Top 10 Email Marketing Tips
Email marketing best practices are fairly evergreen, but the best ways to implement them will evolve with the rest of the world.
The list below provides solid email marketing tips based on recent research, digital marketing trends for 2021, and more advanced tools at our disposal. These tips apply to both B2C and B2-B email marketing.
Segment your subscriber database
Emails can be used for any number of marketing activities: welcoming new customers, guiding them through your channels, announcing feature releases, sharing special promotions, and more. But you can only take advantage of these strategies by segmenting your list.
There are many ways to segment, but here are some of the main ones:
- Demographics: Use your CRM to pull email lists based on specific locations.
- Engagement: You may want to resend or send a second slightly different email to subscribers who didn’t open your first email.
- Customer Journey Phase: Offer new and existing customer offers.
- Source: Which form do they fill out on your website to provide you with their contact information.
You need to set up rules and conditions in your automated email platform to make this happen.
Personalize your information
According to research by Janrain and Blue Research, 96% of consumers say they have received mistargeted messages or promotions such as:
- Show quotes from customers they don’t know.
- Errors in basic customer information.
- Inconsistent messaging on different platforms.
According to the same study, 68% of customers automatically delete emails that contain such errors, and 54% unsubscribe.
In contrast, personalization can bring the following benefits:
- Personalized subject lines can increase open rates by up to 50%.
- 122% ROI for personalized email.
- Birthday emails can generate 342% more revenue per email than regular promotions.
Thanks to digital marketing, you have access to a wealth of information about potential customers that you can use for personalization.
Use your website and social media analytics to understand which topics, products, services, or messages generate the most engagement.
Use the lead form to collect email addresses with some additional fields so they can provide the personalized information you need.
For smaller subscriber databases, you can use an email lookup tool to get basic information about your customers, such as their name, company, server location, and social media profiles.
Optimized for mobile
A poor mobile experience makes 52% of users less likely to work with a company, and 53% say they’ll leave a website that doesn’t load within three seconds. Since 70% of emails are opened on a mobile device and your CTAs return to your website, mobile optimization is critical.
Here’s what mobile optimization looks like:
- All related text can be read from one screen without panning.
- Emails and landing pages load quickly.
- Have clear, clickable buttons.
- Font type, size, and color are easy to see.
Re-engage inactive subscribers
While getting a steady stream of new clients is important, don’t forget about your existing clients! Often, you can re-engage dormant clients or readers with an enticing offer and the right email copy.
Review your data for the type of content they previously engaged with and send a new and improved version. Or just offer a discount!
Use A/B testing to identify the perfect email
Learn more about your subscribers with A/B testing. Test subject lines, body text, layout, CTA language or button colors, images, and more. As with any A/B test, change only one thing at a time to draw clear conclusions.
For example, if you’re promoting a free guide to driving traffic to your website, here are some subject line variations:
This way, you can see which words (like “download” or “guidelines”) resonate with your readers, or whether they are interacting more in a prevention-based or goal-based tone.
Notes! With the iOS 15 update, A/B testing using open rates may not be the best approach. Learn about 13 post-iOS 15 email marketing strategies here.
Set up trigger emails to prevent missed opportunities
Trigger emails are emails that are sent automatically after a customer takes a specific action. Triggered emails have a 70.5% increase in open rates because you can reach them as they engage. For example, you can send:
- Reminder emails shortly after they abandoned their cart.
- Feedback requests after they complete an order.
- Review requests shortly after purchase.
- Welcome email when they join.
Nurturing potential customers
For B2C businesses and low-cost products, new subscribers to your email list are likely to become direct customers. But for big-ticket purchases and B2B marketing, the decision involves more research and careful thought. By nurturing emails, you can send a series of emails that build trust and offer incremental offers.
For example, your series might look like this:
A person subscribes to your list and receives a welcome email. Subsequent emails asked them to:
- Download Pocket Guide
- Download eBooks
- Attend webinars
- Read case studies
- Book a consultation
Everything you provide is high quality and useful, and each “inquiry” is just a little bit more than before, so when you ask them to book a consultation, chances are they will! Nurturing is a must for any lead generation process.
To help you craft your email series, these follow-up email templates may be helpful.
Use emotions to connect
Every pain point and desire of a customer stems from emotion. If you’re an accountant, your clients want to stop worrying about not getting their taxes done on time. They want the peace of mind of the highest return.
If you’re an analytics platform, your audience wants to stop feeling pressured about their reports. They want to feel confident when presenting to their boss.
So get more engagement from your emails with emotional marketing copy.
Email is a great avenue for emotional marketing, especially since you can cater to very specific readers and experiment with A/B testing.
Demonstrate your values
Customers today have much higher expectations of companies than they did a few years ago. They want to donate their money to companies they support whose mission is aligned with their core values and who they see as more than just a means of generating revenue. They also crave more vulnerability and transparency.
You can present your values in different ways:
Call them out directly: For example, “At Flockjay, no one flies alone. It’s one of our core values, including you. With our new service center, you’ll have 24/7 human assistance…”
Share milestones in your social responsibility program, such as how many trees your products have saved this year, or how much of your proceeds are donated to organizations you support.
End each sent with an inspirational quote that shows your values.
Whether it’s three sentences or three hundred pages, the stories are memorable and engaging. Here are some ways to use storytelling to improve email marketing results:
Tell the short story behind your latest product or service and how it came to be. Readers will be interested in seeing the result, and they will also be reminded why your product is of high quality.
Share a short version of the success story, then link to the full story for more details.
Better yet, you can start by describing your client’s problem, in a way that resonates with your client (think P-A-S formula), end with impressive (quantifiable) results, and end with “How did we do it?” ends. As well as the “Find Here” CTA.
Get creative and tell your own story as a lead for the rest of the email. Sleeknote provides a great example of this email marketing tactic (though we recommend removing all line breaks for better readability).