Almost every company will incorporate email into their marketing plan. What that plan looks like will differ based on your business and audience as well as the email service provider you are using. Every ESP brings its own challenges and set of expectations for use, but there are a few general rules of thumb and best practices to follow for helping your business’s email marketing reach its full potential. Below is a check list of some Do’s and Don’ts to help you with the basic tenants of email marketing: deliverability, segmentation, and campaign management.
If your emails don’t reach your contacts’ inboxes then all of your hard work will be for naught. Most email clients have their own secret algorithms for what will constitute as spam so it’s difficult to know exactly what will trigger the trap, but these best practices will help in making sure your email hits the inbox:
- Do make your subject lines short and to the point.
Don’t use foreign characters, certain words like ‘Free,’ and emoji’s which will 9 times out 10 send your email directly to the spam folder.
- Do keep the loaded weight of your email below 80KB by compressing images and keeping copy short.
Don’t use videos or animated gifs. Most email clients do not support these file types. By keeping the size of your email low, it will not only help with deliverability, but also speed up load times which will enhance the overall user experience.
- Do use a subdomain for your email sender address.
Don’t use your company’s main domain. For example, don’t use company.com when you can use your subdomain (i.e. info.company.com). This will help to prevent your company’s email address from potentially being blacklisted if complaints are made.
Knowing who you are talking to is one of the most important, and challenging, elements of email marketing.
- Do maintain your contact database and regularly review the health of the data that you use for segmentation and personalization.
Don’t rely on 3rd parties for your database health. Many programs offer services to build up your contact data but they are not always able to match on the business email addresses that you are using for your B2B marketing campaigns.
- Do exclude contacts from your campaigns who have invalid email addresses. Most ESPs will automatically take this action for you, but it’s good practice to review and remove on your own.
Don’t continuously send email to bad addresses. This can impact your sender reputation.
- Do consider using email throttling. If a contact is already in another campaign or has received email within the past 3 days, hold off on sending another message their way. Best practice for B2B marketing is 3-5 business days between emails. This will help with unsubscribe rates and also with preventing contacts from becoming blind to your messages.
- Do review campaign analytics consistently.
Don’t set it and forget it with your evergreen campaigns. Making adjustments based on engagement is important in maintaining the validity and quality of your messaging, content, and cadence over time.
- Do test your emails and campaign process internally before deploying externally.
Don’t rely on only yourself. Having a second pair of eyes review your emails and campaign is important in catching small mistakes that you may miss.
- Do A/B test email copy and design and use that information to improve results in your current and future campaigns.
Don’t test more than one thing at a time. This will help you to understand the results more completely. Testing image placement, colors, and links simultaneously will confuse the results unless you are familiar with multivariate testing practices and processes.
These are just some of the do’s and don’ts of email marketing to whet your appetite and get your started. These best practices will help you to maintain a healthy database and sender reputation, ensure your emails continue to perform well, and assist your campaigns to run smoothly. If you want to learn more about any of these areas of email marketing, check out these articles on the Relationship One blog and always feel free to reach out to us directly.