Email Marketing Best Practices: Part 1

Email marketing best practices: part one

Customer preferences about promotional emails show that 61% like to receive promotional emails weekly, and 38% would like to receive them even more frequently. And according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), email has a median ROI of 122%—4 times higher than other formats examined! This demonstrates that email marketing is just as relevant today as it was two decades ago.

Whether using a traditional outbound email campaign methodology or a lead generating inbound email campaign, marketers should follow these email marketing best practices in developing both verbal and visual content.

Verbal Content

Captivating Subject Line
  • Use second person (you, your, yours) and focus on your customer rather than your brand
    (But remember emails with “You” in the subject line are opened 5% less than those without)
  • Talk about the benefits of your product or service, not about the features
  • Be brief and offer means to click through
  • Make sure you let your brand personality shine
  • Customize as much as possible with personalization tokens for the contact’s name, the company name and more.
  • An email sent by a person instead of from a generic email address is more likely to be clicked. Consider adding a Google+ profile photo and your personal phone number.
  • Include a “Follow Me” section with buttons or links for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media
  • Allow recipients to share the email—especially if it contains a free offer—with their network through social sharing buttons so your offer can go viral

Visual Content

  • Optimize for mobile as 60% of email is now opened on a mobile device
  • Place you brand/logo in the upper left—viewers instinctively look there first
  • Email width should be under 600 pixels to avoid horizontal scrolling
  • Design with tables so the email design renders correctly across multiple email clients
  • Don’t use fonts smaller than 14 pt
  • Avoid background images—Outlook does not recognize them. Instead use color and images in other ways.
  • Use absolute paths to your server for images and file attachments
  • Optimize image size to be as small as possible without losing resolution
  • Set image width and height so the email maintains structure when image preferences are turned off
  • Use descriptive alt-text under images in case images do not display
  • Avoid using .png image—Lotus Notes does not support them
  • Avoid using image maps—Hotmail does not recognize them
  • Balance text and imagery—white space makes viewing more pleasant
  • The Call-to-Action button should be at least 44 pixels square, the size of an average thumbprint
  • A/B test with different images to measure engagement

Email Marketing Best Practices eBook

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