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Do you get the most out of your emails? Whether for you it’s the most efficient way to communicate with your clients or a channel for lead nurturing, you’ll probably benefit from implementing some if not all of these 19 good practices.
From tackling legal and spam-related issues to tweaking your copy and design, there are several areas that you can work on. Ready to dive in?
We will start with the tough points: legal compliance. Even the best practices will count for nothing if you fail to follow legal regulations and get hit by fees. What are the most important points?
From various options of getting someone subscribed to your mailing list, double opt-in is the most recommended. This way, you don’t just obtain explicit consent to process the data: you won’t have your list cluttered up with fake or invalid email addresses.
So, apart from filling in a form on your page, send an email with a confirmation link. Make sure to be fast: usually, the user expects to receive this email immediately. For ensuring quick delivery, you might want to use services like Coresender. It holds a separate infrastructure for transactional emails, delivering them independently of high-volume marketing campaigns.
It might sound counterintuitive, but the easier it is to opt-out of your list, the better. Some readers might be no longer interested in your newsletters, and if the unsubscribe link is hard to find, they’re likely to mark it as spam button instead. This solution will work for them, but for you it will be the worst-case scenario; being marked as spam will hurt your sender reputation.
Data privacy is a serious concern, and if you fail to comply with requirements then you might face severe consequences. Yet there are no universally accepted rules, and even within the EU you may find that different countries have varied approaches to GDPR. Make sure you check the regulations that you have to obey.
If there is anything a marketer fears most when working on an email marketing campaign, it’s landing in spam folders. This means not only failing to reach customers with the message, but also negatively impacts future campaigns. We’ve gathered a few tips here about how to make your emails spam-proof. For further reading, check out our blog post: 7 Reasons Why Your Emails Hit Promo or Spam Folders (and What to Do About It)
When was the last time you cleaned up your mailing list? It can hurt to see that, even though overall your list is growing, there are always some people who don’t want to hear from you anymore. Don’t take it personally: it’s better for both parties.
Make sure to regularly erase from your list all the email addresses of those who unsubscribed or resulted in a hard bounce. This way, you will only send emails to addresses that are correct and whose owners are willing to receive your messages. Also, check for users who haven’t opened your emails in a long time, and think about sending a separate campaign to them.
Have you got a suddenly growing number of newsletter subscribers, or a creative period and tons of ideas? Make sure you take into account your sending volume. A large spike in the number of emails sent is a trigger for spam filters, which is why you should avoid situations when you jump from, say, 10k to 100k emails per day.
If you want to increase your sending volume, do it gradually and over time. The stage of warming up your IPs and domain is crucial. If you want to learn more about this, take a look at our article: How to warm up your IPs and domain.
Spam filters can be triggered by some really innocent moves. Mentioning certain words, long and suspicious links, or misuse of punctuation and uppercase letters can mark your message as spam. To learn what to avoid, look not only for best practices but also negative examples: misleading sender names or phrases like “special promotion”, “win $200” or “this is not spam” can trigger filters.
Your design and copy are responsible for the way you transmit your message – and even little details can bring big changes.
In 2019, 42% of emails were opened on mobiles compared to 18% on desktops. That means you have to keep mobile device requirements in mind when preparing your campaign. From planning out the copy to adjusting text length and images, double-check a mobile preview before hitting the Send button.
Email campaigns open tons of opportunities for A/B testing. From different subject and preview lines to CTA buttons, you can pick those solutions that work best for your target audience. Usually you send out two versions of the message to part of your audience list, and then the best performing version to the other recipients.
Subject lines can make or break your open rate. Make sure to keep them concise (aim for 30-50 characters) so that mobile devices don’t cut them in half. Your subject line should let readers know what to expect in the email, but at the same time make them want to learn more.
Designing content with accessibility principles in mind can be a game-changer for your readers. Did you know that 15% of the World’s population has dyslexia? Add to that color vision deficiency (1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women) and other impairments, and it adds up to a fair percentage of your target group.
Accessibility supports not only people with disabilities. When under time pressure, stress, or in other more demanding situations, any reader may have a higher cognitive load – and you don’t want to add to that. Keep your copy and design understandable and simple.
Alt-text is closely related to accessibility, yet it’s still worth highlighting their importance. If someone has a screen reader for using their PC or smartphone, alternative text allows them to know what was shown by a given picture. Also, if an image doesn’t load because of a poor network connection or when the user doesn’t want to display them, the message portrayed by the image won’t be lost.
Asking for feedback before you send your campaign can save you a lot of trouble. From innocent misspelled words to links that don’t work well, there are many details that can slip through the cracks.
Apart from looking at your emails with fresh eyes, showing them to someone who hasn’t worked on them can give you important feedback. Check if your message is clear, easy to understand, and what points can be improved. Also, if there are any mistakes, they will be easier for another person who wasn’t the writer to spot.
Anyone can get stuck on a task. If you need some inspiring examples of different email campaigns, head to ReallyGoodEmails. They give you more than just a set of screenshots - you can also access detailed analysis of email accessibility. Plus, seeing the code behind each message can help you work on your own emails.
Last but not least, your messages have to make business sense. Here, you’ll find tips that will help you get the most out of each email you send.
Your email marketing shouldn’t work alone: there are many more elements that need to be combined. Align those actions with content marketing, landing pages, social media activities, and other areas that your team works on.
Apart from coordinating these actions, think about aligning your emails with the landing pages they lead to. Look for design, headers, and calls to action. This way, your readers won’t be negatively surprised when visiting your site.
If you’re still using a “firstname.lastname@example.org” email address or include a “please, don’t reply to this message” in your signature, it’s high time to rethink your email marketing strategy. Emailing is a two-way street, and you should at least let your readers reply to you – if not even encourage them to do so!
Replies can have various benefits for you: from getting in touch with your customers to increased engagement improving your sender reputation. This reflects on your deliverability and decreases the chances of landing in spam.
Your email campaigns should work for your business goals. However, attempting to realize all of them in one message will cause chaos. Try to pick the most important goal for a given message. This will also help you evaluate the effectiveness of your campaigns.
If you send the same message to all of your recipients, you probably don’t make the most of your mailing lists. You should gather email addresses according to various touchpoints: with gated content, for webinars, or from pop-ups.
When you want to upgrade your mailing game, think about differentiating your campaigns for these groups and adjust them to your various target audiences. As a result, you will be able to better resonate with their needs and increase the likelihood of accomplishing your business goals.
And go beyond “Hi, First name!”. Email is a very personal communication channel, so sending out a generic message can just feel awkward. Think about possible ways to individualize your emails. For example, if you run an e-commerce business, recommend products based on what a reader has looked for or bought.
Identifying the right moment when your readers are more likely to read your messages takes some time, but can impact your open and click-through rates. In some cases, you need to know immediately whether or not your email was opened and the links clicked on – for example, when you message an important lead. Coresender can notify you about all events related to your emails via webhooks. You can use them to update CRM information or receive a notification on a Slack channel each time a customer opens your email.
Nailing your emails is hard work and requires time for tests and trials. Don’t expect to get everything right at once; it’s work in progress. By keeping your eyes open for inspiration, your target audience’s needs, and new ideas you’ll notice the improved results in your KPIs.
If you struggle with more technical aspects of your emails like ensuring deliverability, working on your sender reputation, or having flexible sender volumes that deal with spikes, take a look at Coresender. It’s an in-cloud SMTP server that gives you access to reliable IP addresses and advanced analytics. This way, you can focus on mastering your email messages and then be sure they reached the intended recipients.