Email marketing is one of the best ways to reach your target audience. Their inbox is a personal space, which is curated to their specific needs and wants. Build a relationship, send targeted messages, and prompt consistent brand consideration – here are our 15 tips for EDM best practice.
15 steps to success in email marketing
1 – Understand your audience: What are their key focus areas?
How and when does the audience want to be contacted? Consider their focus areas and ensure the content fits these needs. Make it relevant through messaging, content, and related imagery – an EDM without a strong drawcard for the audience is hardly worth the effort.
2 – A/B testing
Utilise the benefits of A/B testing to better target and build EDMs. Test one element of an email at a time, whether it be an image, subject line, slang/terminology, or send time to determine what works.
3 – Maintain clear and consistent emails
Make it easy for your audience. A clear and consistent email layout includes the below:
- Your business logo at the top of the email (linking back to your website).
- Distinguishable brand colours throughout.
- A juicy subject line of 3-5 words.
- Short and sweet is the key – build a concise email with a clear CTA (Call to Action).
- Personalise the introduction line with the receiver’s name and/or company name.
- Choose 2-4 images or product offers per email. Don’t crowd it with too many choices.
- Insert a footer with the staff member’s name, contact information, location and links to the company website and socials.
4 – Have email purposes outlined before email development
What is your goal for the EDM? This may include building a robust open rate to engage with the audience on a brand level, which is particularly strong with product updates and new offers. Alternatively, click through rate may be important as it prompts sales and additional time spent on site. A higher click-through rate is triggered when sharing discount codes, special offers and package deals.
5 – Personalise, personalise, personalise
As humans, we love to feel special and unique. Insert variables for the recipients’ “First name” and “company name” in the introduction line to build relationships.
6 – Use holidays or seasons for content
Increase relevance through utilising the seasons as talking points for content. Use custom templates and build seasonal product collections or offerings – i.e. outdoor themes for summer. If relevant, integrate holiday themes and noted events, like Christmas, Black Friday, or various long weekends.
7 – Don’t bombard recipients
This is crucial for your EDM strategy. Remember, your audience list is a precious business asset and should be treated as such. Designate a monthly contact limit – generally, 1-3 times a month, depending on the industry and messaging. Focus on quality content over frequency to minimise unsubscribes and angered recipients.
8 – Research the best times to enter an email box
As a general rule of thumb, Tuesdays are a good time to send an email. This follows the Monday inbox purge of weekend content. It varies between industry and audience, but mid-morning is often ideal as the day is still fresh and initial emails have been cleared. Research this for yourself using previous experience and A/B testing.
9 – Reward customers that open your emails frequently
Establish specific audience segments based on EDM action and responsiveness. For those with a high click-through rate history, consider offering them Early Bird access to sales or other forms of incentives and rewards.
10 – Review your website landing pages
If click-through conversions are low, it could be that your landing page callouts aren’t strong enough, and the user experience needs to be simplified. Ensure the most popular products are featured on the website landing page, which may be updated seasonally to include the latest or most relevant offerings. This step helps increase click-through conversions.
11 – Segment email lists
Consider segmenting your email lists further to enhance messaging relevance and steer particular offerings to specific groups. Their interests, pricing or location, may determine this. You may also create a “VIP Customer” list that rewards your highest spenders and most active customers.
12 – Always insert an unsubscribe link
Ensure an unsubscribe link is always included at the bottom of your email or the footer.
13 – Clean up your email list
While the goal is to build an extensive database, it is also important to keep it relevant and make sure recipients are active. If many recipients don’t engage with your emails, this can harm your delivery rates and signal to ISPS that you’re sending SPAM. After two months, if a recipient has not replied or opened, remove them from your email list. Make a note to action this process every quarter.
14 – Make sure your emails render correctly across web browsers
Having poorly formatted emails or unreadable content will instantly flag you as SPAM. Depending on the recipient’s browser and inbox provider (Gmail, Outlook etc.), the emails may not render correctly. Test this with various tools, including Litmus.
15 – Target recipients across channels
Consider running campaigns across channels such as Google, Facebook, and Instagram to build up touchpoints with customers and become front of mind. A consistent message across all platforms, including email, helps position the brand as an expert or go-to.
Brand voice is key for email marketing
Your email copy should have a clear and consistent brand voice. Use similar language throughout your emails and other messaging to further the brand persona and connection with your audience. An email is another form of communication and conversation – one that can award great benefits if actioned strategically and appropriately.
Warding off SPAM labels
Follow these tips to help keep your communication out of the SPAM folder and safely in your audience’s inbox:
- Vary the number of emails you send. Segment your audience to help action this, so you may send to one group of customers on a Monday (say, 5,000 recipients) and another on Friday (e.g. 10,000 recipients). Sending a large quantity in one go may notify ISPS.
- Make sure you have at least 2 IP addresses for 20,000/day email sends.
- Warm up your IP address so that it isn’t flagged. The process may look like: Day 1 – 50 emails; Day 2 – 100 emails; Day 3 – 500 emails; Day 4 – 1,000 emails etc.
- Be aware of the General Data Protection Act. GDPR is a regime of personal data protection requirements adopted by the European parliament, which regulates “personal data”. Simply put: ensure you have a lawful basis for processing personal data and ensure that is outlined in the email.
- Research words that trigger SPAM such as “clearance,” “buy now”, etc.
While there are many considerations, EDMs are not as scary as they look. A little initial effort goes a long way in bolstering relationships and facilitating crucial brand-consumer communication. Use email marketing to your advantage and add value to the overall customer experience.