Email Marketing - Email Best Practice


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We outline the do's and don'ts of email marketing including copy writing, HTML tips, subject lines and much more.

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Email Marketing - Email Best Practice

  1. 1. Email Best Practice – How to Make Your Email Campaign Perform WellThere are 4 critical stages to an effective email campaign: 1. Planning 3. Production 2. Preparation 4. PerformanceWhat planning is needed? Look at your business objectives to ensure you know your goals and how you will measure success. Plan email campaigns in advance. Try to have a schedule for the year ahead looking at seasonal opportunities as well as where you can create your own. Look at industry email benchmarks and ask yourself what you are hoping to achieve with your email campaigns and have a clear goal in mind for each campaign. Brief email campaigns/creative well in advance of launch to ensure you have time to perfect.Preparation is key to successData collection: Collect quality data – via homepage touch points and sign up opportunities. Include a preference centre on your website where consumers can update their details including email communication preferences. Include a call to action on your newsletter inviting them to forward to a friend. Make use of in-store data collection opportunities (if applicable). Permissions – use a double opt-in if possible. This validates the subscriber and means cleaner data.Targeting & Relevance: Segment your data – look at your recipients’ preferences, buying behaviour and where they are in the life cycle e.g. are they a new buyer, repeat buyer, old enquirer etc. Target appropriately with relevant messages. Don’t treat prospects the same as buyers.Copy & Creative:There are many things to think about when creating your email. Here are just some of the things to bear in mind: Subject Lines o Must be interesting and enticing but reflect what the email is about. o Mention benefits rather than features. o Use no more than 50 characters or up to 70 characters if there is more than one message. From Name o Must be immediately recognizable. Recipients take about 3 seconds to decide whether to open an email or not and this, combined with the subject line, will drive their decision. Copy o Must be clear, concise, interesting and informative and include clear calls to action. o List any benefits and offers - what’s in it for the recipient? o Personalise or use dynamic content to target specific segmented lists to make it more relevant. Calls to Action o Should be prominent, clear and encourage recipient to click through to your website. o Use different calls to action and test them to see what works best for you and your customer.© indium online 101865 980
  2. 2. Design o The email should enhance brand identity and value and have a similar look and feel to the website. o The email should work with and without images in case the recipient has images turned off. o Use clean HTML code  Make sure the email renders properly in different browsers and email clients e.g. Hotmail, Outlook, Yahoo, BT Connect, Googlemail etc.  Avoid using pixel spacer gifs to force table widths as spammers use them.  Avoid using cascading style sheets as it can get stripped out or render incorrectly.  Avoid scripts such as javascript, background images and flash as these can cause rendering problems in some browsers.  Keep the email between 500 and 650 pixels wide to avoid recipients needing to scroll. o Include linked text above the main email body outlining the main message so that it can be viewed in the preview pane – used by about 60% of email users to decide which emails to open. o Use a spam checker to increase the chance of your email landing in the inbox. o Always include a text version of the email in case the HTML is blocked by the recipients. o Include a category navigation bar in case the recipient isn’t interested in the email content but is interested in visiting your website. o Include a “forward to a friend” link and/or links to social network sites such as Linked In, Facebook and Twitter to encourage viral marketing. o Include legal requirements - an unsubscribe link and your company’s registered office address and registration number for example.ProductionDeliverability ManagementManage your deliverability with good list hygiene. Clean your data on a regular basis, ideally after each campaign,by removing hard bounces and unsubscribes.Response ManagementBe able to deal with customer responses, emails, phone calls, orders in a quick turnaround time. Ensure you canmeet and exceed recipients’ expectations.Performance – measure, test and learn!The great thing about email marketing is its measurability. Make sure you track each email campaign you send anduse the results to better future activity. Implement a testing plan, analyse results and implement changes toimprove future performance.Metrics & AnalysisMeasure the success of each campaign with metrics such as open rates, click through rates, conversions, ROI.Compare results with your objectives to determine a campaign’s success and establish any future testing orimprovements.Implement a Testing PlanDifferent things work for different companies and different markets. To see what works best for you implement atesting plan to ensure you’re getting the most out of your email marketing. You might decide to test subject lines,calls to action, times/days of sends, frequency, offers, segmentation, and personalisation. Just remember not toadd too many variables to the mix in one campaign unless you know exactly how you are going to track what hasworked and what hasn’t. Learn from your results and implement any improvements. Keep testing over time toensure what worked for your market 6 months ago still applies today.© indium online 201865 980