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Email Best Practices: 10 Top Tips

We love sharing digital marketing strategies and tips – probably more than we should. That old saying comes to mind: don’t give away the farm. But we can’t help ourselves. We run our digital marketing agency on an open-book policy and we firmly believe the more our clients know and understand, the faster they can grow, and if we can be a part of that process, then our relationship can only deepen.

This article for our Top 20 tips for increasing your conversion rate starting today was very popular, becoming one of our most-visited posts, so we wanted to offer more tips, but this time, direct our attention towards your juicy database. Let’s hit those emails and get those leads churning or sales rolling in, with these top 10 email best practices.

Let’s turn that database from dire to fire ‎️‍🔥️‍🔥️‍🔥.

1. Build a Quality Email List

It can be tempting to lure the users in, sign them up and leave them sitting there.

It’s nice to brag that you have an email database of a million Australians. Good for you. But, is it?

If they’re sitting there and don’t open your emails, they’re taking up valuable (and not free!) server space.

An email list of 100, all of whom devour and click every email you send, is better than a list of 100,000, none of whom open anything.

emails being sent and opened

Keep your email lists spotless with:

  • Regular cleans
  • Obtaining permissions from individuals before adding them to a list
  • Double opt-ins
  • Ensure your subscribers willingly opted in and are genuinely interested in your content/offers/products.

2. Segment Your Email Lists

Divide your email list into segments based on factors such as demographics and preferences of behaviours. Send these demographics targeted and relevant content for better engagement.

Great examples include:

  • Birthday email and offers
  • Exclusive single-use discount codes
  • Showcase products they have looked at and recommend similar items
  • Showcase services they were interested in and remind them of the benefits
  • Something they looked at is now on sale
  • Audiences who prefer sale items receive sale emails
  • Audiences who prefer high-quality content receive content
  • New customers/repeat customers
  • B2B/B2C customers

3. Personalise your emails

This may seem like a tiny detail, but personalisation can have a significant impact, “Studies have shown emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened than those without” (source)

personalised email example

This above example is from Grill’d and shows how basic personalisation can be. Plus, most email providers supply this functionality now. You’ve just got to make sure you grab a user’s First Name when they sign up.

Once you’ve nailed the basics, like names and birthdates, take it a step further and send them information/content/offers that are relevant to their preferences and watch your email value explode. 🤯

Personalisation will improve your open rates, click-through rates and the value of your database.

4. Create Compelling Subject Lines

What’s in a name? Absolutely everything.
Remember the golden rule – you have 3 seconds to grab someone’s attention. A busy inbox just makes it that much harder.

Craft concise and intriguing subject lines to grab their attention. Avoid spammy language and be transparent.

Check out these guys ☝️ – short, concise email subjects (some with personalisation!).

5. Optimise for Mobile Devices

We’re a little bit psychic, and just by looking at you, we can tell that half, if not more, of your users are coming from mobile. They’ll be reading your emails on their mobiles, too, because this is 2024.

Most good email providers will supply mobile-ready formatting and enable your designer to cross-check appearances on desktop and mobile. There’s a big difference. You need to test your emails across both, as poor user experience will get those fingers deleting and unsubscribing from your content when you want them opening and clicking.

reading emails on a mobile

Make sure:

  • Your format is mobile-friendly and responsive
  • Links are set apart and clear with big CTAs
  • Trim out large content
  • Reduce file size
  • Avoid javascript and iframes

6. Focus on Quality Content

Duh. But, seriously. Provide valuable and relevant content that addresses their needs and interests. Balance your promotional content with educational and informative material.

If you only ever send sale emails to your database, they’ll get bored. Have you ever walked past one of those shops in the mall that’s always got a closing down sale? You know the ones we mean… yeah, it loses its impact. Constant sale emails will do the same to your database.

They’ll stop caring.

Keep your content fresh and engaging.

7. Include a Clear Call-To-Action

We have a great post about creating effective call to actions. This is effectively the same; make it clear where you want the user to click. State the action you want them to take, whether it’s making a purchase, downloading a resource, signing up for an event, or something else.

Make your CTA’s compelling and visually prominent.

a screenshot of a CTA in an email
an example of a bright CTA in an email

8. Optimise Sending Times

No one slot of time will work for everyone. Sure, in your industry, there may be certain days or times that are more likely to grab users based on tests someone did somewhere. But no one knows your database like you do.

Test your emails.

Experiment with different days and times to find the optimal sending schedule for your audience.

Consider time zones and the habits of your target audience.

9. Monitor and Analyse Email Metrics

Track your key metrics:

  • Open Rates
  • Click through rates
  • Conversion rates
  • Unsubscribe rates

Use this information and refine your strategy accordingly

10. Maintain GDPR Compliance

We’ve been in the business for a while. So, we’ve been through the years where clients could mumble where their email lists came from. The years where you could blast out email after email with little care. Those years are gone!

Ensure your business is compliant with data protection regulations, such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Include a clear and easy way for subscribers to opt out (or unsubscribe) from your emails.

Emails are complicated. If they were easy, everyone would be nailing them. If you would like help, advice, or guidance on your emails, our digital marketing experts are happy to help. And why not sign up for a complimentary 45-minute strategy session – obligation-free.

And, talk to us about marketing automation!

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