Best practices in email marketing

Best practices in email marketing

At the dawn of the internet era, it was a big deal to get notification that there was a message in your inbox. We've come a long way since, but email is still a very important and effective way for marketers to reach their target audience. Done strategically, email marketing can be an approach that stands out above the din and clutter of social media and online advertisements.

Components of email marketing

With all the changes in cyber space and more to come, going back to basics and building an email campaign fresh is well worth it. In doing so, the following are 9 components that an email marketing campaign should incorporate and optimize for best results:

1) Subject line
This is what a recipient sees first and what will determine whether a recipient will open your email or not. A subject line that is optimized will win the day. Optimization is done by keeping it relevant and personalized and has action proposals that will prompt a reaction of opening the email to follow through with the action. This would be phrases like 'save time with...', 'open now for....', 'claim your free...', 'download...now and save' or questions like 'ready to...' or 'searching for...' that will make a reader want to open the email.

2) Sender's name
Another thing a recipient will see before opening an email is the sender's name. Optimizing the sender name you choose and being consistent will help your readers identify you and build a relationship of trust with you. You can choose to send emails with your name, as a marketer, CEO, expert in a particular field or other identity that is most relevant.

3) Personalized emails
Emails must be relevant. One way to keep it real and relevant is by segmenting the audience with demographics. Include statistics and research findings to show readers you understand their particular lifestyle, gender, age group, challenges and concerns and that your goal is to offer a solution. Also, get personal by reminding readers of other challenges you helped them overcome, products they've purchased before, and other virtual journeys you've taken together.

4) Body
Browsers don't linger long on emails so they have to grab their attention right from the top. The tone, language, and layout has to be just right. Keep sentences short and interesting. Break up blocks of texts with bullet points and subheadings so readers can quickly skim through, get the gist, and then go back and read the email from the top. Also, introduce your value proposition right at the top, and then get to breaking it down.

5) Illustrate your points
An image that is funny, artistically captivating or that illustrates points clearly like a pie chart or graph can prompt a reader to get into the content. Images can also drive the points home. Optimize them by ensuring they are relevant to the content and that they have visual appeal.

6) Include a call to action
The goal is to get your target audience to convert, which makes a call to action very important. Optimize it with the primary action that you want your readers to complete. Put the call somewhere prominent on the page and make it easy to complete the action with a button or link to click on. Optimize the language too with words like 'get it now', 'claim yours today' and other words that prompt immediate action.

7) Links to social media
You always want your readers to share content on social media for more leads. Do this by having links to your social media pages. Give readers as many options as possible, so include links to Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms. Optimizing the meta description of your landing pages also works because this is what will be seen as people share links to these pages.

8) Include an unsubscribe link
You have to do this one because it is a requirement by law and also because you need to know that your readers are interested in what you are sending. If they aren't, they have to be able to unsubscribe. This will also give you accurate open and click-through rates since they will only include those who are interested. You can also try to get a reader to stay, give you a reason why they are leaving, and engage with you on social media channels.

9) Mobile optimization
A lot of readers will be reading email on their smartphone or other mobile device and you want them to be able to do it without any problems. Have a design that is optimized for mobile devices. You can use mobile-optimized templates or have a designer come up with a design that plays up important elements like the subject line and sender names so that they grab attention.

Still on design

While on the subject of design, it is important that three important aspects are adhered to:

a) emails whose width does not exceed 600 pixels
b) logo placement at the top left corner where the eyes go first
c) a call-to-action that is placed near the top, which gets 84% more attention.

Doing it on auto

You will most likely keep using newsletters and sending marketing emails, so automating it will make it easier for you to keep up. Today, this is mainly done with automated email campaigns that are based on what a user is doing online. It is personalized and therefore very relevant to individual users, which greatly improves chances of better conversion rates. Automation makes it easier to reach the right person with the right message at the right time.


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