10 best-practice email marketing techniques

January 26th, 2006 by Adam Q. Holden-Bache

As you become more comfortable with your email marketing campaigns, it’s helpful to take a step back to ensure your campaigns are as good as they can be.

With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of 10 best-practice email marketing techniques that you can use to create a better campaigns. Some items are classic fundamentals, and others are more advanced and recommended for your future consideration.

For beginners and experienced marketers alike, reviewing your current email marketing practices is the first step to improving them. Here’s where to start:

  1. Be RelevantAnswer the recipients’ golden question: “What’s in it for me?” That’s what your users ask themselves when they receive an email from you. If you don’t deliver content that can save them time, save them money or provide relevant information, then they most likely won’t read or take action on your message. Give your readers something they want!
  2. Establish your goalsDetermine the goals of your campaign before you send. Craft your message to meet those goals. Whether your aim is to generate sales, procure leads or obtain feedback, have a goal in mind and pursue it!
  3. Use Images to Enhance, not DeliverMany of the latest email software does NOT show images in the default view. Recipients must elect to “View Images.” And this will become an even bigger issue this year as Yahoo Mail and Hotmail add preview panes to their web-based software. Therefore, you cannot rely on images to deliver your email message. Use descriptive text to get your message or offer across, and support this copy with relevant imagery.
  4. Permission is now requiredReview how you collect the subscriber data you use for your email marketing campaigns. Is it clearly stated on your sign-up or order form that the person is consenting to receive marketing messages from your company? If not, fix it immediately. Companies that send unsolicited email risk damaging their brand and turning away customers, not to mention violating the terms of their Email Transmit contract!
  5. Create your own style. And then stick with it.Be consistent with your layout, design, tonality, offers, and timing. Consistency is an attribute of professionals; a constant, recognizable look builds brand equity with your audience.
  6. Get Personal.The more you can speak directly to your subscriber, the more successful your campaign will be. Use Email Transmit’s personalization features to make your message as relevant as possible. Segment your list and send different emails to the various groups. Follow up with a campaign with a special offer or thank you to responders. Let your recipients know they matter, and treat them like individuals.
  7. Bounce your Bounces.Check your bouncebacks and remove any records that have bounced multiple times. Minimizing the number of bad addresses in your lists will increase your deliverability and improve your tracking results, and you’ll save money by not sending emails to invalid addresses.
  8. Get more data.Do you know everything you want to about your recipients? Could you be more relevant if you could segment better? Consider ways to gather more data about your audience and use it to create campaigns that are designed to the custom interests of each recipient. Need ideas on how to do this? Contact us and we’ll help.
  9. Track and test. Test and Track.Do you review your tracking statistics after each campaign? Do you compare them to your previous campaigns? Have you tested a variety of subject lines? Have you tested different copy and creative to different recipients? If not, itÕs time to consider using testing and tracking to get the information you need to improve your campaigns.
  10. Learn and be willing to change.Analyze your results and use them to achieve even better results in your future campaigns. Better yet, add polls or surveys to your marketing mix to let users provide you with feedback on how you’re doing. Creating a two-way channel for communication is one of the best ways to use email for marketing success.

Using a combination of the above techniques will improve your email marketing programs. Remember that a successful program won’t be created overnight; take your time and continue to explore new strategies so that you’re always making progress. If you need help, you can always contact your Email Transmit account representative. Good luck, and drop us a line with your success stories!