10 Best Practices for an Effective Email Marketing Strategy

You’ve spent countless hours and valuable resources building your lists.

But, they’re not growing.

You’ve sent out mass emails to all of your subscribers.

But, they’re not converting.

If this sounds like you, you may need to improve your email marketing strategy.

In this post, we’re going to talk about some of the key ways to give your email marketing a boost and nurture your leads so you can bring in more revenue.

There are countless things you can do to grow your online presence, get more followers, gain more subscribers, and increase your digital following.

However, these things are still not as effective as nurturing the leads you already have so you can convert them into paying customers.

To help you get the most out of your existing email marketing strategy, we’ve put together the following list of surefire, yet simple, actionable steps to improve your email marketing.

1. Spring Clean Your Existing Database

It’s Spring, so it’s time to do some cleaning.

And we’re not just talking about your house, either.

Now, it’s time to clean up your list.

See, if you’ve had your website for a while, you’re probably got a good amount of subscribers from all of your email marketing efforts.  They may not be converting now, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to complete write them off.

Instead, spend some time cleaning up your contact list by:

Using segmentation

Make sure you’re sending the right type of emails to the right people, at the right times with list segmentation. Segment your list by demographics, poll or survey results, frequency (Who opens your emails the most? Who prefers them spaced out more?), purchase behavior, and email activity (open-rates, click-throughs, shares, etc.) You could see some amazing results like the ones outlined here:

Getting them back

You’ve likely got some inactive subscribers on your list. Exclusive offers, highly personalized content, and discounts are some great ways to get your inactive subscribers to come back.

2. Use the Right Opt-In Forms

It’s hard to get people to sign up without opt-in forms, but it’s more than just having forms available. You need the right kind of forms.

This is where the difference between single opt-ins and double opt-ins comes into play in a HUGE way.

They’re exactly like they sound, with single forms only requiring the input of information and double forms requiring a confirmation after they give you their information.

Both are great, but both have their own benefits and drawbacks.

Single forms can result in a lack of subscribers because they enter their address with typos, use spam emails, or use an address that doesn’t belong to them.

Double forms require confirmation, so you KNOW the person definitely wants to sign up for your content. On the other hand, you can lose out if they forget to confirm or if they have certain spam filters in place.

In the end, it comes down to A/B split testing to see what your website visitors prefer. Everyone is different, so give each form a shot and see which yields the best conversions.

Once you’ve figured out which type of forms your visitors prefer, it’s time to get the most use out of it. You can do that by:

  • Placing a signup option on each page of your website, especially the landing page.
  • Include a link to your opt-in form or landing page in the signature of your email.
  • Add an opt-in to your invoices, product order forms, surveys and polls, giveaways, and other offers.

3. Offer Value and Purpose

There are so many brands that just send out mass emails without any clear purpose.

It’s just a random collage of company updates, tips and tricks, promotions and offers, and other news. It’s disorganized. It’s not entirely relevant.

It gets deleted pretty quickly.

What you’ve got to do is avoid this. Instead, spend time focused on marketing and sales to figure out what the purpose of each message should be.

Then, use that focus to come up with the most effective design and sales copy to ensure each message is directly relevant to the subscribers in your list segments.

To start, consider these primary email marketing campaign goals:

Demonstrate brand value

Let your message prove that your brand is a valuable resource and industry authority. Offer tips, strategies, and other valuable information to your subscribers. Include a link back to your website, along with a compelling call-to-action that persuades them to take action.

Traffic generation

Share some information from your latest blog post or article, and include a link to it on your website. That little snippet and preview should be compelling enough to make them click through to the actual page on your site.

Promote a product or service

Let them know what you’re offering, and hire a professional copywriter to create a message that showcases this product or service in a way that creates a sense of urgency. Make them want to use your service, and use this message to bring in repeat business from your existing customers and encourage subscribers to convert to new business.

4. Revamp Your Design

Just as with most things in life, less truly is more.

When it comes to marketing, simplistic design is usually more effective.

Some of the best ways to design an effective email campaign that grabs your reader’s attention and gets them hooked are:

Make it readable

Make sure you pick a font for readability, rather than aesthetics. Fonts like Arial and Helvetica are easy to read across the majority of devices.

More text than images

A good rule of thumb is to make each message 80% text and 20% images.

Optimization

According to Litmus, 54% of emails are read on mobile devices. Make sure your campaigns are optimized for both mobile AND desktop.

Incentivize

Not only do you want to include a strong call-to-action, but you also want to make sure it’s compelling enough to make them follow that action. Pair it with the promise of great information, an offer, or other must-have item. Include the call-to-action in your message as both text link AND with a simple graphic, such as an eye-catching button.

Make them focus

Use graphics and other design elements that get your readers to focus on the most important aspects of your email copy.

If you’re looking for an easy email marketing solution with simple but effective design components? Grab EmailTools and integrate videos, countdown timers, surveys and more!

5. Invest in a Copywriter

Image Source

Great copy goes a long way and can make all the difference between a simple open and an actual conversion.

You want your reader to sit up and take notice. You want them to stay hooked, unable to stop reading. You want them to stay engaged the whole way, right down to your call-to-action.

That’s how you create the conversions you need to boost your sales and grow your brand.

Investing in a qualified copywriter to produce great copy for your email marketing is highly recommended, but there are ways to do it yourself.

If you choose to go that route, sign up for some newsletters from top marketing agencies and copywriting services so you can learn tips for effective email copy.

Regardless of whether you have an eCommerce website or one that pairs up one for your brick-and-mortar store, strong copy helps boost your sales and keeps your conversion rates up.

6. Strengthen Your Subject Line

Just like great copy, the subject line is one of the most important aspects of an effective email marketing campaign strategy.

This is the first thing that determines whether or not your subscribers read your email or simply move it to the trash without a second thought.

Take these subject lines from Ramit Sethi, which lead to lead to millions of dollars in revenue:

They are attention grabbing, targeted and really make you want to open the email, which is the first step of email marketing success.

Think about it: How many times have you scanned through your inbox, and deleted emails without even opening them?

Dozens of times, right? And it’s usually because the subject line seemed boring, irrelevant, or just plain scammy.

Use these tips to produce a subject line that yields higher open rates:

  1. Watch your words:
    Avoid the spam words that send your email straight to the junk folder. These words include: “Free”, “Urgent”, “Order Now”, “Limited time offer”, and “Guarantee.”
  2. Keep it short:
    Use fewer than 50 characters, including spaces
  3. Identify yourself:
    Include the name of your company or brand
  4. Personalize it!
    Include the name of the recipient in the subject line, making them more likely to read it. It makes it directly relevant to them, and holds the promise of having content they absolutely MUST read.
  5. Get them to notice it:
    Make it interesting – You want it to stand out!

7. Use Analytics

It’s hard to tell how successful your email marketing campaign strategy is without measuring anything!

How do you know if your campaign is performing the way you want it to without any measurements? Without these, it’s just a bunch of random numbers that don’t mean anything.

So, before you send out your campaigns, you want to make sure you’ve got proper tracking set up so you can maximize your ROI.

Some of the metrics you should be tracking through your email provider and analytics tool include:

  1. Deliverability rates:
    How many of your emails actually went through.
  2. Open rates:
    How many of your emails are opened by your subscribers.
  3. Click-through rates:
    How many of your readers click on the links contained within your emails.
  4. Conversion rates:
    How many of your subscribers become customers after receiving your emails and checking out your website.

8. Send Emails at the Right Time

Send out emails when someone is busy, and they’re going to put it off. They may even forget about it.

Send out emails when they’re sleeping, and they have to wake up to a full inbox – which means yours may very well be ignored.

This is why timing is everything!

While the optimal time to send out your email messages does depend on your subscribers (which is why segmentation comes in handy!), there are some times that are better than others.

10am is the best time to send an email, according to a report from KOI Creative Space. Late morning is pretty popular when you consider that most adults are settling in to work right around then:

The 2nd best time?

8pm.

It may seem like work hours would be a great time-frame for sending emails, but think about it: How busy are you while you’re at work?

Your subscribers are less likely to open, read, and focus on your email if you send it while they’re at work.

On the other hand, the time-frame of 8:00 pm (subscriber’s time), may yield a higher open rate, higher click-through rates and boosted sales.

9. Remember People Like Free Stuff

What better way to position your brand as a helpful resource that care about their customers than to offer free, value-driven content?

Exactly.

Consumers love free things, whether it’s a template, eBook, brand merchandise, or a spot in your next webinar.

Expert email marketers have showcased how well those emails with free content perform, versus those that don’t contain anything but regular links. While digital print media is great, from ebooks to email courses, other media is just as valuable.

In fact, when the town of Engfield, CT included a video in their email marketing campaign messages, they saw a 28% increase in their click-throughs.

Some other free, value-driven content you could offer to get more conversions include:

  • Surveys with a gift card or giveaway
  • Templates
  • Tools
  • Printables
  • Infographics
  • eBooks

10. Conduct A/B Split Testing

We could give you all the email marketing strategy tips in the world, but it won’t get you very far without having all the right elements in place.

You’d just be sending out mass emails without a direction or purpose to go with.

This is why split testing is so important.

The only way to figure out the perfect combinations of marketing elements, such as subject lines, designs, landing pages, and opt-in forms, is to conduct A/B split testing and track the results.

When focusing on improving these things, you’re going to want to keep track of a few different metrics.

Mainly, you want to test, track, and optimize:

  • The subject line
  • The design of the email message (Font, colors, graphics, and formatting)
  • Call-to-action
  • Delivery times

Final Thoughts

It’s important to practice effective email marketing strategies that will nurture your leads and guide them through the sales funnel so they can convert to paying customers.

They also help make sure your existing customers keep coming back for more of your products and services, growing your consumer-brand trust and your following.

We’ve outlined the ten essential steps for an effective email marketing strategy, as well as some great tools like ClickPerfectEmailTools. Now, all you have to do is implement them!

What are your best practices for effective email marketing? Let us know in the comments below and, while you’re here, don’t forget to share this post!

Natalie Ryder

Natalie Ryder

Graphic Designer & Web Developer at Snaptactix
Natalie utilizes her web savvy, a keen eye for detail, and a bit of magic to make your Snaptactix experience delightful.
To unwind after hours of writing code or perfecting a design, Natalie likes to go out swing dancing or stay home alone and solve jigsaw puzzles.
Natalie Ryder

Also published on Medium.

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