If you were born in the 1950s, you might have fond memories of sitting in front of the family television set and watching commercials. In the 1980s, direct mail became popular, and people started receiving letters and postcards in their mailbox advertising products and services. However, back then, they had none to guide them through the power of marketing and teach them email marketing best practices.
As 1990s saw the rise of email with the introduction of HTML email, which allowed companies to send colorfully designed messages with images and links, Email marketing best practices became a thing.
Despite the manifold changes that have been witnessed in the marketing landscape, one thing has stubbornly refused to change its efficacy: the employment of email marketing as a potent means of customer engagement and business promotion. Email campaigns have been an indelible feature of our digital lives since the nascent stages of the internet and continue to wield a formidable influence on the market till date. The prevalence of email usage is projected to increase by an estimated 3% each year until the year 2022, thereby furnishing a larger audience to be targeted by businesses.
As a discerning business owner, it behooves you to exploit this burgeoning trend by infusing email campaigns into your sales strategy. Email marketing is an excellent avenue to foster engagement with customers and showcase the merits of your products or services. However, the starting point can prove to be a confounding prospect for many.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of 22 email marketing best practices that will help you drive sales in 2022!
1. Find the right platform for your email campaigns
When venturing to undertake email campaigns, the first critical step is to select an optimal platform that aligns with your business’s specific requirements. However, with an array of divergent platforms available, pinpointing the one that is tailored to your needs can be a formidable undertaking. Thus, it is imperative to perform diligent research and scrutinize reviews to ascertain the most fitting platform. The price and features are what you should check first.
2. Build a large email list
In order to optimize the reach of your email campaigns, it is essential to cultivate a robust email registry. A larger email list translates to a heightened possibility of lead conversion, thereby increasing the likelihood of customer acquisition. To this end, integrating registration forms on your website and social media interfaces serves as a viable strategy to encourage email enlistment. Furthermore, incentivizing potential subscribers with attractive offers such as discounts or giveaways is an effective means of fostering engagement and augmenting your subscriber base.
3. Give subscribers the option to choose what they receive
Awarding your subscribers the autonomy to opt for the specific topics they are interested in is a salient means to nurture more fruitful engagement with them. Crafting segmented lists enables you to effectuate more tailored and pertinent emails, consequently engendering greater interest and conversion rates.
4. Use lead magnets to encourage sign-ups
Employing lead magnets can prove to be an effective tactic to augment sign-ups. These incentives can range from offering free e-books to discounts on your products. This strategy can be instrumental in arousing interest and motivating people to join your email list.
5. Offer something valuable in each email
It is a well-established fact that to pique your subscribers’ interest, the provision of something valuable in each email is crucial. This can take the form of a coupon code, a free shipping offer, or even exclusive content that is not available elsewhere. It is imperative to ensure that every email that is dispatched contains something that appeals to your subscribers. Failure to do so can result in them feeling disinterested, leading to a diminution in engagement and ultimately rendering your email campaigns futile.
The illustrative instance from headspace demonstrates how they have employed an alluring headline to commence their email campaign. The use of the enticing offer “Six months for 20$” serves as a magnet, drawing email users towards it. The gambit is such that even if the users are not inclined towards the offer currently, they are likely to subscribe to the email list to avoid any prospects of missing out on such an irresistible deal in the future. Such tactful manipulation of human psychology underscores the significance of a well-crafted email marketing strategy.
6. Use drip email campaigns to nurture leads
The notion of drip email campaigns entails a sequence of emails dispatched over a certain period, strategically crafted to nurture leads and foster enduring relationships with prospective clientele. The versatility of drip email campaigns is such that they can be leveraged to market your products or services, or alternatively, to keep your subscribers apprised of the latest developments within your company. By fostering a steady stream of communication with your audience, drip email campaigns can serve as an effective tool for building brand loyalty and expanding your customer base.
7. Use double opt-in to avoid spam complaints
The process of double opt-in necessitates individuals to confirm their email addresses before being appended to your list. This serves as a safeguard against spam complaints and guarantees that solely individuals who are genuinely interested in receiving your emails make it to your list. In essence, double opt-in constitutes an indispensable tool for maintaining the quality of your email list by assuring the validity of your subscribers’ email addresses and their explicit consent to receive communications from your brand.
8. Place honeypots on your website
Honeypots serve as a highly effective line of defense against a multitude of cyber threats that can wreak havoc on your website. By leveraging these sophisticated tools, you can detect and impede malicious traffic, while also remaining vigilant to any suspicious activity. When strategically placed throughout your website, honeypots can vigilantly monitor and safeguard against potential security breaches, including botnets, spamming, and phishing schemes.
The implementation of honeypots within your website architecture is paramount to ensuring the safety of your visitors while they browse. This approach optimizes traffic flow, prioritizing both performance and security, which in turn guarantees that your website is secure and immune from the malevolent designs of cyber attackers.
9. Use an email validation service
Email authentication is an integral procedure that serves to ascertain the genuineness and proficiency of an email account. Its paramount importance stems from its ability to thwart the inclusion of inaccurate or spurious email accounts into an individual’s roster. An exemplary tool for this purpose is the Email Verifier offered by ZeroBounce, which accurately validates email addresses.
10. Use infographics or animated GIFs to break up text
People are more likely to engage with your emails if they are visually appealing. Use infographics or animated GIFs to break up the text and make your emails more visually appealing.
For example, If you are an email marketing agency and you want your subscribers to know why email campaigns is important for their business, they’ll first enquire about the stats of the previous years to show how many sales or leads were generated because of email campaigns and how it helped businesses to grow. Now, instead of writing the stats in a boring text that is likely to be ignored, infographics or animated GIFs can be used to show these statistics more engagingly.
The above picture is an infographic for 10 email marketing stats, it helps in breaking up text and is visually pleasing.
11. Use A/B testing to improve your results
The method of conducting A/B testing involves a systematic process of evaluating two distinct versions of an email to discern which one yields superior performance. This approach is useful in testing diverse aspects such as subject lines, call-to-actions, or email layout. For instance, if there is uncertainty about the effectiveness of a particular subject line, two distinct versions of an email with varying subject lines can be dispatched, and the one that garners a higher number of opens can be deemed more effective.
12. Send your emails at the right time
The time is important factor in sending out email and did you know that sending your emails at the wrong time can lead to low open rates and click-through rates. To find the best time to send your emails, you can use tools like Send Time Optimization from Mailchimp for your email campaigns. This tool uses data from your past emails to determine the best time to send your future emails.
13. Use segmentation to send targeted emails
Undoubtedly, one of the most potent tools in an email marketing campaign is segmentation. By dividing your subscriber list into distinct groups, you can craft and send targeted emails that resonate more effectively with each segment. This results in improved engagement rates, as your subscribers receive content that is customized to their preferences and needs.
For instance, if your business sells apparel for both genders, segmenting your list enables you to send emails that are tailored specifically to women’s fashion to those who have opted for the women’s list. This level of precision in messaging is an invaluable approach to maximize the efficacy of email marketing campaigns.
14. Reward your subscribers
Capitalizing on the innate human desire for complimentary goods can be a successful marketing strategy. By extending incentives to your devoted subscribers, you can enhance brand loyalty and engender positive associations with your company. Consider offering a promotional code or gratis e-book to new subscribers who join your email list. Additionally, for your steadfast customers, contemplate initiating a recurring contest replete with desirable rewards. By leveraging the allure of complimentary merchandise, you can optimize engagement with your audience and cultivate a devoted customer base.
15. Automate your emails
Leveraging email automation can significantly enhance your marketing outcomes. By implementing email automation, you can streamline your email campaigns, boost engagement rates, and drive your sales figures upwards. This strategic approach involves configuring a series of emails that activate based on users’ actions, such as subscribing or purchasing. Moreover, the versatility of email automation extends to personalized messages such as welcome notes, gratitude expressions, and celebratory greetings. Ultimately, email automation can positively impact your brand’s bottom line while freeing up your valuable time for other business pursuits.
16. Use retargeting
Retargeting is a sophisticated online advertising technique that empowers businesses to effectively target individuals who have previously visited their website. This clever strategy is implemented by deploying a tracking pixel on the website that discretely places a cookie on the visitor’s computer upon entry. This cookie facilitates the display of tailored advertisements to the visitor as they navigate the internet, offering businesses a remarkable opportunity to re-engage with potential customers.
For example, an online women’s fashion store can use the power of retargeting to show their latest or new arrivals line to all the website visitors who had similar interests in the past and have shown interest in their brand, whether they had made a purchase or not with the brand. That way, you are sure to find many potential customers to turn into loyal customers and drive your sales.
17. Integrate your email campaigns with other marketing channels
By utilizing retargeting strategies, businesses can efficiently target individuals who have previously visited their website and supplement their message with valuable promotional incentives delivered via email. Additionally, social media can be used to funnel traffic to the website, where email campaigns can be employed to successfully convert these potential customers into loyal buyers. Employing a comprehensive, multi-channel marketing strategy is essential for businesses to effectively promote their products and services to a diverse audience.
18. Inspire your subscribers with your content
To augment the efficacy of your email campaigns, one must ensure that the content therein is imbued with inspiration and motivation. Such an approach will render a positive impact on your open rates and click-through rates. There are several ways to galvanize your subscribers, including recounting success stories, featuring customer testimonials or even offering a freebie. For instance, if you run a pet shop, you might consider sharing a tale of how one of your patrons rescued a dog from a shelter. This will effectively inspire your subscribers whilst underscoring the fact that your establishment is not just a place to procure pet supplies.
19. Make it easy to unsubscribe
While it may appear paradoxical, facilitating the process of unsubscribing from your email communications can yield beneficial outcomes for your marketing efforts. The reason being, individuals who are disinterested in your messaging are likely to opt-out, thus enhancing your open and click-through rates.
Furthermore, if a recipient decides to unsubscribe from your emails, it serves as an indication that they are not engaged with your content. Hence, it is advisable to remove such individuals from your email list to direct your focus towards the prospects who exhibit an interest in your offerings.
20. Test, test, test!
To enhance the outcomes of your email campaigns, a prudent approach would be to conduct thorough testing. Iteratively trialing diverse subject lines, call-to-actions, images, and email content can provide valuable insights into what resonates optimally with your target audience.
Moreover, assessing the readability of your emails on multiple devices, such as desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, can ensure that your communication is comprehensible and engaging across all platforms. Employing such testing methodologies can augment the effectiveness of your email marketing endeavors and bolster your brand’s digital footprint.
21. Use data from your tests to improve your results
After conducting several trials on various features of your email campaigns, it is imperative to leverage the information obtained from these trials to enhance your outcomes. For instance, discovering that a specific subject line is instrumental in augmenting your open rates warrants its adoption in all future emails. Similarly, if a particular call-to-action is found to generate more clicks, it is prudent to employ it consistently in all subsequent emails. This approach ensures a refined and optimized email campaign strategy, leading to superior results.
22. Keep your email list clean
A vital approach to enhancing your email deliverability is to maintain a pristine email list. This entails eliminating individuals who have opted out from your list, and those who have bounced or flagged your emails as unsolicited. By keeping your email list immaculate, you can augment your open rates, click-through rates, and overall deliverability, signifying a resolute commitment to upholding the highest standards of email communication.
Bonus Tip – Use the Thank-you page strategically
Customizing your thank-you page, you can provide valuable information to your subscribers, such as a discount code, a freebie, or even just a simple thank-you message. You can also use your thank-you page to ask your subscribers to follow you on social media or sign up for your newsletter.
The above example shows how Kate Spade is using their thank-you page to encourage users with special offers and CTAs.
Summary And Some More!
The most effective strategies for email marketing campaigns are subscriber segmentation (78%), message personalization (72%), and email automation campaigns (71%).(HubSpot Blog Research, 2021)
It is important to acknowledge that adhering to email marketing best practices does not guarantee immediate success. To achieve success through email campaigns, significant time, planning, and dedication are required.
Looking to slay the email marketing game in 2022? Buckle up, because it’s going to take some serious hustle, planning, and dedication. This ain’t no set-it-and-forget-it strategy! But trust us, the payoff is worth it. By following the top email marketing best practices, you can transform your business and see those sales soar. We’re excited to share our ultimate list of 22 tips to help you crush it in the inbox – and we’re all ears for any additional insights you want to drop in the comments below. Let’s do this!
If you need assistance in kickstarting your email campaigns, 12 Channels is at your service. Our team of experts can assist you in creating high-performing email campaigns that will drive results.