While you have probably gotten plenty of marketing emails in your lifetime, you may not have any practical experience with crafting and sending out your own marketing emails. Even if you have been using email marketing as one of your main marketing tactics, it can still be useful to have an overview of some of the email marketing best practices and how they can be used to improve your campaign.
Whether you are starting a new campaign or revamping an old one, we have a set of best practices to make your campaign both engaging and effective. Look over this list to make sure a current campaign is as user-friendly as possible or to build a new campaign that will rake in the profits.
Make Sure Your Form Name Is Recognizable
While there are many people who will gladly click on emails from unknown businesses or individuals, the truth is that if your form name is not easily recognizable, many of your customers may simply move it to their junk folder or delete it without opening it, even if the information contained in that email could have been valuable.
Unless an individual name is the most recognizable name in your company, the brand name is usually the best way to go when it comes to picking a form name. Don’t use abbreviations or acronyms unless they are very commonly used in your other marketing efforts and by your customers themselves. For example, Yves Saint Laurent could pick YSL as their form name, as that is a very common shorthand for their brand. Banana Republic, on the other hand, could not use BR, as this acronym is never used in place of their company name.
Using your brand’s actual name is a much better bet when it comes to getting customers or clients to actually open your email, instead of just deleting it.
Optimize Your Subject Line
Would you open an email whose subject line was, “BEST SALE EVAH!!!!1111!!!!1!?” Use the limited characters of your subject line to actually communicate why the viewer should open the email—and do it in a professional manner. Split A/B testing is ideal for figuring out what tone, length, and keywords work best for your clients and customers. Here are some general guidelines, however:
Be as specific and urgent as possible. If you are an online retailer holding a sale, use the subject line to outline the magnitude of the sale and, if possible, what it includes. For example something like: 40% off ALL jackets until midnight,” is both specific and valuable to the receiver. It encourages him to act quickly and provides the incentive for doing so.
Use Snippet Space
Almost every email provider displays a snippet of text under the email subject line, allowing the reader to make a split-second decision about whether or not they want to open that email. This text is drawn from the first lines of your email, and that means these first few lines have to be engaging. This is a good place for a call to action like, “Open this email for an incredible discount!”
In some cases, you may want to insert a canned snipped like “View this email as a web page,” especially if your emails are usually picture heavy and may not display perfectly in the inbox. This can take your reader straight to a landing page which will funnel them towards your actual website. These few characters are important, acting as a preview to the rest of the email, so use them to your advantage, whether as a call-to-action, an engaging snippet of text from the head of your email, or as a funnel to your webpage.
Content Must Be Relevant
It’s no secret that content is king—but perhaps a more apt statement would be that valuable content is king. If your emails do not provide interesting or valuable information that is immediately useful to your subscribers, you will start seeing those subscription numbers drop. Most like, these individuals subscribed to your newsletter or promotional emails in the hopes that you would provide them with consistent, meaningful information. Making sure that your content provides that is key to keeping and building your email marketing list.
Consider the Formatting
Keep in mind that not every email provider automatically loads pictures. Also, keep in mind that more and more individuals are opening their emails on their smartphones or tablets, and not as many are using the desktop or laptop for this task. This means your emails need to function perfectly in both arenas, especially when it comes to text size, loading of pictures, and hyperlink stability. Larger fonts, calls-to-action, simplified layouts, and optimized content will help you engage with more clients or customers, without frustrating them, no matter what device they are using to read your content.