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Article first published March 2017, updated July 2019

Email marketing is a proven tactic that marketers count on to drive results again and again. However, running a successful email campaign isn’t as easy as clicking on the “send” button. A successful email marketer knows and follows email marketing best practices for optimal results. 

So, what are those best practices you should follow (and bad habits you should avoid)?

We’ve put together this handy email marketing infographic that details the do’s and don’ts of email every marketer should know before they push send. This will ensure that your email marketing campaigns deliver.

Email marketing dos and don’ts you need to know

Savvy marketers know that email marketing is the top performing digital marketing channel, delivering an ROI of $44 for every $1 spent. Follow this list of email marketing dos and don’ts to ensure your email marketing is always on point.

(Do) grow your email list the right way

Grow your email list the right way using a sign-up form that requires subscribers to opt-in to receive your emails. While it’s true that it takes longer, it also ensures you’re building a high-quality list that’s engaged.

(Don’t) buy an email list

Buying an email list isn’t just unethical, it also has repercussions (like an unengaged list or poor email reputation).

(Do) keep your business on their mind

Send your welcome email immediately after they subscribe. Since your latest prospect has just discovered you and expressed their desire to receive your emails, fuel their excitement by sending an appreciative welcome email.

(Don’t) make new subscribers wait to hear from you

Waiting too long to reach out could cause subscribers to forget you. Worst case scenario—they’ll discover one of your competitors and sign-up to their list.

(Do) include powerful pre-header text

Include attention-grabbing pre-header text to provide more context to your message. A well-designed pre-header encourages readers to open your email, eventually resulting in high conversion rates for your campaign.

(Don’t) forget pre-header text

Forgetting to include pre-header text in your emails could sabotage your own email marketing campaign. If your email doesn’t give them a reason to open, your reader may just pass on opening it.

(Do) segment your list

Segmenting your list is a great way of ensuring that you send relevant information to each of your subscribers. The result is that they’ll always look forward to receiving and opening your emails.

(Don’t) send the same email to everyone

Never send the same email to every subscriber on your email list. Sending irrelevant information makes you look like you don’t care about your customers’ needs.

(Do) get personal

Research shows that personalization increases your emails’ chances of being opened by 26%. Customers have evolved and no longer appreciate emails that don’t deliver content that is personalized for them.

(Don’t) send a generic email that doesn’t speak to anyone

Generic emails do nothing but hurt your conversion rates. Your readers don’t want to be treated like just an email address.

(Do) use marketing automation

Harness the power of marketing automation to create customer journeys that nurture subscribers by giving them valuable content to guide them along the way. Marketing automation ensures that each of your customers receives the right email at the right time, according to their position in the customer journey.

(Don’t) send disconnected one-off emails

Lack of consistency in the way you communicate with your subscribers can cause you to lose credibility with your customers.

The bottom line? Disconnected one-off emails are hazardous to your brand.

(Do) use dynamic content

Use dynamic content to tailor messages to subscriber attributes. Focus on your subscribers’ gender, preferences, and their geographic location. This use of dynamic content will give your readers hyper-relevant information.

(Don’t) use the same images and copy for every subscriber

Using the same images and copy for every one of your subscribers spoils the customer journey. For example, if you’re running a promotion on clothes and you use gender-specific images (of women perhaps) you’ll lose out on converting most of the males on your list.

(Do) give your emails the best chance at being opened

Especially if you have subscribers from all over the world, make sure to send your emails based on your subscribers’ time zones. Doing so gives your emails a better chance of being noticed and opened. When it comes to email marketing, timing is everything.

(Don’t) send emails to all subscribers at the same time

An email has a higher chance of being noticed, opened, and read if it is received when the subscriber is awake and alert to the notification.

(Do) double check every element of your email

Check every element of your email to ensure that it’s in tip-top shape before you push send. Doing this saves you from making some embarrassing and costly blunders.

(Don’t) send your email without double checking for errors

Sending your email without double checking for typos, broken links, and other errors is playing Russian roulette with your email campaign. Remember, you have one chance of getting readers interested in your email.

(Do) use your reporting

Use your reporting to improve your future email campaigns and customer engagement. Analytics gives insight into customer behavior and how subscribers receive your campaigns. In email marketing, data is your best friend.

(Don’t) ignore your email marketing reporting or analytics

Email marketing analytics and reports are to your marketing what vital signs are to a doctor—both determine the next steps you need to take. By ignoring your analytics, you’ll be flying blind, meaning you might miss your email marketing goals.

Wrap up

We hope you’ve enjoyed this infographic as much as we enjoyed creating it. For more in-depth information on running successful email campaigns, check out our Modern Guide Book to Email Marketing.

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