5 Email Marketing Best Practices You Should Know About (and Implement)

By Claire Nelson

email marketing best practices woman on computer

Email marketing is still as effective for lead generation as it was when the first mass marketing email was sent in the late 1970’s. While the idea is still the same, email marketing best practices have changed drastically over the years. Read as I walk you through some of the newer best practices and how they influence your overall strategy.

1. It All Starts With Your List

This is probably one of the most important email marketing best practices. Building an email list can be difficult, but when done right it can be extremely effective. Purchasing email lists was once an effective way to increase your number of contacts. This tactic is now considered outdated and can actually hurt the performance of your campaigns. If you receive an email from a business you’ve never heard of, the chance of you opening that email is extremely small – regardless of any incentives or offers. However, the chances you mark that email as spam or immediately unsubscribe is high. Like most things in life – quality is more important than quantity. Gain subscribers organically and clean your list on a regular basis.

With the rollout of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it’s also important to remember that each European recipient is required to give consent before receiving an email from your business. If you are purchasing lists, chances are that those individuals did not give your business consent (even if they did give consent to another business).

Related Post: How Glossier’s Marketing Strategy Has Created a Beauty Empire

2. The Power of the Subject Line

47% of users open an email based on the subject line. Hinting at an offer in your subject line can be the deciding point on whether your email gets opened or not. However, there’s a fine line here with being smart and being “salesy”. Implying that there is some sort of time sensitivity or exclusivity could incentivize recipients to open your email. Leveraging your recipients’ curiosity can also be effective. Leaving your subject line with some sort of cliffhanger will make users curious and want to open your email. Believe it or not, “Don’t Open This Email” is one of the most common (and most successful) subject lines.

3. Have a Clear and Concise CTA

Your main call to action should be clear, concise, and most importantly, above the fold. If your main goal is for recipients to fill out a contact form but that call-to-action isn’t until the end of the email, chances are no one is going to see it. The main CTA should be front and center. If your email is long, consider repeating the CTA in various places. Each contact list is going to be different, so A/B testing can be very effective here. Try using different button shapes, color copy, placement, etc. to find which entices your audience more.

Related Post: Why You Need an Integrated Public Relations and Marketing Strategy 

4. Consistency is Key

It’s important that users know when they can expect to hear from you. If you plan to send emails every day, make them aware of that before they even sign up. If you only plan on sending an email twice a year, make them aware of that as well. Recipients are more likely to open, read and engage with your emails if they know when to expect them. We recommend checking in with your contact list at least once a month to keep your name fresh in their minds.

5. Make It Easy to Subscribe (and Unsubscribe)

Just like with your website, your emails should be user-friendly. If someone wants to subscribe to your newsletter, it should be simple for them to find a way to sign up. Develop a popup form for users who have visited your website multiple times to sign up. Create a landing page where subscribing to your newsletter is the only CTA. Add a sign-up form to your Facebook page. The options are endless! On another note, if they don’t want to receive your emails anymore it should be even easier for them to unsubscribe.

While the above best practices are important, they are definitely not the only ones. Have a tip to share? We’d love to hear it in a comment below!

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