In the ever-growing space of digital marketing, the dos and don’ts of email marketing can revolve as quickly as your inbox does. A “do” today could easily be a “don’t” in a few months. The following list is to provide you with evergreen email marketing principles that aren’t subject to change any time soon, and will boost your engagement and conversion rates. This is a great guide for what to do for email marketing for anyone just getting started in the space, or looking to reset an existing program that isn’t performing at Hawke Media’s recommend 38:1 ROI.
Do Mix Branding and Direct Response
For our purposes, branding emails are more content-based. These are emails that are focused on informing and inspiring the reader, which builds brand recognition and loyalty. Direct response emails have a call to action that involves conversion. Both are important, one for immediate ROI (return on investment) and one for CLTV (customer lifetime value). If you are steering too heavy in one direction you are likely missing an opportunity for optimal success. A lot of companies get caught up in their brand and creating the catchiest copy, or the most clever designs. While it’s important to create a unique and exciting voice, you can’t lose site of the goal – to actually get these users to the site and buying.
Do Use Preview Text
Pre-header copy is a preview of what the email will be about before a reader opens it. This is the smaller copy you can read on your phone or browser before you click on an email to open it. You’re missing a big opportunity to increase your open rates if you aren’t putting some thought into this little snippet. The pre-header is the support your subject line needs. Generally, you want your subject line to be short, sweet, and powerful, so if you need a little extra room to get your point across, this is the place to do it.
Do Your Research
Best practices are great to base theories off of, but every company is different. What works for your neighbor might not work for you. When optimizing your campaigns for the best time to send, having a sense of industry benchmarks is helpful…but you’ll get your best information from your own analysis anyways. Dive into analytical tools such as Google Analytics and figure out what looks best for you.
Do Test, Test, Test
Theories are great, but they are hard to defend with no tangible results. If you are questioning whether a certain strategy will work, or which CTA is best, you don’t need the right answer, but you do need to test it. The results will tell you far more than your theory will and best of all – they’re factual.
Most emails you’re sending should be segmented so that they are reaching customers and readers most likely to engage. The bigger your brand, the fewer emails should go out to your whole email subscriber list. Segmenting takes some extra steps,
Let’s end with a “don’t.” Don’t think too hard. Use these guiding principles as a playground, not a rule book. You’ll never get groundbreaking ideas by putting too much pressure on yourself. The best ideas come to you when you expand your mind, not constrict it. If you’re stuck on copy, layout, strategy, or your next campaign idea try taking a walk, chatting with your peers, scouring the Internet, or just throwing out some crazy ideas. Don’t get it twisted, emails are not free, but there is room for trial and error, A/B tests, and resends. There is flexibility to test ideas and see what works for your brand.
Need some help getting started? Schedule a free call with an email marketing expert today for even more insight on what to do for email marketing.