In this article you’ll find a comprehensive list of what we consider to be the 7 most effective email marketing best practices to implement this year.
Email marketing is constantly evolving.
The rise of marketing automation, the GDPR, growing consumer expectations – it all means email marketing is progressing faster than ever. In today’s hypercompetitive market, businesses who want to succeed must keep their finger on the pulse.
But when marketers are bombarded with ‘top tips’ and the ‘latest email trends’ from all angles, knowing where to begin and where to go next can be challenging. Figuring out which trends are actually worth pursuing can be time-consuming for businesses. Worse still, this can cost you valuable conversions and customers.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of best practices that are worth your time and investment.
Our email marketing best practices focus on:
- Building quality contact lists to drive more conversions
- Improving your email open and engagement rates
- Using marketing automation to save time and transform customer experiences
Here’s the ultimate rundown of the trends that are here to stay in 2019 and beyond.
(Sidenote: If you’re completely new to email marketing then you may want to check out our email marketing beginners’ guide first!)
Tip #1: Champion transparency in all your marketing communications
Transparency and trust should be of paramount importance to businesses in 2019. Continuing to uphold the standards set out by the GDPR is critical. This is not only in terms of compliance, but for building loyal customer relationships too.
This means you need to be completely transparent about the data you are using and the communications your recipient will receive. You also need to ensure your recipient has agreed to these terms. Consent for any activities handling data is non-negotiable as transparency becomes a bigger part of the lead capture landscape moving forward.
While this requires more work upfront, championing transparency and choice provides the opportunity to build deeper, more trusting customer relationships.
Tip #2: Create segment lists based on how your subscribers signed up
If your subscriber signed up after reading your latest blog post, it’s likely that they are looking for more useful content from your brand. If they subscribed while making a purchase, they’re probably expecting more product-focused communications.
Where and how your subscribers signed up for your communications can reveal specific traits, needs, and pain-points. You can use these to segment your contacts and inform your strategy.
Nurturing your subscribers with content based on how they subscribed is an effective means to boost relevance and inspire more engagement from the offset.
Tip #3 Create a list segment for your most loyal customers
Customers want to feel special, particularly when they remain loyal to your brand.
Customers who express ongoing interest and loyalty are your best brand ambassadors, so it’s worth taking the time to nurture them. You can do this by creating a separate list for your most loyal customers.
If you have repeat customers or readers who are already engaging with your emails, this is the perfect opportunity. Anyone who shows a deeper level of interest in your business should be rewarded.
Strengthen your customer relationships by sending special offers and discounts to encourage them to make purchases through your business. Loyal customers are a powerful resource for sustainable growth, so it’s important to encourage long-term customer relations through your marketing efforts.
Tip #4: Ask subscribers to set their email preferences at the time of subscription
Asking your subscribers to set their email preferences at the time of subscription is also an effective means to enhance your segmentation lists.
Providing preference options for subscribers empowers them to choose the exact types of communications they want. This is the perfect way to address the requirements of consent and choice outlined by the GDPR.
It’s also a great way to boost the relevance of your communications by finding out exactly what your subscribers want from you and segmenting them accordingly.
Some of the options you can give are:
- Email frequency
- Topics of interest
- Types of preferred emails (newsletter, product, promotions, etc.)
By giving your contacts a say in the email marketing strategy process, you can start to build trust from the offset. You can also improve engagement with more meaningful and personalised communications.
Tip #5: Use an opt-in form instead of a link
Creating easy, seamless experiences for your customers is another important factor to build more meaningful relationships. Removing any unnecessary clicks is the first important step to take to improve user-experiences.
You can do this by allowing them to subscribe directly in an embedded form on your site, instead of sending them to a new page to opt in.
Simply replacing a link with an opt-in form can increase your newsletter subscription rate by 20% – 50%. These are valuable conversions you can’t afford to miss out on!
Allow your users to type their information immediately instead of opening a new page. This saves them effort and significantly lowers the barrier to entry. A simple sign up process is a critical step when it comes to boosting subscriptions and driving more conversions.
Tip #6: Keep your list clean with a re-optin email
It may seem counterintuitive when you’re trying to grow your email list, but periodically removing old contacts will enhance your email marketing efforts in the long run.
People’s interests and preferences are constantly changing – or perhaps they signed up to your list by accident! Either way, it’s likely that there are people on your list who don’t want your emails and want to unsubscribe.
Instead of waiting for these contacts to unsubscribe, why not be pro-active by sending a re-optin email asking if they want to stay subscribed or be removed from your list?
If they don’t re-optin within a certain timeframe, you can automatically remove them.
This allows you to spend your time and marketing dollars on your most engaged and loyal contacts. Remember, list quality and engagement should always take precedence over the size of your subscriber list.
Tip #7: Qualify your future customers with marketing automation
This allows you to filter out prospects who aren’t interested in making a purchase, so you can focus your precious time and energy on the prospects who matter most. To achieve this, you need a strong understanding of how your customers behave in the lead up to a purchase.
Then you can set up a marketing automation workflow that assigns points to prospects when they complete certain actions. Creating dynamic segmentation based on your lead scoring model means you can nurture your leads with tailored campaigns and move them along the path to purchase.
Trust, transparency, and choice are the key ingredients to transform your email marketing experience, earn loyal customers, and drive more conversions for your business.
For more tips on how to achieve the maximum potential in your email marketing campaigns, subscribe to the Sendinblue newsletter in the sidebar or follow us on Twitter.
Aoife is a freelance writer and content strategist specialising in B2B marketing and business transformation. Former Client Solutions Manager at LinkedIn, Aoife now travels the world, writing for a range of publications and working with brands to translate their products into powerful stories.