Email marketing has been around for a long time, and as with any marketing strategy, it has evolved with time. However, email marketing best practices that were valid 5 years ago may or may not hold true now.
This is primarily because the audiences have evolved and are exposed to multiple other forms of advertising and content.
However, what you want to derive from your email marketing campaign may differ – it could be higher visibility, higher clicks, opens or conversions.
What will help you achieve these goals is to consistently stick to email marketing best practices which need to be implemented at the right time in the right amount to the right audience.
We have listed down 10 email marketing best practices that are sure to get you better results if you’re struggling with open rates, or just to maintain the hygiene of your company’s domain.
10 Email Marketing Best Practices That Will Get You The Right Results
1. Purchase Of Contact Lists Is A No-No
Purchasing and utilizing a database that is not organically created by your brand, with the consent of your customers, is one of the major deterrents of email marketing best practices.
This most often leads to a negative image of your brand for sending emails without the prior consent of your audience and may also lead to an unhealthy open rate and your emails being marked as spam.
And with the advent of GDPR and other similar regulatory guidelines across the globe, marketers need to be careful before sending emails to unwilling audiences.
2. Avoid Using A “NoReply@” Email ID
Receiving an email from an email id that at its fore does not allow you to communicate back with it is not very welcome with audiences.
This leads to lesser open rates with most of the audience opting out of receiving emails from you.
In a world where brands are engaging more and more with their audiences, its best to avoid using such email ids.
Remember, you want to build a relationship with your customer and get people to like your eCommerce brand. This is best done by keeping an open channel of communication.
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3. Use Compelling Subject Lines
After your email id or display name, the first thing your audience notices is the subject line.
While we are not recommending that you use click-baits as your subject line, it needs to be concise and compelling enough for the audience to open your email and not dump it directly into the junk folder.
It needs to be eye-catching and help generate curiosity among the audience to open your email.
You can choose to include or exclude the call-to-action as part of your subject line depending upon how intriguing the call-to-action may be for your audience.
4. A/B Test Your Subject Lines
A/B testing subject lines is highly recommended as one of the most effective email marketing best practices that you should follow.
This is more applicable to your brand if you are new or if you’re struggling with engagement.
What it essentially means is to create two subject lines and send one subject line to half your database and the other subject line to the rest.
This can help you define the subject lines for your future campaigns and to get an idea about the kind of subject lines that your audience best reacts to.
5. Customize Your Pre-header Or Preview Text
This is one step which is usually missed by marketers while deploying an email marketing campaign but has a major impact on the open rate of an email.
A pre-header or preview text is what appears below your subject line to give the users a glimpse into the content of the email.
This preview text, when not defined, picks up first few words from the content of the email and in case of an image or HTML file, may showcase conditional statements or the codes that are part of the email.
This leads to lesser open rates as the receiver doesn’t trust the contents of the email.
So, be sure to check your preview text and ensure that it is meaningful and insightful.
6. Scrub Your Mailing List Frequently
When it comes to email marketing best practices, this is an important one.
Depending on the nature and size of your business, you may have a very small or very large database of customers who you are periodically sending emails to.
However, it is crucial that you periodically check the validity of these email ids, and whether they are opening your emails or not.
Even a very strategic email marketing campaign directed towards a database that has historically shown a very low open rate will backfire and severely affect the health of your email domain.
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7. Send Personalized Emails
Personalizing your emails is one of the oldest and more successful email marketing best practices.
Receiving an email that says “Hi (person’s name)” has proven to be more engaging than a generic greeting that says “Dear User / Customer”.
There are several tools available in the market that help you send out personalized emails – so don’t worry that you may have to sit and send out individual emails to your entire database.
8. Consider Ease Of Access
The design of your email does not only mean placing your logo in a strategic way (which of course is essential).
Email design also includes other elements such as the placement of your Call-to-Action (CTA) button, unsubscribe button, and the length of your email.
The mailer should be designed considering ease of access for your customers/audiences such that they do not have to scroll more than once to understand the CTA.
Also, keep the option to unsubscribe very evident such that one can easily opt-out of your email campaigns if they so wish.
Also, in case the users wish to leave feedback or respond to the email, it should be specified as to how they can do so.
9. Schedule Your Emails Smartly
Email marketing best practices indicate sending emails to the right person at the right time for the right reasons.
It could as simple as a welcome mailer that should be sent to your customers immediately after they subscribe or purchase your item, to something like a personalized birthday mailer offering them a discount on the products of their choice.
While it is essential to keep the frequency of your emails in check, you must reach out to your audiences at the right time.
Identify the right occasion and send out your email.
10. Identify & Track The Right Metrics
Email marketing best practices are aimed at helping your brand achieve the goals of your marketing campaign and it is extremely crucial that you are looking at the right metrics to track the health of your campaign.
While the agenda should be to generate more leads, you may be looking at the open rate and wondering why it is not leading to any conversion.
Be very specific about what you want out of your email marketing campaign and track the right metrics to achieve your goals.
While there are many vanity metrics that will give you a picture of how your campaign is doing, you need to focus on hard-hitting metrics that clearly define the performance of your email marketing campaign.
These are but a few of the essential email marketing best practices as identified by us.
Having said that, what never fails is to keep it real and transparent, and not force the audiences to accept what they do not wish to.
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