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Email Marketing Best Practices: Top Tips for Boosting Campaigns

Luisa Calogiuri, Team Lead & James Chandler
Digital Campaign Consultant @ Mapp
Email Marketing Best Practices: Top Tips for Boosting Campaigns
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Our State of Customer Experience 2023 survey revealed that email is the top channel marketers leverage in their campaigns. But with so many emails popping into inboxes daily, consumers are a tough crowd to impress. Every email you send is being sized up against many others outside of your vertical. 

Capturing your recipients’ attention with your email content is integral to providing an outstanding customer experience. When someone enjoys reading your email, it’s because you’ve appealed to their needs, interests, and pain points. 

But with the right strategies in place, your email campaigns have the potential to drive engagement, build brand loyalty, and generate valuable conversions.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into email marketing best practices (including all-important email formatting best practices) as well as plenty of other email marketing tips to increase your open and click-through rates. So, without further ado, let’s dive into our top email best practices! 

EMAIL MARKETING BEST PRACTICES

It’s important to recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Each client faces unique challenges and opportunities. But to put these practices into practice, let’s use a fictional eCommerce beauty brand, ‘GlowRadiance,’ as an example. 

GlowRadiance specializes in natural, high-quality, and cruelty-free skincare products. Yet, their recent email campaigns received poor engagement rates, low open rates, and minimal click-throughs. To address these issues, the marketing team wants to go back to basics, revisiting key email marketing best practices to achieve better results.

Here are some key considerations for designing effective email templates and developing an effective schedule:

EMAIL MARKETING BEST PRACTICE #1: SUBJECT LINE

Your email subject lines need to immediately grab the recipient’s attention to encourage them to read through the rest of the content. Did you know that 33% of users choose to open email because of catchy subject lines? To grab their attention, give a sense of urgency, create curiosity, offer problem-solving solutions, and add a personal touch. 

But personalization doesn’t just mean using the recipient’s name. That might have been impressive several years ago, but consumers want more than that. Personalization today requires understanding your audience’s desires and meeting their needs. A/B tests comparing two different subject lines are the best way to understand how your audience reacts and what is the most effective approach. 

Mapp Email Marketing Best Practice 1: Subject line optimisation which shows the impact of relevant and personalized subject lines.

PRO TIPS: “We’ve seen how personalization can enhance open rates, click-through rates, and overall campaign effectiveness. It’s a fantastic way of forging a personal connection and building relationships with your customers that feel real and personal with your customers. If you can build a meaningful relationship, you can nurture new customers to become loyall customers who engage with and convert to your business regularly. Personalization will help an email feel it was made specifically for your customer, and it should be used, wherever possible.” 

EMAIL MARKETING BEST PRACTICE #2: COPY

Now, onto the next step of email marketing best practices. Nobody likes opening an email and seeing large walls of text. Emails that include text and graphics have a 27% higher open rate than text-based emails. But don’t forget that emails should be just a preview of what your chosen landing pages will be, not a word-for-word copy. Spend time carefully curating the email text, make it concise and catchy, and break up the text to make it easy to scan through.

An email marketing best practice is to ensure that the readability or layout of the email is easy for the reader.

PRO TIP: “Think of it as the book cover; it needs to be a preview of what’s in store for the reader. Make sure you understand how all email components complement each other and that the text supports the subject line.”

EMAIL MARKETING BEST PRACTICE #3: IMAGES

Needless to say, images play a huge part in how consumers feel about your emails. Emails that contain only images are a bad idea for two reasons: Firstly, some email users activate image blocking, which means they won’t see your content if it’s mostly images. Secondly, emails made up of just images are at a higher risk of ending up in the dreaded spam folder. There is a balance to be had. For example, one study found that emails with three or fewer images and around 20 lines of text resulted in the highest click-through rates.

PRO TIP: “Always make sure to maintain a good balance between text and images. Adding alternative text to your email image is crucial, as it serves as a description of the images for consumers to read if they happen to be blocked or disabled. But that’s not all; it also makes your email more accessible to individuals with visual impairments.”

EMAIL MARKETING BEST PRACTICE #4: CALL-TO-ACTION (CTA) 

Place a clear and compelling CTA that stands out from the rest of the content, prompting readers to take action. Use contrasting colors, descriptive language, and concise instructions to drive clicks and conversions. Personalization really matters here, as personalized calls-to-action perform over 200% better than basic CTAs! Again, A/B tests are the best way to understand your audience’s preferences. Make sure your CTA explicitly tells them what they can expect in exchange for their click. Visual hierarchy matters, and making your call to action stand out plays a crucial role in driving conversions.

Email marketing best practices included having standout CTAs that take customers to what the button describes.

PRO TIP: “Incorporating neon colors in your email design is an easy way to stand out. If we look at color psychology, neon colors represent boldness and excitement. Stay away from the overused “click here” and “buy now” and select CTA that is better aligned to your brand’s identity.”

EMAIL MARKETING BEST PRACTICE #5: FOOTER 

And now we get to the bottom of our email, the footer! This section includes several important email elements. The manage preference section allows the users to decide when to receive emails from you. In both the United States and Europe, commercial brands are required to include a physical address in their emails as part of the mandatory information, together with the complete company name, registration number, and VAT number in some European countries.

If social media is a key focus for your brand, the footer is typically where brands incorporate links or icons. And they can have a big impact. One study found that social sharing boosts email CTR by as much as 158%!

Finally, the unsubscribe link. This is often required by regulations such as the CAN-SPAM Act in the United States and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe. This link allows your recipients to easily opt out of receiving future emails.

Email best practices also include having a footer with your company address and number, along with an unsubscribe link.

PRO TIP: “Having a clear and organized footer helps enhance the user’s experience. Consider grouping related information together and applying consistent font sizes and styles. A user-friendly footer is also another opportunity to engage with your subscribers, directing them to your social media channels and allowing them to set their preferences.”

EMAIL MARKETING BEST PRACTICE #6: FREQUENCY & CADENCE 

Determining the optimal email frequency and cadence is crucial to maintaining positive relationships with your email subscribers. Striking the right balance ensures that you stay top-of-mind without overwhelming them (keep in mind that 69% of users unsubscribe to email lists due to too many emails). Understanding email cadence can have a powerful impact on company performance as a result.

PRO TIPS: “Establish a regular schedule for sending emails and stick to it. Consistency builds trust and sets expectations with your subscribers. We could come up with recommendations on the perfect day to send and the ideal time to get the best result, but the truth is, there is nothing better than conducting testing to get your own answers. 

Regularly analyze your email performance metrics, such as open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates. Conduct a program of time-of-day analysis as well as customer surveys to aid in your understanding of your customers’ preferred email frequency. Following this, A/B test your sending to establish exactly what works best for your audience.”

EMAIL MARKETING BEST PRACTICES: MAPP’S CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT SERVICES

Sometimes, you need an extra pair of hands to launch effective email marketing campaigns.

Mapp’s expert team is here to help! We’re ready to dive in and provide campaign services, from creative, strategy, segmentation, testing, and delivery. Mapp’s Campaign Management team builds and delivers impactful email campaigns on your behalf from your Mapp Marketing Cloud platform, whether your goal is to acquire new customers or engage current ones to create a loyal customer base. Ask about Mapp’s Best Practice Services today to boost email engagement.

We hope our email marketing best practices advice helps you create impactful emails that stand out in crowded inboxes, engage your target audience, and drive meaningful conversions. By following these email best practices, you can improve email quality and, crucially, strengthen relationships with your subscribers.

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