Email Marketing Best Practices

email marketing best practices

The year is 1999. AOL boots up. A robotic voice announces, “You’ve got mail!” It’s exciting.

The year is 2022. The email app opens up. There are 127 unread emails. It’s a lot.

So, what makes your email get read?

Emails have been around for a long time, so email marketing has been around for a long time too, and for a good reason – it does work! According to Litmus’ recent State of Email report, email marketing has a return on investment (ROI) of a whopping 3,600%. That makes email one of the most powerful and inexpensive marketing tools in your arsenal. So why wouldn’t you invest in marketing that delivers $36 for every dollar spent? That’s like winning on roulette every time you play!

Still, not every marketing email is a huge success. After all, there are billions of emails sent out every day, and many people have inboxes that are overflowing. How many emails do you trash without reading? It’s important to follow some best practices to stand out and improve your deliverability, opening, and click-thru rates.

Create Compelling Subject Lines (and Preview Text)

Keep your email subject lines short and compelling, so people want to click to read more. Avoid over-sensationalizing or over-promising, and be wary of using words like “Free”, “Save Money”, or “Buy Now”, which trigger spam filters. Don’t sound like a Nigerian prince looking to send the reader diamonds in a small exchange for their credit card number. Also, take advantage of the preview text (also known as a preheader) to elaborate on your subject line.

Segment Your Audiences

Once you have a glorious contact list of your own opt-ins, you can segment that list in numerous ways — catering messaging based on specific demographics, previous buying behavior, existing customers vs. new, email engagement, and more. When you segment your lists and personalize them, you’ll have a much better shot at hitting your target.

Personalize Your Messaging

We’ve all seen the power of personalization in action. Some emails just seem to “get us”, while others are generic and may feel as if we received them by mistake. (“Worried about hair loss?” Uh, no.)  Use personalization to not only address your recipient by name, but also to cater to their specific interests or needs. According to Hubspot, personalized calls-to-action result in a 42% higher conversion rate than calls-to-action that are the same for all recipients. Most marketing automation systems or email platforms allow you to easily incorporate personalized content into your emails. 

Conduct A/B Testing

What’s behind Door A and Door B? And who picks which? A/B testing helps to see what performs best. For example, you can take a sample of your email list, divide it in half, and send one group one subject line and the second group a different subject line. Keep everything else the same and compare results. Then the best performing subject line can go out to your entire list.

You can test other things too, like the location/size/style of your call-to-action button, different images or layouts, different topics, and more. Just be sure only to test one variable at a time so you know what made the difference. Over time, A/B testing can help you determine best practices for your specific audience, so your emails are performing at their peak. It’s like a science experiment.

Finally, Don’t Buy Mailing Lists

Look, we all know it’s tempting to buy everyone’s personal information off of the dark web… not that we’ve looked into it or anything… It’s important to encourage your own customers or prospects to opt-in to your own mailing list, instead of buying lists from third parties. Sending emails to people who are not subscribers not only violates CAN-SPAM regulations and GDPR requirements, it can also annoy people, cause your email performance to plummet, and can even get you blacklisted from your email platform. Stick to emailing people who have demonstrated some interest in who you are or what you do.  

Let us Help!

When we design an email, it brings the excitement of a robotic voice saying “You’ve got mail” back like it’s 1999 again. If you need help creating or implementing an email marketing strategy that really “delivers”, Celsius Marketing is here for you. Our expert email marketers can create epic email campaigns that will get noticed. Want to learn more? Let’s Talk.

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