Email campaigns are a direct line of communication with your audience. This platform allows you to guide customers in their decision journey. You have the opportunity to inform, convert interested people into buyers, attract returning customers, and reach new audiences.
However, seeing a strong ROI and successful open rates requires more than sending an email to your subscriber list. Incorporate these five best practices to your email marketing strategy to improve your email marketing efforts and see the results that will take your business to the next level.
Best Practice #1: Email List Segmentation
Not every person you send an email is in the same stage of the sales funnel. Some may be in the initial research phase, while others may be ready to buy a product or invest in a service. For this reason, creating a customized experience is important to give them the type of information they are looking for. First you'll need to build an email list (if you don't already have one) and then you need to create custom lists or segmentation. By grouping your readers into several categories, you’ll be able to refine your outreach, sending relevant, engaging content that meets their specific needs.
Things you can do to segment your email list:
- Use the welcome email to ask readers about their preferences and interests to further refine your lists
- Segment based on previous purchases - recurrent customers versus new customers
- Segment by time zones to send at the optimal time
Best Practice #2: Check Email Loading Time
Great content and catchy subject lines help with email open rates, but if your emails don’t load fast, people won’t read them. According to a study by Adestra, poor display or slow load time (most common mobile) can result in a subscriber deleting the email in under three seconds; 15% of other users reported unsubscribing.
To improve email performance, you can:
- Reduce image size
- Be selective of images used and reduce the total amount
- Make sure your HTML code is lean to circumvent email providers from clipping your email
- Reduce line breaks, indents, and, in general, nesting of content.
- Use a responsive email template
- Use alt text for when mobile signal strength is weak
Best Practice #3: Maintaining Email Suppression Lists
Suppression lists, lists of nonmailable contacts, are valuable lists that you shouldn’t discard. You can use suppression lists to ensure you are compliant with CAN-SPAM Act requirements — for example, providing a way for recipients to opt-out of future mailings.
However, you can also use suppression lists in your email marketing strategy. Use the lists to send relevant emails to the right subscribers and exclude those that may not find the information relevant based on the focus of the email campaign, past email engagement, or profile information. If you are working on a re-engagement campaign, you can use the lists to identify those that may still be interested in a certain aspect of your company’s products or services.
Subscribers are automatically added to suppression lists if:
- A hard bounce occurred
- One of your emails was marked as spam by the subscriber
- The subscriber unsubscribes
Best Practice #4: Use Catchy Subject Lines
Subject lines are the first opportunities to engage with your reader. It encourages them to click through and read the entirety of the email so making sure it’s relevant and inviting is crucial. According to MarketingProfs, nearly half of marketers sometimes test alternate subject lines, through A/B testing, to optimize email open rates.
Engaging subject lines generally have the following elements:
- A sense of urgency
- Text that elicits curiosity or mystery
- Highlighting offers, discounts, or free opportunities
- Personalized subject lines
- Trending topics or timely headlines
- Featuring the names of recognizable people, products, or services
- Short, roughly 50 characters long, and to the point
- Emojis (if it’s proper for the audience and makes sense with the subject line)
Best Practice #5: Choose Engaging Visuals
They say “a picture is worth a thousand words”, and this is more relevant than ever. Consumers are bombarded with ads in so many channels that we need to make sure we get their attention in a short period of time. Use graphics and imagery to represent your brand identity, and to create an email experience that is interesting and visually appealing.
Don’t overload your emails with too many images, select visuals that highlight the focus of your message and make sure that the images are clear and not stretched. Most email marketing services resize images to optimize viewability, but make sure that they respond accordingly before sending it to your subscribers.
The goal of selected images and content is to invite people to read through the email and be interesting enough that they want to click-through the content. Close your email with a footer that provides links to relevant areas of your website, encourage social sharing, and answer “why are you receiving this email” to remind your reader about why and how they subscribed.
After reviewing these best practices, are you unsure that your current email marketing strategy is the best one for your business? Our marketing experts are ready to help you! Bayshore Solutions is a full-service email marketing agency with 20+ years of combined experience.
Call (866) 352-4791 or email us at email@example.com to discuss your needs and learn how we can facilitate growth.