Email is an important part of any marketing strategy because it is the most cost-effective way to promote your products. According to a 2014 National Client Email Report by the Data and Marketing Association, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect a return of $48.
Follow our list of ten email marketing guidelines and you will improve the effectiveness of your own campaign. But like most rules, these are merely intended as a guide. There will be times when you’ll want to break a rule or two. The point is to understand what the rules are in most cases, so you understand what the ramifications could be if you decide not to abide by them.
Email Marketing Guidelines
- Make sure your email is mobile-friendly. If you spend any time reading email on a smartphone, then you know the experience can vary depending on whether or not the sender used a mobile-friendly template. According to Bluehornet, up to 80% of people will delete an email that isn’t mobile-friendly. Don’t let this happen to you. Make sure that you use a mobile-friendly template each and every time.
- Avoid using image-based emails. If you’re like most people, you probably want your emails to look pixel perfect in every situation. For this reason, it can be tempting to use one big image so everything looks just right. Not so fast. Even though creating your email as one big image might seem like the way to go, it can introduce other issues. See our related blog post “Three Reasons Why You Should Avoid Sending Image Only Emails.”
- Avoid using no-reply as the return address. No reply messages are cold and impersonal. If the goal of your email marketing is to build loyalty and trust, then using a no-reply email address runs contrary to that. Also, some ISPs and SPAM filters automatically send emails with “no reply” addresses to the junk folder.
- Have a clear goal. Just like a print ad, an email should have a specific goal. Are you trying to drive traffic to the store or visits to your website? Should the receiver make a reservation, buy a product, or share the email?
- Have a clear call to action. Once you understand what the goal of the email is, you can provide your subscriber with clear direction as to what they should do next. Be specific.
- Write a strong and concise subject line. Getting someone to open your email and not automatically hit “delete” is the first step to a successful campaign. For more tips to improve your own subject lines, see our related post Email Subject Line Tips.
- Don’t forget the pre-header. This short summary text comes after the subject line when an email is viewed in the inbox. If the subject line alone didn’t persuade the reader to open the email, the pre-header might.
- Keep the content short. Emails should be short, concise and to the point. No one goes to their email to find comprehensive reading material. If what you have to say is very long, consider writing a condensed version for the email and include a read more link to your website.
- Use subheads for easy scanning. Even if you’re successful at convincing someone to open your email, there is no guarantee that they will read it. Make scanning the content as easy as possible. Use subheads and bullet points when appropriate.
- Use Alt Tags. This is one of the most important email marketing guidelines and we can’t imagine a situation where it would be advantageous to ignore it. When you use an image in your email, include ALT tag information. An ALT tag tells screen readers what is on the page, and helps subscribers with images turned off understand what it is.
Did you find these email marketing guidelines helpful?
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Learn more about our email marketing services by visiting this page of our website. If you’d like help building or managing your email marketing, contact us by calling (518) 392-0846 or email [email protected].