So, you want a best practice guide for email marketing? No problem! What market are you in? What purpose are you sending emails for? How much resource do you have available?
Best practice in email marketing is a hard thing to put your finger on. As the saying goes, what might be good for the goose, might not necessarily be good for the gander. In an ideal world, best practices are something that you should develop for your own campaigns over time. Test your campaigns, and develop insight from there. Not sure how? Check here for some suggestions.
That being said, there are a few points that are worth bearing in mind right from the get go, so let’s run through a couple of them here.
Subject lines save lives!
Well, not exactly, but that sub-header got your attention, didn’t it? Subject lines should act in exactly the same way. Make them exciting, but keep them relevant. Admit it, a small part of you is disappointed that this paragraph isn’t about life-saving subject lines. Don’t inflict the same on your subscribers!
FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is currently popular in many subject lines, driving a sense of urgency and hinting that your subscriber’s world will be shattered if they miss out on the content of your email. Be careful though, going over the top with this can backfire, as can the use of words that people now perceive as “spammy”. FREE STUFF might seem like a no brainer to open, but sadly the spammers have won, and many subscribers will simply delete subject lines like these. ReturnPath tested many different variables within subject lines, and produced this handy pdf so you can see the results.
This tip is just for you…
Personalisation is an ever more important part of email design, with subscribers expecting you to send them messages not just referencing their name, but also their purchase history and even browsing habits.
The more 1:1 you can make your email, the more likely your audience are to engage with it and your brand, hopefully making purchases, signing up for a service, or whatever it is you want them to do. That gives you more information about them, which means their next email can reference this latest interaction, and so on and so forth.
Of course, if you are going to personalise, make sure you are getting it right, sending actively unengaging content, or even worse a failed merge field, will really put people off. There is also the ‘dark side’ of personalisation to consider. This is where you over personalise, or add in details that there is no need for, making you come over as creepy or big brother-ish. This article isn’t specifically about email, but brings together a number of sources on this topic nicely.
As mentioned above, generic best practice will only get you so far, it’s like asking for a Ferrari and getting a Ford. It’s still a car, but not really what you were after.
At RedEye we take the time to get to know our customers, so we can deliver the most relevant and up-to-date advice across a whole range of channels and services. One of our company values is even “We’re in it with you”, so if you need more of a helping hand, get in touch and see what we can achieve together.