12 Tips for Better Email Campaigns

12 Tips for Better Email Campaigns

Hannah Williams
10 August 2017
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In this blog, we’ll be looking at best practice for email campaigns. We send and receive an average of 122 emails a day according to a report by The Radicati Group. Our inboxes are often swamped by irrelevant content that we don’t even bother to open. Research from the DMA, indicates that 16% of businesses are sending over 6 emails to contacts a month.

Did you know the average open-rate for an email campaign is 20%?Click To Tweet

Based on these statistics, we need to ensure our email campaigns are personalised and relevant to our contacts to stand out amongst the clutter.  

Avoid spray and pray by targeting your email campaigns

At the most basic level, before we design and create content for our email campaign we need to consider our target audience.

Knowing the answers to the following questions is just the beginning: Who are they? What job do they do? What are their interests? What products do they have? How long have they been clients for? Where are they sitting in the sales funnel?

Once we know answers, we can start creating persona maps to help us gain a deeper understanding of our potential and current customers. Persona maps are really useful in helping us to segment our database in order to create more personalised strategies and boost engagement.

Consider the user experience

Well-designed

Email campaigns need to be visually attractive to capture attention. Our audience receives so many emails a day, which makes it difficult to stand out. We must ensure the colours used fit with our brand palette as this helps consistency and the reader to differentiate between other emails. Also consider how simple the email is to read, on desktop, mobile and tablet. Don’t overload the reader with text, as chances are they’ll skim the email. 

Include hyperlinks

Hyperlinks not only make it easier for readers to view the content we’re discussing but by using them we can also track how engaged the reader is with the content. For example, if they click a link or multiple links within an email it suggests an interest in our content. We may wish to target those who have engaged with links in another email campaign and nurture their interest further.

Include a call to action in your email campaign

It may seem obvious, but it’s often forgotten. A clear call to action will encourage users to react to content. We’d recommend including a call to action button at the top, bottom and middle of the email to maximise success.

Have a reply address

No-reply@domain-name.com doesn’t encourage engagement and to be honest, is kind of unfriendly. If we don’t allow readers the chance to provide feedback or comments, we’re missing a huge opportunity to improve our email marketing strategy. Such email addresses also make it clear that the email is a mass-send and takes away the personalised aspect of the campaign. They’re also more likely to be flagged as spam, and as a result, they won’t be sent to the recipient’s inbox but rather their spam box.

Design for Mobile

More and more of us read our emails on mobile devices. 68% of emails were opened on a mobile device. Therefore it is vital to ensure our content is mobile friendly. Send test emails to ensure content is displayed correctly on mobile devices. Particularly consider how images will be viewed on a mobile device. 

Source: Movable Ink via MarketingLand

Social sharing links

Include links to brand social media pages and blogs. This will encourage users to engage with us on other comms platforms too.

Provide opt-out functions

If someone decides they no longer wish to receive our emails, we have to make it easy for them to unsubscribe. In fact, it is a legal requirement here in the UK to provide an opt-out link. Further to this, we should provide opt-out functions on our website, when users are signing up to something that would result in a mailing list subscription.  

Many marketers are aware of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that came into place in 2018. Some of the changes we must be aware of in terms of email marketing include:

  • Consent will be required to collect personal data
  • Collected data will be anonymised to protect privacy
  • Data breach notifications required

A/B Testing

A/B testing or ‘split testing’ is the act of comparing two versions of our email campaign to decide which one is the most effective. We can compare the effectiveness of the header, call to action, copy and graphics, for example. Just remember not to test too many variants in one email, as we won’t know which element worked. 

email campaigns

Most marketing automation software allows users to take a proportion of the sender list, for example, 10%, and split send the two A/B emails we’d like benchmark against each other. So, group one receives one email and group two receives the other. We can then measure the impact of each email to determine which is the best one to send to the rest of our list.

Metrics to benchmark include open rates, clicked links, form filled out completion and unsubscribes. A/B testing can also be used to determine the optimum time and day of the week our database is most engaged. Our marketing automation tool usually drills down into this data automatically for us.

Content

Goals

Create content that aligns with business goals. It is good to choose one goal and focus on that, rather than cram too much into one email campaign. If you have multiple calls-to-action, it’ll just confuse your audience!

Measurement

Now it’s time to measure the overall impact of the email campaign. Similarly to A/B test measurement, we should look into open rates, unsubscribes, link clicks, marketing qualified leads and sales. We can use this data to justify our existence, measure ROI and improve strategy.

Well, that’s about it email campaigns!

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