Email marketing still works for some organizations and industries as compared to Social media marketing. The bottom line with email marketing, like all online marketing, is that the best practices are what work to support an organization's goals. Here some some effective best practices for preparing your email campaign.
Successful email marketing means sending the compelling, relevant content that the client wants to receive. There are dozens of kinds of email clients might want to receive. Here are a few ideas:
Remember that "web surfers scan, they don't read". The same applies to e-mails. The easiest thing for e-mail recipients to do is hit the delete button before they even open the e-mail. Stop them with these best practices.
Create a Compelling Subject line
The subject line is the first thing a recipient sees. Make the message work. The primary goal of the e-mail's subject line is to motivate the recipient simply to open the e-mail, not accept the offer—yet. There are just 50 characters to entice them; on mobile browsers, half that. You only have a split second to grab your audience's attention. Make sure the subject line is concise and to the point. Don't waste space with excess punctuation (Example: Read This!!!) Sometimes words that marketers think will work are hackneyed, overused buzzwords like free (Example: FREE Download!!!), instead, entice the audience into opening the e-mail with something they can relate to (Example: Learn How to Blog at Our Free Workshop).
Use a Descriptive "From" Address
People are more likely to open e-mails from entities that they recognize, know, like, and trust. In order to save valuable space in the subject line, try to make the "from" address as descriptive as possible. For example, instead of ABC Company, it might be ABC Wedding Planners or a value proposition name like ABC Electronic Deals. Having a descriptive "from" address puts the message and value proposition in context. Some marketers have found that it helps to have a real person's name in the "from" line to create affinity. This "from" address section is an easy area to test and compare approaches for maximum return on investment (ROI).
Set Up HTML E-Mails with Text-Only Mode Backup
Although HTML e-mails (e-mails with graphics) look more appealing, many people receive e-mail in text-only mode. Be sure to include alt text on the graphics that repeats the deal offered, and set up a text version that can be shown in lieu of the image-based version. Since most readers will only be able to see the first few words in the preview pane, put your best and most engaging offer at the very top of your e-mail.
Test in Different E-Mail Clients
It's a good idea to check out prospective e-mails both with and without graphics in the most popular e-mail clients. Also, look at how the e-mails are rendered in the top web-based e-mail providers such as Gmail, AOL, Yahoo!, and Hotmail. Don't forget that more and more people are reading their e-mail on the small screens of their iPhones, BlackBerries, Androids, and other smartphones. If it makes sense for your niche, consider sending text messages with links instead of full e-mails to phones.
Use a Spam Evaluator
Some e-mail service providers have a spam content evaluator that goes through your e-mails before they are sent to determine the likelihood that they will be labeled as spam by filters or users. If this service is not built into your e-mail provider, here are some guidelines to keep your e-mails from getting smashed with a spam hammer:
Do Internal Testing Before the Real Send
Send an e-mail to a "seed list" (a select group of internal people) and have the group open the e-mail on different browsers to make sure that all the links and buttons are working properly and the copy is spelled correctly. Nothing is worse than sending an e-mail with spelling errors, or having a client click on your call-to-action link that sends them to a nonexistent web page. E-mail management technologies often offer a preview and test e-mail functionality, making internal testing very easy and manageable.