Email Marketing Best Practices: Get More From Email

Your audience loves emails that follow email marketing best practices.

There are some email marketing best practices in the industry that everyone should know about.

If you’re in charge of your brand’s email marketing, they’ll change the results you get and make you look better.

And, if you’re not already getting the results you want, they’ll help you get closer.

That’s because email is a science, and often results can be duplicated.

All you need to do is understand what got you there, to begin with.

It also means you can translate the success others have had into your success.

By using email marketing best practices discovered through successful campaigns, you can build a successful email marketing strategy.

Email Marketing Best Practices Are Only The Beginning

When it comes to successful email marketing, you can’t simply check the boxes and expect success.

You need to customize your strategy to your list.

Therefore, email marketing best practices are only a starting point.

They’re all required if you want your email campaigns to be successful, but they’re not a guarantee.

With that in mind, you need to enter your email marketing strategy expecting a learning curve.

You’re going to have a learning curve when it comes to writing the perfect email. However, there is a good chance that, by starting with certain best practices, you’ll still do well quickly. Click To Tweet

People on your email list will tell you through their actions what they want your emails to include and provide.

Listen carefully to them and adjust to match what they want.

Focus on continually providing better and more valuable emails for them to enjoy.

Most importantly, don’t get discouraged if you don’t get the results you want right away.

Once you find your stride, your audience will come running to you, and they’ll do it through your emails.

But you’ve got to continually get better.

The Important Email Marketing Best Practices

A surefire way to assure your email marketing strategy fails is to ignore the basics you need to handle.

Not following these email marketing best practices is like driving a car without putting oil in the engine.

It’s like flying a plane with no fuel.

They’re the basics of success and trying to move forward without them is a clear mistake.

So, it’s best you fully understand these email marketing best practices and make them a part of your email strategy.

Make them a habit.

Building a habit from email marketing best practices will make all of your emails better. Click To Tweet

When you do, you’re going to see better results by default.

Again, they may not be what you’re targeting, but they’ll be much closer.

But that leaves you on solid ground to build your strategy and your results from.

Here’s what you need to do with every email strategy you begin.

These are the email marketing best practices that will change your results.

Check Your Timing

Everyone is searching for the best time to send emails.

Study after study was done to figure it out.

However, there is no magic time.

At least not as a universal rule.

As an email marketing best practice, however, you need to find one.

But there is a perfect time for your brand, and it’s your job to figure out when that is.

Which usually means trial and error.

Every business should be focused on finding the right time to send emails to their audience. Click To Tweet

Using a good dataset about your target audience, however, can help you find the right time faster.

Learn when, on average, your target audience checks their email.

For example, most millennials check their emails from their phones before they get out of bed.

It might be a good idea to send them an email around 4 am their time.

That creates a good starting point to adjust from, finding the sweet spot faster.

Once you’ve got it, your open rates should go up.

If You Liked This, Read  7 Resources To Help You Become The Champion Of Email Marketing

Be Consistent

There’s nothing people dislike more than an inconsistent email sender.

Yes, some fluctuation is expected among your email list, especially when they expect it to be sent personally.

(As in unautomated).

But if you’re planning on earning your email list’s trust, among other things, you need to stay consistent.

That requires a schedule, often up to a few months in advance.

Inconsistent emails get inconsistent results. Try to focus on delivering the same number of emails at the same time at the same frequency. Click To Tweet

This is one of the biggest email marketing best practices to remember.

Plan your email marketing strategy so you’ll know what you’re going to send and when.

Try to be flexible with the plan in case something needs changed last-minute but keep an overall email schedule.

If you know in advance what emails you’re going to send, staying on top of them is easier.

And your audience will be happier with the consistency they get from it.

If You Liked This, Read  7 Common-Sense Email Marketing Tips

Don’t Overdo It

Nobody likes getting too many emails from a brand.

There’s always a limit where things cross the line from plenty to too many.

And it’s different for every brand.

It’s an email marketing best practice to know where that line is and make sure your brand doesn’t cross it.

For most brands, it seems like 1-2 emails a week is plenty.

However, like most marketing, there’s no universal rule.

So, that leaves you to test your perfect frequency.

There is a point where too many emails hurt, but you want to push to find the most effective number. Click To Tweet

Start slowly when learning your email limit.

Send only one email per week.

From there, work your way up until your open rate declines.

I’m talking about a significant decline.

Declining open rates are one great way to identify if your emails are being over sent.

They usually only stop opening them if they see them too often.

Or if the content is awful.

Use this email marketing best practice to pick things back up.

If You Liked This, Read  Email Open Rates: The Good, The Bad, And The Ideas You Need To Get Better

Make Your Emails What Your Audience Wants

It should be obvious that sending the content your audience wants is one of the email marketing best practices we’d discuss.

The only way your emails are going to have any return is if your audience wants what you send.

And that means you need to understand what they want.

Do an excellent job researching your audience to find out what matters to them.

Don't send emails your audience doesn't want to read. Click To Tweet

Are they interested in company updates, notifications of sales, or special discounts?

Which of your products or services offers them the most value?

Find out what they want from your brand and make sure your emails deliver.

By offering the content they want in your emails, you can keep them engaging.

Engagement always equals better email marketing results.

If You Liked This, Read  The 25 Types Of Marketing Emails Small Businesses Need

Give People A Good Reason To Open

Look at your inbox.

How many emails have you received in the past 24 hours?

Were any of them worth opening?

Chances are you made that decision based on what the subject line and preview text looked like.

And the ones you opened probably stood out among the crowded mess you came to.

So, think about your emails for a minute.

Why should anyone open your emails? Are you giving them enough value to make it worth it? Click To Tweet

You need to get them to stand out among your audience’s inboxes.

Why is your audience going to open your email?

The email marketing best practice to consider here has to do with your subject line.

Create an email subject and preview text that sparks your audience’s interest.

Whether you use curiosity or excitement, it’s about making them want to know what’s in the email.

Because there’s no way to get a good result from an unopened email.

If You Liked This, Read  13 Pro Tips To Help You Segment Your Email List

Use Campaigns That Send A Little At A Time

Email marketing best practices talk often about piquing interest.

It’s a major facet of any good marketing strategy.

If you get your audience interested in what you want to sell, your odds of selling it goes up.

A great way to pique interest with email is to use a drip campaign.

Drip campaigns, to put it in simplest terms, are campaigns that send related emails based on the audience’s reactions.

Slowly feed your audience what they want that pushes them towards the purchase. Click To Tweet

The strategy makes adjustments based on tracking indicators in the email and on the website.

Depending on the audience’s choice with the email (usually to follow a CTA or not to), the campaign will send an appropriate follow-up email.

This is a great way to follow your audience’s attention and get them interested in what you want them to be.

Turning their attention towards the right product or service based on their response to a drip campaign can boost your results quickly.

If You Liked This, Read  Why Your Small Business Needs Email Marketing To Survive

Tap Into Your Audience’s Urgency

Something I learned a long time ago in sales: people respond to loss more than they respond to gain.

The fear of loss is a powerful marketing tool.

And that’s why your audience’s sense of urgency is so valuable.

Whenever you have something that ends, it’s an email marketing best practice to emphasize that ending.

Convince your audience they won’t have enough time if they don’t act right now.

If your audience has a compelling reason to move fast, they will. Give them one. Click To Tweet

Your audience doesn’t want to lose the benefits of your offer.

Sales, special prices, inventory availability, and limited engagements all get people moving.

Communicating that time sensitivity can tap into that sense of urgency.

Want to push a little further?

Include emojis that reflect the limited time they’ve got left in your subject lines.

Clocks, hourglasses, calendars, and whatever else makes sense to get people feeling like they’ll miss out.

Push that urgency to push your results.

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Clarify What Your List Will Get

When you sign up for a mailing list you probably usually aren’t sure what’s coming.

That might make you a little apprehensive to give them your email address.

To alleviate that in your audience, clarify what you’ll send them and how often you’ll send it.

Make it as clear as possible.

This email marketing best practice keeps your audience interested in your emails.

Make sure your audience knows exactly what they're signing up for. Click To Tweet

By letting your audience know what they’re signing up for, you can provide them a sense of knowing.

You can also eliminate more people who wind up not wanting to be on your list.

If people know that you’ll send two emails per week, but they don’t want them that often, they can avoid signing up.

Alternatively, you can allow your audience to choose how often they receive emails and for what.

It’s a more advanced strategy, and few businesses do it, but the benefits are amazing.

Allowing your audience to choose what they’ll get means they’re invested in the content.

Provided its quality content, they’ll look forward to every email you send.

If You Liked This, Read  Better Email Marketing Results: Psychological Strategies To Get Your Audience To Act On Your Emails

Tell Stories

Constant sales emails are terrible.

It goes against every one of my email marketing best practices to push for the sale in every email.

People hate being sold to, and emails that try will only irritate them and get them to unsubscribe.

Instead, focus on delivering something interesting to their inboxes.

Stories about your brand and your happiest clients make incredible email content.

Connect with your audience through a phenomenal brand story. Click To Tweet

They also happen to be fantastic and subtle sales content.

Telling a great story is an effective way to engage your audience and get them thinking about your brand within their lives.

Audiences love to hear stories about what their lives could be like once they own your product.

Imagining the ways your offering improves their world is what’s going to get them to buy from you more than a great discount.

And, of course, stories help them connect emotionally to your brand, building loyalty.

If You Liked This, Read  The Value of Email

Make Unsubscribing Obvious (But Not Too Easy)

Now we get to discuss one part of email marketing nobody likes.

However, unsubscribing is a natural part of email marketing.

And it’s an industry email marketing best practice to make the option to unsubscribe obvious and easy to find.

The people on your list who no longer want to be there should be able to leave it with ease.

However, it can’t be too easy to do.

Your audience should be able to unsubscribe if they want to, even if you don't like the idea. Click To Tweet

Accidental unsubscribes often cost you leads that you wouldn’t otherwise lose.

So, if it’s too easy to unsubscribe, your accidental lost leads will increase.

Assure that those who want to leave your email list must confirm their choice to leave your list.

That way, when someone unsubscribes accidentally, they can save themselves with ease.

You never want to lose a lead that didn’t mean to leave.

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Test. Everything.

Are you sure that every email you send is performing to its full potential?

Don’t say you are unless you’re testing.

It’s a major email marketing best practice to be sure you’re A/B testing every email.

Little changes and big data can make a huge difference in your email marketing rate of return.

A/B testing is the single best way to find out what works most effectively. Click To Tweet

Plus, because most email providers have an A/B testing option available, it’s easy to set up.

Once you’ve created an email to send out, simply duplicate it in the testing platform.

Then, make minor changes that you think might help get a different result.

The more you test, the more you can find out what your audience responds to.

As you build the dataset, you’ll have information to help you create better emails in the future.

And when you create better emails, you create better results.

If You Liked This, Read  Better Email Marketing Results: Psychological Strategies To Get Your Audience To Act On Your Emails

Bring Big Value

Ok, here’s the repetition again.

I feel like I say the same thing in all my content.

Providing value isn’t just one of my email marketing best practices.

It’s a content marketing best practice.

Everything your brand produces should be valuable to your audience.

No matter if that value is found in education or a sales offer.

You need to give your audience something in your emails that's worth their time. Click To Tweet

The key is to make sure that your emails are always worth opening.

However, you need to make sure what’s inside benefits your audience quickly.

Preferably immediately.

That’s why it’s always helpful to teach them something through your emails.

Consider your email marketing a part of the process of earning a sale.

Educate them on a part of your product or service.

Give them something they can take with them.

By continually offering value, even when they don’t buy, you prove your company is valuable to them.

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Make Your Emails Personal

According to Dale Carnegie, “Names are the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

That’s true for your audience too.

And using their name in your email where it makes sense will help your message connect better with them.

Most email platforms allow you to fill in someone’s name automatically, directing the message at them.

But you can also personalize beyond that.

“Names are the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

Using audience interactions on your site, you can send different information to them.

If they’ve visited a page on your site that indicates interest in a product or service you offer, send them more information on it.

You can customize the content you send based on their interests and make sure they’re getting the information they want from you.

Again, most email providers allow you to do that with ease.

Provided you track what they do on your site, you can start speaking directly to what they want.

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Divvy Up The List

If you’re not yet familiar with email segmentation, you need to get there.

It’s one of the most common email marketing best practices you can think of.

Segmentation is the process of dividing up your email list into groups based on many factors.

Those factors include their position in the buyer journey, their interests, and the product they came to you for.

Segmentation helps get the right message across. Click To Tweet

Using email segmentation is about making sure the right messages get to the right people at the right time.

Sometimes the timing of an email can be the difference between closing the sale and losing the customer.

But segmentation helps you get your timing right more often, earning more clients through your email marketing.

When you know who is on your list, you can speak to them the right way and at the right time.

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Automate Where You Can

Along with your timing comes the next of the email marketing best practices.

Automation is the process of collecting data and sending emails, well, automatically.

It allows you to reach your customers at precisely the right time, as well as handle the more mundane, transactional email marketing.

Imagine if you could automatically send a welcome email to everyone when they registered for your site.

There's no way to keep up with a 24-hour a day website without automation. Click To Tweet

Or if you could send a discount coupon at the moment they were checking pricing.

Think about how many sales you could save if you could send an abandoned cart email to shoppers who left without paying.

These are all forms of email automation that boost your results, and they’re usually easy to set up.

By making sure the right message is automatically sent when it’s needed, you can grow your brand through email faster.

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Switch To An Email They Can Reply To

I hate “do not reply” emails.

They show a lack of consideration for the opinions of the people on your email list.

When you tell me not to reply, I don’t want to listen.

And many of your leads feel the same way.

Your audience should be able to get in touch with you by replying to the emails you send them. Click To Tweet

Not only should you switch to an email address that your audience can respond to, but you should also encourage their response.

Ask them to email you back.

Showing your audience that you’re not only willing to listen but that you also want their feedback is critical to building relationships.

If your audience understands you’re there for them, they’re far more likely to stay engaged.

You’ll even likely earn a few brand evangelists.

If You Liked This, Read  7 Resources To Help You Become The Champion Of Email Marketing

Offer A Regular Reminder

Ok, here’s one of the less-intuitive email marketing best practices.

Remind your email subscriber why they’re on your list.

Open your inbox and look at some of the most recent marketing emails you’ve received.

Down at the bottom look to see if they remind you how you got on their list.

Chances are you don’t remember how.

If they have a reminder, they’re doing you a favor.

Give people a frequent reminder of why they're on your list. Every email, every time. Click To Tweet

Whenever you do your audience a solid like that, they remember it.

Yes, it’s a simple favor to do.

However, it reminds them of the reason they joined your list and the value you promised.

Is it a chance for them to unsubscribe? Of course.

But it also stops them from hitting that spam button.

When your email subscriber can’t remember joining your list, they will think it’s something they didn’t ask for.

Once enough of them hit the spam button, your deliverability rate goes in the trash.

All you need to do is offer them a friendly reminder of why they’re getting the email and you can avoid that damage.

If You Liked This, Read  The Value of Email

Keep Your List Clean

I’ve talked about the importance of a clean email list before.

When your audience wants your emails, they open them.

Anyone else is simply hurting your deliverability score.

That includes junk email addresses and generally disinterested people.

To fix that, you have to clean your email list.

Don't allow your list to be cluttered with email addresses that won't go anywhere. Click To Tweet

Cleaning your email list is among the most important email marketing best practices.

Run it through a validator (we use Neverbounce) to remove invalid and fake email addresses.

Then, send an email to your list asking them to resubscribe.

Scrub it frequently, resubscribe annually.

If you do, you’ll keep your open rates up and your deliverability score high.

And that’s what you need for email marketing success.

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Use Clear CTAs

In every great email, there should be a call to action.

You already know it as one of the best email marketing best practices to earn sales.

But is yours clear enough?

Your reader needs to know exactly what you want them to do with your email.

Tell your audience exactly what they should do in your email. Click To Tweet

Where are you sending them and what should they do when they get there?

Tell your reader in no uncertain terms what action they should take on your site when they get there.

Or maybe you’re sending them to Facebook to comment.

Whatever it is, communicate it clearly and make the button they should tap obviously.

If there’s no confusion, you’ll earn the most possible results from your email.

If You Liked This, Read  The 25 Types Of Marketing Emails Small Businesses Need

Email Marketing Best Practices Make Sense

By now, you know these ideas make sense.

All you need to do is put them in place for the results.

These email marketing best practices will grow your sales and make your strategy excel.

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Email Marketing Best Practices: Get More From Email

by Michael McNew Read in 15 min