If you are just starting out with email, or want to benchmark your campaigns for best practice, here’s a handy checklist to help. Reasons for the popularity of email marketing are clear;
Good rates of return have made email one of the preferred marketing tactics of many organisation, especially during the recession.
Here are a few guidelines to bear in mind:
- Manage expectations: Your organisation might see the number of recipients who open your email and click on the links as low, so benchmark the results. Emails sent in a B2B sales context can benchmark against a 21.75% open rate and 2.29% click rate.
- Plan your content to engage your audience and provide value as well as selling goods.
- Only email those that want to hear from you. Build your email recipient list from customers and potential customers who give you their email address and their permission to email them.
- Use an email service provider (ESP) or software specifically designed for email marketing. This will allow you to manage your lists, get your email delivered and measure the results accurately.
Standard email features not to miss
Email design should have the following features as standard:
- Give recipients the opportunity to unsubscribe from any mailing that you send. If they do so, respect their decision and don’t send them any more mailings.
- Email inboxes and different devices will not always display your email as intended. Add a link to a web page version of your email so it can be viewed as originally designed.
- Give your recipients the opportunity to add your future mailings to their white list, so they continue to be delivered to the inbox rather than the spam box.
- Always label images with ALT tags, all email clients block them as standard.
Best practise features to improve the results
In addition to the must-have standard features, you should also consider adding:
- A forward to a friend link so recipients can send your message on to others who may be interested.
- A subscribe link to allow those receiving a forwarded email to sign up.
- The recipients email address, so that they know which email address you have on your list if they wish to unsubscribe.
- A direct contact email address, so the recipient can reply with any queries.
A recent audit by Lyris audit of best practice in email marketing concluded that few companies are following these guidelines fully. So get your email in order, and you have a good chance of standing out from the crowd.