Email marketing tips to help your brand stand outJump to content
Email marketing is a powerful tool for connecting directly with your audience and communicating your brand offering in a personal way. It’s important to approach this channel thoughtfully, as people have become more selective about who they want to receive emails from. If content isn’t personalized or relevant, it’s not just going to be ignored — it will drive people to unsubscribe, or even worse, flag it as spam.
Let’s explore a few best practices and tips to help boost your marketing efforts.
Subject lines: How do you write a good one?
Beyond the sender’s name, the subject line is what audiences consider first when deciding whether or not to open the email.
Keep it concise.
The ideal length for subject lines is under 35 characters, with the first four words being the most important. Very short subject lines — think three or four words — result in better response rates.
Variety is powerful.
Stick to your brand personality and tone of voice, but switch the structure and technique from email to email. Some ideas to get you started:
- Ask a question that is compelling to your audience.
- Include their first name.
- Follow a really short message with a longer one.
- Add an emoji.
- Make it a teaser.
But the one constant? Make sure your emails are specific to your brand, and nods to something your audience cares about.
Give a preview.
Preview copy shows up in mobile content and should be used to complement the subject line. It’s an impactful opportunity to add context, as GetResponse states it increases email open rates 6% higher than standard.
Make your emails scannable and scrollable
According to Campaign Monitor, the sweet spot for the length of an email is 50-125 words. Keep in mind that most people scan more than they read, and once they open the email they immediately start to scroll. All the more reason to follow the 3-in-3 rule for every email. What’s the 3-in-3 rule? More, below.
Within 3 seconds, your recipient should be able to determine:
- What is it about?
- Why should I care?
- What do you want me to do?
Using headlines, sub-headlines and short paragraphs to break up texts and make it easy for your recipient to answer the questions above — quickly.
Design to the highest accessibility standards
Design your emails to meet the same accessibility standards as your company website. Your content should aim to be inclusive, not just compliant. A few ways you can achieve this:
Use live text as much as possible.
Don’t lock critical content within an image — people who use screen readers will miss it. Always add alt text to all images so there’s context for all email recipients, or in case images don’t load in a specific email client.
Consider how text appears.
Avoid using ALL CAPS and J U S T I F I E D copy.
Ensure ADA-compliant color contrast and font sizes are used.
Minimum font size to use is 14 px. There are many free color contrast analyzers and color checkers available to use online; we recommend using Contrast Checker.
These tips make your emails more accessible for more people and help with the deliverability across email clients.
Consider using a modular template system
Using a modular template system through a vendor like HubSpot or Mailchimp can boost efficiency in developing your emails. It also ensures your emails show up correctly across different email clients and devices, as their modules are pre-coded and pre-tested for deliverability. Sending mobile-optimized emails is extremely important, as research from Adestra shows that 72% of people delete emails that aren’t easy to read on their phone.
Emails should be doorways, not destinations
Move over, open rates: Click-throughs and conversions are now the best measure of engagement. Emails should motivate people to click through to your website, where they can continue to explore your products and services.
Plus, always consider what action you want your audience to take from reading your email — make a purchase, fill out a form, browse specific items, etc. The primary call-to-action (CTA) should stand out in a button that’s concise, quick to find and easy to tap or click. If you need to include a secondary or tertiary CTA, consider using hyperlinks (also known as a text CTA) or assigning visual hierarchy for those buttons so the reader can easily determine what’s most important.
Test. Measure. Optimize. Repeat.
Every email is a chance to learn more about your audience. Consider A/B testing your subject lines, copy, design and CTAs in order to improve engagement and conversion rates. Best practices can help you have successful delivery and better engagement with your emails. Only by testing will you get the full picture about how the timing of when you send your emails and the content itself is resonating with your audience.
Get personal. Be relevant.
Start your email strategy by ensuring you have a high-quality list of email addresses. Then, segment those audiences in purposeful ways — by relevant demographics, interests, preferences, purchase history, etc.
The No. 1 takeaway when it comes to strong email marketing? The more personalized an email is, the more engaging it is. And the more engaging, the stronger your brand affinity. Every single interaction matters and having a strong email strategy enables you to send more targeted emails that will feel relevant to each recipient.
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