The days of spammers abusing the email marketing for their nefarious causes are, luckily, behind us. The Web 2.0 apps haven’t dethroned the email as an original web application neither, but the two are now used synergistically, often with great success. Email marketing is here to stay!
All this makes following the emerging email marketing’s tried-and-true practices even more important to your campaign’s success – both now, and into the near future!
Email marketing best practices can be defined as those time-tested rules that the email marketers repeatedly find to work for them and their customers. They’ll work for you, too!
Email Marketing Best Practices Tip #1: Get your reader’s permission first
This is a crucial first step that will keep you out of hot water with the authorities – and ensure that the email you send actually gets read!
You can’t have an efficient email marketing campaign without good deliverability. So, how are you adding those email subscribers? How are they adding themselves?
Your readers must be made aware that they’ve given you permission to send them email! That’s why purchasing leads is not a recommended business practice. You always have to ask your readers if they want to receive email from you – never just assume that it’s okay with them!
Therefore, using the confirmed opt-in is not only the recommended practice, but the only way to go about adding subscribers to your email list!
A good tip is also to try and get white listed! Ask your email recipients to add your email address to their contacts. This will ensure better deliverability of your email and – in most cases – the images in your message will appear automatically.
Email Marketing Best Practices Tip #2: Set the reader’s expectations, and then stick to them!
To avoid unsubscribes and complains, set the expectations early – and stick to them!
Let your readers know what they can expect when they sign up for your emails.
Only send the content relevant to the type the content that the subscriber requested when he opted-in to your list!
Decide on a mailing schedule: sending email once a week is often cited as the most optimal mailing frequency. But, whatever mailing schedule you decide on, the most important thing is to be consistent! Train your subscribers to await eagerly for the content that interests them to lend in their in-boxes!
Email Marketing Best Practices Tip #3: Don’t bury your readers in your email!
While it is important to make sure you keep in touch with your readers, do you really think they want to hear from you every day, or even multiple times a day? Sending email too often will only result in the increased number of unsubscribes and complains.
Email Marketing Best Practices Tip #4: Don’t let them forget you exist, either
Sending email only every few months will cause much of the same problems, plus you’ll be left with a high number of undeliverable email addresses on your list.
Email Marketing Best Practices Tip #5: Engage the readers and prompt them to take action!
Each message you send should be personalized for the intended recipient and designed to achieve the maximum impact!
Under promise and over deliver as long as your subscribers find value in the emails you send, they will not mind being exposed to the advertisements or similar.
Be clear on what is the desired call to action in every communication you send!
Email Marketing Best Practices Tip #6: Test it before hitting send!
Before sending the emails to your readers, send them to your own email address to ensure everything works like it’s supposed to.
Are your email messages getting filtered to spam? Always use some tool to check for content filtering issues!
Even if you’re sending your campaigns in HTML, the text-only email should be as usable as the HTML one. Text-to-HTML ratio must be sufficiently high: that means that the emails shouldn’t consists of images only, neither contain hyper linked URLs.
Proofread the text of each email message you intend to send! Are your links working?
The first thing your subscribers will see of your message in their inbox is the subject line, and the reply address (or name). That’s why the address should be immediately recognizable, and hosted on the same domain as the website that the reader subscribed at. Don’t use the free email address – it’s unprofessional and may even hurt your deliverability rate.
Email Marketing Best Practices Tip #7: Keep complaint rates low
Unfortunately, spam detection is still an imperfect science. There will always be a spam complaint from time to time. Make sure you’ve done whatever possible to keep this rate as low as possible, or your email deliverability will suffer.
Promptly remove all unsubscribes! Be sure that the unsubscribe process works smoothly. Subscribers, who used the opt-out at the bottom of your email messages to unsubscribe & should be removed from the campaign automatically.
However, there are always a certain number of those who will not click on the opt-in links but will respond to your email asking to be removed. Therefore, be sure that you regularly check the reply-to email, and remove such readers manually.
Now that you’ve covered the basics and learned the best practices by heart, it’s time to start optimizing your email campaign: segment targeting, split testing and branding are next on your email marketing to-do list. Best email marketing service, when executed properly, empowers you and your business with an ability to reach the right customers at the right time with a right message. When you start on your right foot, following these best practices, the positive returns on your email marketing efforts are assured!