Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach out to potential and current customers.
However, in order to make sure that your email marketing campaigns are successful, you need to abide by some best practices.
In this article, we’ve compiled the most important small business email best practices, so let’s get started.
Why Email Marketing?
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach out to potential and current customers.
And email marketing campaigns offer a number of advantages over other forms of advertising, such as television, radio, or print.
Some of these advantages include:
Ease of use: Email marketing can be easily implemented into your existing marketing strategy.
Cost-effective: Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your target audience.
Personalization: You can personalize your email messages to make them more relevant to each recipient.
Targeting: You can target your messages to specific individuals or groups.
Email marketing best practices
The success of any business today depends on its ability to generate leads and then convert those leads into paying customers.
And while there are a number of ways to generate leads, one of the most effective (and affordable) methods is email marketing.
Email marketing is a great way to quickly and easily send your message to a lot of people. You can see what is working and what is not with email marketing by tracking the results of your campaign.
But while email marketing can be an extremely effective tool, there are a few best practices you should keep in mind to ensure your campaign is successful.
Start with a Strategy when it comes to email best practices
Knowing your audience is the first and most important step in starting an email marketing campaign.
You need to go beyond just demographics and ask yourself how and when they prefer communication, what language resonates with them, and what distinguishes them from others.
The beauty of email marketing is that you can make changes over time based on the data you collect about your audience.
As anyone in business knows, it’s important to constantly test and experiment in order to find what works best.
This is especially true when it comes to email marketing.
From subject lines to calls to action (CTAs), every element of your email should be tested in order to see what resonates most with your audience.
However, it’s important to keep a few things in mind when conducting these tests.
First, make sure you’re only testing one element at a time; otherwise, your results will be inconclusive.
Second, ensure you have a large enough sample size for your testing. And finally, once you find a winning element, move on to the next test.
Remember, your product and your audience are always changing, so there’s never a finish line when it comes to testing.
Set yourself up for success on your next email marketing campaign by creating a checklist of all the important steps you need to consider before pressing send.
Compile a simple checklist that you can reference, for a seamless sending experience every time.
One of the most important steps is to test your email before sending, which gives you a chance to identify any rendering issues, typos, broken links, and potentially spammy elements.
If your recipients can’t see or read your email, they can’t engage, which can have lasting consequences, especially on your sender’s reputation.
That’s why it’s essential to follow a pre-send checklist before every email campaign.
By doing so, you can avoid these common mistakes and give yourself the best chance for success.
Resource: If you are a Plus or above member of zindolabs.com, we’ve created a checklist for you. it can be found in your ClickUp Workspace.
Write engaging email copy
When it comes to email copy, the best way to engage your readers is to establish a clear and distinct personality.
Your emails should provide value and a clear, actionable message while also integrating well with your CTA.
However, it’s also important to focus on creating emails that your subscribers will actually want to read.
While sales emails should be included in your campaign, they should only make up for around 1 out of every 4 emails you send.
The rest of your content should be valuable and engaging, without feeling like you’re trying to push a sale.
Remember, the goal is to create happy, engaged customers who will buy from you again and again.
Plan ahead for special days
The holiday season is upon us again, and that means it’s time to start thinking about your email marketing strategy.
With so much competition for attention during the holidays, it’s more important than ever to make sure your messages stand out from the crowded inbox.
One way to do this is to offer subscribers the option to opt into holiday email communications when they update their preference centers.
This way, you can be sure that only those who actually want to receive your holiday emails will be getting them.
So as you plan out your content calendar, make sure you’ve scheduled appropriate emails to take advantage of the possible sales opportunities.
Use storytelling to build trust
In business, one of the most important things you can do is build trust. And one of the best ways to build trust is through storytelling.
Stories bypass the logic of the human mind and form deep relationships using emotion.
A recent report shows that people are 22 times more likely to remember things when they’re woven through a story.
Successful brands use stories to develop a solid link between themselves and their consumers. It also increases loyalty, retention, and, most importantly, trust.
Stories should be personal, funny, and relatable to help humanize the brand.
So if you want to effectively engage and convert clients, start using storytelling as part of your content marketing strategy.
Trust me, it’ll make all the difference.
Use high-quality visuals
The famous entrepreneur, salesman, and author, Grant Cardone once said “If you’re not doing video, you’re not in business. Period”.
This is because, in 2020, people are more likely to engage with a visual that captures their attention for just a few seconds than read an entire page of text.
When creating visuals for your e-newsletter, it is important to use high-quality images that are relevant to the content you are trying to communicate.
In addition, make sure your visuals are consistent with your brand’s colors, styles, and overall aesthetic.
By using high-quality visuals, you will be able to create emotional connections with your subscribers and strengthen your email copy.
However, it is important to be cautious when using visuals as they can influence the tone of your email.
Therefore, only use visuals that are relevant to the content of your email, and be sure to add ALT text to all images in case the page fails to load.
Personalize your email campaigns
Your potential customers are constantly being bombarded by generic email content that offers nothing of value.
In order to stand out from the clutter, you need to personalize your email campaigns.
This means tailoring the content, subject line, and call to action to the specific needs and interests of your target audience.
When done correctly, personalization can dramatically improve your click-through rates and convert more prospects into customers.
You must also utilize dynamic content and provide a unique customer experience based on users who enter your information in an online form.
Ultimately, these personalized experiences will result in increased ROI for your business.
If you’re not personalizing your emails, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to connect with your customers on a deeper level.
So start using personalization in your email campaigns today! Your customers will thank you for it.
Optimize the preview text to enhance the subject line
The subject line of your email is not the only thing that can determine whether someone opens it or not.
The preview text, which is the small bit of text that appears next to the sender’s name in most inboxes, can also have a significant impact on whether your message gets read.
And yet, many marketers don’t take the time to optimize their preview text. As a result, they’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to improve their open rates.
So what can you do to ensure that your preview text is working hard for you?
First, take advantage of preheader text, which is the text that appears at the top of an email message after the subject line.
Preheader text can be used to provide additional context for your subject line or to provide a teaser for what’s inside the email.
Second, make sure that your preview text is relevant to your audience and reflective of the content of your email.
Don’t just restate your subject line; use this space to give recipients a taste of what’s to come.
Experiment and deliver your email marketing campaigns at the right time
If you want to get more people to open your emails, you need to experiment with the day and time that you send them.
Although some sources will tell you that Tuesday mornings are the best time to send an email, the truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
The best way to determine when to send your emails is to experiment with different days and times and see when you get the best results.
Of course, even if you find the perfect day and time to send your emails, there’s no guarantee that your recipients will actually read them.
To further increase your chances of getting people to read your emails, make sure that your subject lines are interesting and informative.
Establish the appropriate email frequency
No one likes getting spam messages, especially when it’s from a company or service that you’re subscribed to.
So, how can you make sure that your subscribers don’t get sick of your emails and unsubscribe?
By establishing the appropriate email frequency, of course!
The optimum frequency of opening email messages is 2-5 per month.
This may seem like a low number, but it’s actually the perfect amount to keep your subscribers engaged without bombarding them with too much information.
Too many emails can be overwhelming, while too few can make it easy to forget that you’re even subscribed to a certain service.
So, try sending out 2-5 emails per month and see how your subscribers respond, then adjust accordingly. With any luck, you’ll find the perfect balance for your subscribers and sales!
Create an email drip campaign (onboarding)
If you want to be successful with e-mail marketing, you need to automate your process.
This means setting up a drip campaign that will send out a series of emails to your subscribers on a regular basis.
A drip campaign can be very effective in terms of keeping people interested in your product or service, and it can also help to convert new subscribers into paying customers.
However, it’s important to note that a drip campaign is not the same as spamming people with emails.
In a drip campaign, you are sending out relevant information and offers to people who have opted in to receive your emails.
This means that they are interested in what you have to say and are more likely to convert into paying customers.
So, if you’re looking for some great examples of drip campaigns, the famous Welcome Drip Campaign from Amazon is a great place to start.
Another great example is Grant Cardone’s 10X email drip campaign, which offers valuable tips and advice for entrepreneurs.
Use the curiosity gap in your subject lines
The curiosity gap is a psychological principle that posits that people are more likely to engage with something—like an email subject line—if they perceive a gap in their knowledge.
In other words, we’re more likely to click on an email (or any other piece of content) if we’re curious about what it contains.
And while this may seem like common sense, it’s actually a fairly new concept in the world of marketing.
The term “curiosity gap” was first coined by marketer and best-selling author Joe Pulizzi and it’s since been popularized by marketers like Seth Godin and HubSpot.
The idea is simple: If you want people to pay attention to your message, don’t give them all the information upfront—instead, pique their curiosity and entice them to click through for more.
One of the best ways to do this is to use the curiosity gap in your email subject lines.
Asking a question or making a bold statement in your subject line is a great way to get people to open your email, but be sure not to give away too much information—you want to leave them wanting more.
For example, rather than writing a subject line like “Here’s our latest blog post,” try something more mysterious like “Can you guess what this blog post is about?”
This will entice people to open your email to find out, and once they’re in, you can provide even more valuable information.
So next time you’re crafting an email campaign, keep the curiosity gap in mind—it could be just the thing you need to boost your open rates and get more people engaging with your content.
Segment your email list
When you have a product or service to promote, it is important to reach the right target audience with a message that resonates.
To do this, you need to segment your email list.
Segmentation allows you to send targeted messages to different groups of subscribers based on their needs and preferences.
This helps to ensure that your message gets through to the people who are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer.
Segmentation can be based on factors such as gender, location, lifestyle, and purchase preferences.
By segmenting your email list, you can make sure that your message reaches the people who are most likely to be interested in it.
This will help you to boost your sales and build your business.
Allow your audience to unsubscribe easily
As any online marketer knows, maintaining a healthy email list is essential to success.
But even when you’re sending great content, there will always be some users who want to unsubscribe.
That’s why it’s important to make sure that your unsubscribe process is as easy and effortless as possible.
The required way to do this is to include an unsubscribe link in the email. You’ll typically see it near the Email address in the footer of your email, which most email clients will add automatically.
And unsubscribing should be quick and effortless – no long forms to fill out or hoops to jump through.
Just a simple click and they’re unsubscribed.
Of course, you can always create your own email designs, and in that case, you’ll need to include an unsubscribe link.
But however you do it, just remember – making it easy for people to unsubscribe is actually a good thing, because it helps you keep your list clean and relevant.
Build your own list
There’s no doubt that email lists are a critical part of any email marketing campaign. But with the GDPR now in effect, it’s more important than ever to make sure your list is healthy and compliant.
Healthy open rates are key to avoiding penalties, and a good way to ensure this is to build your list yourself.
This way you can be sure that everyone on your list has opted in and wants to receive your emails.
Building a list from scratch can be time-consuming, but it’s worth it in the long run.
You can create a powerful marketing tool to help you achieve your business goals with a little effort.
Use double opt-in
As an email marketer, you want to make sure that you’re using the best possible strategies to reach and engage your target audience.
When it comes to email marketing, one of the best things you can do is use a double opt-in approach.
This means that after someone subscribes to your list, they will receive an email prompting them to confirm their subscription.
This may seem like an extra step, but it’s actually incredibly important.
Not only does it ensure that people are actually interested in receiving your emails, but it also helps improve deliverability.
After all, if someone doesn’t confirm their subscription, there’s a good chance that your emails will end up in their spam folder.
So if you’re looking to create a high-quality email list, be sure to use a double opt-in approach.
Have clear CTAs
As email marketers, it’s important that you make it as easy as possible for your subscribers to take the action you want them to.
This means creating a clear call to action (CTA) that stands out from the rest of your content.
Here are a few tips for creating an effective CTA:
- Keep it short and to the point. Your CTA should be concise and easy to understand.
- Use strong verbs that convey a sense of urgency. For example, “buy now,” “sign up today,” or “reserve your spot.”
- Include a sense of exclusivity. Make your subscribers feel like they’re part of an exclusive group by offering limited-time discounts or early access to new products or services.
- Use images or videos. Visual elements can help your CTA stand out and be more effective.
But remember, no more than ONE CTA per email. Confused minds don’t buy. So one email, one action.
Keep your email list clean
A clean e-mail list is essential for any marketer who wants to maintain a good online reputation and avoid the spam folder.
A hard bounce indicates an e-mail is not present within your database, and too many of these can ruin your chances of getting into the inbox.
Eliminating bounces is thus essential if you want to build an online reputation for your message.
Similarly, invalid email addresses can also harm your reputation and deliverability, so it’s important to keep your list clean of these as well.
Taking the time to tidy up your e-mail list will pay off in the long run, so don’t neglect this important task!
A/B test your email campaigns
If you’re not A/B testing your email campaigns, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to improve your results.
A/B testing also known as split testing is a relatively straightforward process that can improve every aspect of your email campaign.
It’s basically sending a different variant of the same campaign to a different group of recipients.
By monitoring the results of each campaign, you can quickly identify what works and what doesn’t, and make the necessary adjustments to improve your results.
The best part is that A/B testing is easy to set up and requires very little effort to maintain.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when you first start testing.
One, test one variable at a time, and two, take the time to review the results and adjust your next campaigns.
Design emails for accessibility
It’s important to design your emails in a way that makes them accessible to as many people as possible.
This means taking into account things like alt text and contrast ratios to ensure that your message can be easily understood by those with vision impairments.
How do people read their messages and access the information they want?
First, you should use alt text in the pictures. Users using tools like the screen scanner are better able to see the information.
Tip: Add a period before a picture. The screen reader is paused and allows easy understanding of your emails. The contrast ratios of pictures also help improve the visual appearance.
Another way to make your emails more accessible is by using fonts that are easy to read.
Use simple fonts that have clear contrast with the background color.
Sans-serif fonts are generally considered to be easier to read than serif fonts.
Finally, be careful with the amount of text you include in your emails.
Too much text can be overwhelming for some readers, so try to keep your emails concise and to the point.
Send welcome emails
Typically the welcome email is one of the best messages to deliver.
Welcome emails are a great way to introduce new customers to your brand and build a relationship with them from the very beginning.
Not only do these emails have high open and click-through rates, but they also help to resolve incorrect email addresses and gain new subscribers.
So if you’re not already sending welcome emails to your new customers, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to build your business and your customer engagement.
Use lead magnets
If you’re not using a lead magnet to grow your email list, then you’re missing out on one of the most effective list-building strategies out there.
A lead magnet is a freebie that you offer in exchange for someone’s email address.
It can be anything from a PDF report to a course or even a physical product.
The key is to offer something that your target audience will find valuable and that will help you to achieve your business goals.
For example, if you’re launching a new product, you could offer a free trial in exchange for an email address.
Or if you want to build brand awareness, you could offer a free e-book or white paper.
The possibilities are endless – all you need to do is get creative and offer something that your target audience will appreciate
Drive click-throughs with engaging content
How do you make your emails clickable? Well, first you need to have something worth clicking on.
No one wants to click through to a page full of text they could have just read in their inbox.
So make sure whatever you’re offering is truly valuable and interesting.
Secondly, keep it short and sweet. The more concise your message, the more likely people are to take action.
Finally, include a strong call to action that tells people exactly what you want them to do.
Audit your communication regularly
If you’re like most people, you probably send out a lot of automated e-mail campaigns.
And if you’re like most people, you probably don’t give those messages a second thought once they’re sent.
But that’s a big mistake.
Just because an e-mail is automated doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be regularly monitored and updated.
In fact, automated e-mails are often one of the first things to become outdated or obsolete.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure you audit your communication on a regular basis.
You don’t have to do a full audit every time, but making it a regular part of your process will help ensure that your messages are always relevant and useful.
So take the time to review your automated e-mails periodically, and make sure they’re still serving their purpose.
Your recipients will thank you for it.
Ditch the no reply email address
Ditch the noreply@ address. No one wants to feel unimportant, and when you use an automated response it can show a lack of concern for the customer.
If you want to build a relationship with your customers, start by using a real email address that they can reply to.
This shows that you are interested in hearing from them and that you value their feedback.
It’s a small change that can make a big difference in how your customers perceive you.
Make your emails skimmable
Whether we like it or not, email has become a necessary evil in our lives.
We use it for work, for communication with friends and family, and for managing our day-to-day lives.
However, email can also be a major time sink, especially if we allow our inboxes to get out of control.
One way to make email more efficient is to make your messages skimmable.
Headings, headlines, and lists help to break up your text and make it easier to scan.
Preheader text is also useful for providing a summary of your message before the recipient even opens it.
By making your emails skimmable, you can help your recipients quickly understand what you’re trying to say, and take action accordingly.
In today’s fast-paced world, this can be a major time-saver.
Use the thank-you page strategically
The thank you page is one of the most important pages on your website or landing page, yet it’s often overlooked or treated as an afterthought.
A well-designed thank you page can be a powerful tool to improve your website visitors conversion rate, build trust with your visitors, and even help with SEO.
Here are some tips for creating an effective thank you page:
1. Make it personalized: Thank your visitor by name and let them know you’re happy they subscribed, made a purchase, etc.
2. Include a call to action: Use your thank you page as an opportunity to encourage your visitors to take further action, such as following you on your other marketing channels, visiting another page on your website, or taking advantage of a special offer.
3. Keep it short and sweet: Don’t try to cram too much information onto your thank you page – keep the focus on thanking your visitor and include only relevant information.
4. Make it visually appealing: Use images, videos, or other visuals to make your thank you page more engaging and visually appealing.
Focus on the right email marketing metrics
A lot of people tend to get caught up in vanity metrics when it comes to email marketing.
Things like open rates and click-through rates are nice to know, but they don’t really give you an accurate picture of how your campaign is performing.
Instead, you should focus on metrics that actually matter, like conversion rate and revenue generated.
If your goal is to make money from your email list, then those are the numbers you should be paying attention to.
Everything else is just noise.
Of course, that’s not to say that click-through and open rates are completely useless.
They can still give you some valuable insights into your subscribers’ behavior.
But at the end of the day, what really matters is whether or not your campaign is actually making you money. So don’t get too caught up in the numbers that don’t increase subscribers or revenue.
Just focus on the bottom line.
Email marketing can be a powerful tool for small businesses, but it’s important to focus on the right metrics in order to get the most out of your campaigns.
By using the best practices we’ve provided, you can create an effective email marketing strategy that will help you turn website visitors into customers and boost your bottom line.
To learn more strategies like this, head over to zindolabs.com and check out our Community full of business owners just like you. See you there.