tips and best practices for

effective email marketing.

Intro

Getting Started with Email Marketing

We know every organization wants to maximize the efficiency of their marketing and communication. Putting your content in front of more eyes, and the right kind of eyes, is the most effective way to drive engagement with your brand. It all starts there.

Email marketing is a critical tool every organization wants to put to good use. Email is a part of almost every consumer’s daily routine, and the powerful analytics and tracking available within email marketing empower it to deliver a ton of valuable, decision driving data.

This guide will cover everything you need to know to get started with email marketing.

terms to know before selecting a platform.

When you’re researching different email marketing platforms, you will come across industry specific terms describing the platform’s features that you may not be familiar with. Here are the main terms to look out for:

Email Automation

Automatically sending emails to selected customer lists when a certain action has been triggered.

Behavior-targeted email automation

Emailing to selected customer lists strategically based on the interactions they’ve made with your organization’s content.

Ecommerce-centric email automation

Emailing to selected customer lists based on recent purchases and shopping activity on the website. If you’re in the ecommerce industry, you’ll want to make sure you can sync your website’s cart data with your contact lists.

Contact Management

Storing key contact information and keeping track of all communication activities between your business and the contact.

Deliverability

Ability to successfully get emails into subscribers’ inboxes.

Lead Scoring

Scoring contacts based on how many interactions they’ve made with your organization’s content. This can help you determine the highest value leads.

choosing an email marketing platform.

There are a ton of great options to choose from when it comes to email marketing platforms. We know that having a lot of options is great, but that it can be overwhelming too! We’re here to help you narrow down choices to what will work best for you.
A few main things to consider are:

Automation

Platforms that allow you to create emails ahead of time and then set them to go out at the ideal moment are a huge advantage. Check out a platform’s automation features when

User Interface (UI)

An underrated aspect of a great platform is how easy it is to use. Make sure that whatever platform you choose is one that feels comfortable and easy to navigate.

Price

Set a budget for your platform to narrow the options. Take advantage of free trials to get a sense of whether you like each program. Price shouldn’t be the only factor you consider, but it deserves to be on the list.

Marketing Metrics

It’s critical to be able to analyze how your emails are performing so you are able to continue to optimize and get more value from your content.

Extra Features

Whether it’s event management, customizable templates, sales reports, etc., each platform will offer a different package of extra features. Pick one that matches up well with what you need the most.

If you measure each of the options you find using those points as a guide, you’ll be well on your way to confidently choosing the email marketing platform that will be a great fit for your organization.

email design tips.

Email design is more than just choosing a color scheme and font, it’s developing the visual appearance of an email to effectively deliver your content. You can write the most compelling copy, but without an appealing design you aren’t maximizing your emails. An effective email design can help you capitalize on brand recognition to create a connection with your readers.

Here are 6 tips to design effective emails:

1. Choose a goal for your email.

Each of your emails should contain an action for your reader to take. Do you want them to read your blog post? Attend your event? Donate or volunteer? Choose a goal and make it clear.

2. Use headings and subheadings.

We are all busy, and busy people skim. Take that into consideration when you create emails. Your headings and subheadings should be short bolded and set apart by font and format from the rest of your email copy.

3. Keep your copy concise and use white space.

Avoid writing a wall of text. Your readers will more than likely not take the time to read it.

By inserting line breaks or lists within your email copy, you provide white space. Effective use of white space creates a visually appealing result.

4. Use responsive templates.

Your mobile readers will be less likely to interact with your emails if they are difficult to read on a smaller screen. You can lose credibility in the eyes of your subscribers if you don’t provide a responsive mobile experience with your emails.

5. Use images wisely.

Images are one of the best ways to make emails visually appealing and interesting. On the flip side, when you design emails exclusively around images, your engagement will decline. Additionally, using too many images can send your email straight to your recipient’s spam folder!

So, here are a few do’s and don’ts to ensure you are using images effectively in your emails:

  • Don’t send an email that is one big image
  • Don’t make CTAs a graphic button
  • Do provide alt-text

6. Include CAN-SPAM compliant details.

Since you must abide by CAN-SPAM requirements if you send commercial emails, you might as well include them in your design. This will save you time over placing it in each email individually. Try including it in the footer of your design.

You have to give your readers the ability to stop hearing from you. Strive to provide readers with valuable, relevant content, and the likelihood they’ll use this feature is low.

By using these tips in your email design, you’ll deliver content effectively to your subscribers. Design and copy go hand-in-hand when creating an effective email, so be sure to give both plenty of attention before hitting the send button! If you’d like a more in-depth guide on effective email design, visit our blog post.

email marketing best practices.

Use one CTA per email.

Too many different call-to-actions (CTAs) in one email can cause your reader to overthink and not click on anything. The only exception to this rule is a newsletter, which by design includes more than one story.

Provide alt-text on images.

Some email service providers don’t display images by default, so it is important to use alt-text. Alt-text is the text that appears in place of an image when it’s missing. The text should describe the image, or be used as another call-to-action.

Use an email platform and automation.

The best way to ensure your emails are CAN-SPAM compliant is to use a reputable email marketing platform. These platforms automatically include all the necessary CAN-SPAM compliant details in every email you send and also come with many features like ready-to-use templates, data analysis, and automated emails. Using email automation saves time in the long run and is more effective.

Build organic lists.

Be sure you are building your contact lists organically. Only email people who have opted-in to hear from you. Never buy contacts or send emails to people who did not agree to receive emails from you.

Segment your emails.

Segmentation is the act of grouping the contacts in your database by shared behaviors and characteristics. When you group contacts in lists, you are setting your organization up for increased engagement. You can segment your contacts based on target persona characteristics or on actions they have done (submitted volunteer form, donated, etc.)

When you segment your contacts you make it much easier to ensure that each group receives only the content most relevant to them, which leads to higher open rates, deeper engagement, and more conversions.

Add in personalization.

By customizing your emails to feel personally tailored to each reader, it creates an individualized experience for your users and is shown to increase email engagement.

You can add your subscribers' first name, last name, or even city to help the email feel like it’s tailored just for them. Personalization can help your emails feel like a 1-on-1 conversation.

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time to get started.

Email marketing is a critical tool every organization wants to put to good use. Now that you have this guide as a reference, you can confidently go forward to create and execute an email marketing strategy that drives engagement, brand recognition, and community building.
 
If you would like an example-heavy guide on how to create an effective email workflow, then download our slide deck that walks through each step!