Updated: Jun 15
Email marketing is one of the best-known forms of marketing, but it’s also one of the most effective. Did you know that over four billion people use email every single day? If you’re anything like us, you’ll likely check your emails several times a day, and we’re definitely not alone in this habit. The number of emails sent and received daily is a whopping 306 billion – that figure is rising all the time.
Marketers know the power of email marketing, with over a third sending emails to customers weekly and 26% sending emails multiple times a month. And they’re sending these emails so often because they really do work. Email marketing brings an estimated ROI of $36 for every $1 spent. So it’s well worth spending time and money on.
If you’re interested in hearing more about what goes into a successful email marketing campaign, or you’re looking for a few tips and tricks to optimise your next campaign, we’re here to help. Take a look at our top 28 email marketing tips, and you’ll soon have a highly effective campaign ready to send.
1. Define your audience
All great marketing campaigns start with a period of analysis where teams define their audience clearly and concisely. So, we always recommend you begin mapping out your email marketing strategy by doing precisely this.
Think about who your audience is and what appeals to them, bearing in mind that you will have different customer groups amongst your primary audience. Then, think about how you’ll design an email campaign that this audience will find irresistible.
2. Use buyer personas to create emails specifically for your audience
Buyer personas are used in many marketing strategies and work well for email marketing campaigns. If you create many different personas designed to explain who your typical customers are and what they like, you’ll have a real person in mind when designing your email campaigns. This lets the whole team visualise the email’s intent, creating something powerful and engaging.
3. Segment your data
Once you’ve defined your audience and created your personas, it’s time to go one step further, and this leads us to one of our other top email best practices. Think about segmenting your audience into smaller groups based on their preferences, pain points, likes and dislikes. The more you know about your audience groups, the more you can customise your email campaigns to maximise their appeal. You can use list segmentation to split data in numerous ways for the most effective email marketing campaigns.
4. Create a content strategy
The success of your email marketing campaign is largely dependent on the content that goes into it, so your next step is creating a content marketing strategy. You can use content to create emails that hold real appeal for audiences, so think about what your audience would like to see in terms of blog posts and content. Then start creating the content they crave. Remember, the best content is entertaining or informative (and, of course, it can be both!)
5. Think about sending frequency
Think about how often you receive emails from your favourite brands. You’ll undoubtedly have some who seem to drop messages into your inbox frequently and others you hear from far less often. Finding the correct sending frequency for your audience is an art form, as it will vary considerably depending on your audience and what you’re selling. Think about how often your audience would like to see emails from your brand, bearing in mind that a sending frequency that’s too high will ultimately lead to unsubscribes.
6. Schedule campaigns regularly
Now you have a good idea of how often you’d like to send your emails out, you can start to think about scheduling. While it’s entirely possible to run your email marketing on an ad-hoc basis, sending emails as and when you decide to, it’s not something we’d recommend. For best results, schedule emails several weeks in advance. That way, you’ll never find yourself battling deadlines while trying to get a vital email campaign out, and you won’t miss out on any golden opportunities to follow-up on any interest expressed in previous campaigns.
7. Create clear, engaging designs
There are so many options for email design, so there’s no single right answer to email marketing best practices here. Take the time to consider how you’d like your emails to look, and design something that suits your brand – and your customers. Often brands choose to create emails with similar designs, using their colourways, logos and typography. This is a good idea as it ensures your emails are always recognisable, and customers won’t be in any doubt as to which company has sent them – even at first glance.
8. Code your own email templates
If you, or anyone in your team, can write code, then your design options are even wider. Most email platforms offer the chance to code your emails, meaning you won’t be limited by the drag-and-drop templates provided.
Code your emails to create genuinely bespoke designs according to your exact requirements. Keep an eye on your latest email statistics to see which designs hold the most appeal to your audience, and you’ll be able to learn and improve as you go.
9. Run tests using different email clients
If you’ve designed an email and tested it by sending it to yourself, you might think it’s ready. But this can sometimes lead to embarrassing mistakes because an email might appear differently on different email clients.
To avoid any errors, we always recommend that marketers test emails on several different email clients before hitting that send button. Stick to the most commonly used clients and check for any problems in the test emails before you send your campaign out.
10. Use A/B testing to identify user preferences
A/B testing is your friend when creating a great email marketing campaign – so use it. If you’re wondering which subject line would be most engaging or unsure about the best time to send your campaign, you’ll get your answer through a simple A/B test.
Email platforms provide plenty of A/B testing options, and it’s straightforward to set a test like this up. Make sure you test a few different variables to get a good idea of what your customers like before you start sending to your whole database.