Build customer trust, generate leads, and increase conversions with the best email marketing practices for your digital strategy.
According to HubSpot, email marketing earns an average return of $38 for every dollar invested with an ROI of 3800 percent. By adding best email marketing practices to your digital strategy, you can increase leads, engagement, and conversions, all while building customer trust and relationships for future business. Here are our top best practices to boost your next email marketing campaigns:
The timing of your emails significantly affects engagement and open rates, which contribute to the overall success of email marketing campaigns. Constant Contact recommends sending your email campaigns early Monday or Tuesday morning before your subscribers’ inboxes begin to fill up. Marketing automation tools can automatically send out emails at the optimal times for your specific audience based on your industry.
Most email recipients act on a message within 24 hours, so an automated email campaign should send messages every two days to keep up with the timing cycle. You can extend the number of days between emails to create the right balance for your customers. We also recommend sticking to a consistent schedule, so your emails are less likely to look like spam.
According to Campaign Monitor, marketers who use segmented campaigns note as much as a 760 percent increase in revenue. List segmentation allows you to send the right content to the right people. Your email lists can be broken up by demographic, geographical location, industry, job title, and even previous engagement with your brand. The more you segment your email lists, the more trust you can build with subscribers.
Your offer must be specifically tailored to your target audience in order to motivate them to take action. Personalizing email greetings with your contact’s first name grabs attention and builds trust with customers, making them a potential conversion. Once the recipients open your email, your offer should be presented clearly and immediately. As many as 70 percent of recipients won’t see your call-to-action (CTA) and main message if it falls below the fold. Also, your CTA should be repeated multiple times in various places and formats throughout the email to boost conversion potential.
Subject lines should contain between 30 and 50 characters, so that it’s fully displayed in most email inboxes without being cut short. Also, avoid using common spam words in your subject lines. Email subject lines should create a sense of urgency and motivate recipients to click on and open your messages. Including an incentive in your subject line can increase open rates by as much as 50 percent. Additionally, it is important that your email’s content matches the expectations created by your subject line. In fact, emails with personalized subject lines are 26 percent more likely to be opened.
We recommend using Litmus to preview your emails before sending out any emails. It is important to run multiple tests to ensure that all copy, links, images, and design elements are displaying properly. Even making small edits to the title, layout, or call-to-action can make a big difference to the success of your campaign. Split testing, or A/B testing, also sends slightly different versions of the same email to a sample of your subscribers to see what types of emails perform best.
Make sure your ePromotions are well-designed and reflect your business’s branding. Also, put your logo in the upper left-hand corner in order to get the most visibility and build customer trust in your brand. Your emails should be optimized for all devices since more than half of email messages are opened on mobile. Keep your email 500 to 650 pixels wide so recipients don’t have to scroll horizontally to read your entire message.
When your email marketing campaign is complete, make sure you continue to engage customers with future marketing automation and email campaigns. Use marketing automation tools, such as SharpSpring, to track customers’ behaviors and interactions with your brand’s website, social media, and email campaigns. By sending engaging ePromotions and eNewsletters, you can continue to build relationships with current subscribers, turning them into repeat, brand loyal customers.
Recent email regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), require businesses to protect customers’ personal data. Email compliance provides your subscribers with a method to opt in or out of receiving emails and a way for your business to collect, process, and store those requests. We recommend including an opt-out link in all of your marketing emails and using a platform that ensures those contacts are removed from future campaigns.
In addition, the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003, also known as the CAN-SPAM Act, was enacted to protect consumers from unsolicited emails from brands and businesses. Violation of this act can cost your business a lot of money, with penalties on a per-email-sent basis and fines of more than $41,000 per violation.
The CAN-SPAM Act contains several requirements that email marketers must follow. However, the Federal Trade Commission lists seven main sections to ensure that your business’s emails and newsletters are not in violation. While third-party email services, like Constant Contact and MailChimp, make it easier to be compliant, make it one of your best email marketing practices to comply with these requirements.
Here are is a checklist for best email marketing practices to make sure your email campaigns are CAN-SPAM compliant:
- Make sure your header is honest. Your email must clearly and accurately identify your business as the business that is sending the email in the “from,” “reply to,” and “routing information” sections of the email.
- Keep your subject line authentic. Do not attempt to get people to open your email with a misleading or inaccurate subject line. Best email marketing practices for an honest and compelling subject line include keeping it short, offering value, and creating urgency.
- Admit that it’s an advertisement. Although you do not need to include the word “ad” in the subject line, it is required that each business email sent states somewhere that it is an ad. It can simply be placed at the bottom of the email saying this advertisement was sent by your business.
- Disclose your location. Your current, valid, physical business address must be located in every email, typically at the bottom.
- Make opting out easy for subscribers. The CAN-SPAM Act requires that every email sent must contain an easy way for recipients to unsubscribe from that email list.
- Promptly remove opt-outs. Most unsubscribes happen automatically, but there are some that take 24 to 48 hours. You are complaint with the CAN-SPAM Act as long as the person who opted-out is removed from your list within 10 business days. Once the consumer’s email is removed from the list, you are not permitted to use it, transfer it, or sell it from that point on.
- Don’t be complacent. If you are using a third-party to create and manage your business’s emails, it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that the emails are compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act. Check to ensure that all conditions of the CAN-SPAM Act are being followed.
By following best email marketing practices and the CAN-SPAM Act’s policies, you can create transparency and build relationships between your business and the customers on your email lists.