can be used for a variety of objectives like promoting an offer, cultivating relationships, sharing company updates, and more. In addition to its versatility, email software makes it easy to measure your ROI by tracking performance metrics, such as click-through rates (CTR), open rates, bounce rates, and conversions.
Check out these 10 tactics to ensure your email marketing campaigns are following best practices to enable higher returns.
1. Don’t Buy Contact Lists
Not only does buying contact lists go against the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which requires businesses to receive European recipients’ consent to receive emails, but it will also negatively impact your email performance.
If you contact people whose information you bought rather than opting in to receive emails, your email performance will struggle. Recipients will likely ignore, delete, or flag your email as spam because they don’t know who you are.
2. Avoid ‘No-Reply’ Email Address
The CAN-SPAM Act is a piece of legislation that gives guidelines to email marketers in the United States. One important rule is never to use "no reply," or a similar phrase, in your email sender's name (e.g. email@example.com) because it prevents recipients from responding and even opting out of future emails.
Rather than “no reply,” use a real email address (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org). Recipients are more likely to open emails if they look like they were written by a real person.
3. Have Easy-to-Read Emails
Using multiple fonts and typefaces will make your email look too busy, which can affect CTR and conversions. Make sure not to use more than two or three fonts and typefaces. With consistent fonts and typefaces, the email will be more pleasing to the eye.
There are other ways to improve readability, like using short paragraphs and bullet points. By incorporating white space, readers aren't overwhelmed by big blocks of text, which makes it easier to scan the content
4. Customize the Preview Text
The email’s preview text is displayed after the subject line to show the recipient more of what the email is about. By default, the preview text pulls in the first several words of the email body.
This can be a problem because it can pull other words from the top of the email that aren’t actually part of the email body. In your email marketing software, make sure to customize the preview text to something more appealing to increase CTR.
5. Humanize the Email Signature
Include the signature of a real person, even if the email is sent on behalf of the company. Recipients are more likely to open and read emails if they know the email came from a human being rather than a business or organization.
6. Keep a Healthy Email List
Like your physical health, your email list
needs a regular check-up to ensure it’s healthy. Having a neglected email list can hurt open rates, increase inactive users, and lower subscriber engagement. All these factors can affect whether your emails will be delivered to the recipient’s inbox or spam folder (if it's even delivered at all).
Check to see who hasn't engaged with your emails over a certain period of time and remove them. By maintaining your list, you’ll see improved metrics because you’ll be emailing people that actually want to hear from you.
7. Put the CTA Above the Fold
A call-to-action (CTA) is a statement that's designed to prompt an immediate response like a purchase or sign-up. Your CTA should be “above the fold,” which means that it should be on the top portion of the screen. When you scroll down, that's considered “below the fold.”
Make sure to have your main message and CTA before the point where recipients would have to scroll down to see them. Also, repeat the CTA at least three times throughout the email in different places and formats to increase the likelihood of a conversion.
8. Greet Recipients by Name
Personalize your email greeting with your contacts' first names to grab their attention and make the email seem more human. Many email marketing tools allow you to customize the greeting of your email campaign so it automatically inserts the name of your contacts into the email subject line and/or body.
9. Use a Mobile-Friendly Design
Don’t design or use email templates wider than 650 pixels because recipients will be forced to scroll horizontally to read your email, which is particularly difficult if the email is being read on a mobile device. Keep your email widths between 500-650 pixels to prevent layout issues on mobile and desktop so recipients don’t bounce.
10. A/B Test to Optimize Campaigns
A/B testing (aka "split testing") is comparing two versions of something — in this case, an email — to figure out which is the better-performing variation. It works by separating your recipients into two groups: Group A receives the normal email and Group B receives the email with a specific variation.
With A/B testing, you’re able to see whether recipients are more or less likely to take an action if your email was different. You can A/B test anything like the subject line, CTA, design, email copy, or images.
Make Email Marketing Work for Your Business
With these tactics, you’ll be able to increase open and engagement rates, which can ultimately increase your ROI. Whether you’re new to email marketing or have been using it for years, let Sales & Marketing Technologies help you drive more conversions with a robust strategy. Book a free discovery call today!
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in August 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.