Email marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing tactics to nurture a relationship with your clients and prospects. Inboxes are crowded places, but research still demonstrates that email gets the best engagement and return on investment.
Here I offer a checklist of best practices for effective email marketing.
Build Your Own List
Build a list of clients and prospects by collecting information from your contacts list, social media, in-person networking, etc. DO NOT buy a list. Email from someone or a brand you did not ask for is spam and is counter to the goal of creating meaningful connections.
Spend the Most Time on the Subject Line
The subject line determines whether the recipient opens or deletes the message. It is the most critical part of your email. Keep subject lines short and clear. Highlight what the reader will get by reading your message. (What’s in it for them.)
Many email clients also include preview text in the inbox. Don’t just default to the first few lines of the email. Write preview text that summarizes the value of the email to the reader.
Use a Consistent “From”
Define the “from” and be consistent. You want people to recognize all your messages as coming from the same place. Whenever possible, make the from a person rather than the business. That’s more personal.
Keep emails short! Research shows that 200 words or less is ideal. Be sure to put the most important information first. Assume your reader won’t get far into the message.
Emails should have one goal or focus. Don’t allow any distractions from the goal. All links in the email should drive toward the goal.
Write in plain language, using simple words, and short sentences and paragraphs.
Include one call-to-action per email. Multiple CTAs in an email dilute your message and goal.
The CTA is usually a clickable button. Make sure the CTA is clear. The transition from the email to the CTA should be seamless and easy to understand.
In general, best practice is to send emails between 9 and 11 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Pay attention to your metrics to see if your audience behavior differs.
Monitor and Adjust
Monitor all responses to your messages. Pay attention to comments, engagement and click metrics. Refine your approach based on the insights you gain.