Email marketing is an important tool in your digital marketing toolkit and it’s important to understand the email marketing do’s and the email marketing dont’s.
Not only is it continuing to grow in popularity, but it’s powerful. About 92 percent of online adults use email, and about 61 percent of consumers prefer to be contacted by brands through email.
Simply put, email marketing refers to businesses sending emails to potential or existing customers to encourage those recipients to take action or engage with the sender in a way that generates sales or leads to new potential customers.
Email marketing is still the most cost-effective way to reach a large number of people with a single click.
The following are 11 do’s and don’ts of email marketing to help your business be more successful from the start.
The email marketing do’s
The email marketing do’s are all the things you should do to maximize your email marketing efforts.
Do set goals
Just like with any digital marketing tactic, you should ask yourself what you’re hoping to achieve. Some common goals tied to email marketing include (but are not limited to):
- Increasing engagement
- Delivering value to existing customers and subscribers
- Re-engaging with inactive customers and subscribers
- Acquiring new subscribers
- Generating sales
Setting various goals (both small and big) can help you stay focused across the different email marketing campaigns you’re creating. Just make sure that you’re clear on how you measure success.
Dive deeper with our seven expert tips on setting achievable marketing goals.
Do determine who will receive your email
It’s imperative that you determine who you want to reach with your email marketing campaign as you’re creating your email marketing campaign.
Are you encouraging past customers who haven’t purchased from you in months to return? Are you introducing yourself to new leads?
Audience segmentation, available with DailyStory, is a great way to group up your contact list in such a way where you can best focus your message to the right people based on the data that you have about them.
If you’re still building up your contact list beyond your customer database, check out our 12 strategies to capture more email leads.
Do decide what type of email you’re sending
Likely, the type of email you’re creating and sending is tied to the goals you’re striving for and the recipients you’re targeting, but it’s key nonetheless to be aware as you create.
Be specific with the point of your email. No email should have everything plus the kitchen sink thrown into it. You’ll lose interest and risk losing subscribers as well.
Are you creating a newsletter touting updates about your business, products and/or services? Perhaps you specifically want to promote new services and products. Are you offering a special sale? You could be welcoming new subscribers to your list. Whatever it is, keep the focus there, and know that extra, unrelated information can always become a separate, new email in the future.
The best practice is to keep each email as focused, direct and short as possible.
Do use technology to your advantage
These tools will help you send the most effective promotional emails, target those emails by demographics (and other contact characteristics or behaviors) and best understand what is working and what isn’t with your email marketing campaigns.
Personalization especially can humanize your message in a way that not only catches your audience’s attention but persuades them to act.
Leveraging the power of DailyStory and all its features is a great way to take advantage of the technology available to you.
Do create eye-catching subject lines
Email subject lines are the first thing a recipient will likely see when your email reaches their inbox. And what they see can make or break your email marketing campaign.
You want your subject line to attract their attention and interest so that they will open your email and continue reading (and potentially taking action).
Ideally, your email subject lines are short (between 40 and 50 characters long), straightforward and personalized (with their first name or something else).
Check out our 12 tips for email subject lines that won’t get ignored.
Do test before you send
No matter what email designer tool you’re using, it’s imperative to not only preview the email but to send a test email to yourself (and a few additional colleagues if possible). Of course, don’t just open the email on a computer, make sure to open on a mobile device as well.
By doing so, you’ll better catch any typos, broken and/or missing links, mis-sized images and more.
Without testing, you risk sending out an email that looks unprofessional and loses the trust of your customers and subscribers.
The email marketing don’ts
The email marketing don’ts are the things to avoid to ensure your emails stay out of the junk folder and get high open and click rates.
Don’t bombard your subscribers
Because it can be so easy to send an email to so many, it also can be easy to overdo it. Sending too many emails will not only turn off your subscribers, but it could get your emails a one-way ticket to spam folders and even drive subscribers to unsubscribe.
Use a content calendar or other scheduling tool to understand the pacing of your emails, as well as when any might overlap or are too close. You’ll get some flexibility by segmenting your audience since not all contacts will receive all emails, but you still need to make sure that you’re not overwhelming anyone with your messaging.
Waiting a minimum of three days is good, but keep an eye on your email marketing analytics. Everyone’s audience is different, so your metrics will show you what’s best for your email frequency. (In particular, look for an increase in opt-outs tied to your sending frequency.)
Don’t overuse images
Mobile devices account for at least 50 percent of all read emails. So, keep in mind the mobile experience.
For example, because of data usage limits, some consumers disable email images on their phones. If your email is using a lot of images to convey information, that experience might be very broken for the mobile user.
Images also can take a long time to load, and you could lose your recipient’s interest as they wait.
Visuals are still great to use in emails. In fact, check out these six ways visuals can increase your email conversions. You just want to use them strategically and with mobile in mind.
Don’t forget a call to action
With all the time and effort you invest into creating an email, don’t forget to tell recipients what to do next.
Call to actions can be as simple as clicking a link to your website, forwarding your email to a friend and so much more.
Keep it simple and make it easy for the recipient to do.
Don’t leave out a physical address on your email
Including your physical address in the footer of your email helps build trust with your subscribers, but more importantly, it’s the law.
Fortunately, you can use a valid P.O. Box instead of your home address if necessary.
Learn more about the legalities of email marketing and what you should know.
No legitimate business wants to appear spammy to its email subscribers, but it can happen without proper planning and execution of your email marketing campaign.
Spam is unsolicited, overly promotional email that’s not only unexpected but also can be unwanted.
Spammy keywords (such as “make money”), too many links, over capitalization, too many images and so on can flag spam filters in various email clients. If you’re not flagged, you could be manually flagged as spam by your email recipient.
Make sure that the content you’re sending is wanted, needed and formatted appropriately.
Learn more about what happens if your subscribers mark your email as spam.
The power of your email marketing is a result of your overall strategy, as well as how direct yet human you can be in your messaging. Remember that your subscribers are people, not just dollar signs. Before sending out any email, ask yourself if the content would compel you to take action.
Check out our 16 email marketing best practices that can help you make an impact.