Email Marketing Best Practices
The fact that email marketing can be a free tool and method of communicating with your target audience is likely the reason that “2.4 million emails are sent every second, worldwide. However, due to the large quantities of emails arriving in consumers inboxes daily, most of them are never opened” (www.app.hubspot.com/learning-center, 2018). The importance of creating effective emails to increase the chances of being opened and with any luck, continued to be clicked through, is ever growing to improve your chances of succeeding as a business. The following best practices may help your company begin its email campaign journey:
1. Proving You’re Social
Including the views of third parties in your business communications gives confidence in your brand and demonstrates the company is social. Testimonials, customer blurbs, ratings – anything that removes any uncertainty to encourage a potential consumer to engage with you. Supported by visuals and direct excerpts from social media accounts will also include the readability and flow of the email (www.blog.hubspot.com/customers/creating-human-friendly-email, 2018).
2. Easy to Navigate and Read Using strategic navigational tools in your emails encourages your audience to focus on certain parts of an email. HubSpot suggests using faces as they draw a lot of attention in content (www.blog.hubspot.com/customers/creating-human-friendly-email, 2018). To accelerate this strategy, having the visual face your content will encourage your audience to direct their eyes in the same direction. An example of this is below:
Image: Example of human friendly email from Hubspot.com
Hubspot recommends using the ‘F-Pattern’ to match reader’s eye path’s. With the number of emails received in any consumers inbox on a daily basis, it is no surprise that marketing focused emails are often scanned over as opposed to read in depth, that’s if opened at all. Based on eye tracking studies, the most common visual scan path is shaped like an F. Content is scanned from left to right and back to the left before reaching the end of the horizontal sentence.
Image: Example of F content planning method from Hubspot.com
Building your message with the most important and captivating content in the beginning of the ‘F’ shape can help readers reach your CTA and potentially convert into further interaction (www.blog.hubspot.com/customers/creating-human-friendly-email, 2018).
3. Use Effective HTML and ALT Text In the case that emails don’t load properly, you can guarantee your consumer will make a decision on whether or not to open your email based on the subject line and preview text. Buzz feed adopts this approach by using ‘out of the box’ text where images are accompanied with an element of humour (www.southerntidemedia.com, 2018). In a more financial business situation, simply have the ALT text as ‘out of the box’ interesting phrases will increase your chances of encouraging your readers to invest further time reading the email.
4. Mobile Friendly Layouts According to an article written by Entrepreneur.com, email is said to be the top activity on smartphones ahead of browsing (www.entrepreneur.com, 2018). Ensuring your images, text and automatic re-sizing are dynamic and adaptable to screen sizes is imperative in having an optimal email layout for digital devices.
Email Marketing Mistakes To Avoid
1. Visual Dead Weight According to Hubspot Academy, whilst having bright and effective visuals in an email is a positive factor, not using these to your advantage and encouraging engagement with these features is a negative. It is imperative to have links, call to actions and other means of conversion from these elements (www.blog.hubspot.com/customers/creating-human-friendly-email, 2018).
2. Unsubscribe Button Placement Legally, every marketing communication email should include an option for consumers to unsubscribe and opt out of receiving email communications. However, as majority of emails are read on a mobile device, placing the unsubscribe link too close to a CTA increases the chances of mistakenly clicking on the wrong button (www.entrepreneur.com, 2018).
3. Call To Action
Not including a call to action in any marketing does not leave the email with a purpose (www.entrepreneur.com, 2018). As a business, your end goal should be capturing your audience’s attention, encouraging them to click through to your website whereby your service/product is advertised. Without CTA’s, your email, whilst it may be informative – its performance may not be effectively digitally measurable.