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Email Best Practices

7 Jul, 2016 McKell Naegle

We’ve all received thousands of emails. In fact, you may even have thousands in your inbox right now! That’s why it’s more important than ever to know what makes a good one. What leads people to open your emails, read them, click them, remember them?
Best Practice #1: Avoid the Spam Folder
Making sure you reach the inbox and stay out of the spam folder is a constant battle. Google’s addition of separate tabs has made it even more difficult. While there’s no proven way to avoid being labeled as spam, there are a few things you can do to help. First, it’s key to have a quality list. If your list is full of dead email addresses or spam, it will ruin your sender reputation, and could even brand you as a spammer. In addition, it’s important to avoid “spammy” language and monitor the deliverability of your emails.
Best Practice #2: Write Compelling Calls to Action (CTAs)
The end goal of most emails is to get someone to click. Whether you want people to visit your website, fill out a form, watch a video, etc., you need to write compelling copy that will inspire your readers to take action. There are many schools of thought on this, but the most important thing to remember is to write a CTA that ties into your overall message and stands out. This usually means avoiding the cliche “click here” CTAs and taking some time to come up with something more creative.
Best Practice #3: Beautifully Designed Emails
How often have you opened an email only to immediately disregard it because of poor design? On the other hand, how often have you been wooed by a beautiful image or colors that really pop? A well-built email draws you in with an engaging idea, tells a compelling visual story and makes it easy for the reader to navigate through it. As your campaign unfolds, it’s also important to carry through a consistent style for each touchpoint.
Best Practice #4: A/B Testing
Two of the most important metrics to track when running an email campaign are open and click rates. One way to do this is through A/B testing. This means splitting your send group into two (or more) groups and testing small variables. This could include testing different subject lines, CTAs, images or even design tweaks. You can compare the results and optimize your emails for better performance in the future.
Best Practice #5: Email Cadence
How often should you send an email to your subscriber list? This is a very common question. The answer usually depends on what industry you’re in, the type of emails you’re sending and the message you’re trying to convey. Finding the right email cadence can take time and a lot of fine-tuning. Keep an eye on your open rate and unsubscribe rate. Too many unsubscribes may mean you’re being too aggressive with your emails.
Best Practice #6: Engaging Subject Lines
A subject line is the first thing a subscriber sees. They can make or break your campaign. It’s important to keep your content fresh and make sure your subscribers know that the latest email if different from the last one. Other tips include customizing your subject line for each person, keeping your subject lines short and even including emojis. As with everything email, test and re-test.
These are just a few tips to help achieve success when sending emails. Check back throughout the month of July and our blog will go into greater detail with many of these topics. Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!

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