Email Marketing Best Practices #1

Email Marketing Best Practices: Tips for Knowing Your Audience

Digital marketing is comprised of many different tactics, offering a great advantage to your marketing strategy to keep your brand relevant, fresh, and directly in your audiences’ face. A great way to stay at the forefront of consumers’ minds is email marketing. But in the last decade, email marketing has saturated so many inboxes that creating an effective campaign that cuts through the clutter is increasingly challenging.

Before planning an email campaign (copywriting, design, testing, etc.) it’s key to know exactly whom you’re targeting by understanding their habits, interests, and why they’re in your marketing funnel. This is a key first step in any email campaign.

Here are three tips to help you determine the most successful audience possible:

#1: Consider Quality Over Quantity

Often, brands are proud of their contact list because of the quantity of contacts they have. This is great if you have a high volume of engaged and interested contacts. However, if you’re seeing high unsubscribe rates, increasing bounce rates, and below-average open rates, it’s time for some cleanup.

Ultimately, a disengaged contact list may result in extra fees with your email service provider (ESP), and it can also damage your IP reputation—prompting both your customers and email servers to believe your address is spam. There are a few ways to clean your contact lists, and if practiced regularly, the quality of your audience will skyrocket. Scrubbing your email lists should consist of at least one or more of the following:

  • Check your hard bounce rate.
    A hard bounce indicates that an email address no longer exists, meaning it’s taking up space and negatively affecting your metrics. Remove any email addresses associated with a hard bounce.
  • Remove/merge duplicate email addresses.
  • Remove spam email addresses.
    Spam emails look like absolute nonsense. A high quantity of numbers and letters, or a misspelling of a company name, will allow you to identify these easily.
  • Correct typos.
    Human error is a given in any marketing environment. It’s important to monitor that. Note and update email addresses with obvious typos: gmial vs. gmail, aple vs. apple, etc.

If cleaning your email lists results in most of your email contacts being tossed, then congratulations. You now have an actively engaged and interested audience!

#2: Focus on Consumer Interaction

Acknowledging your audiences’ preferences for interaction is an important step for a successful email campaign. This is key to building trust between you and your customers, as well as putting your brand in a positive light. Some best practices for consumer interaction include:

  • Send a welcome email after they subscribe, with an option to opt-in.
    This will not only confirm their interest in receiving emails, but will ensure that you won’t have to clean up any disinterested contacts down the road. This can be something as simple as a “verify your email” or something more in-depth with company information and an opt-in option.
  • Use a memorable sender name.
    Nobody wants to open an email from a suspicious address. “Cassi from FARM” sounds a bit more welcoming than cmfarm@gmail.com. (That is not a real address.) Make sure your audience knows who you are.
  • Design emails for accessibility and ease.
    Emails should be user friendly and easy to read. Use call-to-action buttons and engaging subject lines to guide people where you want them to go. Use alt text and contrast colors to ensure the best experience for everyone.
  • Send your emails at optimal.
    Typically, an email address will hold data within an ESP because they are subscribed to other companies’ accounts. This allows the ESP to collect information based on emails they have received, including optimized time. With this, you can determine the best time and day of the week. This improves your metrics and reduces the risk of irritating your audience.
  • Make unsubscribing easy!
    This is so important. If users can’t easily unsubscribe, not only will that make your cleanup harder in the future, you also risk getting placed on spam lists, which will torpedo any success you have.

#3: Successful Lead Generation Strategies

Growing your email list can feel daunting, but it’s possible if you do it the right way. (No, seriously, play by the rules, folks.) Some lead generation strategies include:

  • Site pop-ups and email collection forms.
    Have you ever gone to a website and the homepage offers a 10% discount with your email address? That’s a subscription link. These are a super-effective way to collect contacts for your email campaigns.
  • Social media incentives.
    These are the most fun! You can collect email addresses through a social media giveaway or contest. Users can follow your page and subscribe to your email list, increasing engagement on both. And because social media is a little more personal, this creates trust right off the bat with your audience.
  • Loyalty programs.
    Offer email subscribers early access to deals, information, and anything else your audience may find valuable. This is a great way to prioritize your audiences’ preferences and incentivize email subscriptions.
  • DON’T purchase email lists.
    It will lead to poor response rates, missing or inaccurate data, spam reports, and can even result in a violation of the CAN-SPAM Act, which will cost you money and time. Just don’t do it. Promise?

Your email audience is the bread and butter of a successful email campaign. By following these few simple practices, you can set yourself up for success.

For any further questions about your email campaigns, FARM is here to help. Contact us today. We would love to chat!

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