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Email Marketing Best Practices

by amcfarland81 September 18, 2017

Creating a marketing campaign is a great way to capitalize on your leads and create additional forms of revenue. However, building an effective campaign is sometimes not as easy as it seems. Follow these best practices to ensure that you are giving your campaign the best chance to succeed for your business.

Relevancy

One way to ensure that many people on your email list will hit the unsubscribe button is to send them emails that are not relevant to their situation. If they have subscribed to hear about new products, but you instead send them an unrelated advertisement, you will hurt your brand reputation and alienate your customers.

Focus on your customers and how you can add value to their customer experience through your emails. People these days are decreasingly responsive to spam email and will not tolerate anything that is wasting space in their inbox. Exclusive offers, new products, and other relevant information are great ways to add value for your customers.

Segmentation

To be relevant, it is almost always essential to segment your email list. You can separate your subscribers based on a variety of different attributes that could be anything from age or location, to others such as if they are a repeat buyer or have a certain interest. Your segments will depend on the emails you send out and can change email to email. The precision with which you target your customers will depend on the amount of data you have collected about your customers and how you use that data.

At the end of the day, the more targeted your email are to your customers, the more relevant your emails will be to your customers, and the higher chance you have of making sales or achieving your other goals. There are several tools and methods used to segment your email list and I highly recommend checking them out.

Responsive Design

Your customers are likely going to read your emails from a variety of different devices. It is very important that you design your emails to be read on these different devices and that they show up correctly for everyone. Reading an email on a computer versus on a mobile device are very different. Aspects of the email such as the number of columns of text, images, and links will be different across different devices and it is your responsibility to ensure that these things do not show up skewed on mobile or tablet. Other things that should change across devices are buttons and links, which should be bigger on mobile since small links are difficult to select when swiping with a finger.
Building a responsive email seems highly technical, but there are several email services that will create responsive email designs for you with little or no technical experience required. Creating a responsive email will surely make your customers happier and more likely to convert.

Photos and Graphics

Using images in your email can make it more aesthetically pleasing to your reader, and could even show off your new products or initiatives. However, you must be careful with your images because done wrong, they can distract from or otherwise disrupt the message of your email. Images in emails also affect the performance in how fast your email might load so it is important to understand how to use images correctly in your emails.

The first thing to understand is that many of the people reading your email will not even have support in their internet browsers to see your image, or they may choose to block the image. For this reason, it is important to not put any vital information in your email. Additionally, you will want to use Alt-text and descriptions so the user can know what the image is supposed to be. Use small image files to help with performance and loading.

Another important thing to get right with images is to make them extremely relevant to your message and only use them when necessary. An unrelated stock image of a man sitting at a computer is unlikely to help you sell any of your product. Images should add value to your message.

Readable Copy

Text in your emails should be broken down into short sections so they are easily skimmed and important parts of the email are highly distinguishable. Headlines should be bold, and the text clear and concise. The exact style and content of your email will be determined by your copywriting skills, but the most relevant parts of the copy should certainly be easily found.

Use a Call to Action

Without a call to action in your email, it is simply a newsletter or an alert about a new product. By including a call to action that is highly visible and extremely clear, you are giving your email subscribers a task that they are asked to complete. Your conversion rate in your emails will be markedly higher when including a call to action, whether that action be to buy a product, share a link, or download a white paper. Writing a call to action takes time to master, and it is important to test and measure different calls to action to see which ones work best for your business, but it is clear that it is necessary for a successful campaign.

Track your Results

Of all the best practices in this article, measuring the data that you receive from your email campaigns is probably the most important. These best practices are guidelines, but if you can prove that a certain aspect of your campaign is working, even if it goes against some best practices, then it should be continued in your efforts. By measuring your results and tracking your data, you can continuously improve your campaigns to determine what works and what doesn’t. Some of the most important metrics to track are conversion rate, clicks, and unsubscribes. Other important information such as traffic by device, and demographics are also useful. Tracking email metrics can be done through a variety of tools that make it easy to see where you are winning in your campaigns.

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