Email Marketing Best Practices

Email Marketing Best Practices
Harnessing the power of email marketing requires following a few email marketing best practices. Email marketing is one of the best ways to reach out to a massive audience, but there are considerations to make when drafting an email in order to maximize your open rates. 

Email Marketing Subject Lines

  Why is the subject line of a business email important? Well, first impressions are everything, and this first impression is often the only time your email will be considered. According to Mailchimp and HubSpot, marketing email open rates hover around 25%, so the subject line, more often than not, is the only thing your audience will see.    Email marketing is an exercise in building engagement with your potential customers, so keeping subject lines memorable, enjoyable, and relevant will, over time, allow your message the opportunity to cut through the noise. According to Statista, there is quite a bit of noise to cut through. The average person is on the sending or receiving end of nearly a hundred emails every day. Plowing through this incredible amount of data is mentally taxing for the recipient, which means that your email is fighting for attention among a sea of emails that want to be just as important as yours. 

How to Make Your Email Subject Line Stand Out 

  A good email subject line is like a good story hook. Broadly, these subject lines should pique curiosity in the minds of recipients without overstaying their welcome. Brevity and playfulness tend to pull in the greatest number of opens, and an emoji (no more than one!) can add personality and color to draw the eye to your subject. To achieve this delicate subject line balance, here are some good rules of thumb to follow:

Find Your Brand’s Voice 

A small business selling handmade scrapbooking materials and a mid-size tech company selling network security will not have the same audience; they should not have the same marketing voice either. Finding a voice that resonates with your customers and accurately represents your business is key to maximizing your email open rate. 

Inspire Curiosity

Asking a question or presenting an open-ended ponderance in your subject line is one of the simplest ways to grab the attention of your audience. If a person feels as if the body of an email or the product you provide has the answer to a question they’ve been asking themselves, your open rate will naturally rise.

Reign in Punctuation

Your subject line already has very little space to work with, taking up your character count with excessive punctuation will waste precious space. It also creates an air of unprofessionalism. Worse than the perception of unprofessionalism, though, is the risk of triggering a spam filter that discards your email entirely.

Keep it Short

There is no rule stating your subject lines need to take up the maximum amount of space. Brevity may be the thing that inspires the curiosity to dive past the subject line. If something can be said with fewer words, opt for that unless data has proven your audience is a rare breed that prefers longer subject lines.    Above all, remember that email marketing campaigns have the benefit of robust data on their side. Every flopped email campaign is an opportunity to learn what does not resonate with your audience, so take the time to A/B test your messages. A/B testing is the process of creating two (or more) slightly different messaging approaches and sending them to different audiences with the intention of gathering performance data. A/B testing is an indispensable tool in the email marketing toolbelt. It allows you to pinpoint your audience’s preferences, entirely eliminating the guesswork on a long enough timeline.  

Engaging Email Marketing Content

The hardest part of email marketing is getting customers to open the email in the first place. Once a member of your audience has self-selected as a potential customer, the rest of the email marketing process becomes less difficult to execute.   

Tie the Content to the Subject Line

  The subject line is likely the piece of content that pulled your customer into the body of your email. If they come in search of a deal promised in the subject line and find that the body of the email has no such deal, your customer will bounce off of the email immediately. Creating synergy between your subject line and email body will get your click-through rate closer to the market average 2% without much more effort from your copywriters.  

Provide Value

Your marketing emails are, by their nature, an intrusive element in an inbox. If a marketing email can not make a conversion an enticing prospect then a potential customer has no incentive to purchase. Providing value does not have to come in the form of discounts or limited-time offers, the product or service your business offers provides value to your audience, finding a unique angle or pointing to a problem your product solves will show your potential customers that a purchase would benefit them.

Create Urgency

Presenting a gentle push to readers will increase the likelihood that your email is met with a conversion. Creating urgency is one of the most basic sales methods for a reason, and that sales lesson should not be forgotten for email marketing sales pitches. Timed deals or seasonal promotions will provide an incentive to make a purchase as soon as possible, rather than giving your audience a reason to leave your emails forgotten in their inboxes indefinitely. 

Email Frequency

  The frequency with which your company sends out batches of emails to customers will greatly impact how frequently recipients are willing to engage with your correspondence. Email marketing is a game of scale. 25% average open rates and 2% average conversion rates turn into large numbers of sales with scale. Combining the wide reach of email marketing with its relatively low budgetary impact, you can see why, according to Campaign Monitor, nearly 60% of small businesses surveyed planned to increase email marketing spending.    Finding the optimal time and frequency to send emails to an audience will allow an email marketing campaign to extract the maximum amount of engagement and conversion from an audience.   Palmer Ad Agency‘s director of marketing, Adam Wiggins has found that a weekly email frequency has returned the best result for their firm’s email campaigns, and we suggest sticking with this frequency in most cases Some industries benefit from deviating from this frequency, particularly, B2B marketing campaigns will benefit from a less frequent bi-monthly email campaign, more akin to a newsletter than a weekly email flyer. Businesses that rely on building a relationship with their audiences like a blog or news outlet will find two or three times a week (such as a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday cadence) builds lasting relationships and a dedicated reader base.   Email marketing is a simple tool to harness, and its benefits are difficult to overstate. For the amount of money involved and the labor required to implement a regular email marketing campaign, they are some of the most efficient and effective ways to market to a wide audience. These best practices and a touch of market research will ensure a successful email marketing campaign without disrupting any of your other marketing efforts. Read More About Email Marketing: Study: What Consumers Want From Email Marketing
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