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Email marketing best practices: part two

It is reported that for every dollar spent on email marketing, an average of $44 dollar return on investment is realized, up from $38 in 2015. It’s easy to understand why companies continue to utilize email is a critical and strategic component of any 2017 marketing plan.

Here are email marketing best practices to take into account in developing and distributing your upcoming email campaign, as well as post-email delivery rates.

General Guidelines

  • Conduct a 5-second test by sending a test copy of email to friend or business associate to
    see if they can quickly tell you what call to action is
  • Closely tie the email to the corresponding landing page in terms of headline, copy and overall look and feel
  • Follow the same SEO rules for emails as you would for website pages including keywords, anchor text for constructing the body of the message, images with alt-text tags, social media sharing buttons and more

Settings Recommendations

  • Send the email from real person, avoiding “generic” email addresses such as “marketing@” or “sales@”
  • Use preview text, include brief description at very top of each email as Outlook and
    Gmail show snippets
  • Offer both plain text and HTML versions
  • Always allow recipients the option to view email in web browser
  • Test on multiple email clients to preview how it looks in each email client and across different mobile devices
  • Avoid CSS shorthand
  • Avoid external or internal CSS classes or IDs, use inline CSS instead
  • Avoid Javascript or other dynamic scripts as email clients will not allow these scripts
    to function
  • Use plain text-style bullet points as HTML-style bullets break or become wonky
  • Avoid Flash or video embeds since the ability to view rich media in email is turned off by default in most email clients. Instead, include an image of your video player (with a play button) that links to the rich media on a website page.
  • Avoid using invisible text as this is an instant red flag for SPAM filters

Delivery Rates

  • Calculate delivery rate metrics to see the percentage of emails you sent that actually got through to the recipients as follows:

Number of emails sent – (hard + soft bounces)
Number of emails sent

  • Calculate the percentage of unique clicks in the links your email receives as follows:

Unique Clicks on all links – multiple clicks of a single recipient
Number of emails delivered

  • Prior to next email, remove hard bounces from your list as they represent a permanent delivery problem
  • Watch your soft bounces after a couple of emails as they reflect a temporary issue such as a full inbox or server issue

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Michaletz Zwief
Marketing and digital communications agency specializing in smart, meaningful content development.

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