Email marketing is still one of the most effective means of reaching customers. Much of this is due to the high volume of emails internet users send and receive on a daily basis – an average of 269 billion in 2017.
However, some email campaigns are stronger than others. If you want to design a successful marketing strategy in 2018, keep the following email marketing best practices in mind:
Make Your Emails Interactive
The content of your emails should have the same impact on customers as the content of your website. This means sending emails that are more interactive. Experts are predicting that interactive emails will continue contributing to email marketing success in 2018. The nature of this feature will vary depending on your industry, but the general goal is to boost engagement by giving your customers something to actually do when they open your email.
For example, a retailer can send their customers an email with images of various new products they’re launching. Instead of simply displaying multiple images for each product, they could include a slideshow. When users click on the slideshow, the picture changes to show a new product. This approach accomplishes the same goal, with the added benefit of boosting user engagement.
Craft Effective Subject Lines
Approximately 64% of people decide whether they’ll open an email based on the subject line. Clearly, this is a crucial element of any email marketing campaign.
The nature of your business will affect what type of subject line attracts customers. The traits of a subject line that works for a bar geared toward Millennials probably won’t be as effective for an apparel company targeting senior citizens.
That said, there are some general ways you can improve your subject lines:
- Use emotionally exciting words (e.g. “End Today!” or “5 Hours only!”)
- Include emoticons and/or symbols
- Ask your customers a question, or simply tease the content of the email
Your goal is to identify what your customers want, and how you can make it clear to them that by opening your email, they’ll get it.
Validate Your Emails
What’s the point of an email marketing strategy if your emails don’t reach the people they’re intended for? Invalid emails not only affect your marketing campaign’s effectiveness, but also pose a risk to your sender reputation. Whenever an email doesn’t reach the inbox of a recipient, it negatively impacts your reputation with your email service provider, and can even lead to you being locked out from their platform.
The importance of verifying email addresses will continue into 2018, so use an email cleaning tool to verify the emails on your list and ensure they reach inboxes. Doing so will provide insurance that your email marketing campaign is the most effective it can be, while also avoiding the risk of damaging your sender reputation.
Include a Call to Action
Your emails need to do more than simply remind customers that you exist. In each email you send, include at least one call to action. You can ask customers to purchase a product, direct them to your website to learn more about a free offer, ask them to share a piece of content on social media, etc.
Don’t assume the mere presence of a call to action is enough, though. The copy preceding it will determine whether customers actually take the action you’re encouraging. Incentivize customers without giving away too much information. Use of color or bolded fonts will also help ensure a CTA stands out.
Personalization is the essential technique to keep in mind for email marketing success in 2018. By sending emails with the right content at the right time to your subscribers, they are more likely to click through them and convert. To attest to this, personalized email subject lines have been shown to increase open rates 26%. Additionally, emails that are personalized lead to a 10% boost in conversions.
Use tools, techniques, and software like advanced drip campaigns and segmentation to begin personalizing your emails. Make sure you’re tracking all of your results and integrating your systems into analytics so you can continue to optimize emails and make them even more relevant to your audience.
Email marketing best practices can apply to any kind of business. The most important factors for 2018 include getting people to open the email then take action, curating engaging and interactive content, personalizing the experience, and validating emails so people actually receive them.