails. You should encourage your recipients to respond to your emails and have conversations with you. This helps improve overall brand trust and can increase conversions.
Another advantage of this is that when your emails are being responded to, it increases your email deliverability rate. Because that gives off the signal that your emails are valuable.
16. Add emojis to your subject lines
Whether to look cool, or be relatable, you should definitely add emojis to your emails and subject lines. It also helps to stand out.
These are a couple of email marketing best practices you should implement in your next campaign. You should definitely use the comment box if there are any you think should be added to the list. Would love to hear from you.