The 8 Steps to the Best Email Campaigns
So, let’s get back to basics with a review of the 8 essential email marketing best practices. Follow this handy guide and increase the success of your email campaigns from here on out.
If you work for or run a marketing team, you’ve probably asked or been asked what email marketing best practices are. While this seems like a straightforward question, email campaigns need to be considered holistically, because failure to appropriately consider one or two elements can ruin the whole effort.
So, what are the fundamentals that need to be brought together to ensure the messages you’re sending out resonate with the audience, you increase your open rate, drive engagement, and ultimately increase sales or participation?
The 8 Steps to the Best Email Campaigns
- Subject Line. This opener – the first thing a recipient will see – is many peoples’ nemesis. Crafting a subject line that compels the reader to open the email is crucial. If they don’t, that’s a lost opportunity. A few things to remember:
- Create subject lines that reference a problem to a solution
- Use key words like ‘special guide.’ Or, promote an event like ‘webinar’
- Be sure your subject line is relevant to the email message
- The ideal subject line should be between 29-39 characters (this can be tough!)
- Pre-header text. This is the text you occasionally see above the actual email message. It’s prime real estate and can offer more value than just “view this email online.” The pre-header text should support your subject line but not repeat it. Use your call to action as your preheader text. For best results, keep the preheader around 85 characters. And, don’t forget, the font size for your pre-header text should be smaller than the body copy, but still readable.
- Responsive Design. According to the Pew Research Center, 77% of Americans owned a smart phone as of February 2018. To give your readers the best experience possible, ensure you’re using responsive design. It’s simply critical these days. You need your emails and landing pages to look good – whether the contact views it on a computer, smartphone, or tablet. Need some tips on designing for mobile?
- Image Use. Everyone enjoys looking at pleasant images in email messages. They add visual interest and, if chosen properly, can add value to your message. It’s great to use images, but you don’t want your entire email to consist of just one image. One image, and nothing else, often suggests spam and can affect your deliverability rate.
- Are you checking your Sender Score on a regular basis? If not, you should be. Keep tabs on this score so that you can address issues immediately. Sometimes this might mean checking it every few days, especially if you send a lot of email campaigns.
- Social Media. When people hear the term social media, they tend to think of Facebook only. But social media is so much more than Facebook and Twitter and is developing at a rapid pace. It also includes blogs, podcasts, YouTube and other video platforms, forums, Instagram, Google+, and more. Utilizing any or all these channels is a great way to enhance your marketing efforts and encourage more engagement. So don’t forget to include links to these channels in your emails and on your web site!
- Forms. Forms are about conversion. To increase conversion rate, limit the amount of form fields. A contact is more likely to submit a form with 4 fields to fill in versus a laborious form with 12 fields. Reduce form length by only asking for information you need and don’t already know.
- Nurture campaign. Have cold leads? New leads? Then a nurturing campaign is in order. Nurturing helps create and build relationships with leads, while establishing credibility for the company – ultimately creating better sales-ready leads. According to Forrester Research, companies that excel at lead nurturing can generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost-per-lead. To do this, target with relevant content that maps to where your contacts are in the buyer’s journey.
There are many more email marketing techniques that we could mention, but there’s just not room or time here. However, if you follow the above basics, perform A-B testing, learn from what works and improve in places where you don’t see results, you will be well on your way to crafting successful and effective email marketing campaigns.
Finally, if you need advice on where to start, ask yourself what best practices you should be doing that you are not currently, and get to doing them!