Help For Web Editors
Email Marketing Best Practices
With credit to Evan Carmichael
To Do List
- Test your emails: Use the tools built into Informz to send your email with variations on the subject
line, or with slightly different body content. Test what works best with which audience
- get statistics to back up your "gut feelings."
- Send Email only when it's Relevant: Send emails based on what you know about the recipient (i.e. where they are in the
buying cycle, what content they have requested, etc.). It is also important to make
sure you show respect for recipient's time by sending emails at the frequency the
recipient asks for.
- Establish Credibility: The consistency and timeliness of communication has an impact on your brand. By maintaining
consistent communication and delivering content that is valuable to the recipient
you will improves your brand image and create longer customer relationships.
- Make Unsubscribe Easy: Make sure the unsubscribe link is noticeable, clearly defined and easy to use.
- Have a Clear Call to Action: Don't send an email unless the required action is easy to understand and will provide
value to the recipient.
- Personalize the Email: Include the recipients name and ensure the spelling is correct.
- Monitor and Measure Campaigns: It is critical that metrics are identified well in advance and improvements are made
- Include both Plain Text and HTML: It is important that the formatting is done properly. Emails should be tested to
ensure they can be seen properly on different screen sizes, with different browsers
and on Blackberry's.
- Subject Line should be Clear and Concise: As a general rule of thumb, try not to include a dollar sign, the word free, or multiple
exclamation marks as they increase the likelihood of being identified as spam. Use
a subject line that actually speaks to what is in the email. Most email clients only
display the first 30 characters - keep your subject lines short!
- Keep the Sender Consistent: Make sure the sender is well known and well respected. Use someone from the company
instead of a generic email account.
- Clean your List: Keep your list of subscribers clean by asking receivers to update their information
on an ongoing basis, and use your after-mailing statistics to remove bouncing email
addresses from your database.
- Monitor and Classify your Bounces: This will help to ensure your lists are clean and up-to-date. A review of your bounces
will also help you understand why emails are undeliverable (ISP, Domain, etc.) and
adjust your strategy accordingly.
- Use Email Marketing as part of an Integrated Marketing Plan: Email alone will not allow you to achieve your desired end result.
Things to Avoid
- Over-reliance on graphics.
- Using a graphic to convey your message - not everyone loads graphics!
- Overloading your email with graphics - most mobile browsers don't load graphics by default, so your email will not convey a good message with blank boxes instead of graphics.
- Using overly large graphics that are too big for a mobile screen.
- Not including a link on text when you have a link on an image.
- Forgetting to include a text version of your email.
- Not using the Virtual Inbox to make sure that your email looks good on all major browsers,
- Sending to your recipients too frequently - use the built-in tools in Informz to monitor how often recipients receive Skidmore emails!
Some Tips from the Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group
- Send only to recipients who explicitly subscribed to your emails (not list purchases, list rentals, or email appends).
- Offer an unsubscribe link, so that the recipient can unsubscribe immediately.
- Use a consistent from name and address to clearly identify your brand.
- Track the temporary and permanent SMTP errors (soft bounces and hard bounces) from Informz and act on them accordingly.
- Have a standard policy for handling bouncing addresses.
- Periodically remove inactive subscribers from your list.
- Don't reactivate email addresses that are already on your unsubscribe or suppression list.