New Year, New Email Marketing Best Practices!

December 1, 2023
November 9, 2023

Happy New Year! I hope that you took the time over the end of the year to rest and recharge! I know that it can be hard with family commitments and end of year goals and targets to reach, but it is a good time to give to yourself both personally and professionally.

Now that you are bright-eyed and bushy tailed and ready to head back to it, why not rethink your email marketing best practices? 

I help a lot of my clients out with email marketing. As much as possible, I advocate to get away from email blasts and move more toward smart, automated email marketing or marketing automation to deliver appropriate messages to database members. Help your emails stand out by making them meaningful, and not a brain dump of all of the things you want to say. There are several mediums available to businesses and marketers to get your message out. With limited attention spans combined with crowded inboxes, we need to get the right message to land at exactly the right time. 

I know that I personally, love to subscribe to emails to see what others are doing, but I also delete hundreds of emails daily with VERY FEW slipping through the cracks and actually getting opened and even fewer getting read.

Here are the tips that I recommend to clients to improve their open rates and email performance. 

Improve your Email Engagement

  1. Identify a Goal

Figure out the outcome that you want to achieve from your email. Oftentimes, we look at email as an element of an overarching campaign. But spending a few moments to determine what you would like to accomplish from this one email will help give it that direction needed and readers will appreciate that.

Do you want to:

  • Clean up your list?
  • Promote a new product?
  • Follow-up from an abandoned cart event?
  • Stay top of mind with your audience?

Then write your content accordingly.

2. Leverage AI for subject lines

Your email subject line is arguably the most important part of your email. It is the bait that you need to catch your fish! Once they open the email, other factors become more important. But, you have to get them to open it. Subject lines are often the LAST thing marketers write and they are often dull. And with “35% of email users deciding whether to open a message based on the subject line alone,” you need to spend more time on them! Don’t make this too hard on yourself, this is where AI comes in! 

AI email tools can help you craft more effective subject lines. Tools like allow marketers to come up with and test better subject lines. Personalization alone can boost open rates by as much as 50%. In my experience, having A/B tested adding {First Name} to the subject line a lot, the subject line with the first name in it is always the winner.

3. Test and Iterate

Take advantage of A/B Testing to test your subject lines. Keep testing until you improve your open rates. Then test first sentences, CTAs, links, images, etc.

Always try to improve your email performance to ensure your goal is reached. 

4. Make it personal

Do your email recipients want to feel like one among hundreds of other people in your database? Or do they want a personalized experience as though you're talking directly with them? Personalization goes much further past "Hello {First Name}." Leverage the data to send proactive campaigns instead of email blasts.

5. Keep the Content Short and Sweet

Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer persona - your email is just one of many that they will be deleting that day. Find the right balance of content to communicate important topics, in 

  • Consumable chunks of content, 
  • Rich media, 
  • Crisp email design,
  • Bullet lists, and; 
  • CTAs to learn more

6. Plan your emails and follow-ups.

Do not just spray and pray when sending emails. The size of your email database does not make you a better marketer. Getting results often means having a smaller database or segment of hyper engaged audience members. This also doesn’t just mean email.  It could also be a nurture campaign that delivers content over a series of emails. If the reader does what we want them to do, what next? Maybe consider accompanying your email campaign with:

  • Follow up nurture campaign
  • Retargeted ads
  • Remarketing campaign
  • Sales follow up

7. Review your segmentation strategy

2022 will be the year of segmentation. Get to know your audience better. Rely on preference centres or surveys to really get to know your audience. Some are referring to this as micro segmentation which implies deep diving into customers’ behavioural data, their preferences, their location, personality, etc before putting them into certain email list categories.

A detailed segmenting of your email list can increase the open rate by a whopping 203%.

8. Be aware of how your target audience consumes information.

If they prefer to learn more about offers and new products on social media, but look to email for more thought leadership and learning opportunities and texts for appointment reminders, then don’t push all communications to email. The last thing you want to do is over utilize this one high performing channel.

9. Test your emails and make sure they work on all devices.

Once your emails are built out, check them over before hitting the send button. Effective email marketing campaigns are designed for all devices on which users can read their emails -- desktop, tablet, and mobile.  The importance of mobile friendly email templates should never be overlooked.

10. Monitor your metrics.

As the campaign runs, take notes. 

  • Are your open rates and click rates what you expected? 
  • Where did readers click through?
  • Did CTA placement affect results?
  • What are industry standards?
  • How does this compare to previous results? 

Respect your Database

At the end of the day, you need to be respectful of your database subscribers’ time. Everyone has been stuck at home for the better part of two years. We leverage social media, online gaming, and other digital forms of entertainment as our window to the outside world. So make the email worth their time! Earn the right to have their email address and send them valuable, entertaining, or otherwise beneficial content and remember that marketing is ever-evolving as people’s interests change. Marketing is always testing, so it is important to learn from our past efforts to make our next campaign that much better! 

Happy Emailing!

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