Crafting results-oriented email marketing goes beyond hitting send; it’s about strategic composition, delivery, and analysis. Diving deep into the best practices for email marketing can transform both your campaigns and overall business outcomes.
Whether you’re a novice or an expert, having a go-to list that reminds you of what makes a killer email marketing strategy works wonders.
In this guide, we’ll delve into these valuable practices. From crafting engaging content to efficient segmentation and legal compliance, we’ll offer tips to make your messages stay relevant and engaging.
1. Crafting the Perfect Email
Crafting the perfect email is necessary because it sets the first impression and builds the initial connection with your audience. A well-crafted email campaign keeps your target audience coming back for more.
There are three important elements to help you craft an ideal email.
Your subject line is the first thing people see so it must be compelling and clear. Your recipient should know the email’s content before they open it. Here are some tips to remember when writing your email subject line:
- Keep It Short and Sweet: A 2023 report by Zippia finds 47% of email recipients open the email based on the subject line alone. Strive to keep your subject line between 30 to 60 characters long.
- Personalize It: A few ways to do this is to mention a location, milestone, event, etc. The key is to use a language that speaks to your market.
- Create Urgency: Creating urgency in an email subject line triggers a psychological response in the reader known as FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). This compels them to act immediately rather than delaying action.
- Use Actionable Language: Make it clear what you want your subscribers to do. It should encourage your audience to click and interact with your email.
Go beyond using the recipient’s name. Tailor your content based on their preferences or past behavior. This makes the strategy more genuine, improving engagement rates.
Personalized content improves the email experience for the recipient as it makes your messages more relevant by adding value to what they already have. Effective email marketing campaigns always have a recognizable tone that customers respond to.
Effective Call to Actions
Every email should have a clear, concise call to action (CTA). Ensure your CTAs stand out and directly tell readers what you want them to do next.
An effective call to action should tick the following requirements:
- Clear and Concise: Your CTA should be short, clear, and straightforward. Readers should instantly understand what action they are being asked to take.
- Action-Oriented Language: Use strong, proactive verb phrases like “Download Now,” “Sign Up,” or “Get Started” to motivate action.
- Visibility: Place your CTA where it’s easily visible, preferably above the email fold. Using contrasting colors can also make it stand out.
- Sense of Urgency: Incorporating urgency like “Limited Offer” or “Only a Few Items Left” can prompt immediate action.
- Value Proposition: Explain what benefits the reader will get by clicking the CTA. It should answer the question – “What’s in it for me?”
2. Creating Responsive and Engaging Content
Engaging marketing emails are like a compelling story or an interactive quiz. It hooks the reader’s attention, makes your brand memorable, and turns passive readers into active participants.
Creating responsive email designs is critical, with more people checking emails on their mobile devices. Ensure your emails look great and function well on all screen sizes. Consider these rules of thumb when designing your future campaigns:
- Mobile-First Approach: Craft your email campaign with mobile readers in mind. Unlike a full blog post they read on desktops, emails must look and read well when opened via mobile.
- Single Column Layout: A single-column layout is more flexible for different screen sizes and easier to read on smaller devices.
- Legible Font Sizes: Ensure text sizes are big enough to read on small screens. A minimum of 14px for body text and 22px for headlines is a good rule of thumb.
- Clear and Touch-Friendly CTAs: Make sure your CTA buttons are big enough to tap on a touchscreen and stand out visually.
- Responsive Email Templates: There are email marketing platforms that provide responsive email templates. Use these tools to save time, especially if you’re not familiar with design technicalities.
Keeping Content Engaging and Interactive
Interactivity makes your emails stand out by ensuring reader engagement. One way to make emails more interactive is by incorporating embedded videos. For instance, a fitness brand could directly include a short workout video in their email.
Another idea is to include interactive quizzes or surveys within your email. For example, a skincare company can have a short quiz to help readers identify their skin type so you can suggest products accordingly. The interactivity can make the email more engaging and provide valuable data about your audience.
In-email shopping is another innovative measure. Brands can create a mini shopping experience within the email, like a clothing brand featuring a carousel of products that users can scroll through and select directly from the email.
Lastly, consider animated buttons or CTAs. For example, a button that changes color when you hover over it adds a bit of interactivity and can draw attention to your primary CTA.
3. Segmentation and Targeting
In-email marketing, segmentation, and targeting work by dividing your email list into specific groups based on common characteristics (like demographics or past behavior) and tailoring your emails to meet each group’s unique needs and preferences for more effective engagement.
Benefits of Audience Segmentation
Different segments of your audience have different needs. Segmentation allows you to send targeted, personalized emails, leading to better engagement and fewer unsubscribes.
Accurate audience segmentation also offers the following benefits:
- Increased open rates
- Improved click-through rates
- Better customer retention
- Higher conversion rates
- Reduced spam complaints
- More efficient budgeting
How to Effectively Segment Your List
Segmentation can be based on demographic information, past purchases, browsing behavior, or engagement with past emails. The key is to identify what information is most relevant to your business and audience.
Here’s a detailed look at how segmentation works in an email marketing campaign.
4. Keeping Emails Relevant and Timely
Sending relevant and timely emails can lead to a compelling conversation with your audience. It’s a great way to remind them that you care during times when they’re looking for services or solutions to their problems.
The Advantage of Sending Timely Emails
Sending emails when your audience is most likely to engage can improve open rates. This can vary depending on your audience’s demographics and location.
Timely emails sync your message with your customers’s routines, preferences, or immediate needs, making them more relevant.
For example, you can send a promotional email in time with the holiday season or immediately after a user interacts with your website. This can increase your email’s impact as it aligns with the recipient’s context, interest, or recent behavior.
Strategies for Maintaining Relevance
Keep your content relevant to your audience’s interests and needs. Regularly update and clean your email list to ensure you’re reaching active, engaged subscribers.
Staying relevant means understanding the following elements:
- Customer Behavior
- Audience Demographics
- Email Automation for Triggered Email Automation
5. Incorporating Automation
Marketers appreciate automation because it saves time, improves efficiency, enables consistent communication, personalizes the customer journey based on triggered actions, and provides valuable insights through data collection and analysis.
How to Use Automation Effectively in Email Marketing
Automation can save time and improve the effectiveness of your email campaigns. Implement automated workflows for welcome emails, cart abandonment reminders, or re-engagement campaigns.
Email automation has specific steps that start with identifying your business goals. From here, you can work on selecting email triggers, segmenting your audience, crafting your email content, and optimizing.
As for types of automation, these include:
- Welcome Emails: Sent when a new user subscribes to your list.
- Follow-up Emails: Sent after a customer makes a purchase or interacts with your website or a previous email.
- Re-engagement Emails: Aimed at re-engaging subscribers who haven’t interacted with your emails in a while.
- Anniversary or Milestone Emails: Sent on a subscriber’s birthday or on the anniversary of them joining your list.
- Abandoned Cart Emails: Sent when a potential customer adds an item to their cart but doesn’t complete the purchase.
- Post-purchase Drip Campaigns: A series of emails sent after a purchase, which could include product tips, related product suggestions, or requests for reviews.
Read this detailed guide on email marketing types to boost your content efficiency.
6. Testing and Optimizing Emails
How to A/B Test Your Emails
A/B testing allows you to compare different versions of your emails to see what performs best. You might test elements like subject lines, content, or CTA placement.
Check out this comprehensive guide on using A/B testing to generate higher conversions.
Why Continuous Optimization Matters
Email marketing is not a set-it-and-forget-it strategy. Regularly review your metrics, run tests, and make improvements to maximize your email marketing effectiveness.
By continually optimizing, you ensure your strategy evolves with your audience’s changing needs and preferences, as well as with technological advancements and shifting market trends.
One popular example would be the shift towards mobile. Years ago, most people accessed their emails on a desktop. Today, more than half of emails are opened on mobile devices. Brands that recognized this shift and optimized their emails for mobile likely experienced improved open rates and engagement.
Another example could be the rise of personalization. As consumers increasingly seek personal experiences, brands like Netflix and Amazon have excelled by providing personalized email recommendations based on user behavior. This data-driven customization becomes possible only when you commit to regular testing, learning, and optimization.
In essence, continuous optimization is not optional but necessary in email marketing to stay competitive, relevant, and effective in your communication efforts.
7. Tracking and Using Analytics
Key metrics like open rate, click-through rate, unsubscribe rate, and conversion rate can provide valuable insights. Use this data to understand your audience better and improve your campaigns.
A best practice is to spend time choosing the email marketing platforms that mirror your strategies. Getting the right tool on board can save you time and money in the long term.
8. Legal Compliance and Maintaining Trust
Be transparent with your audience about what they should expect when they subscribe. Only send the promised content, and always include a clear way to unsubscribe.
As email marketing continues to evolve, so should our practices. Use this best practices list as your starting point and continue to learn, test, and adapt to future marketing trends.
Stay informed, get creative, and never stop optimizing. Email marketing success doesn’t happen overnight, but the best practices always give you leverage.