Email Marketing Best Practices

Introduction

The first ever marketing email was sent back in 1978 and today it is still one of the most used marketing channels (HubSpot, 2020). Email marketing takes it’s starting point from inbound marketing and is an effective marketing tool to connect with leads, nurturing them and turning them in to costumers (OptinMonster, 2020).

What is included in good email marketing practices?

Behind every email marketing is a goal and a strategy. Some of the most common email marketing goals focuses on building relationships through personalised engagement, boosting brand awareness, promote content, generate leads, market products or to nurture leads.

When deciding on a goal for email marketing it is important to create an email marketing strategy on how to receive that goal. Below is listed six important steps to consider when outlining a email strategy (HubSpot, 2020) 

  1. Define a goal for the email campaign 
  2. Define the audience – There need to be a clear idea of who the audience is in order to effectively communicate with them (Mailchimp, 2020). This can be defined based on the buyer persona and the information the subscribers provides when they’re added to an email list.
  3. Signup sources – Create a way for people to sign up to build an email list. 
  4. Segments and groups – Create groups and segments within a larger audience to send only the most relevant campaigns to the recipients.
  5. Choose an email campaign type – This could be a newsletter, upcoming events, product launch etc..
  6. Establish an email schedule – Create a sending frequency schedule that is relevant for the email marketing goal. Make sure to only sent out relevant email marketing that brings value to the subscribers to keep them excited about the emails and to not make them want to unsubscribe.

Below is listed a few steps on what to include in email marketing.  

  1. The ‘’from’’ label – Use the company name in the ‘’from’’ label to make it look professional and instantly recognisable (Campaignmonitor, 2019).  
  2. Write a catching and short subject – Be creative and make the subject line interesting to encourage the subscribers. Subject lines should be 40-50 characters or 5-6 words (campaignmonitor, 2020).
  3. The Preheader – Leave some extra context to the subscribers in the preheader text that leaves them even more intrigued to open the email. 
  4. Include a good technical and graphic design experience – When the subscribers enter the email make sure it is well set up, short and precise and ad some imagery to stimulate the subscribers visiuality.  
  5. Links – Add links to the email that sends the subscribers to the landing page. That could be the product page, facebook, instagram etc.. 
  6. Include personalised elements – Personalised email campaigns increases the open and click-through rates. A personalised email can be characterised by 3 main elements (campaignmonitor, 2020). Firstly, the email has to offer relevant content to the subscriber and it has to be addressed specifically to the recipient. Secondly, it has to be timely and deliver content that suits the stage of their costumer journey. Thirdly, to increase the recipients loyality make sure the sender of the email is personalised.
  7. Add a call-to-action – Including a call-to-action is important to lead the subscribers to the company website, product page, bold, article or social sites (campaignmonitor, 2020)
  8. A design that works well on all devices – Computers, mobile devices and IPads. 

Writing and email marketing campaign might seem like a difficult task if one is new to the game. Luckily there is lots of free online guides and courses that can help people to expand their knowledge and get started with email marketing. Below is a few links to some acknowledged email marketing learning destinations. 

Hubspot provides online guides, courses and email marketing services: Hubspot

Mailchimp provides online guides and email marketing services: Mailchimp

Email Marketing Best Practices

In email marketing, just as in anything else, there is good and bad practices. Below is outlined 3 examples of email marketing best practices followed by 4  email marketing mistakes to avoid. 

Example 1: Uber 

Uber is known for providing a simple service an this goes all the way to their email marketing, where simplicity is also key. One of their good practice email marketing campaigns is the Calendar Integration campaign. 

Good email marketing practices shown in the email is listed below:

  1. Good technical and graphical design: The email is simply designed. It has low text content with a few words highlighted that makes it easy to skim the text and still understand the message.
  2. Contains a strong CTA with links: The email has a strong CTA as it has a direct link to the Calendar Integration. This makes it easy for the recipient to take action and therefor increases the chance for people to do so. 
  3. Responsive design: The design works well on all devices.\
Image 1: (Hubspot, 2020) 
(The image above shows an example of an Uber Campaign on Calendar Integration). 

Example 2: Airbnb

The email below from Airbnb is a good example on how a company can make the most out of the information they have on their subscribers to create relevant and useful insight for the them. Good email marketing practices in the email is listed below:

  1.  It has a clear ‘’From’’ label: The email is instantly recognisable as Airbnb has used their company name in the from label. 
  2. Relevant and personal subject line: The subject line personally refers to me and is relevant to my home destination. 
  3. Good technical and graphical design experience: The email is simply designed and contains a high resolution and beautiful image that makes me want to go to that exact place in the image. Leaving the recipient inspired and intrigued increases the chances of me to click the link. The email also has low text content, but the message is still kept very clear. 
  4. Contain links and a clear CTA: A clear call-to-act button that leads me to Airbnb’s website where I will be able to see the popular getaways near me.
  5. Personalisation: In this email, the subject line is personalised with my name, home city and trending destinations relevant to me. An email that is personalised like the one below ensures that it’s relevant for the recipient which increases the chances of an open.
  6. Responsive design: The email can be read on all devices.
Image 2 (Airbnb, 2020)
(The image on the left shows an email marketing campaign from Airbnb with a personalised subject line, personalised content, good technical and graphical design and a clear CTA)
 

Example 3: HubSpot 

Below is an email from the email marketing gurus themselves, practicing their own best advices. This email is a good example on how a company can use email marketing to collect useful insights from their subscribers to create strong buyer personas to ensure that the company can offer the very best services. 

In general this email is of high quality as it contents important steps to create an effective email marketing campaign. Below is listed good practices from the email below: 

  1. Good graphics: The layout is simply designed yet it contains interesting graphics. 
  2. It is personalised: The sender presents and identifies herself and the email is personalised to me. 
  3. Contains meaningful CTA: They have a clear call-to-action. They want my help as a user to improve the services they offer to me (and others). 
  4. Responsive design: The email can be read on all devices.
Image 3: (Hubspot, 2020) 
(The image above shows a good practice email marketing survey from Hubspot).

Email Marketing Mistakes To Avoid

Below is listed a few email marketing mistakes to avoid when planning your email marketing strategy.

  1. Not welcoming new subscribers. 

It is important to plan ahead how to welcome new subscribers immediately when they sign up to an email list. Obviously they subscribed because they are interested in something one have to offer and this should be taken advantage of. Sending an welcoming email immediately after a person sign up can lead to generating 320% more revenue than any other email marketing (Quicksprout, 2020).

  • Forgetting a CTA (call-to-action) 

All emails needs to have a certain purpose to be relevant and valued by the subscriber. 

  • Sending too many emails 

It’s not good to annoy people with to many emails. Better sent limited emails of quality rather than loads of emails of poor quality. 

  • Not segmenting Subscribers 

Subscribers should always be segmented based on their preferences to make sure they receive emails from you that’s relevant to them. 

References 

Campaignmonitor, 2019. [Online] The Anatomy of an Effective Email. Available at: https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/2019/06/the-anatomy-of-an-effective-email/[Accessed 27 October 2020]

Campaignmonitor, 2020. [Online] The Power of Email Personalization to Reach Humans (Not Just Inboxes).Available at: https://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/guides/personalized-email/ [Accessed 22 October]

Hubspot, 2020. [Online] The Ultimate Guide To Email Marketing. Available at:  https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/email-marketing-guide [Accessed 19th October 2020]

Hubspot, 2020. [Online] 10 Examples of Brilliant Email Marketing Campaigns [Template]https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/email-marketing-examples-list [Accessed 19th October 2020]

Hubspot, 2020. [Online] 19 Examples of Brilliant Email Marketing Campaigns [Template]. Available at: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/email-marketing-examples-list [Accessed 21st October 2020]

Hubspot, 2020. [Online] 16 Awesome Email Marketing Campaigns & How to Run Your Own. Available at: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/email-marketing-guide [Accessed 21st October 2020]

Mailchimp, 2020. [Online] Email marketing strategy and tips for successful campaigns. Available at: https://mailchimp.com/email-marketing/ [Accessed 27 October 2020]

Mailchimp, 2020. [Online] Email Marketing Guide for Successful Campaigns. Available at: https://mailchimp.com/resources/email-marketing-field-guide/ [Accessed 27 October 2020] 

Optinmonster, 2020. [Online] Email Marketing Made Simple: A step by Step Guise [+Examples] Available at: https://optinmonster.com/beginners-guide-to-email-marketing/ [Accessed 27 October 2020] 

SendGrid, 2020. [Online] Beginner’s Guide For Email marketing In 2020. Available at: https://sendgrid.com/resource/how-to-create-a-successful-email-marketing-campaign/ [Accessed 21st October 2020] Quicksprout, 2020. [Online] 8 Common Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2020. 

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