Email Marketing: Best Practices of 2023
The COVID-19 pandemic and the changing digital landscape have proven that email marketing is still a valuable tool for large and small businesses alike. Businesses now spend more on email marketing than many other marketing strategies.
Yet, few companies can report much success with their email campaigns.
So, what are they doing wrong? What can they do to improve their results?
In this blog, we list the 9 email marketing practices that have proven most effective in 2023.
1. Start with a high quality email list.
To succeed with your email marketing efforts, you simply have to have a good email list.
Your list needs to include current customers or genuine leads who actually WANT to receive your emails. To build this “golden” email list, you first need to spend a little time on lead generation.
How can you generate solid leads?
Although the specific lead gen methods you should use ultimately depend on your industry and goals, you should opt for a good assortment of paid advertising, lead magnets, lead capture forms, search engine optimization, landing pages, and more!
2. Clean and update your email list often.
You’d be surprised how quickly a high quality email list can become cluttered and outdated. People change email addresses. Or they may choose to unsubscribe from your email promotions or newsletters. Heck, even bots can join your email list.
Cleaning your email list regularly is critical for ensuring you keep up with unsubscribers and avoid overspending on emails that will never actually reach true customers or prospects.
Your email updating process should be automated as much as possible (see best practice #7). Automation tools can remove unsubscribers, bots, and invalid addresses from your list as soon as they’re discovered – without you having to go in and delete them manually.
3. Offer valuable content.
Email marketing simply won’t work unless readers have a reason to care what you have to say. Your recipients won’t even click to open your emails unless your subject line communicates some sort of value.
Think about your own email-reading habits.
Odds are, you delete or ignore emails that don’t include a tempting sale or some other content directly related to your work, goals, or interests.
Keep this in mind when you are crafting your email subject line and content. Reader’s should be able to discern real value from that very first small line of text. Then, the content within your email should convince them to take some sort of action.
Not sure what content your target audience will find valuable?Try to put yourself in the recipient’s shoes. What are their primary problems and pain points? What services or products would make their life easier? What potential questions could you proactively answer for them? What sort of social proof (testimonials, reviews, etc.) might they need before being comfortable doing business with you?
4. Prioritize mobile design.
Once someone has opened your email, the design should look professional and appealing enough to convince them to read on or learn more. A big component of this is mobile-responsive design.
Approximately half of users read emails primarily on mobile devices. So, your email drip campaigns and email newsletters MUST be optimized for mobile screen sizes.
Mobile optimization means…
Placing the most enticing info within the first few words of your subject line.
Sticking to short subject lines (ideally under 30 characters).
Being strategic with preheader text (the text that shows up after the subject line and describes what’s inside the email).
Placing CTAs (Calls-To-Action) toward the top of your email.
Using quality images (but designing your emails so they don't necessarily rely on them).
Using a large enough font size (at least 12-point).
And testing your email campaigns on various screen sizes.
5. Make your emails personal.
Recipients will immediately be more interested in an email if they think it is meant specifically for them. Impersonal bulk email campaigns are outcustom-tailored targeted emails are in.
We are not ONLY talking about addressing your customers or prospects by their first name.
Many marketers now use segmentation to divide subscribers into smaller, targeted groups – separated based on customer and prospect behavior and preferences (a.k.a. their buyer persona). Email segmentation allows you to create more personalized email content that is more relevant to each group of people.
If you successfully incorporate segmentation and targeting into your email marketing strategy, you can expect improved open rates and click-through rates – and ultimately, more conversions and sales!
6. Incorporate the right links and CTAs.
To get meaningful results, you need to make clear what next steps you want recipients to take. This requires the use of strategic links and CTAs (Calls-To-Action).
A button that sends them to the homepage of your website may not be focused enough. Instead, send prospects and customers to a landing page custom-built to capture and convert that particular type of lead.
Try to be specific with the actual text of your CTA buttons. Ditch phrases like “Learn More” or “Get Started.” Adopt more informative phrases like “Start Getting Better Leads” or “Schedule Your FREE Consultation.”
7. Take advantage of email automation.
With business automation tools, it’s now easier than ever for companies to automatically schedule and send email newsletters and email campaigns in bulk to clients or prospects.
When someone signs up for your email list, many email platforms and website frameworks can automatically send a pre-created Welcome email. Or when someone makes a purchase on your website, you can send an automated message with other product recommendations.
Plus, certain email marketing tools even automate the process of updating and cleaning your email lists (see best practice #2).
8. Remember to analyze and optimize.
You’ve sent out a batch of emails. But your work has only begun!
The next step? Analysis!
The only way to figure out what email marketing techniques work for you is to try it a few times and take a good look at your campaigns’ performance. You’ll need to consider metrics like:
Click-through rates (CTR)
In addition to tracking performance, you can optimize your email campaigns by A/B testing subject lines and email content.
9. And, of course, don’t spam!
All email marketers must obey the CAN-SPAM Act. To prevent your company domain name from being flagged as spam or banned from sending emails altogether…
Avoid false, misleading, or deceptive headers and subject lines.
Obtain proper permission before adding an email address to your email list.
Give recipients a clear “unsubscribe” option (and honor opt-out requests).
And include your business location somewhere in your emails.
Not only is it against the law to send out email spam, but it is also one of the quickest ways to turn away potential customers.
NOTE: It’s also important that you stay up-to-date on laws that protect the privacy of your email recipients and limit the ways you can use their data.
BlueTone Media | We LOVE Email Marketing!
Follow these steps, and you’re likely to experience far greater success with your next email drips and newsletters.
But we realize creating and tracking email campaigns is NOT everyone’s cup of tea.
Luckily, you can lean on experienced marketers like us to manage your email marketing FOR YOU! Just give us a hollar. We can talk about what email solutions will be effective for your unique business or organization.