Sending emails can feel intimidating at first. There may even be email anxiety (yes, that's one thing). However, sending email doesn't have to be complicated or scary if you follow some basic email marketing best practices.
When you go through this list of email marketing best practices, you won't see any guidelines about how many emails to send, how long your email needs to be, or how long a subject line is best.
The truth is that these are all big and important questions, but the answer to these questions is different for each company. You can only answer these with email tests (which, by the way, is a best practice).
No matter what your business is or what industry you're in, some proven email marketing best practices can only contribute to success.
1 – Create automated email campaigns
With email automation, you can send the right message to the right people at the right time without having to set up and send one-time emails each time.
A perfect example of an automated email marketing campaign is your welcome email. Studies have shown that a welcome email can generate 320% more revenue per email, four times higher open rates than other emails and five times higher click rates than promotional emails.
In addition to the series of greetings, you can set up email automation campaigns for:
- Car crashes
- Thank you for your purchase, download, or registration
- Confirmation of an opt-in
- An event-based trigger like an anniversary or birthday
- If a customer has not opened an e-mail for several months, you can trigger the message "We miss you"
Automated email campaigns can save you time and lead to higher results. However, it is important not to set and forget about them. You should continue to monitor the performance of your automated series of emails and find ways to test them to improve your email performance.
2 – Segment your email list
Email segmentation is a way of breaking up your list into smaller, more targeted groups based on certain criteria.
When you segment, you can send more personalized and relevant content or offers to customers based on similar interests, geographic location, purchase history and much more.
It also leads to a higher open rate, click rate and conversation rate. And above all, higher income. Some marketers reported sales increases of up to 760%.
CONNECTED: E-mail segmentation options can increase customer loyalty
3 – Personalize your emails
Which of the following two examples do you think would generate more pedestrian traffic?
In this example, if I know that Diane is preferred in Springfield and she has previously purchased Martha Stewart products and LEGOs, this personalized email will get a lot more response than the more general example.
Email personalization allows you to create more targeted emails that will stand out in the inbox. You should personalize everything in your emails from the subject line to the actual email content to the offer yourself.
4 – Create engaging email content
The purpose of your email is to get users to read it so they can take the action they want. Of course, you want to create an email that is compelling and engaging. For some people, this is easier said than done. If you're like me, writing isn't a given, but don't worry. AWeber has resources that you can use to write amazing emails.
5 – Call to Action
Most emails need to be called to action. Think of the outcome or action you want your subscriber to achieve and bring it up now. Sure, you will occasionally send an email that doesn't require a call to action (or CTA), such as: B. a thank you email, and that's fine.
For those other emails, you need some kind of call to action. This could be a CTA button or hyperlink directing subscribers to your website to read a blog, sign up for an event, or make a purchase. Other types of calls to action can result in traffic being directed to a physical location.
Plus, you can get creative with your CTAs. You can not just use "click here", "read more" or "shop now". Check out how the DSW shoe store put their call to action in an email to promote an offer called “Buy One Get One”:
6 – Use confirmed opt-in
Setting up a sign up form on your landing page or Facebook page is a great way to grow your email list. Once you've signed up, send an email to verify your email address.
Having a subscriber double check to see if they want to receive your email can help improve your delivery rate. And since they verified their email address, you know they really wanted to sign up. This should make them more responsive and lead to higher email engagement.
7 – Don't buy an email list
If we had a megaphone for this point, we would use it. Never buy an email list. Sending email that people haven't given permission for is considered spam – not to mention illegal.
Using a purchased email list is preparing yourself for a disaster. Since these people didn't choose to hear from you, they mark your messages as spam. This results in lower delivery rates and your emails are sent straight to spam folders where they will never be seen or opened.
AWeber, along with other reputable email marketing service providers, doesn't allow you to import a purchased list.
8 – Clean up your email list
Cleaning up your email list should be viewed as adding by subtracting. If you remove contacts from your list who haven't opened your email for a period of time, you'll get better open rates. As? Because you only send to subscribers who are genuinely interested in your product or service.
They also reduce the risk of an inactive subscriber marking your email as spam, which can negatively affect your delivery rate.
We recommend cleaning your email list at least every six months.
9 – Don't use an email address without a reply
Have you ever received an email from a Noreply email address? It looks something like this – [email protected]
You should never send an email with a wrong address. And the reasons are obvious:
- An incorrect email address will reduce deliverability
- This increases the likelihood of being classified as spam
- By not allowing your customers to reply to your email, you are creating a bad customer experience
Instead of having a reply email address as [email protected], it must be from an actual person or from [email protected] Either way, make sure someone is actively managing this email address to ensure that your customers' questions are answered in a timely manner.
10 – Test emails before sending
Proofreading your email is an important step before you hit the Send button.
Part of this process should be sending yourself a test email before planning your email. I recommend setting up a pre-flight checklist where you can review all elements of your email to make sure it is in good condition.
Send yourself a test email and look for these important email marketing elements:
- Email is rendered properly
- Images are loading
- You have alt text for your images (for images that will not render, it will tell the reader what the image is about).
- There are no misspellings
- Your hyperlinks and call-to-action buttons take you to a live page
- It looks great on both laptop and phone
11 – Analyze your email marketing statistics
But how do you know your email is working? By looking at the data. One of the most important best practices for email marketing campaigns is understanding how your email is performing.
The top email marketing performance metrics to look at are:
12 – A / B split Test your email campaigns
Anyone can compose a marketing email that is opened and clicked. However, if you want to give your customers a truly remarkable email experience, you have to split the test.
I hear too often what should I test? With an email service provider like AWeber, you can and should test everything.
Here are some email testing ideas to get those creative juices flowing:
- Different subject lines
- Picture against no picture in the email
- Call to action button in different colors
- Short subject line versus long subject line
- Short email message versus long email message
- Who the email is from – someone's name, customer service, your company name
Tests ultimately help you better understand your customer, which leads to a better experience.
Remember to analyze your stats after completing your test.
Email marketing isn't rocket science. And if you follow these email marketing best practices, you're sure to see more success – and have fun doing it – as your business grows.
Take your email skills to the next level
I understand running a business is like working two full-time jobs. Sometimes investing the time and energy marketing your business can be a challenge. With this guide, we've made it a little easier for you: "How to Grow Your Business with Email Marketing".
Download it today.