Email Marketing Best Practices
Updated: May 7
You may be asking yourself, isn't email marketing dead? Well, the short answer is: no. On the contrary, email marketing is not only alive, but it's also thriving!
Email marketing currently has a whopping ROI of 4400%. That means for every dollar spent, you make $44 in return. As far as marketing channels go, email is still reigning supreme.
How about email marketing for B2B? Is it just as effective? The answer is: yes, and even more so than B2C. The click-through rates of B2B email campaigns are 47% higher than those of B2C email marketing campaigns.
The takeaway is: if you're marketing B2C, email marketing works and is essential. If you're marketing B2B, then email marketing is just about important.
Segment your mailing lists
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to treat everyone on your list equally. To help ensure your subscribers receive relevant emails based on their interests or stage in your marketing funnel, you'll need to segment your list.
Segmentation enables you to send the right message, to the right person, at the right time. And the extra effort it takes to segment your email list is worth it. Segmented email campaigns contribute to higher open rates, higher click-through rates, lower bounce rates, and lower unsubscribe rates.
Here are four ways most email service providers will allow you to create a segment of your list before sending an email:
Demographics (age, gender, industry, occupation, etc.)
Location (city, state, country, etc.)
Interests (content consumed, survey responses, etc.)
Behavior (pages visited, links clicked, purchases made, etc.)
Nail the subject line
The success of your email campaign rests partly on the subject line. It's an essential bit of copy, and getting it right makes or breaks your campaign metrics. First, communicate clearly what your email's about. Then, testing is the best way to optimize the text: maybe your audience reacts better to emotive language, or perhaps emojis arouse more attention.
Use A/B testing to increase email engagement
Split testing is the best way to find the optimum email campaign. The great thing is that you can test a load of things: from name, subject line, content, call to action, send time, and more.
Test what works best:
Fewer or more images
CTA as a button or link
'Shop now' vs. 'Discover here'
Bestsellers or hottest drops
Blog placement – right or left?
Plus, multivariate testing means it's possible to test various email elements simultaneously for an even more optimized campaign.
Many businesses give their subscribers one of two options: stay subscribed to their list and receive all their emails, or unsubscribe and receive no emails.
Giving your subscribers more control over the emails they receive from you, combined with the regular removal of inactive subscribers (list maintenance), helps maintain higher open rates and a better reputation with your email service provider.
Depending on your email service provider, you may be limited in the number of things you can give your subscribers control over. However, if possible, here are two things to consider giving your subscribers control of:
Control over types of emails received: Not all of your subscribers will want to receive every kind of email that you send. Give them the ability to subscribe and unsubscribe from specific emails (new content, promotions, product updates, customer-only emails, etc.).
Control over sending frequency: Let your subscribers choose how often they will receive email communication from you (weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc.). Many of your lists will likely want to continue receiving your emails, but less frequently.
Another way to help maintain an engaged list of email subscribers is to conduct regular list maintenance. Here are some things you can do on a quarterly (or even a monthly) basis:
1. Check in with inactive subscribers: Create a segment of your list that has not opened or engaged with any of your emails for a specific period of time, and then send them an email to ask if they still want to continue receiving email communication from you.
2. Remove inactive subscribers: Removing inactive subscribers from your list is a great way to help maintain healthy email open rates. In addition, since some email service providers charge based on list size, pruning your list of inactive subscribers can also help reduce your costs.
Here are a few tips to avoid spam complaints from your subscribers:
Double opt-ins: Don't allow new subscribers to join your email list without confirming that they would like to receive your email communication. This can be accomplished using a double opt-in, where your email service provider sends a confirmation email to a new subscriber before sending your first marketing email.
GDPR compliance: GDPR is the overall name given to a series of EU laws around personal data protection, including the collection and use of email addresses. These laws apply to organizations based in the EU and anyone who stores and processes data on an EU citizen. Without going into too much detail (check out this guide to GDPR and email marketing for more information), the bottom line is that we need to be able to show that our subscribers have given us their consent to send them marketing emails.
Unsubscribe links: Don't make your subscribers have to work to unsubscribe. Include an easy-to-find unsubscribe link in the header or footer of your emails.
With nearly half of all emails opened on a mobile device, your emails must be optimized for mobile. Here are a few tips for sending mobile-friendly emails:
Use a mobile-responsive design that adapts to varying screen sizes for emails that are not plain text.
Don't write long paragraphs. Instead, break up long paragraphs into smaller sections so your email has plenty of white space.
Generally, it's best to keep your emails short and to the point. According to an analysis of more than 40 million emails, the highest response rates were attributed to emails that contained between 50-125 words.
Avoid using large image sizes that take longer to load. Most email service providers allow you to change the resolution of an image after you've uploaded the original image file but not the image file size. The most popular screen resolution worldwide (across all platforms, including mobile) is 360×640.
I also recommend you avoid using images that may not be legible on a small device (infographics with small text, for example).
Remember, email marketing is just like any other aspect of digital marketing: it's constantly changing. So be sure to stay up-to-date on email marketing trends to provide the best customer experience.
If you have additional questions or are looking to improve your email marketing strategy, contact us through the form below. We'll be happy to help!