Email marketing is one of the most widely used marketing tools and can be a highly effective way to reach customers and grow your business. Leveraging best email practices and using available tools, such as those by HubSpot and Constant Contact can help you create custom email templates to help you manage your email marketing campaigns. Email is still a very effective form of communication between businesses and their potential customers. Businesses who don’t send email miss out on a big portion of their potential new clients. This HubSpot article will summarize some of the best practices for building an effective email marketing campaign and will include examples of companies who have found success with email campaigns. To get your email open rates through the roof and make people read every single word of your emails, you need to understand best practices for email marketing. It’s not enough to just have a good looking, well written email these days. Your emails are the foundation of your marketing strategy so you need to know how the whole system works.
Emails can be… well, a little bit annoying. When you’re a marketer, you have to think about what your audience wants and how to give it to them. That means that not only do you need enticing subject lines but also copy that compels people to take an action (and no, “don’t forget our webinar” isn’t going cut it). How the heck are we supposed to make emails interesting when everyone gets hundreds of them every day? Well, if you follow these seven tips from industry experts, you’ll be on the fast track to creating emails that always get opened.
Create Strong Subject Lines
The subject line is arguably the most important part of a marketing email. A strong subject line can help you get people to open and read your emails, while a weak one will do the opposite.
Here are some best practices for creating great subject lines:
- Use a question that gets people’s attention, such as “What’s Your Favorite [Topic]?” or “How to [Action].
- Try using numbers in your subject line, like “70% Off!” or “15 Days Left.”
- Make sure your headline fits into the same category as whatever else you’re sending out, like if there’s an eBook being released—then call it something like “New eBook,” not something generic like “Email.”
Personalize Your Emails With Merge Tags
- Personalize your emails with merge tags.
- Merge tags are a great way to personalize emails because they make it easy for the recipient of your email to engage with you on a more personal level. For example, if you’re sending an email about an upcoming event and have multiple recipients who have RSVP’d as “Yes,” you could use merge tags in your email template so that each person gets personalized information about attending events at their company or organization.
Here’s how to add merge tags into your email templates:
Send Emails From a Real Person
You’ll want to use a real person’s name, email address and signature in all of your emails. If you aren’t using HubSpot, consider using a customer relationship management tool that allows you to manage this information for all of your contacts.
Additionally, we suggest adding some kind of personalization that shows the recipient that you’re paying attention to them—even if it’s just their name or location at the bottom of the email. This could be as simple as including an image or small video clip from when you met with them previously (or even just a link to your website).
Decide on an Email Frequency You Can Maintain
When you’re ready to set your first email schedule, make sure your frequency is something you can maintain. While it’s tempting to think that sending more emails will increase engagement and bring people back to your website, sending too many emails can actually turn off subscribers—and even damage their view of your brand.
Instead of sending too many emails, give careful consideration to how often you should be sending them. Consider:
- How often do my customers want this information?
- How often do they expect me to send it?
- Do I have enough material available for each topic?
Write to Your Audience as a “Friend”
Writing to your audience as a friend is one of the most important email best practices.
If you don’t feel like a friend, it’s probably not going to work. The recipient will feel like you’re just trying too hard, or worse: they won’t trust you enough to give their information over to an unknown source (and they should!)
This doesn’t mean you should be overly casual and informal in all of your emails but instead focus on sounding natural and genuine by writing like yourself when talking with friends or family members.
Include Fewer Links in Your Emails
The ideal number of links in an email is one.
That’s right: One link. That’s all you need to convey the message, build trust with your audience, and keep your subscribers engaged.
The reason for this is simple: If you have more than one link in an email, it increases the chances of someone following a bad link or accidentally clicking away from your message before viewing its entirety–which means that they might not see what else you have to offer.
Provide Context for Links
Provide context for links
When you’re sharing a link to another website, provide a short description of why the content is useful and relevant to your audience. If you have time, it’s also best practice to provide a preview of the link’s content (don’t give away too much though).
Talk About Problems, Not Products
When writing emails to promote your products or services, it’s important to talk about the problem. By focusing on the problem and then showing how your product or service can solve the problem, you’re creating a logical connection between the two. This helps readers see themselves using your product or service in their lives. And because of this connection, they’ll be more likely to buy from you—and more likely to become loyal customers that come back for more!
Design for Easy Scanning on Mobile Devices
Here are some best practices for making your emails easy to scan on mobile devices:
- Use a clean, simple design.
- Keep the font size large.
- Use one column layout and keep it short.
- Use high contrast color schemes and backgrounds that stand out against each other so they can be seen at a glance even in dim light or darkness.
- Make sure your email client is responsive (so it will resize when viewing on different screen sizes).
If you have questions about building an effective mobile-friendly email template in HubSpot Sales, check out our step-by-step guide here!
Follow these rules to create successful emails across all apps.
There are a few simple rules that will help you craft an email that users want to read:
- Include a call to action. The best emails have a clear purpose, and it’s your job to help the user understand what they should do when they open the message. This could be as simple as asking them to click on an embedded link or filling out a form, but it’s important your sender gets something out of the deal too. For example, if you’re sending an email about discounts on your product line and want people who haven’t bought from you before (ahem) then include options for them to sign up for more information or take advantage of special offers today!
- Use strong subject lines. Your subject line is one of the first things recipients see when looking at their inboxes so make sure it stands out from all those other emails vying for their attention with words like “urgent” or “hurry.” A great tip is using emotional words like “unexpected” or “finally” in order to get someone hooked right away without giving anything away
You can apply all the best practices in the world, but they won’t do anything for you if you don’t actually use them. Start by incorporating this list of email best practices one at a time to see what works for your business and what doesn’t. Test and tweak these principles until you’ve landed on an email strategy that gets results without leaving you feeling like a robot. Email is still one of the best ways that people interact with companies, and learning how you should go about doing it will ensure you keep working with your clients as long as possible. HubSpot has compiled a lot of valuable information regarding their email practices, and we recommend reading up on them if you plan to stick with digital marketing. Have you read a Hubspot blog post before? If not, start with this one. If you have read a Hubspot blog post before, you may want to move on to something else. I read dozens of posts from Hubspot everyday and this one was so boring that it didn’t even inspire me to share it with my colleagues (which is crazy because I share pretty much every other blog post from them).