Email marketing should be at the core of your cross-channel performance marketing efforts.
A well-managed email campaign not only establishes relationships with your prospects, but
maintains them by delivering the right content to the right people at the right stage of your
sales funnel. Executed correctly, email can boost your engagement and conversion rates, making
it a powerful channel that drives results.
Here are some pro tips to help ensure your email campaigns make the grade.
The vast majority of your email recipients utilize multiple screens (cross-device
behavior) and various marketing channels to accomplish a single task. Your
email campaign is just one part of the prospective customer journey. Therefore
analysis and measurement of the results should be based on the overall lift it is
providing to all your marketing channels. If possible, use test and control groups
to establish email campaign influence on conversion rates.
Avoid last click attribution—it can be extremely misleading.
Don’t send the same message to everyone in your database. Segment your
audience based on what you know about them, and develop your messages
using these groupings.
Tailored messages make the audience feel understood.
Content should be pertinent and valuable to the recipient’s current stage in the
purchase funnel. Automating the sends of customized, tailored messages – with
click-based or stage-based tracks – is a great way to ensure you’re nurturing
your prospects to the next stage. Remember, a successful campaign ensures the
focus is on the needs of the audience, not of your brand.
Move your prospects from point A to point B with content that guides them.
Recipients are more likely to open an email message that includes their name
in the subject line, but personalization doesn’t have to end there. Review your
consumer data and determine what can be used for personalization that your
audience can appreciate.
Make sure your personalization is accurate or it can negatively impact your performance.
On-the-go email access means our attention spans are more limited than
ever. Recipients should be able to glean the purpose of your message with
a quick scan.
Get to the point with clear, concise email copy.
Today’s wide range of mobile devices means it’s time to say goodbye to
fixed-width email messages. Use responsive designs that automatically adjust
each email to its rendering environment.
Test the email across devices by sending it to yourself and opening it on a desktop, phone and tablet.
Simple, single-column layouts ensure an email renders well in a wide range of
environments. Media queries enable unique formatting depending on where
an email is rendered, but over-ambitious efforts can produce broken layouts in
Keep media queries and layouts simple, and be sure to test thoroughly.
A preheader is a short line of text that appears at the very start of your message.
It’s also visible in the inbox prior to opening the email for many of your recipients.
The preheader should complement your subject line and encourage a user to
open the email.
Great preheaders offer another chance to engage and lift open rates.
Smaller screens require bigger fonts. You can achieve unique font and image
sizes for different environments with media queries.
For mobile devices, make body copy no smaller than 14px and headers and CTAs at least 18px.
“Above the fold” no longer applies in our multi-screen world. While it’s
appropriate to keep your CTA prominent, it’s okay to require a bit of scrolling
to reach it on a small smartphone screen.
Engaging headlines and copy earn a recipient’s scroll.
Today’s call-to-action (CTA) buttons need to accommodate clumsy fingers
on a touchscreen. It also remains best practice to use HTML buttons, not text
embedded in images, and to use descriptive, high-converting keywords.
The CTA is the trigger that influences the user to take action, and should be A/B tested for your target audience.
Add dynamic click-to-call (C2C) buttons to provide alternate means for your
prospects to reach you while boosting your inbound call volume. C2C buttons
render dynamically during your predetermined hours (ex: when the call center
is open) and disappear at all other times.
Make it easy for prospects to reach you when they are ready to chat.
Make it as easy as possible for your audience to share your content while adding
an important social-proof factor and psychological influencer to support your
brand. An HTML webpage version of your email and coded links are essential to
streamline the sharing process. You can also encourage the sharing of your most
popular or newsworthy content with “Tweet this” links.
Balance your primary CTA with share requests to get the results you want.
A/B testing can help your emails perform better over time. Evaluations can
include subject lines, preheaders, copy, images, colors, CTA buttons, placement
Test only one element at a time for conclusive results.
Make sure you get all the data you need, including deliverability, open rate,
open-to-click rate, most-clicked links and other front-end metrics that are
essential for understanding how your campaign performs. It is also important to
track view-through conversions.
Determine your campaign objective up front and focus on those metrics when you optimize.
Compile and analyze data regarding the platforms and email clients your
recipients are using to access your messages. Be sure to thoroughly test your
templates for the environments most widely used by your audience.
Use rendering data to make the best design decisions.
The wide range of email rendering environments means your messages will
never look exactly the same for all recipients. Be certain your messages render
well for the majority of your audience, but remember that slight inconsistencies
for small segments of your audience may be a necessary concession.
Be prepared for occasional formatting inconsistencies.
It takes more than an excellent email to get results. Are landing pages responsive
to the user’s rendering environment? Are they clear in their desired outcome?
Is your call center ready to take inbound inquiries? Do you have a clear and
defined path to conversion? Is your brand message and value evident in all touch
points? Results may fall flat if the user experience isn’t fluid and friendly from
start to finish.
Address the user experience beyond the click.
Non-compliance to CAN-SPAM, CASL and laws of any other country to which
you’re emailing can result in significant penalties, including blacklisting and
fines. Don’t risk it. Make sure you have clear opt-out instructions and all required
elements – like a physical address – included in every send.
When in doubt, consult a lawyer to ensure you stay compliant.
Bounced emails can lower your sender reputation. Too many bounced emails
can get you blocked. Verify your email list before you hit send to remove invalid
emails and reduce your bounce rate.
Bounced emails hurt your reputation and your performance tracking.
Timely, relevant information sent via email is usually welcomed. Be careful not to
send too many emails to any individual. A predetermined, automated schedule
can help keep your frequency in check.
Monitor unsubscribe and spam metrics to ensure your emails continue to be appreciated.
Learn more about how Digital Media Solutions can help build and nurture prospect relationships with smart email campaigns. Contact your DMS account executive, or email Sales@thedmsgrp.com
Last Updated November 2015