Email Marketing Best Practices
My partner in crime Amin Shawki described how to effectively track email campaigns in Google Analytics a few weeks ago and I highly encourage you to read it and utilize the convenient downloadable excel spreadsheet to track tagged URLs if you have not already done so. But there are a lot of best practices and tips to running a successful email marketing campaign that go beyond the importance of tagging and tracking URLs.
First and foremost, make sure your email subject identifies a specific goal. Is it to read a monthly newsletter? Make sure ‘newsletter’ is in the subject. Is it an invitation to a webinar? Make sure that objective is clearly stated. It sounds simple, but a vague subject line will end up in the trash folder quicker than an email from a Nigerian prince. Also be sure to make your subject compelling whenever possible. Here’s an email from the “TechLife Cincinnati” MeetUp which clearly states its objective:
Your content section is the bulk of the email. Here’s a list of best practices with a brief description:
- Be brief. Nobody expects to read fluff in an email unless your reading an email from your grandmother. Be concise whenever possible, your reader’s time is valuable.
- Actionable. Following up on the importance of a specific goal in the subject line, emails typically should have a call-to-action that is easy to identify. Large buttons like “View Deal” or “Register” are great ways to accomplish this task.
- Align Subject with Content. Put simply, what your email subject line promises, the email message should deliver. Along these lines, be sure your call-to-action and your landing page are similar in both style and content.
- Personalize. An email always has a friendlier tone when the reader is addressed by their first name. But email marketing has advanced beyond that functionality a decade ago. Specific segmentation and targeting of emails increases open rates tremendously. Check out this graph from eMarketer. As an email marketer, the thought of open rates increasing 39% is astounding, and all from having a segmented & targeted list!
- Write in the second person. Writing in second person means you orient the copy towards the reader, not yourself. This helps keep the focus on the customer, not the brand, and is a subtle tactic to help you stay value-oriented. Talking about benefits more than features helps your brand seem less self-promoting. And finally…
- Test, test, test! You want to be sure your email meets a high standard of perfection. Little tasks like double checking for spelling and content errors, making sure your email doesn’t end up in a spam folder, and testing each and every link will go a long way to making your brand seem more professional while removing frustration from your subscriber’s lives.
If you have any questions about email marketing, I’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy emailing!