Email Best Practices for Today’s Leads

February 14, 2017 Lindsay

 

Email-Marketing Best Practices

image via iamwire.com

According to the Email Statistics Report by the Radicati Group, there are 182.9 billion emails sent per day worldwide. That’s a lot of messages landing in peoples inboxes. How do you ensure that your messages break through the clutter and get read by recipients? Below you’ll find some key tips to help your email messages stand out from the crowd and generate more conversions.

Best Practices for Subject Lines:

Aside from the sender’s information, the subject line is one of the first things that someone reads. The ‘from’ name and email address must be recognizable to the recipient or they will dismiss the email right away. Subject lines need to be catchy, but also need to evoke that “I must read this email” feeling in the recipient. Some important tips to keep in mind when crafting subject lines include:

  • Keeping subject lines short so that they are readable in full across multiple devices.
  • Using the lead’s name in the subject line when possible – personalization in the email and the subject line catch attention.
  • Using questions and incentives have been linked to increased open rates.
  • Avoiding the word ‘free’  in a subject line – messages with ‘free’ in the subject line can get caught in SPAM filters. Also avoid using all caps in the subject line for similar reasons.

Best Practices for Email Body Copy:

Once you’ve got someone to open your email, you want them to keep reading, and hopefully convert. Emails don’t need to be lengthy – save the details for landing pages. If you want people to continue opening future emails from you, use personalization whenever possible to provide them with useful, relevant content. Some additional best practices to keep in mind for the body of your email include:

  • Keep the copy relevant to the subject line – when there’s a disconnect between the subject and the body, readers get frustrated and may start dismissing future emails from you.
  • Use readable font sizes.
  • Focus on one CTA per email – when the reader is presented with too many things to do, it’s difficult to determine what you want them to do, and it can also be more difficult for you as a marketer to find out what works and what doesn’t.
  • Use direct language – you, I, we.
  • Include information about the lead when possible – name, company name (make sure to put a default in place if a piece of information is missing from a lead record so that the email makes sense).
  • Use buttons to reinforce the CTA – use action calls for CTA button text, such as ‘Download Now’ and ‘Watch Video’.
  • Consider using video –  video can be used to personalize the message or to increase engagement and allow you to get your message across without jamming words into an email.

Email Must Haves:

Whether for compliance reasons or for the sake of creating a professional looking email, make sure that all emails include the following important details:

  • Unsubscribe link – language must be clear that this is the link people click on to remove themselves from receiving communications.
  • Physical business address – complete mailing address must be placed somewhere on the email, usually found in a footer near the unsubscribe link.
  • Emails must be responsive for multiple devices – there are many tools in the marketplace such as Litmus or Email on Acid to check email display across various browsers and devices
  • Company logo – usually located in one of the upper corners or across the email in a header, put your company logo at the top of the email for quick recognition.
  • Permission/opted-in – emails sent from Canada must be CASL compliant, emails in the US need to comply with CANSPAM. Make sure you are familiar with all of these laws when sending email communications.

Responsiveness

In 2017, your emails have to be responsive. Stats from the Pew Research Group show that 95% of Americans own a mobile device. In their Mobile Fact Sheet published in January 2017, Pew Research Group writes:

“…a growing share of Americans now use smartphones as their primary means of online access at home. Today just over one-in-ten American adults are “smartphone-only” internet users – meaning they own a smartphone, but do not have traditional home broadband service.”

With this information in mind, emails need to display properly on a wide range of devices. Emails need to be easy to read on smaller screens, which also means that you want your email copy to be to the point, and have the important information stand out.

To create responsive emails:

  • Find the right designer – Work with an experienced designer who can code email templates that display beautifully across devices. There are different ways of coding an HTML email, and reputable designers will be up to date on the methods that work – and those that don’t – to help you create an email template that suits your needs, and those of your intended audience.
  • Test – Use services, such as Litmus, to test emails and templates for responsiveness across devices. Testing is important because the email will render differently in different browsers and on various devices, so you will need to keep this in mind when developing the code for your email.
  • Use single column emails – The smaller the screen, the more difficult it is to read emails containing multiple columns. There are methods for coding an email so that you can take a multi-column email (designed for desktop) and make it a single column email when viewed on a mobile device, but there are various factors you’ll have to consider when defining the code for the email.

Do you have any additional tips to add? We invite you to share them with us in the comments section below.

 

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