Do's and Don’ts of Effective, Optimized Email Marketing

Posted by Sarah Wai on Dec 30, 2016 5:06:13 PM

email marketing best practices

As a top marketing channel, email provides the perfect platform for generating and nurturing leads, delighting customers, and keeping open communication with your contacts.

The first step to creating emails that perform is email list segmentation. Now, segmentation helps you as far as strategy goes, but we’re going to delve into the actual creation of effective, optimized emails.

The Bare Bones of Email Are Not Enough

A typical email includes a recipient, a sender, a subject line, and the email content (this can include attachments). But according to Hubspot, the anatomy of a five-star email includes:

  1. A clear, attention-grabbing subject line
  2. An actual person as the sender
  3. Company branding
  4. Personalized content
  5. Appropriate segmentation
  6. Value proposition and context
  7. Obvious, focused CTA
  8. Relevant image
  9. Social sharing capability
  10. Secondary CTA
  11. Link to privacy policy
  12. Unsubscribe link

Let us expound upon a few of these and offer some email marketing tips.

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The Subject Line as the Hook

A clear and attention-grabbing subject line is essential to getting people to open your emails. The key to this is knowing your audience and keeping segmentation in mind.

Real Sender = Real Content

A lot of people make associations in their mind when they see the sender of an email. If they see it’s from, they brace for a pitch. If they see, they may associate it with a softer pitch, of sorts, or know it’s more informational. If they see it’s from an actual person, they are more likely to open an email because they then have a sense of relatability. It can be compared to getting a snail-mail letter where the sender's address is Tribute Media versus Corey Smith. You might toss the Tribute Media one (no, that's not right, you'd love whatever we would send you), but you'd definitely keep the one from Corey and treasure it always.

Company Branding is like the Wave of a Passerby

When someone you know walks by and waves, you remember you saw them that day. Your company branding is similar. When someone sees it, they remember you. In sales and marketing, this is known as a “touch,” and each touch makes you more recognizable and helps nurture leads.

Content is the Line Attached to your Hook

When creating your content, you have to be strategic and creative.

  • What does your segmented audience want to hear from you that would get them to click on your CTA (call-to-action) and move them further into the Buyer’s Journey?
  • What value does it have to them?
  • Does your content fit in context?

Call them to Action

Get them where you want them. A clear and concise call-to-action is what gets you to your conversion goal. So make it awesome.

Ensure your CTA is positioned appropriately and that the text is specific, creates a sense of urgency and is tied into the offer presented in the content.

Avoid vague CTAs like “Click here” or “Download.” Be specific by changing these to “Click Here to Sign Up Today,” or “Download Your Buyer’s Segmentation Guide Now.”

Give them a way out, even though it’s not what you want

Don’t make your recipients feel trapped. We’ve found the best practices for this are to include a “Why You’re Getting This Email” link (especially for newsletters and reoccurring emails) and always including an unsubscribe link if they know for sure they want out.

The Key to Successful Email Marketing

We’ve said this before, and we’ll say it again: the key to successful email marketing is sending valuable content to a segmented persona at the optimal time. Keep following our blogs on email best practices for more tips and tricks to get you on the right track with your email marketing campaigns.

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Sarah Wai

Written by Sarah Wai

Former Content, Email, and Social Media Marketing Specialist of Tribute Media. Bachelor of Science in Digital Communication Arts and Master in Business Administration.