What is there that hasn’t yet been written about email marketing? It might seem we all understand the basics. But the problem is that sometimes they’re so obvious that we get too confident and start overlooking them. But we got you covered!
You need to develop a failproof series of comprehensive checks that will help you stay on top. And while the phrase “series of comprehensive checks” sounds like something you don’t have the time for, it’s all pretty simple.
Here’s our list of email marketing best practices for 2021.
1. Know your audience
The first thing you need to nail down is your target audience. There should be no generalized descriptions and “maybe” – you need to know exactly what your clients need.
Shots in the dark are unacceptable if this is not your company’s first year in the business. They are especially unacceptable if it is. If you spend your time and money, offering random products to random people, you will quickly burn through your marketing budget without producing any results.
When you know every single detail about your prospects, about who converts best, and who has the highest LTV, you can analyze them. It also allows you to determine the audience’s problems and pain points and, more importantly, solve the difficulties that could be stopping them from purchasing your product.
2. Stay compliant
Among email best practices is treating CAN-SPAM Act, the GDPR, and similar regulations seriously. Make sure you’re only sending to the people who want to hear about your offer. Not only is incompliance bad marketing, but it’s also illegal. And you will get fined for using and storing data the users have not consented to collecting.
3. Be relevant
Even if you have collected the leads you need based on your perfect buyer persona (as in, you won’t be offering designing software to logistics experts), you can make your offers to them even more relevant by segmenting.
If your targeting is precise, and your leads are enriched, you can try segmenting by narrower parameters. They include experience, previous purchase history, and, of course, location.
4. Always verify
Here comes one more marketing best practice – always remember to verify your list. This is a must for both small and massive email campaigns. Keeping your prospect list clean will guarantee low bounce rates, high deliverability and open rate, and good sender reputation. Plus, it will save you money on sending to invalid emails.
Verify your email lists not just when you build them, but also right before sending your campaign. Situations change, and emails can get banned and abandoned over time.
5. Grow your email list
Create new buyer personas and explore audiences for maximum growth. It’s best to have a specific person on the team devoted solely to lead generation. But if you can’t afford that yet, just devote a few hours a week to grow your list with the help of finder tools.
6. Create your own templates
Pre-made email templates are wildly popular right now, and it’s safe to assume they will be for a while. Almost every email marketing blog offers free email template freebies to its readers. And what might seem like a collection of useful email templates is a collection of emails used by hundreds of other email marketers all over the world. And what this means to you is that using them, you may immediately lose your chance to stand out.
A more effective marketing practice here would be to have a custom email template made specifically for your company or campaign. If you can’t afford that, there are plenty of tools on the market that can help you create one yourself, with no writing, designing, or coding experience necessary.
7. Be as brief as you can
Remember that you are writing an email, not a philosophic tractate. It shouldn’t drag on forever – make it short, clear, and to-the-point. The recipient is likely to spend about half a second looking at your email, deciding whether they want to read it. Make sure it looks easy.
The perfect length for an email is about 50-125 words. The highest open and response rates are shown by emails that are 200-250 words long. However, I’d recommend you not go over 200 words.
The friendlier and more human we appear, the easier it is to close deals. People appreciate personal approach – it creates a sense of an email being designed specifically for them. And that’s what personalization is for.
Even if you are creating an automated email drip campaign, you can still use data like the recipients’ name, their position in the company, and their achievements. Just make sure you don’t overdo it. Write to a person as if you are talking to them in real life – don’t write a simple “Hi!”, try “Hi Natalie!” instead.
9. Go easy on attachments
Using multiple attachments, pictures, and links increases the chances to be blocked by your ESP. It’s recommended to use them in moderation: stick to the 70 to 30 proportion (text to image), and insert one link only. If you absolutely must send multiple attachments – use Google Docs, the platform scans files for viruses, and people trust it.
If you’ve made up your mind about using images in your email instead of going plain-text, don’t forget about the fallback text for a picture. It will be shown if the image isn’t displayed by the ESP.
10. Always include an unsubscribe link
We know, this marketing practice is an obvious one, but it’s important. And don’t forget, in the light of the GDPR, all your emails must offer the recipient a way to refuse to receive any further emails. The easiest way to do this is to include an unsubscribe link. Don’t try any tricks either – according to the regulations, the unsubscription process should be clear and simple.
11. Optimize your email campaign for all devices
In 2018, mobile opens accounted for 46% of all email opens. Besides, 71,6% of consumers are likely to delete emails if they don’t look good on mobile. What that means for you is that you need to make sure your email campaign is displayed correctly on all possible devices, especially on mobile.
12. Automate your email marketing
Automation is a key element of the 21st century. You can save your time and money, committing fully to more important tasks, while the tools do the monotonous time-consuming work for you.
Almost every part of email marketing can be automated: email list building, email list verification, email sending, follow-ups, and email tracking. Platforms like Snov.io offer all of these tools so you can free up hours(!) a day and streamline your email marketing.
13. Don’t go overboard
Of course, you can send as many emails as you wish, but this won’t be an email marketing best practice. 69% of recipients unsubscribe because of too many emails. Only 15% are or would be happy to receive emails every day.
Regardless, everything depends on your product and target audience. Which is why you should experiment, test, and discover what is the best email frequency for your clients.
14. Never stop A/B testing
If you want to get the most out of your email campaign, you should be A/B testing. Test every aspect of your email campaign to know your audience better: colors, CTAs, subject lines, level of personalization, greetings, signatures, and frequency.
Knowing what performs better can lead to higher conversion, click-through, and open rates, as well as let you develop your unique format and design you’ll stick to in the future.
These are just some of the best practices for email marketing that can help you stand out in the recipient’s inbox and improve your email campaign results. You can treat it as a checklist for a successful email campaign. If you would like us to add something to the list, share your best practices in the comments.