Email Marketing Best Practices To Help You Send Memails

It’s soon going to be 50 years since the first email was sent. And it’s more than 40 years since the first unsolicited mass email was sent by Gary Thuerk, a marketing manager of a computer company, to 400 customers over the Arpanet. The bulk email resulted in $13 million in sales for his company. But it was ages ago (1978!!) and since then email has undergone many transformations. If you have watched Seth Godin’s How to get your ideas to spread Ted Talk, you will remember these nuggets of wisdom 

Now, this is Copernicus, and he was right, when he was talking to anyone who needs to hear your idea. “The world revolves around me.” Me, me, me, me. My favorite person — me. I don’t want to get email from anybody; I want to get “memail.”

In 2018, roughly 281 billion emails were sent and received each day and the number is expected to grow to over 347 billion daily mails in 2022. With inboxes being crowded and noisy, marketers need to think out of the box to get their message noticed and opened. 

How to stand out in a crowded inbox? Answer: memails! 

Memails work. In fact they work very well. But memails isn’t about getting your recipient’s first name right. It goes beyond the first names. It’s about creating long-term trust between your company and your customers. Let us help you get your email marketing campaigns get noticed, opened and drive results. Get in touch with our marketing team for our case studies.  You can also watch our educational video on “Why you need 4 agencies to get your digital marketing right” which is very useful for agency selection. Our CEO, Aji Issac, keeps on sharing new industry insights on his LinkedIn Page 

Email Marketing Best Practices

1) Don’t view email as a siloed channel 

It’s 2020 and still many marketers look at emails as a distribution channel. It should be a part of your multichannel strategy. An often quoted example of a brand successfully integrating its email and social media marketing is Sony’s VAIO summer launch email which included a Pin it button next to its products. The email got 3,000 clickthroughs to “pin”. Sony had also added a ‘most pinned banner’ to some of the emails which drove 2,900 visits to Sony’s ecommerce site every month since the launch.

2) Segmenting list

Whenit comes to your email list, bigger is not always better. In fact, the key is to nail the segmentation right as it will help increase your open rates, click-through-rates and conversions. A Mailchimp survey found that segmented email campaigns have 14.31% higher open rates than non-segmented email campaigns and achieve 100.95% higher clicks than non-segmented campaigns. When it comes to segmentation, there’s no one rule to nail it. You can segment your list using geography, demographics, past purchases, purchase journey, job title and function, monetary spending with your brand on a monthly basis – in fact there are many ways. If you are already segmenting your list, we would say keep experimenting to find new ways to interact with your audience. 

3) List hygiene

Regularly review your lists. Review the list of people who have not responded to your emails in the last couple of months. Communicate with them in a different way. If they still don’t respond, remove them. A high number of inactives in your list can drag down the success rate of your email marketing campaign. If you are planning to purchase email lists from a company, it’s important to understand how did they obtain the email addresses and are the subscribers aware of how their email addresses would be used. Unsolicited emails have very poor open rates; they have average open rates of around 2% and click-through rates of around 0.2%, as per CampaignMonitor. 

4) From names and email addresses are important

The “from” and “reply-to” email addresses must be authentic and reflect your business identity. 73% make the decision to click on the “report spam” or “junk” button seeing the from address, as per Email Sender and Provider Coalition. 64% of small business  said they decide whether or not to open an email seeing the from address. Avoid the no-reply addresses as they make you look uncaring and arrogant. In fact in many countries sending emails with a no-reply address is not allowed. As per Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), email campaigns must include information that “personally identifies the sender”.

5) Subject line

People scan the subject lines to make split-second decision whether to open your email or not. A report by Convince&Convert found that 35% of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone. So, what kind of subject lines work- Short? Long? Should you use hashtags in the subject line? What kind of words work? Do capitalizations work? Should you use emojis in the subject line? There’s a lot of data available around subject lines. For instance, a survey by Mailchimp found that words like “urgent” and “important” have higher open rates. A recent survey by Nielsen Norman Group found that adding an emoji to an email subject line increases the negative sentiment towards that email by 26%. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to subject lines. Keep testing your subject lines ( use an A/B or Multivariate testing campaign) to check how different subject lines affect the open rate. 

6) Email content

Most email content have at least one of these goals – drive the readers to a desired action; create awareness and trust around brand and its product or services; set a tone or expectation; and reinforce brand identity. But how do you achieve these goals? There are some basic rules – 

  • Don’t sound like a narcissist – Don’t create content that just talks about you. Instead make it about the users. Give them something to cherish about you – it can be a free resource, a discount code, or may be an announcement of your brand taking a social stand. For example, this welcome email from United Colors Of Benetton is more than a simple “thanks for subscribing” message. It gives the users a clarity on the perks of subscribing with them. 

Uber’s email campaign highlighting their driver’s act of humanity hits the right note with the recipients. Such campaigns build trust, credibility and most importantly humanizes the brand. 

  • Keep it short or long? – Well it depends on the type of email you are sending. For sales email, keep it between 50 and 125 words as per data by Boomerang. 

If you are sending information-packed content, then long emails do work. For instance, Matt Kepnes of the famous travel blog Nomadic Matt sends lengthy emails. On average, his emails contain 802 words. He includes the entire blog posts within his emails instead of adding the links of the blog posts to his emails. These emails receive high open and click-through rates.

  • Optimize for mobile: With42% of all emails being read on a mobile device, email campaigns need to be designed with mobile subscribers in mind. Some of the basic guidelines to follow are –
  1. Use mobile-friendly templates.
  2. Use preheader text 
  3. Use one column design 
  4. Follow inverted pyramid content structure 
  5. Make the CTA easy to tap 

7) Make unsubscribing easy

Your emails must include an option to let your subscribers unsubscribe. Unsubscribe link should be clear and conspicuous. Not only does it fall under unsubscribe best practices, but it’s required by law under the CAN-SPAM Act. Most brands add the unsubscribe button in the footer of the email.

Did you stop your email marketing activities due to Covid-19? If yes, then you must check our “Digital marketing during Covid-19 times” document to get an understanding of the core activities to focus on during these times.