Top tips for email marketing

…Posted by Lucy Clarke in Tips on Friday 7th January 2011

Email marketing is one of those digital marketing techniques that many of us struggle to get right. You don’t want to spam people’s inboxes but at the same time you’re keen to get yourself out there and make contact with potential and existing clients.

As you’ll be keen to have your emails opened and read, you’ll want to avoid making any mistakes that will have the recipient immediately clicking ‘delete’. If you follow these basic top tips for good email marketing practice, you will be sure to reach more of your reader’s inboxes and ultimately achieve more enquires and sales.
Avoid spamming your readers

To make sure your emails don’t get flagged as spam – avoid using words such as ‘SAVE’, ‘DISCOUNT’, ‘£££££’, ‘!!!’ in the subject line and the content of your email.
Make your click-throughs clear and obvious

Make sure your links and call to actions are bold and obvious and always have a text link as well as a graphical button just in case your subscriber has their images disabled by default.

For some inspiration on HTML email design, visit Spam Meltdown is a great source of inspiration when you get a creative block or want to see what your competitors are sending to their readers!
Keep it personal

By simply starting your email with “Hi [subscriber_name]” instead of the general “Hi there”, you can increase both your reading and click-thru rates.* This does mean that you have to have a full and clean subscriber list.

On this note, make sure that it is appropriate to address your readers by their first name – “Hi Bob”, or by their full name if a more corporate brand – “Hello Mr Smith”. Whatever works for you and your brand.
Choose your send day wisely

Online research analysts have said that the best days to send email to your subscribers are Tuesday and Wednesday, as this is when people are more receptive to communication. Read an interesting article on HTML email send days.
Strengthen your brand with consistency

Make sure you keep the look and feel consistent from issue to issue. This will help to maintain and strengthen your brand.
Be on time

After time, your subscribers will come to expect your email to arrive in their inbox on the same day and time, meaning that they are generally more receptive to any special offers or promotions you may include.
Grab attention quickly with your subject line

You have about half a second to catch your subscriber’s attention with the subject line of your email. Try to specify a benefit that the subscriber can expect by reading your email. Read this interesting study on HTML email subject lines.
The Preview Pane

Email clients such as MS Outlook show a preview of an email when it’s selected in your inbox. Try to include some interesting content at the very top of your email to grab your reader’s attention.

Something else to consider is the fact that a lot of your readers will have their images turned off by default. Make sure you use descriptive alt tags on your important images, and that you have a healthy balance of text and images to get your message across in all situations. Read more about reaching your readers inboxes here.
Find out what works for you, then test, test and test again

The key to email marketing is to TEST, TEST, and TEST again! Get to know what works for you, test positions of links, test graphical links versus text links, test subject lines. Even if you read these tips and think, no, I don’t think that will work for me and my readers, get to know what does by testing.

With most comprehensive email marketing software packages, you can split your campaigns. For example, send a test batch with different subject lines, and send the rest to the most popular one once the test has finished. Read more on email testing here.
Further reading

* Resources and charts via Mail Chimp
* Email client statistics via Campaign Monitor


1 Response to “Top tips for email marketing”

  1. 1 janeyquiel January 28, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    I agree with your assumption.

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