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10 Essential Email Marketing Best Practices

Lindsay Tjepkema
Lindsay Tjepkema , Marketing Director, Americas , Emarsys

In order to generate leads and conversions for your business and get the most out of your email marketing strategy, it starts with the basics. Below we have outlined several best practices and tips, compiled from multiple Emarsys resources, to help you make the most of your email campaigns.

10 Best Practices for Email Marketing

Following these email marketing best practices will help solidify the foundation of your marketing efforts and the returns will be substantial.

1. Fixing Your Deliverability Issues

You may experience email deliverability issues for several reasons, some of the most common we’ve seen including:

• Your emails are going to spam folders.
• You have engagement issues.
• You are sending to spam traps.
• Your contacts are complaining about unwanted emails.
• You have content-related spam scoring.

When applying solutions to fix these issues, it’s important to keep in mind that significant improvements may not happen overnight. It will likely take time and dedication before they produce noticeable results; however, it will eventually be worth that effort.

2. Writing a Good Subject Line

Subject lines directly impact both email deliverability and open rates, which is why crafting a solid subject line is essential. Not only will a bad subject line get you ignored by the recipient, it can also lead to your email being marked as spam, or even blocked. On the other hand, a good subject line will ensure your mail gets through to the recipient, and improves your open rates.

3. Avoid Known Spam Keywords

There are certain words that you should avoid using in your subject line (urgent, win, free, deal, bargain, etc.) since they have been known to contribute to spam scores. Don’t try to camouflage these words by joining them together or splitting them in two, as spam filters are pretty intelligent and will pick up on this.

4. The Importance of Multipart Messages

Both HTML and text versions of your emails should be sent simultaneously. It is important to send multipart messages with both content types, because spam filters expect it. Some email clients don’t recognize HTML, some people simply prefer plain text emails and it guarantees that all recipients can read your emails. With the Emarsys email marketing software, a text version is automatically generated and sent for template-based email campaigns.

While most marketers tend to focus more on the HTML versions of their email campaigns, the text version is also a key part of improving deliverability rates.

5. Focus on Personalizing Your Emails

Reaching out to customers via email can be an easy way to speak directly to them and create 1-to-1 interactions. These interactions make customers more comfortable with your brand, enhance the experience, and increases the chance of the email being a success.

6. Email Messages – Size Matters

The size of your email content matters! Making it too large will slow down the load time and launch of your campaign, impacting deliverability. So, how big is too big? There is no one-size-fits-all solution here, because it’s difficult to measure in any CMS, and deliverability is strongly influenced by reputation. Typically, we recommend anything less than 300KB for the best deliverability rates.

7. Phishing Links

If you didn’t already know, phishing links are something that fraudsters use to trick people into giving them access to passwords / credentials. Since these types of links are strictly filtered out by email clients, it’s important to make sure that your email does not include any content that could be mistaken for malicious.

8. List-Unsubscribe Options

Listing unsubscribe options allows email clients to let contacts unsubscribe from an email campaign, without having to click a link in the email. By including this tag in the header, clients can display their own unsubscribe button at the top of their emails.

9. Guidelines for Opt-In Texts

Make it clear what the contact is subscribing to, and how they can easily opt out. This is one of the most important and easiest ways for you to build trust with your customers and increase your opt-in rate.

10. Avoid ‘Role’ Email Addresses

These are the admin email accounts that companies use to collect incoming emails that should be handled by a group or department (For example: support@, admin@, etc.) Take precautions to make sure you do not unwittingly send marketing emails to role addresses.

11. Segment Your Audience with Data

Segmenting your audience is a form of personalziation, and it shows its value with email marketing. There was a time when marketers would use a template for their email efforts, sending everyone the same message at the same time.

12. Integrate Your Email Marketing with Social Strategy

The purpose of connecting your social and email marketing strategies is to extend your brands reach and unify your voice. Promoting your social networks within your emails and letting your social media followers know about the content, company information, and exclusive offers they’ll gain access to by signing up for your email newsletter will increase awareness in the same way.

13. Analyze Past Campaigns

Being aware of what has worked and what hasn’t worked in the past can help guide your future campaigns. This is another example of the advantages that data and segmenting your audience can provide. You can avoid repeating mistakes, and identifying successful strategies will become a breeze.

14. Ask for Customer Feedback

The easiest way to find out how the customer is feeling about you and your brand or how they are responding to your strategies is to ask them directly. Incentivizing their participation might be necessary, but that will only help your email marketing efforts.

15. Provide Coupons or Exclusive Deals to Subscribers

Every customer wants to feel unique and valued by the brands that they choose to interact with. Don’t underestimate the power of exclusive offers. Incentivizing their subscription will increase the chances of them sticking around as a customer, and it will give them a reason to spread the word to friends, thus expanding your reach.

Additional Email Marketing Resources

Want to read more about how you can improve your email marketing campaigns? Be sure to check out some of the related articles listed below.

Final Thoughts

By considering these email best practices, you have gained some insights on how to make your email marketing campaigns more successful moving forward. There is no one-size-fits-all formula for successful email marketing, but these best practices should be useful for brands that are working to improve their results.