There are 4 billion email users everyday. Email marketing has proven to be an effective way for businesses to communicate with and promote to their customers. For every $1 spent on email marketing, businesses can generate a $51 return on investment. With that in mind, we want to share some email marketing best practices to help keep your email campaigns competitive. Using these strategies, you will boost results and be able to reach customers and prospects effectively.

#1 Creating a Marketing Plan 

With 2022 right around the corner, marketing teams across the world are gearing up. But before you can start to implement all your fantastic email marketing campaigns, you need a plan. Creating a plan will align your efforts to your goals so you can effectively communicate with your audience. Here are some steps to help you build the most effective plan. 

a. Set your goals 

Establishing email marketing goals will help keep you on track to produce your desired outcomes. Make your goals SMART (specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, timely). Maybe your goal is to increase your email subscribers by 15% by Q3 of 2022. Maybe the goal is to boost email open rates by 30% by June. Whatever your goals may be, having them clearly defined is an absolute must to begin your planning. 

b. Know your audience

Being able to effectively communicate with your customers and prospects means personalizing the experience for them. Targeting buyers that have already expressed interest in your products or services increases engagement and creates a stronger relationship, generating sales. Review website data, form submissions, social engagements, and other analytics to help you define your target audiences and their expressed needs. 

c. Decide a writing strategy 

Once the audience is decided, it becomes easier to create the content to tailor to their likes. You'll want the emails to be tailored to what interests them. Keep in mind they will use these emails to get new information about new products.

d. Create a schedule 

Being able to track when emails are sent out is a great way to stay on top of your cadence. Make sure you pace the rate of emails appropriately so you aren’t annoying people, but are still remaining relevant. This is a delicate art. After the emails are sent, report on the open rates, unsubscribes, and click-through rates to understand what worked, and what needs to be improved for next time. In time, you’ll come to understand what your audience responds to best. 

#2 Designing Your Emails 

How your email looks visually is important to catch the customers eye. Layout, colors, fonts and images help brand your emails and create a level of professionalism. Here are some tips for designing your emails:

a. Layout

When designing your emails, keeping it short and to the point will make your message clear. Put the most important information towards the top in case they are scanning the email quickly. Adults have an attention span of 8 seconds long, so making the information that’s most important is highlighted earlier on in your message.  

To ensure emails will render correctly and be easy to read, make sure email widths are no greater than 640 pixels. This will allow for emails to open clearly and not mess up the layout. Be mindful of how your layout may be altered on different devices. Use testing features in your email marketing solution to view the email on different size screens and make sure it renders correctly.  

b. Templates

Choosing the correct template for your email will make it visually appealing for the recipient. Having different fonts and colors affects how the email will look. Giving your email personality will make the content more intriguing. 

Picking colors that fit the personality of your brand will be recognizable for your readers. For example, red provokes energy and yellow can be used to grab attention by being an optimistic color and standing out. Use colors to match your brand, but don’t go overboard.

#3 Personalizing Your Message

Email personalization gives you the chance to create a message catered to an individual based on the data in your system. Having “Dear [Insert Name Here]” in emails has proven to not be as effective as we may think. Although adding someone's name into an email has traditionally been the go-to route for personalization, the proliferation of spamming emails that use this strategy has started to cast doubt on this approach. Email experts now say to use this type of personalization cautiously, but that doesn’t mean you must forgo using the person’s name at all. Instead, try calling out their name in the email subject line. This has been proven to increase open rates by 16%. In addition, find other ways to personalize the experience like reference past purchases and recommend similar products they like. 

For every $1 spent on personalization, $20 in ROI can be generated. Having personalization within your emails will make you stand out against other companies because - believe it or not -  70% of brands still do not personalize their email marketing. 

Along with personalizing the message, here are a few more personalization tips to add:

  1. Create a real reply-to email: Having an email address customers can respond to if they have questions is a great way to engage with your customers. Not having an email address you can receive feedback from can affect how the customer perceives your business.
  2. Create a real email signature: Including a contact at the bottom of your emails will show the readers they can reach out to if they have further questions or concerns. This will show you want to build a relationship with them and they are important to the company.

#4 Measure Performance 

The ability to evaluate and measure email marketing success requires looking at Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPI’s allow you to reveal whether or not you've achieved your marketing goals, and it will also start to reveal trends that you can learn from to make your emails more effective.

a. Open Rate

Most email campaigns have an open rate of 15-25%. The open rate is an important aspect of email marketing. It's the number of recipients who are opening your emails. Recipients are more likely to open the emails if the subject line makes an impression. Many tests have shown that personalizing the subject lines will increase open rates.

b. Click-Through Rate

The number of email recipients who click links within an email defines the Click-Through Rate (CTR). Looking at the interactions from the emails is a great way to see what content your readers enjoy. Incorporating call-to-action (CTA) buttons and making them stand out will increase your CTR. 

c. Email Engagement 

It is very important to know your subscribers so you can market to their patterns and schedules. Over time, you can tailor a schedule from that information to optimize when you send out emails. Generally, the best days to send emails are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The best times to send emails are 6am, 10am, 2pm, 8pm, 10pm and midnight. It is important to look at the behaviors of your subscribers so you know when to send out your emails. 

Another aspect to consider is sending out the emails at the same time. This could help your emails because they would be sent in your recipient's time zone. 

#5 Offer Gifts

Gaining your customer’s loyalty is very valuable. One great way to do this is by using gifts. Gifts are a way to show your customers how much you care about their business and can be used to gain their trust. Offering promotional discounts, sending gifts, or gift cards can be an incentive for a purchase.

Concluding Thoughts

Email marketing will continue to be a powerful way to reach a lot of customers. It allows businesses to send personalized messages and track results. With millions of email users everyday, marketing through this channel allows for complete customization for each customer. Make a plan, follow best practices for layout and content, and review your metrics to constantly improve. With the right approach in place, your 2022 email marketing strategy will be off to a soaring start. 

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