Email marketing: Email marketing best practices
“Email marketing is still ranked as the most effective marketing channel, beating out social media, SEO, and affiliate marketing.” (Patel, 2022)
Have a great subject line – this focuses the audience’s attention on the main marketing point. Focus on one objective, use keywords and keep it short and simple so as not to overwhelm your audience (5–6 words). This opening line will determine whether they open your email or not. So make it good and be creative.
Figure 1. Kolowich Cox (2022) Website [screenshot by author]
Screenshot showing a good example of a great subject line.
This example used a clever subject line: "We Forgot Something in Your February Box!" which makes you want to know what they forgot and open the email. But actually, they didn’t forget anything they are just giving you the discount code. It offers a great call to action to use the discount code too.
Remember the Preheader text – this follows the subject line in the inbox and gives an overview of your email. It will help people decide whether to open the email and that is why the context of the email is very important.
“If you want to boost open rates, the right email preheader can do the trick.” (Crawford, 2020)
Have a clean design – use short sentences, bullet points, images and white space to make the email easy to read. Dense text will put off readers. You want to draw them into your content.
Figure 2. Kolowich Cox (2022) Website [screenshot by author]
Screenshot showing an example of good design in email marketing.
This example highlights a clean design with a clear message which is short, simple and effective. It uses images to promote the product and a small amount of text with the benefits. The content encourages the audience to become a part of something and is powerful. It closes with a clear call to action which draws the audience’s eye.
Great content and storytelling – a powerful way to grab the reader’s attention. Be creative and stand out from the crowd. Sell the benefits – make the content add value rather than just being informative.
“Content is anything that adds value to the reader’s life.” (INCL Group, 2022)
Have a strong call to action – offer interesting call to actions to tempt the reader to engage, such as free downloads, ebooks and product updates. Encourage people to subscribe and complete an action, hopefully, a sale. Have links to social media for the audience to follow you.
Figure 3. Kolowich Cox (2022) Website [screenshot by author]
Screenshot showing a good example of a call to action in email marketing.
This example highlights themselves as experts in their field and engages with their audience by posing a question in their email marketing. Then with a good call to action, the audience will take action to find out the answer.
Email Marketing mistakes to avoid
Selling too hard – email marketing is not just a hard sell. It is important to build a relationship with your readers and develop trust. Have a variety of content to engage with your audience.
“Sharing tips and ideas allows you to engage customers through content marketing. By doing this, you can bolster your position as an industry expert while also gaining the trust of and building a relationship with customers. This will lead to higher open rates and improved conversion rates.” (Conlin, 2022)
Over-sending emails – this can be very off-putting to readers and will encourage them to switch off from your marketing.
“What started as an effective way to connect with customers can quickly become the main reason they unsubscribe.” (Smith, 2022)
Forgetting the unsubscribe button – because this is a legal requirement. You could offer subscribers the option to change the frequency to keep them from removing themselves from your list.
“By avoiding common mistakes and following legal guidelines, you put your business in a position to reap the benefits of email marketing.” (Conlin, 2022)
All the best for your email marketing.
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Campaign Monitor (2019) ‘The anatomy of an effective email’ Campaign Monitor [online]. Available at: https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/the-anatomy-of-an-effective-email/ [accessed 18 July 2022]
Conlin, B. (2022) ’11 Email Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them’ Business News Daily [online]. Available at: https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/7101-email-marketing-mistakes.html [accessed 19 July 2022]
Crawford, S. (2020) ‘Using and Testing Preheader Text in Email Templates’ Email2Go [online]. Available at: https://email2go.io/blog/using-and-testing-preheader-text-in-email-templates [accessed 19 July 2022]
INCL Group (2022) ‘Good content quote’ Pinterest [online]. Available at: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/295126581823061725/?mt=login [accessed 19 July 2022]
Kolowich Cox, L. (2022) ‘26 Examples of Brilliant Email Marketing Campaigns’ HubSpot [online]. Available at: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/email-marketing-examples-list [accessed 18 July 2022]
Patel, N. (2022) ‘A beginner’s guide to email marketing’ NeilPatel [online]. Available at: https://neilpatel.com/blog/beginners-guide-email-marketing/ [accessed 18 July 2022]
Smith, C. (2022) ’5 Worst Email Marketing Mistakes’ Trinity [online]. Available at: https://trinity.one/insights/digital-marketing/email-marketing-mistakes/ [accessed 19 July 2022]