Email Marketing Best Practices
Email marketing remains one of the most important forms of communication to your customers and one of the best ways to gain leads that turn into customers. However, there are some things you should know before blasting them to your contact lists. When used correctly, emails can create powerful communication and interaction with your prospects and customers. Read on to learn some Best Practices for Email Marketing.
Include Clickable Links/Interactive Email
It’s important to include links within emails for a couple reasons. One reason is to break up the monotony of the email and to make it more exciting to read. If inserted in the right place it can give reader’s eyes a break from reading one long paragraph and an opportunity to read further if they are interested via the link, button, or clickable image provided. Perhaps you want to include a relevant case study, blog post, or press release within the email. Great idea! This is a smart way to utilize content you already have and drive people to a specific landing page or to your site. You can now easily track your open rates and gain prospects interested in what you have to offer.
Something else to consider- be sure you include where your link is going to and make it easy for readers to see. Simply saying “click here” within the paragraph is not easy for readers to find, thus resulting in lower reads and click rates. Something else to think about is the mobile user. Generally, mobile email readers scroll more, so having a clickable link or button makes it easy for to take action. Interactive emails are an easy way to help drive traffic and engage your audience.
Automation is Key
We all want to save time and spend it doing things that aren’t monotonous and time-consuming. Email marketing automation through using your CDP is really a no brainer.
Automated email campaigns are emails that send based off a specific action. It could be signing up for your newsletter, making a purchase or simply visiting your website. They can also be set to trigger to remove contacts based on what you want the action to be as well as send an email when that action is taken. These types of campaigns show significantly higher engagement rates with an increase in opens and clicks due to the relevant and timely content the email provides. The best thing about automated emails? Once you set them up, they continue to send when the defined action has completed, without even lifting a finger.
For example, let’s say you are a bike retailer looking to grow your sales. You create an ongoing email campaign consisting of 2 automated emails sent after a customer has not made a purchase at your store in 90 days and then again in 120 days. The emails include messaging and an incentive to encourage a future purchase. Purchase history data from your CDP database is used to trigger the emails which are then deployed from your email tool. To execute this campaign, the CDP first creates an automation that pulls a daily list from your transaction data of customers whose last purchase occurred 90 or 120 days prior. An email campaign is then set up to send to customers 90 days after their last purchase date and then again at 120 days after their last purchase date. The first email (the 90-day email) includes dynamic content & imaging based on the location of the customer’s last purchase – to remind the customer of your conveniently located store. The second email (the 120-day email) is a limited time offer (a coupon for $ off next purchase of qualifying amount) designed to motivate the customer to visit your store to make a purchase.
Other automated emails may include but are not limited to welcome emails for new subscribers or customers, follow-up emails, surveys, birthdays/anniversaries, and event reminders.
To read more about email automation, check out our Email Automation Series posts:
- Post-Purchase Product Review Emails
- Loyalty Emails
- Anniversary Emails
- Re-Engagement Emails
- Abandoned Cart Emails
- The Welcome Email
- Birthday Emails
- Customer Feedback Survey Emails
Keep it Short & Easy to Read
This study shows that most people only spend 5 seconds looking at a website to determine if it’s engaging and worth staying to read on. It’s safe to say this is probably an accurate time-span for skimming an email too.
An email study from Nansen concludes marketing emails as this:
A striking conclusion from the studies is that processing email is stressful. Users frequently told us that they were too busy to deal with certain email messages, and that they considered any fluff in messages a waste of time. When they check their email, users are typically dealing with multiple requests for their time — whether from their boss, colleagues, or family. People just want to be done with most email, and quickly move past anything that is not absolutely essential.
Keeping emails short enough to get the main point(s) across in five seconds or under and making it easy to read by breaking up paragraphs, using coordinating colors, and incorporating easy-to-read text fonts and sizes allows for an easier response from readers. And remember, styling is just as important as the actual content!
Another way to make your email readability effortless is to ensure your call-to-action is easy to see (contrasting colors from your email background) and read (ideally, less than five words). Also, keep in mind that the CTA is generally best seen at the bottom of the email. Logically, it makes sense because your reader should probably understand why they are clicking on the link. Make it stand out and only include one if you can. CTAs are a great way to attract visitors and generate leads.
Customize/Personalize When You Can
Customizing is a good idea in any situation. Email customization is crucial if you want to connect with the individual. One of the simplest ways to customize your email is to include the person’s first name in the subject line and email. For example-
Hello, John, I am following up…
Hi Caroline, Thank you for subscribing!
By customizing your email, you allow the person to feel just a little more special. Another great way to personalize emails is sending based on segmented categories. For example, you may decide to send a different email to your clients than you would send to your prospects. Another, more in-depth example would be to customize an email based on the person’s interests and/or buying habits. The list goes on in how you can personalize and customize email campaigns but this is a great way to obtain and retain your customers.
Always Test with Minimum of 3 People
Test, test, test! It may seem like an easy step (and it is) but it’s often overlooked. It’s extremely important that you test your campaign on at least 3 different emails. Often when you build an email it can look much different than the actual preview. Words may be jumbled, the spacing may be off, etc. If you are running a drip campaign for one month, a good idea is to put yourself and two others on the very same campaign, only a day or two in advance. This ensures your campaign runs smoothly and will provide you some extra time to alter anything before the final send. This also includes testing the email on a mobile device or two!
This also includes testing the email on a mobile device or two! Yesmail reported that 30% of consumers now read their email exclusively on mobile devices. It’s easy to overlook mobile when you are creating your email campaign on your computer. But keeping mobile top-of-mind for optimal usability and ensuring your email is mobile compatible is essential for any email campaign!
Track & Monitor Email Marketing
It’s good and well to have an email campaign and all the components to make it successful; however, if you don’t track the results from beginning to end, how will you continue to change or alter your campaigns to make them even more successful the next go-around? Tracking who you are sending emails to is important but looking even further can provide a unique view of who you are sending to.
Looking at your link clicks is extremely important. For example, let’s say you send out a series of six emails and see from your reports that two of those greatly outperformed the others. You’ll want to know that key information, right? Moving forward, you can then create emails with similar aspects of those two emails. What if someone’s email bounces? You’ll probably want to unsubscribe or delete the email address and find their current one. Or how about if any email is opened? By looking at this list you can see who is in your top-of-mind group. Reaching out to them as soon as possible is important rather than waiting a couple weeks or even days. All these items are easily trackable and can boost your business revenue when utilized correctly!
Helping to grow revenue and drive engagement, Ascent360 resides in the business of creating needle moving campaigns for any marketer. Ascent360 solves marketing problems that many companies are dealing with. Our technology combines data from multiple sources, such as point of sale, e-commerce, and email sign-up, and feeds that data into one cloud-based customer database allowing you to see a full 360 view of your customer. Using this combined data, you are then able to segment and analyze your customer base to create targeted and personalized marketing campaigns.
Ascent360 integrates with the tools you already use to then push these personalized campaigns to marketing channels such as Facebook, Google, Direct Mail, and any Email Service Provider being used. We then pull that data back into our platform as well to see what is working, what is not, and help you make smarter marketing decisions.