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8 Best Practices for Email Marketing That Drive Results

Email marketing success is driven by good message content, clean list management, and safe sending practices. Below are 8 best practices to help you improve your email marketing efforts. These best practices help improve email deliverability, your sender reputation, email-generated revenue, and higher open and click rates.

1) Make It Clear Who Sent the Message and Why

2) Place the Most Important Information Above the Fold

3) Use Secure Sign-Up Forms

4) Automate Welcome Messages for New Subscribers

5) Encourage Subscribers to Save Your From Address

6) Maintain Good List Hygiene

7) Be a Good Listener

8) Maintain Consistent Send Volume

1) Make It Clear Who Sent the Message and Why

Use a from address that clearly shows who sent the message. If it’s a company name they recognize, then they’re more likely to open the message and less likely to mark a message as spam. Also, you can try adding a line of text in your message to remind subscribers why they are receiving the message. For example, you could say something like: “You are receiving this message because you signed up to receive ___.”

2) Place the Most Important Information Above the Fold

“Above the fold” is a term originally used for newspaper layouts where people would only see the top half of a newspaper before picking it up. In HTML email design, the height of the message seen without scrolling is considered “above the fold.” However, this height can vary depending on the device or browser they are using to view the email. Typically, it’s considered best practice to include the call-to-action button in the first 200 to 250px of the message. Additional information can be placed below the fold. It’s also important to end the message with another call-to-action button, so they don’t have to scroll back up to the top.

3) Use Secure Sign-Up Forms

Make your forms more secure by using double opt-in forms or forms with Google reCAPTCHA enabled. This will ensure you have the subscriber’s correct and valid email address before you start sending to them. Double opt-in forms will send a confirmation email to the subscriber. If the subscriber receives the message and clicks to confirm their subscription, they’re added to your list and you know for sure that the email address is a good one!

4) Automate Welcome Messages for New Subscribers

After a subscriber signs up to receive your messages, send them a welcome message automatically. This is a great opportunity as subscribers are never more interested in your messaging then when they sign up. Welcome messages typically receive the highest open and click rates, so use this message wisely.

5) Encourage Subscribers to Save Your From Address

It’s an industry standard best practice to encourage subscribers to add your from address to their safe sender/contact list. The best time to do this is in a welcome message. Subscribers are most likely to respond when they first sign up because they are the most interested at that moment. Therefore, if a subscriber has just signed up to receive email from you, it’s a good idea to request that they “whitelist” your from address. For example, you could add the text: “For best delivery, please add [FROM ADDRESS] to your address book or Safe Senders List.”

6) Maintain Good List Hygiene

Keep your list healthy by cleaning it periodically. Consider removing subscribers from your list if they haven’t clicked on any of your messages in the last year or two. Email marketing platforms typically include reports or dynamic lists which help you quickly find “inactive” subscribers who haven’t interacted with your messages in awhile.

7) Be a Good Listener

Have you been paying attention to what your subscribers are telling you? Take a moment to look at your email statistics for past sends. Find the subject lines that captured subscriber’s attention with the highest open rates. Look at the links clicked to see what type of article generates the most clicks. An A/B Test can also be helpful to identify what content performs best with your subscribers. Then use this information to create more messages with the type of content that your subscribers like the best.

8) Maintain Consistent Send Volume

If you’ve regularly been sending 5,000 messages per job and suddenly increase your send volume to 100,000 messages per job, ISPs will recognize this as suspect and alter your MTA reputation accordingly. If you’ve found that your send volume needs to increase, do so gradually to maintain good delivery rates and sender reputation.

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