7 Email Marketing Best Practices
Due to the sudden popularity of social media and mobile marketing, many people think email marketing is now old-fashioned, dead, and gone. In reality, things couldn’t be further from the truth, especially when you consider that researchers estimate that firms in the United States have spent over one billion dollars on email marketing in 2011, and this number is only expected to rise to two billion by 2016.
As long as you focus on providing good content in your emails instead of useless spam, email marketing is just as effective as ever, and sometimes even more so.
What is Email Marketing?
If you’re not used to marketing your products and services on the Internet, you may have no clue what email marketing actually is. Email marketing is when a business uses electronic messages to broadcast a commercial message to an ideally large group of people, usually their consumers or potential consumers. The commercial messages sent are advertisements, solicitations for donations or sales, or requests for business.
Besides selling more products and services and getting more customers, the purpose of email marketing is to build loyalty, brand awareness, and trust for a business.
What are Some Email Marketing Best Practices?
Right now, you’re probably thinking about trying out email marketing for yourself to see how well it works for your business. Before you even think of doing anything else, you should focus on a few tactics to put into practice while email marketing.
To ensure you are guaranteed good results as long as you put in the effort, you should only focus on the seven email marketing best practices. Once you get your feet wet, you can try out other tactics to see if they’re right for you. Here are the seven email marketing best practices that will make email marketing well worth the effort.
1. Free Offers
If people have absolutely nothing worthwhile to gain from subscribing to your list, you’re simply not going to have many subscribers. Therefore, you need to figure out a way to incentivize people to sign up for your list. One of the best ways you can do this is by offering free things to people who sign up to your list.
Since so many people are doing email marketing, it’s simply not enough to offer free content in the form of a newsletter. You need to find something useful to give away that won’t bankrupt your company.
The free thing you offer can be absolutely anything, as long as it’s something that people actually want. Ideally, it should also be something that won’t cost you too much. Some things you can offer are free eBooks, free reports, and other free products and services.
The product or service you choose to offer for free should somehow be related to your business or the topic of your website. For example, it wouldn’t make much sense if you offered a free eBook about gardening when your business makes and sells electronics.
2. Squeeze Pages
If you’re new to email marketing, you may be wondering, “What in the world is a squeeze page?” Well, chances are, you’ve come across many squeeze pages while using the Internet. The main purpose of a squeeze page is to serve as a landing page where people can give their email addresses to subscribe to something.
Most people tend to consider the subscriber list as the most important thing when it comes to email marketing, and for good reason. If you don’t have any subscribers, there is no way email marketing will work out for you. This is where the squeeze page comes in.
The squeeze page uses tactics like success stories, quality sales copy, and color psychology to convince people to give their email addresses, which is why the use of squeeze pages is considered one of the seven email marketing best practices.
While email marketing is incredibly effective if you do it the right way, it’s also a whole lot of work, especially if you don’t have the help of an autoresponder. At first, when you have very few subscribers, you will definitely be able to get by without a autoresponder. However, once your subscribers start to number in the hundreds, you will unnecessarily waste so much of your time on emails if you don’t use an autoresponder.
An autoresponder is basically a computer program that automatically sends an email when triggered by certain events, such as receiving an email. An example would be when you use the contact form of a website. Chances are, after using the contact form, you immediately receive an email that informs you that your question has been received.
There are many ways you can use an autoresponder for email marketing. You can use it to deliver paid training courses, to remind your customers that their membership is about to expire, to promote your products, to deliver reports that have been broken down into multiple parts, and to entice customers who have been inactive for some time into becoming active again.
4. Write Short Emails
These days, people receive tons and tons of email, and they only have so much time to read all of them. That means, when someone sees an email that is over 500 words, they probably aren’t going to read it unless it’s absolutely necessary. Therefore, you should strive to keep your emails very short and to the point.
The maximum length an email should be is about 300 words. Any longer than that, and your subscriber will probably exit out of the email as soon as they open it, which is very undesirable if you want them to click on the affiliate link or link to website at the bottom of the email.
If your email simply has to be on the long side, then you should at least try to make the email look shorter. You can do this by making paragraphs shorter and including graphics to break up the paragraphs. However, don’t include too many graphics, or some of your subscribers may have a hard time opening your email.
5. Avoid Spam Triggers
The only thing that is worse than a subscriber not reading your email is said email ending up in the subscriber’s spam folder. Therefore, when email marketing, you need to take all precautions to ensure the email you’re sending doesn’t end up as spam.
That means you need to avoid using risky words in the subject line of the email, as well as the body text. Some examples of risky words are free, buy, promo, rich, order, cheap and basically any other phrases that are very over-hyped.
While it’s probably very tempting to use these words, it’s best not to, since it will likely ensure your email ends up in the spam folder. Also, people tend to associate these risky words with spam anyway, so they might put the email in the spam folder themselves, or they might immediately deem the email unbelievable and scammy.
6. Keep It Simple
The emails you send should have as little clutter as possible. Too much clutter can make your email hard to read, and even difficult to open. Therefore, you should only stick to a few different typefaces. In fact, three different typefaces should normally be the maximum.
As stated above, you should keep pictures to a minimum, especially since some people might be reading your emails on their mobile device. Also, your email should be no wider than 650 pixels. If you choose to go wider, your reader will have to scroll horizontally over and over again to read your email, which can be a very big hassle.
You should keep subject lines enticing but simple. The subject line should be less than 50 characters, but it should also be compelling. Ideally, the reader should know exactly what the email will be about within five seconds based on the subject line.
7. Make Emails Related to Landing Pages
When your subscriber clicks on the link in your email, he or she shouldn’t have to wonder whether they ended up at the right place when they reach your landing page. You should make your landing page match your email when it comes to the headline, content, and copy. Try to make the landing page match the email when it comes to the feel and look. Use similar typeface, pictures, and colors. That way, your subscriber won’t feel confused or tricked when they reach the landing page.
Also, you should use tracking tools to see which landing pages and emails work the best. You can then use this information when trying to make successful emails and landing pages in the future.
If you truly want your email marketing campaign to be a success, it is absolutely vital that you utilize at least one of the seven email marketing best practices listed above. These email marketing best practices will net you more subscribers, a higher turnover rate, and it will also decrease the amount of time and effort you need to put into email marketing.
You can also see this video, can help you a lot.
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