Are you looking for a way to stay top of mind with your customers? Do you need a reason to touch them more frequently? Have you been considering email newsletters but aren’t sure where to start?
Email newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with your customers. But you don’t want to rush into sending email newsletters. There should be some thought and strategy put into your newsletter plan.
Read on to discover the top email newsletter best practices to help with your strategy as well as how to implement them successfully.
Email newsletter best practices
1. Use a powerful subject line.
Your subject line is arguably the most important component of your email content. Without a solid subject line, no one will open your email. Think about subject lines that draw you in. What’s compelling about them?
Do they use concise language? Empathetic language? Bold language?
Are they using emoji? Do they call out a video in the subject line? Is the subject line optimized for your device, or are there rendering issues?
What stands out about the subject lines that you click on?
2. Optimize your email for mobile devices.
People read over half of all emails on mobile devices. That’s an astounding number, considering people do still use their computers on a regular basis.
Knowing that, it’s a good idea to optimize your emails for mobile devices.
That includes design as well as email subject lines.
Bonus: Optimize your website to be mobile-friendly for higher Google rankings.
3. Pay attention to email design and accessibility.
Email design and accessibility are critical components of your email content.
Can people read what your email says? Is the font the right size, color?
Are the images clear and do they load properly? Do they take too long to load? Are videos displaying properly or do they bog down load time? Can everyone read your email?
Look at this engaging email design from Bezar, which uses bold color blocks to highlight products and information:
Source: Really Good Emails
4. List segmentation will help you target your customers.
While most email newsletters will go to your entire list, your organization may have a different structure.
If your company serves multiple different verticals, it may be wise to craft newsletters for each of those industries.
Maybe you have customers in three key states? You can send out newsletters specific to those states.
Don’t let newsletters shut you into a typical “Here are our company updates” box. Use newsletters to drill down into your list and target your customers more efficiently.
5. A/B testing can improve your click rates.
Your marketing team should already be A/B testing, but, in case you’re not doing this essential task, start A/B testing your email updates and changes today to see improvements in your open and click-through rates.
If you’re A/B testing, you’ll know what works and what doesn’t with your audience, so put together an A/B testing plan for employing these best practices.
6. Watch your email frequency and timing.
Sending emails too often can result in unsubscribes from your email list, but sending emails too infrequently can result in your subscribers overlooking them.
Figuring out the best time and day to send emails, and how often, is proprietary to your organization. There’s no magic solution to this puzzle.
Use your A/B testing log to track your timing and frequency to see what results in the most opens, click-throughs, and the fewest unsubscribes.
7. Don’t forget to craft a solid call to action.
Even though it’s just a newsletter, that doesn’t mean you have to forgo your CTA.
In fact, this is a great opportunity to craft a CTA that’s powerful and bold.
You’ve provided your customer with value, so use that momentum to point out your industry leadership and why your customer would want to continue working with your business.
This email newsletter from Zendesk includes a letter from the CEO and a CTA encouraging people to click to “learn more” for their full newsletter. They also entice readers with a new product:
Source: Really Good Emails
8. Use videos to encourage people to open your newsletter.
Videos can encourage people to both open and click through emails. Viewers find them engaging, and they’re an efficient way to communicate a lot of information.
Videos created by your organization are the best to include in your email newsletters (like how-to videos, testimonials, or advice from executives or industry experts).
All of these videos can entice your readers. Plus, they provide an opportunity to really sell people on why they would want to work with your company.
This email newsletter from Mitsubishi uses video to highlight the rugged features of one of their models:
Source: Really Good Emails
How to use email newsletter best practices successfully
It’s not enough to know these best practices; you need to know how to use them effectively. Otherwise, your email campaigns will fall flat. These seemingly small tips will reap huge rewards for your organization and marketing campaign.
Here are four ways to use our email newsletter best practices successfully:
- Use an email platform: An email platform can help you with email design and email tracking. An email platform with a drag-and-drop editor is a great tool for organizations that don’t have a large design budget. The ability to track and manage your data is a key feature of many email platforms.
- Set up a marketing calendar: Don’t just add a task to your Outlook calendar and call it a day. Set up a full-fledged marketing calendar that lets you know when to write, edit, and send emails, when to post on social media, and when to post other ads or write other marketing material.
- Employ one practice at a time: It can be tempting to jump right in and let this process overwhelm you, but don’t do that. Start with the best practice that you find the most practical and work on making small changes from there. You don’t need to make all these changes at once.
- Don’t forget to A/B test your emails: We can’t emphasize enough how important A/B testing is to your marketing campaigns. We recommend starting a log of your A/B testing efforts as soon as you start using these best practices.
Each of these tips will help you put together a sustainable marketing plan beyond your email newsletter campaign.
For example, you can A/B test your social media campaigns as well as your other marketing material. You’re not limited to testing your email campaigns.
And your marketing calendar should include more than your email marketing efforts—include all aspects of your marketing plan, so nothing gets overlooked.
These eight email newsletter best practices are your guide to creating an email newsletter marketing plan that’ll impress your customers and improve your conversion rates.
Three key takeaways you should leave with are:
- Use your email subject lines wisely to boost your open rates.
- Use list segmentation to creatively divide up your list for maximum impact. Think outside the marketing box on this.
- Email frequency and timing can make or break an email campaign, so use A/B testing to find the best times to send your newsletters.
Don’t forget to set up an A/B testing log, if you don’t have one already, and put together a comprehensive marketing calendar to stay on track with your email campaigns.
Looking for an email platform to create stunning newsletters? Campaign Monitor has a powerful drag-and-drop editor—complete with templates—to create the perfect emails.