best practices of email marketing

In the age of social media and instant messengers, email may seem like an obsolete means of communication, yet people of all ages continue using it for business and personal correspondence. Whatever niche you are in, your enterprise needs a solid email marketing campaign to attract new customers and engage them with your brand.

In this article, the Clever team shares the best email marketing tips to get more traction from your promotional efforts and convert passive subscribers into well-paying clients.

Get Straight to the Point

It takes a recipient just a couple of seconds to decide whether your letter is of value. Make sure the benefits are obvious, right in the Inbox folder. Convey the essence of your offer in the subject line, and in the first 20 words of your letter, so the user can grasp it without even opening your email.

Address Subscribers by Name

The use of formal templates is one of the key email marketing mistakes to avoid. People appreciate a personalized approach that makes them feel special and cared for. If you want your emails to help build warm relationships with prospective clients, avoid greetings like “Dear Sir or Madam.” Reserve that type of salutation for formal or official letters only.

send personal emails

Compose a Killer Subject Line

Keep your subject line brief (2-3 words), attention-grabbing, and reflective of the content of your letter. Statistics show that emails with sentence-long and vague subject lines are opened half as often.

Do Not Mislead Recipients

Promising something in your subject line that you fail to deliver in your letter is one of the most common email marketing mistakes. This bait-and-switch approach is sure to disappoint and alienate potential buyers. If you promise a free gift or service in your subject line, stand by your words and follow through with your promise.

Be Straightforward and Use Simple Terminology

People don’t open their Inbox to broaden their vocabulary. They expect you to communicate in plain language that is easy to understand and digest. An unknown acronym or a slangy buzzword can quickly evaporate a reader’s interest. If your letter’s meaning will be lost without a certain technical term, provide a brief description in the text of your letter.

Provide Sender Data

People want to know who they are communicating with. Indicate your name or the name of your company in the “From” and “Reply To” fields, and in the signature at the bottom of the letter. Provide your email address and domain name in routing info.

Add Contacts

Customers may want to contact you in ways other than email. They are unlikely to visit your site to find a phone number or the physical address of your office, so provide this data in your email. Doing so will save them time and boost your credibility.

Deliver Value to Customers

Prospective clients are not interested in reading about your accomplishments in a promotional email. They want to quickly see what you are offering and if it can benefit them in some way. Cut to the chase and explain how your products or services can make their lives happier and more successful.

Do Not Expect a Flood of Feedback

Your first email is unlikely to convert strangers into well-paying customers. Recipients have no idea who you are and whether your company is trustworthy. Give new followers time to get acquainted with your brand, evaluate your offers, and decide whether you are a good choice for them. Embed CTAs in letters only after you have built warm relationships with your subscribers and have prepared a soft terrain for sales.

ask short questions

Ask Yes/No Questions

The simplest way to break the ice and engage prospects is to ask short questions requiring yes/no answers. Answering yes should not put your followers in an awkward position or obligate them in any way. Deliver value without groveling for attention. For instance, asking, “Do you want our expert to advise you in a personal consultation?” sounds much more enticing than, “Can you spare some time to talk with our expert?”

Use a Single CTA Per Letter

Using multiple calls to action in a single letter confuses readers, making them uncertain of exactly what you want them to do.

Every email should have a clear purpose. Compose your text, select your visual content and deliver a strong CTA with that purpose in mind. In one form or another, most promotional emails ask users to respond to the letter. You simply have to choose the best wording to fit the context.

Your CTA should be easy to find. Use large fonts and bright colors to make it stand out.

Segment Your Audience

It is impossible to launch a successful email marketing strategy if you view your audience as a homogenous group. Even a small niche business can divide its followers into subgroups. Treating all customers exactly the same can send the wrong message to the wrong people. When subscribers see their Inbox folder cluttered with irrelevant emails, they will unsubscribe from your newsletter or mark your messages as spam.

Use the following criteria to subdivide your audience:

  • Location
  • Age range
  • Sales cycle (new subscriber, first-time client, regular client)
  • Values and interests
  • Browsing behavior
  • Previous orders

You can go beyond these options by studying your audience to divide them into groups relevant to your business, to make your newsletter more effective.

Monitor and Test

Before sending your email, check to see how your letter is displayed, correct all grammar and spelling errors and ensure all links work as intended. Next, test and track the performance of your campaign.
Evaluate the following:

  • Open rate for different subject lines and teaser texts (the first 20 words).
  • Response rate for different CTAs and yes/no questions.
  • Conversion rate that shows how well your letters fulfilled their sales purpose.

To track user behavior, you need to configure events and goals on your site, as well as mark up links in emails using UTM-parameters.

importance of email mobile optimization

Optimize Your Emails for Mobile

More users than ever are accessing the web from mobile gadgets, and you cannot neglect their needs. Make sure your letters look great on both desktop and mobile devices. There should be no need to zoom to read text, and all images should fit the screen dimensions.

Do Not Shift All Semantic Load to Images

Even though email marketing rules suggest that appealing visual content is key to user engagement, don’t expect images to do all the work.

Some mailing systems hide visual content by default and provide a “display images” option. If you place all your text on an image, some recipients will see only a blank space. A few may use the image display feature, but most will simply delete your email.

If you want to share beautiful photos or images, be sure to surround them with relevant text. Also, provide brief descriptions in alt tags (alternative text) so that users understand what you want to show, even if the images fail to load.

Do Not Bombard Subscribers With Emails

Your attempts to engage users should not be intrusive. People communicate with colleagues, relatives and friends all day long. Sometimes they just want a break from the information noise. Too frequent emails can be annoying, and may prompt the recipient to unsubscribe.

The best way to determine how frequently customers want to get your letters is to ask them directly. Ask new subscribers to set up frequency preferences and indicate topics of interest when subscribing to your newsletter. Doing so will help you segment your audience and better cater to their needs.

Sift Through Your Email Base

There is no point in having a long subscriber list if only a small portion responds to your letters. Place quality over quantity and delete inactive users from your base. Rather than perpetually knocking on a closed door, devote your time and energy to the followers who are most likely to convert.

do not hide the Unsubscribe button

Enable Customers to Opt Out of Your Newsletter

Prospects should not feel trapped once they subscribe to your newsletter. Do not hide the Unsubscribe button with small transparent fonts in an attempt force people to stick with your brand.

Better to improve your content and commercial offers so that customers stay with you voluntarily.

When you give users the option to receive or unsubscribe from your emails, they will stop feeling threatened and be more inclined to consider your offers.

Serve Opt-Out Requests Promptly

Make sure users who ask to opt out are instantly deleted from your list and no longer bothered with letters. It is illegal to charge fees, request sensitive information or ask users to perform other actions in exchange for their freedom. And it is forbidden to sell their personal data to third-party companies.

Users should be able to simply press the Unsubscribe button to opt out. In some cases, they may return at a later date, when they need what you have to offer.

Conclusion

Now that you are armed with the best practices for launching a win-win email campaign, apply them wisely to kindle your prospects’ interest in your products or services. A carefully constructed email campaign can help you build strong relationships with your audience, boost your brand’s reputation and increase your sales.