B2C and B2B email campaigns continue to be an extremely effective way to reach customers. But their effectiveness greatly depends on your ability to follow email marketing best practices.
Step One: Your Mailing List
The success of any e-blast campaign first starts with a quality list. To avoid having your email considered spam, you need a mailing list that is permission-based. Permission can be implied or given.
Implied permission would be someone such as a current customer, associate, or friend who already knows you and has an existing relationship with you.
Otherwise you will need to specifically ask a person for permission to send them an email. This can be done by having an individual give you permission by subscribing to your eblast through a form on your website, blog, social media channel or by opting-in from a forwarded eblast newsletter. It is important to know that purchasing bulk email lists, however, is not permission-based and should be considered spam.
This is your chance to brand your message by creating a masthead that integrates your company logo, graphics, or imagery. Select one of many available templates from an email marketing service such as Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, or Boomerang, etc. and design your eblast. Be sure to use a responsive template and consider how graphic and text will display on a mobile device. According to Constant Contact, 88% of smartphone users check their email on their cell phones!
Choose a color palette of 3 to 4 colors that includes different colors for the headline, body copy, special backgrounds or buttons, and links. Keep it simple. Too many colors will be distracting and look amateurish.
The majority of readers will visually scan your eblast for points of interest. Be sure to make the eblast easy to read with short sentences and short paragraphs. Bulleted copy works well because it is easy to scan.
Readers are not looking for lengthy, run-on articles in newsletters. Keeping copy blocks short and concise is important using no more than 1,200 characters. If you have an extensive article, try writing an intro sentence, or tease, for the article, then link it to your website where they can read it in its entirety.
Be sure to include a call to action. Determine the type of action you want your reader to take such as place an order, visit your website, watch a video, or reply with an email.
Here is where following best practices pays off. Always look through the campaign’s analytics to see who opened it. Are they reading it? Are they clicking-through as expected? Are they following your links? Are they visiting your website? Analytic results will help you determine if your call to action is working as intended.
If your results are not what you expected, it’s time to rethink and revise this powerful marketing tool to be more effective.