Best practices for successful email marketing

Done right, email marketing builds and strengthens your relationship with your customers. Imagine your subscribers opening your emails and sharing them with their friends. Imagine people responding to your email campaigns. Achieving high email open and response rates comes down to following a few email best practices and consistently providing engaging and valuable content to your subscribers. Let’s take a look at several email marketing best practices and how you can put them to work.

Enrollment process – setting expectations

The signup process sets the stage for your relationship with your subscribers. Get this right and people will look for your email, get this wrong, and your mail won’t be opened. This means starting the process by clearly stating what your subscribers should expect from you. This sounds basic, and it is, but the web is still full of bad examples in this area. The registration form should make it clear what you are sending and when and how often. When a person signs up, they should be shown a thank you page that tells them what to expect next.

Whether participation is required or not

Opt-in as an additional step that takes place between the person’s registration and becoming an official subscriber. Opt-in is to make sure the person receiving your email actually wants it. Churches need something like this to prevent people from signing others up trying to preach to other people in an annoying way. For most companies, this really isn’t worth the effort. It is also important that your email has a way to unsubscribe from your list. The best practice is to place a link at the bottom of the email that will be removed from the list.

From and Subject lines

Think about what you do when you open your email program. You check the list of messages in your mailbox and based on the sender or subject line of the email, some messages are opened immediately and some are not. An email marketing best practice is to include in square brackets [ ] identifier that all your email subject lines contain. This makes it easy for your subscribers to recognize your e-mails and also to create e-mail filtering rules so that your e-mails are seen and opened.

Finding out what works and what doesn’t

To figure out what is working and what isn’t, you need to be clear about your goals and measure and track progress toward your goals. Email marketing can be a powerful engine for your business growth, and it all starts with a great email marketing strategy and the right email marketing software. (I’ve been using AWeber marketing email software) for years because it has a lot of must-have features and makes life easy.) It pays to measure which email subject lines work and which ones don’t. You should measure your email response rates – how many click through to your website, etc. The right software makes this easy.

The secret to a healthy subscriber list that opens and reads your emails is to deliver predictably great content. Ask your subscribers for feedback. Over time, when you deliver valuable content in the form of engaging information that your subscribers expect to receive, you build important relationships with your subscribers. Your subscribers will be happy to tell you what they want to hear more about and just as importantly – what they don’t like about what you’re doing. Ask and listen to your subscribers’ feedback.

Email marketing is a powerful tool that many businesses use to increase sales and leads. Using these email marketing best practices as a starting point, take a moment to review your current email marketing campaign or start thinking about how email marketing can help you reach your audience and add value to your business.

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