10 Best Practices for Email Marketing Design

The ability to send and receive emails has been around since 1972, but it was not until the mid-1990s that websites and mobile apps became powerful enough to support regular email marketing campaigns. Since then, the practice has grown from being a way to keep in touch with friends and family, to a powerful way to reach target audiences and grow a business. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 62% of businesses have now integrated email marketing into their workflow. While this may not seem like a significant number, given the fact that email marketing is probably the oldest ‘modern’ marketing channel, it’s still impressive to see just how far it has come.

1. Create memorable subject lines

With the average attention span of a goldfish at around 14 seconds, you have one shot at grabbing a reader’s attention and holding it. The best way to achieve this is with a catchy, compelling subject line. At the very least, you want your email’s subject line to be able to leave a lasting impression on the reader.

So how do you come up with a memorable subject line? One trick is to go back and analyze the subject lines of your previous emails. What do you notice? The most successful subject lines are usually short and snappy, and they tend to carry a sense of urgency. You can also utilize tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, which will help you find popular keywords that you can incorporate into your subject lines. For example, if you’re sending out an email to promote a vacation package, you might want to consider using keywords like ‘deal of the day’, ‘discount offer’, or ‘exclusive offer’.

2. Use automated email campaigns to send bulk emails

Once you have a stable of subscribers, you can start to automate the email campaign process. Some businesses send out periodic email updates – what they refer to as ‘burns’ – that contain content that is similar or complimentary to that which the sender has previously promoted. These emails are often sent out without any prior interaction with the recipient, which can make them a little less personal. While this may be effective from a marketing perspective, you should still aim to send emails that are as personal as possible.

Another option is to create ‘evergreen’ content – content that will still be relevant in the future – and use that to populate your email campaigns. One example of evergreen content might be an ebook that you’ve written on a certain topic, or it could be a blog post that you’ve written about a similar subject. The advantage to using evergreen content is that you can rest assured that your emails will still be relevant to your target audience even if you’re sending them out years from now. For example, if you’re sending an email to promote a ski vacation, but you’ve published a guide to hiking in the springtime, you’ll still be able to utilize that material in the future.

The above two techniques are commonly used by brands and businesses that have large email lists. The idea is to try and maximize the efficiency of your team while minimizing the amount of junk email that you receive. You can use tools like GetResponse to help you manage your email lists and filter out unwanted emails, or you can hire someone to help out with this part of your digital marketing strategy. Having a constant influx of junk email can seriously damage your reputation, so it’s important to keep that in mind when deciding how much leeway you should give to any anonymous senders.

3. Personalize the emails with avatars

If you’ve ever been on social media, you might have come across the avatar. Avatars are simply digital representations of users. They can be highly personalized and made to match the branding and design style of a brand or business. For example, if you work for a travel agency and you use the avatar feature on your Twitter account, all of your followers will see your avatar whenever they visit your Twitter page. If you send out an email with an image of an avatar next to your name, the recipient will definitely recognize you.

4. Set up automated email responders

People hate spam just as much as you do, which is one of the reasons that there are so many anti-spam laws in place across the world. Setting up automated email responders is a great way to ensure that you don’t get caught up in the spam trap. These are automated systems that screen out junk emails and identify legitimate messages before they are forwarded on to your actual email subscribers. They can play an important role in ensuring that your email campaigns reach the widest audience possible while avoiding any nasty surprises from spam filters.

There are numerous free and paid email responder services out there, so you can choose whichever one you think will be the best fit for your needs. You should take your time selecting a solution that is reliable and will perform to your satisfaction.

5. Use social media to promote your email campaigns

You don’t need to have a social media account to utilize this strategy, but you should certainly consider establishing one. Using social media to promote your email campaigns is a great way to gain exposure and grow your list. One of the basic ways that you can promote your email campaign is to simply post about it on social media. One of the reasons that this strategy works so well is that your Facebook audience is usually made of people that are already interested in your products and services.

However, you should avoid simply spamming your followers with the latest marketing material. Try and find a way to connect with your audience on a personal level and make them understand what you’re trying to communicate. You can talk about the importance of the content you’re promoting, or you can even say a few words about how you’re feeling about the current state of affairs.

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6. Include call-to-actions (CTA) in your email content

The inclusion of a call-to-action (CTA) – a button, link, or other device that encourages the user to take an action – is important in every piece of content. However, it is particularly critical in email marketing, where your readership is typically made up of people who are already interested in your products and services. The advantage of including CTAs is that you can control what action the user takes – whether they click a link, fill out a form, or buy a product.

For example, if you’re promoting an event that will take place in a few days, you might want to consider including a call-to-action in your emails to promote the event. Or, if you’re promoting a vacation package and want the user to make a purchase, you could include an affiliate link in your email’s CTA. When a user clicks on that link and makes a purchase, you’ll get a commission.

Pro-Tip: A common mistake that many email marketers make is that they try and cram too much information into their content. By keeping the content short and sweet, you’ll be able to get your point across more effectively.

7. Personalize the emails with a signature

One of the most overlooked yet critical parts of any email marketing campaign is the signature. First of all, you should aim to have a unique signature for every email you send out. If you do happen to use a signature tool to sign your emails, ensure that it is something that will make your subscribers interested in your upcoming communications. You might want to try out a tool like hCaptcha, which provides you with both a verification code and a personal message for each of your emails. This way, the person that is receiving your emails will know that they are not spam and that you actually read their message.

8. Test out different subject lines and see which ones perform best

Once you have a decent following, you can start to experiment with different subject lines and see which ones perform best. The best approach here is to test different variations of the same subject line to see which one garners the most clicks. If you send out a test email with the exact same subject line as a previous email, but you put a ‘Z’ at the end, you’ll see that your open rates typically go down. Why? Because people are getting bored of hearing the same messages over and over again. Create a subject line that is fresh, unusual, and will make your email stand out.

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