As an email marketer, using the right email marketing tips and strategies will help you succeed with email marketing. Email marketing is pretty complex, from list building to copywriting and choosing the right email marketing software, there’s always something new to learn and improve on.
For marketers and business owners with limited time, it can be difficult to keep up with what works, and in this article, we will cover 10 of the most essential email marketing tips together with actionable advice to help you implement them right now.
Even if you’re a pro email marketer, you’re sure to pick up at least one or two new email marketing tips to help improve your email marketing results.
10 Email Marketing Tips To Improve Your Results
This next section focuses on how to do email marketing well.
Don’t buy email lists
Building an email list can be slow, especially when you’re just starting out. Buying a list might seem like a tempting shortcut but trust us, it’s a terrible idea. Buying a list will put your business at serious risk because:
- In many jurisdictions around the world, sending unsolicited emails and storing people’s data in your CRM without consent is illegal (think GDPR and CAN-SPAM act).
- People are more likely to mark unsolicited emails as spam, damaging your email sender reputation and potentially ending up on an email blocklist.
- Most email marketing services will refuse to work with you because purchased lists can harm the deliverability of other users on shared IP addresses.
And that’s not all. Many email addresses on purchased lists are actually spam traps. A spam trap is an inactive email address that’s purposely left out in the open to attract spammers.
Because the email address doesn’t belong to anyone, it’s impossible that it was opted-in to any email lists. That way, the ISP knows that whoever contacts this address is a spammer. In short, don’t buy email lists. Build your list organically however slowly and you’ll reap the benefit in the long run.
Use double opt-in
As already mentioned, the term ‘opt-in’ refers to the signup process. There are two different types of opt-in for email marketing:
- Single opt-in is when the subscriber is added to the email list once the signup form is submitted.
- Double opt-in is when you send a confirmation email with a link to each new subscriber. The subscriber must click the link to complete the subscription. Without this verification, they won’t receive emails from you.
Sure, double opt-in adds an extra step between the potential subscriber and your list. But far from being an obstacle, this process is important — especially for email deliverability. Double opt-in eliminates any misspelled email addresses (which would otherwise generate a hard bounce). It also rules out spam traps and acts as proof of subscriber consent — a GDPR requirement.
For better email marketing, double opt-in is the way to go.
Segment your mailing list
As your email list expands, it’s likely to contain diverse buyer profiles. List Segmentation is the process of dividing your list into smaller sub-lists of subscribers who have something in common. The idea behind this technique is to engage subscribers with more relevant, targeted emails.
Among the many different possibilities for segmentation, examples include demographic information such as age and location, lead score, and purchase history. You can already segment subscribers into separate lists during signup by asking preferences in terms of content, email frequency, etc.
Everyone loves being noticed. People generally appreciate when brands add personal touches and pay attention to small details. When it comes to making us feel valued and understood as a customer, a little effort goes a long way. This also rings true for email marketing. Personalizing emails is essential to building trusting relationships with prospects and customers.
Here are some simple email personalization ideas that’ll positively impact your opens, clicks, and conversion rate.
Simple email personalization tips to get started
- Use the subscriber’s first name in the email subject line and content (“Hey Tim or Hi Jane!”)
- Where are the bulk of your subscribers located? Consider time zones when scheduling campaigns to maximize the chances of the email being read.
- Segment contacts so that messaging is targeted and relevant
- Use behavior-triggered emails based on how customers interact with your product/service
- Optimize for mobile
61.9% of all emails are opened and read on mobile.
For best results, make sure your emails display correctly on mobile devices. Depending on the email design capabilities of your ESP, it’s likely that mobile responsiveness is an already built-in feature.
Optimize email deliverability
Email marketing success depends massively on email deliverability. An important concept for email marketers, email deliverability refers to the ability to deliver an email to the inbox. When all’s well, the email makes it past the spam filters and arrives at its destination. When deliverability is compromised, the email lands in the spam folder, or, worse, your sender IP is blacklisted by the ISP. While deliverability often depends on technical factors, there are plenty of non-technical ways to help your email newsletters reach the inbox.
Here are some easy-to-follow deliverability best practices:
- Make sure the email content doesn’t come across as spammy. Did you know that certain words and phrases trigger spam filters? Have a look at this list of words to avoid.
- Keep your subscriber database up to date by removing unengaged users and inactive addresses.
- Only send to opt-in subscribers. Send emails to someone who’s never heard of you and it’s likely they’ll report you as spam. This will harm your future deliverability.
- Always include an unsubscribe link. Under the GDPR (Europe’s data protection regulation), an individual has the right to dictate how their data is being used. The act of unsubscribing falls fully within those rights so this option should always be available.
Check out more tips to improve email deliverability (and a free ebook) available here.
Choose an engaging email newsletter design
When it comes to email marketing, design is just as important as the content. The look and feel of your email is going to communicate a message about your company and its values. Spend some time getting it right.
Ideally, you want to capture attention with an on-brand email design that highlights your main message and CTA in the best way possible. Great email design supports email content by making it clear, legible, and structured. A structure that naturally draws the reader to your call-to-action will drive up your click-through rate.
If you decide to add images to your email content, keep in mind best practices for newsletter images:
- Don’t clutter the email with too many images (this could harm your deliverability)
- Avoid images that are either too large or too small
- Add ALT text for each image in case it doesn’t show — this will also make it more accessible to people using screen readers.
- Only use high-quality images that serve a purpose. Avoid generic stock photos that don’t add value.
For the best email design inspiration, check out ReallyGoodEmails.
HTML or plain text
It’s a long-standing debate among email marketers — HTML versus plain text, which is better? Plain text can be just as effective as HTML. It all boils down to your audience and the types of emails you’re sending. If you’re a writer with a writing tips newsletter, plain text makes sense. On the other hand, e-commerce emails will need to be more eye-catching. The best way to know? Test!
Clean your email list regularly
Keep your database up to date for optimal email deliverability and higher engagement rates. Got subscribers who’ve disappeared off the radar? If someone hasn’t engaged with your emails in at least six months, send a reactivation campaign or even ask for a second opt-in. See if you can get them interested again.
If there’s still no engagement, delete the subscribers from your list. Sure, it’ll be sad to see them go but better for your deliverability in the long term. Another important point: Make it easy to unsubscribe with a clearly visible unsubscribe button. If people can’t find the way out, they’re more likely to mark you as spam.
For reference purposes, a good unsubscribe rate is 0.5 or less.
A/B test your email subject line and content
Hesitating between two subject lines? Not sure what content your audience will react best to? A/B testing is one way to find out and a great way to optimize your campaigns. Test different email subject line formulas, content formats, and CTAs. See which ones get the best engagement and stick with the approach.
Keep testing until you find your sweet spot!
Scale with autoresponders and email automation
Once you’ve got the hang of email marketing, automate your email marketing strategy to make your business grow even faster. Autoresponders are the simplest form of email automation. Autoresponders send an automatic personalized email (or email series) at different stages of the buyer journey. You get to follow up with subscribers without having to be physically present to hit send.
The welcome email is the most common autoresponder example and most email marketing services have an autoresponder function. Armed with the right email automation software, you can go one step further and set up complex email automation sequences using if/then/else logic. This kind of email series is highly effective for lead nurturing and lead scoring.
So! you’ve learned about the best email marketing tips to help boost your email marketing campaigns, now it’s time to send your first email marketing campaign. You can also check out other email marketing resources below to help you get started.
How to build an email list from scratch
How to run a successful email marketing campaign
How to get started with email marketing