The Do’s and Don’ts of Email Marketing

Email marketing is a powerful and cost-effective way for brands to connect with their customers and promote their products or services. It allows businesses to reach a large number of people directly, and provides a way to segment and personalize messages for maximum impact. However, there are certain best practices that businesses should follow to ensure that their email marketing campaigns are successful. Read on to learn about the do’s and don’ts of email marketing.


9 Do’s of Email Marketing

1. Do Personalize Your Emails

Personalized email campaigns have an average open rate of 50.7%, which is significantly higher than non-personalized emails. The study also found that personalized emails have a click-through rate that is 29% higher than non-personalized emails. SmarterHQ

Personalizing emails means tailoring the content of the email to the specific needs and interests of the recipient. When emails are personalized, they are more likely to be opened, read, and engaged with. Personalization can take many forms, such as addressing the recipient by name, segmenting your email list, and providing relevant content based on their preferences or past interactions with your brand.

Personalization helps you build a stronger relationship with your subscribers by showing them that you understand their needs and interests. It can also increase customer loyalty and lead to higher conversion rates. Therefore, it is essential to invest time and resources into personalizing your emails to ensure that they are relevant and valuable to the recipient.

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2. Do Have a Clear and Compelling Subject Line

Subject lines with fewer than 50 characters have open rates that are 12.5% higher than those with 50 or more characters. Campaign Monitor

The subject line is the first thing that the recipient sees when they receive your email. An effective subject line should be short, attention-grabbing, and accurately represent the content of the email.

Additionally, including personalization in the subject line, such as the recipient’s name, can further increase open rates. A compelling subject line can differentiate your email from the rest of the recipient’s inbox and increase the chances of the recipient taking action on your email.

3. Do Include Enticing Preheader Text

Email preheader text can increase email open rates by an average of 7%. Litmus

Email preheader text, also known as a preview text, is the snippet of text that appears below or next to the subject line in an email client’s inbox. It is an essential element of an email’s content and plays a crucial role in the open rates of emails.

The preheader text should provide a concise summary of the content of the email, compelling the recipient to open and engage with the message. Failing to include preheader text, or including irrelevant or generic text, can decrease the open rate and ultimately reduce the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign.

4. Do Provide Valuable Content

78% of consumers unsubscribe from emails because they believe the content is irrelevant. HubSpot

Effective email content is relevant, informative, and valuable to the recipient. Email content can take many forms, such as educational articles, exclusive promotions, and personalized recommendations.

Providing value to your subscribers increases engagement rates, helps you retain subscribers, and can even lead to increased sales and customer loyalty. It is essential to consider your audience’s interests and needs when creating email content and to provide content that aligns with their preferences.

5. Do Optimize for Mobile

85% of email users use smartphones to access email. Adobe

Most email users access their emails on mobile devices, and emails that are not mobile-responsive can lead to poor user experiences and low engagement rates. Optimizing emails for mobile means ensuring that the email content is easily viewable on small screens, and that the email’s layout adjusts to the device’s screen size.

This can include using a single column layout, increasing font size, and optimizing images to reduce load times. When emails are optimized for mobile, recipients are more likely to engage with the content, leading to increased open rates, click-through rates, and conversions.

6. Do Provide a Clear Call-to-Action (CTA)

Emails with a single call-to-action (CTA) increased clicks by 371% and sales by 1617% compared to emails with multiple CTAs. Campaign Monitor

A CTA is a button or link within the email that encourages the recipient to take a specific action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. The CTA should be clear and concise, and it should stand out visually within the email.

A well-designed CTA can increase click-through rates and lead to increased conversions. When creating a CTA, it is essential to consider the recipient’s journey and provide a compelling reason for them to take the desired action. A sense of urgency can also be effective in encouraging the recipient to act quickly. Testing different CTAs and measuring their effectiveness can help optimize the email campaign and increase the overall success rate.

7. Do Test Your Emails

A/B testing can improve email open rates by up to 49% and click-through rates by up to 161%. Litmus

Testing allows you to optimize the email campaign and ensure that it is effective in achieving its desired outcomes. There are several aspects of the email that can be tested, such as the subject line, the email content, the layout, and the call to action.

A/B testing is a common approach, which involves sending two versions of the email to a portion of your email list and measuring the response rates to determine which version is more effective. Testing can help you identify areas for improvement and optimize your email campaign to increase open rates, click-through rates, and conversions.

Lastly, don’t forget to send yourself a test email prior to scheduling to ensure it renders properly in the inbox and the links are entered correctly.

8. Do Track and Analyze Your Results

Businesses that use email marketing analytics are 3 times more likely to achieve higher levels of profitability. Campaign Monitor

Tracking and analyzing email results is a crucial step in measuring the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns. Tracking allows you to see how many people opened the email, clicked on links, and took the desired action, such as making a purchase or subscribing to a newsletter.

Analyzing this data can help you identify areas for improvement and optimize future email campaigns. By tracking and analyzing email results, you can determine which emails and strategies are most effective in engaging your audience and achieving your desired outcomes. Additionally, tracking and analyzing results can help you identify trends and patterns in your audience’s behavior, which can be used to inform other aspects of your marketing strategy.

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9. Do Use Email Marketing as Part of a Media Network

Companies that promote their products or services through a media network experience a 15% increase in brand awareness and a 24% increase in conversion rates compared to those who don’t. Forrester Research

Using email marketing as part of a media network can be an effective strategy to reach a wider audience and improve the effectiveness of your email campaigns. A media network involves partnering with other businesses or websites to promote your email campaigns to their subscribers or customers.

This strategy can be useful in reaching a broader audience that may not be familiar with your brand or products and can also help improve your email deliverability by leveraging the reputation and credibility of your partner.

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9 Don’ts of Email Marketing

1. Don’t Forget About Email Automation

74% of consumers expect a welcome email when they subscribe to a brand’s email list, and those who receive a welcome email show 33% more engagement with the brand. MarketingSherpa

Email automation allows you to send targeted, personalized emails to subscribers based on their behavior and interests. With email automation, you can streamline their email marketing campaigns, save time and resources, and provide a better experience for their subscribers.

Automated emails can include welcome emails, abandoned cart emails, post-purchase follow-ups, and more. By using email automation, businesses can improve their open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, and ultimately drive more revenue.

2. Don’t Use a Misleading Subject Line

24% of subscribers report marking an email as spam due to a misleading subject line. Litmus

A misleading subject line is one that does not accurately represent the content of the email or that intentionally misleads the recipient into opening the email. This practice can lead to poor user experiences and can harm your reputation as a trustworthy sender, as doing so violates the CAN-SPAM Act.

Additionally, many email clients and internet service providers have algorithms that detect and filter out misleading subject lines, leading to lower deliverability rates and lower open rates. To avoid using misleading subject lines, it is essential to ensure that the subject line accurately reflects the content of the email and provides a clear indication of the email’s purpose.

3. Don’t Use Too Many Images

Emails with a higher image-to-text ratio (more than 50% images and less than 50% text) had a lower click-through rate (4.19%) compared to emails with a lower image-to-text ratio (less than 20% images and more than 80% text), which had a higher click-through rate (5.29%). HubSpot

While images are a valuable component of an email, using too many can slow down the email’s loading time, potentially causing recipients to abandon the email. In fact, some email clients and internet service providers may block images by default, leading to a poor user experience for recipients.

To avoid using too many images, it is essential to prioritize text content and use images strategically to support the text. When using images, it is important to optimize their size and resolution to ensure that they load quickly and don’t overwhelm the email’s content. Balancing text and images in your email can help create a visually appealing and engaging email that is effective in achieving your desired outcomes.

4. Don’t Neglect Your Email List

Email lists naturally degrade by an average of 22.5% each year, due to factors such as subscribers changing their email addresses, unsubscribing, or marking emails as spam. MarketingSherpa

Failing to clean your list regularly, sending emails to inactive subscribers, or not segmenting your list and personalizing your emails can negatively impact email performance. A poorly maintained email list can lead to higher bounce rates, lower engagement rates, and higher unsubscribe rates.

To combat this, prioritize list maintenance and email hygiene. Segment your list based on audience demographics and behavior, and personalize your emails based on those segments. Regularly clean your list to remove inactive or disengaged subscribers to help improve your email deliverability and engagement rates.

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5. Don’t Be Generic

80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences. Campaign Monitor

Generic emails are those that are not personalized or tailored to the recipient’s interests, behavior, or demographics. Generic emails can lead to lower engagement rates, higher unsubscribe rates, and lower conversion rates.

To avoid using generic email messages, it is essential to segment your email list based on audience demographics and behavior and personalize your emails based on those segments.

6. Don’t Overwhelm Your Subscribers with Too Many Emails

78% of consumers have unsubscribed from emails because a brand was sending too many emails. HubSpot

While it may be tempting to send a high volume of emails, bombarding your subscribers can lead to email fatigue and cause recipients to disengage or mark your emails as spam. Instead, focus on developing a well-defined email marketing strategy that balances the frequency of emails with the relevance and value of the content.

Additionally, providing a clear option to adjust email preferences or unsubscribe can help prevent subscribers from feeling overwhelmed and improve their overall experience with your brand.

7. Don’t Forget to Provide an Unsubscribe Option

Emails without an unsubscribe link have an average spam complaint rate of 1.50%, while emails with an unsubscribe link have an average spam complaint rate of 0.02%. Litmus

Including an unsubscribe option in your emails is not only a best practice in email marketing but also a legal requirement in many countries. Providing an unsubscribe option gives recipients the option to opt-out of receiving future emails from you and helps ensure that you are complying with anti-spam laws.

Failing to provide an unsubscribe option can harm your reputation as a sender and lead to higher spam complaint rates. Therefore, it is important to include a clear and visible unsubscribe option in your emails.

8. Don’t Forget to Comply with Email Laws

Businesses that violate the CAN-SPAM Act can be fined up to $50,120 per email. CAN-SPAM Act

Laws regulating email marketing vary depending on the country, region, or state where you operate, but some common requirements providing a clear and visible unsubscribe option, including a physical mailing address in your emails, and not using misleading or false information in your emails.

It is important to research and understand the laws governing email marketing in your target audience’s jurisdiction and ensure that you are complying with those laws. By complying with email laws, you can protect your business from legal consequences, build trust with your audience, and improve the overall effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.

9. Don’t Solely Rely on Email Marketing

Businesses that use email marketing as part of an omnichannel marketing campaign achieve 90% higher customer retention rates compared to those that do not. Omnisend

While email marketing is a powerful tool to engage with your audience and promote your products or services, it is important not to rely on it as the sole source of success for your marketing goals. Email marketing campaigns can be affected by factors such as changes in consumer behavior, email deliverability issues, or changes in email laws and regulations.

It’s important to diversify your marketing efforts and use an omnichannel marketing approach to reach and engage with your audience. An omnichannel marketing campaign includes channels like social media, connected TV (CTV), direct mail, search engine optimization (SEO), paid advertising, and content marketing, and other channels that align with your business goals and target audience. By diversifying your marketing efforts, you can increase your chances of success, improve your brand visibility, and reach a wider audience.

Email Marketing Success Kit

The Email Marketing Success Kit gives you access to some of our most informative resources on email marketing trends, strategies, and tactics. The most convenient way to research, this success kit contains topic-focused blogs, podcasts, case studies, and more – all with one download.

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