Email marketing is not only one of the best ways to experience a high ROI, nearly $38 for every $1 spent. It’s also one of the top ways young consumers prefer to connect with brands they like. In fact, 73% of millennials report they prefer to connect with brands via email.
With these stats in mind, it’s clear email marketing is vital to both the success of your sales team and your brand, but how do you make sure you are hitting the nail on the head with your email marketing strategy?
This post will present a list of email marketing best practices. When you follow these best practice, you can rest assured you are doing nothing but favors for your customers, brand identity, and marketing strategy.
#1. Personalize Emails
When crafting your emails, focus on your customer’s individually. No, this doesn’t mean you write an individual email for all 100K of your subscribers. It means using an email provider with smart automation tools to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.
Including the subscriber’s name in the subject line and body copy is the time old way to speak to each of your customers. Not to mention, when you personalize the subject line, you increase open rates by 22%.
While adding a name is a great way to personalize emails, there are several other ways to personalize emails including sending emails based on customer location, sending emails at optimal times, using more relevant images, etc.
Remember personalization increases relevancy, and stats show personalized emails drive 18X more revenue than emails with no personalization.
#2. Segment Lists
Another way to get subscribers to open the email from your brand is to segment your lists. Essentially, you leverage the data you collect and store about your customers to build customer personas. Then, send emails to different groups of individuals based on actions they take.
For example, Sephora does this by sending exclusive promotions to reward VIP members. Adidas does this by segmenting lists by gender and sending their male clients emails with men’s shoes and female clients emails highlighting women’s shoes.
Your brand can also use data to determine customer groups and send different emails based on like minded interests, purchase history, and browsing behavior to send more relevant emails. And, using segmenting strategies can increase your revenues by 760%.
#3. Be Dynamic
Dynamic content is one of the coolest ways to make your email campaigns hyper relevant. Rather than sending different emails to different subscriber lists, with dynamic content, you can customize one block of copy or an image to change based on subscriber information.
For example, let’s say you are a travel company with several different travel deals. Maybe you want the main message of your email to be the same for all of your customers, but you also want to highlight different deals for different customers based on location, or typical travel preferences. Instead of creating several different emails, you can select a section of the email to display a more relevant image for customers based on those preferences.
This email from Virgin is a perfect example. The email displayed 3 different travel options—New York, London, or Sydney—based on client preferences.
The result of this campaign was an increase in click-through rates by 29%.
#4. Optimize for Mobile
In the last quarter, reports show nearly 68% of all emails were opened on a mobile device. People are engaging with mobile devices at explosive rates, and if your email content isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you may as well kiss your brand goodbye.
There are several ways to optimize for mobile devices, but the best is to rely on proven templates from a trusted email provider. This way, you know your template is coded perfectly to display beautifully on both mobile and desktop devices.
Other ways you can optimize for mobile include:
- Images – Select crisp and simple images (1200 pixels is the sweet spot for image size)
- Copy – Say enough to get your message across and that’s it
- White space – Use white space to break up your content
- CTA – Encapsulate your CTA in a noticeable button
Follow these steps, and your email will look awesome on mobile devices as well as desk tops.
#5. Automate your Messages
Email marketing can take up the better part of your marketing team’s day. That is, unless you quickly learn how to automate your messages.
With the help of an email provider, you can set up triggers that will send out automatic responses to subscribers, based on whatever action your subscriber took.
For example, when a new person subscribes, your email provider can automatically send them a welcome message or when someone makes a purchase, you can automatically send them a thank you letter, order confirmation, or follow-up promotion.
Automatic messages can delve deeper too. For example, If a subscriber abandons their cart, you can set that as a trigger, and send them an email reminding them to finish their purchase.
When messages are automated, you know subscribers are getting the right messages at the right time, and you don’t even have to think about it!
#6. Call to Action
Every email needs a call to action, but not all call to actions are created equal. In fact, there is an art and a science to creating the perfect call to action.
A proven call to action design is the inverted pyramid model. The inverted pyramid is just what it sounds like—an upside down triangle that draws readers to the most important part of your message instantaneously.
With the inverted pyramid model, you put your headline at the top of the upside down triangle, and put your call to action at the tip of the triangle.
In these examples from InVision and Adobe, you understand within seconds what the email is about and how to take action.
You’ll never know what works best for your brand, unless you do some testing. A/B testing is the perfect way to take your top two ideas, distribute it to a crowd of subscribers, and see how they respond.
Once you have your results, you can make your email marketing decisions based on real data, continually fine-tune your brand strategy, and watch email marketing do wonders for your company.
Email marketing is one of the best ways to engage with customers and show off your brand. When you follow the best practices outlined above, you can rest assured you are delivering relevant, timely, top-notch content that your subscribers crave.
About The Author
Samantha Anderl – oversees channel marketing & self-service business at Campaign Monitor. When not immersed in digital marketing, you can find her enjoying a glass of bubbly & all the Pacific NW has to offer. Keep up with her on Twitter @DGsalamander.