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  4.  | 25 Email Marketing Best Practices That Actually Work

Email marketing can be a great way to get more customers and grow your small business. However, it’s important to use best practices so that your email marketing is effective.

Here are 25 email marketing best practices that actually work:

1. Clean Your List

Make sure your email list is clean and up-to-date. Remove any inactive or unengaged subscribers from your list. This will help improve your deliverability and ensure that your emails reach the people who are most interested in them.

2. Get Good Deliverability

Use an email marketing service that offers good deliverability. This will help ensure that your emails end up in subscribers’ inboxes instead of getting caught in spam filters.

Check out these Email Deliverability Statistics

  • 15.8% of all emails go missing or are caught by spam filters
  • 84.2% is the percentage of the average email deliverability rate

How to Improve Your Email Deliverability

When it comes to email, deliverability is key. After all, what good is an email if it never reaches the intended recipient?

Unfortunately, there are a number of factors that can impact your email deliverability, from technical issues to spam filters. However, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of making it into inboxes.

First, make sure your sending domain is properly configured. This means ensuring that all DNS records are correct and that SPF and DKIM are set up correctly.

Secondly, avoid using common spam trigger words in your subject lines and avoid excessive capitalization and exclamation marks.

Finally, make sure your list is clean and up-to-date by scrubbing bounced addresses and removing unengaged subscribers. By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that your emails have a better chance of being delivered successfully.

3. Segment Your List

Segment your email list so that you can send more targeted and relevant emails. Your email marketing service will have ways to segment your list, usually with tags.

Check out these Email Segmentation Stats

  • Segmented email campaigns have a 50% higher CTR than untargeted campaigns.
  • Marketers sending segmented campaigns notice a 760% increase in revenue.

What is Email Segmentation?

Email segmentation is the process of grouping your email list into smaller, more targeted groups. This allows you to send more relevant and personalized messages to each group, which can lead to higher open and click-through rates.

There are a number of ways to segment your email list, including by location, age, gender, interests, and purchase history. By segmenting your list, you can ensure that each group receives messages that are most relevant to them, which can improve your overall email marketing results.

4. Use personalization

Personalize your emails as much as possible. Use the recipient’s name in the email and/or subject line, and include other personal details like their birthday or anniversary date.

Check out these Email Personalization Stats:

  • 62% of marketers say that personalization is one of the most effective techniques.
  • The top 3 reasons for personalizing an email are improved open rates (82%), better customer satisfaction (58%), and higher CTR (75%)

5. Create Quality Content

Make sure your email content is high-quality and relevant to your subscribers. Email content should be interesting, informative, or helpful.

Needs some ideas for email content? Check out 10 Email marketing ideas.

6. Use a Call to Action

Use a strong call-to-action (CTA) in your email so that subscribers know what you want them to do next. Your CTA could be to click through to a landing page, download a white paper or ebook, sign up for a webinar, etc.

7. Use Automation

Use email marketing automation to send triggered emails based on subscriber behavior to save time and not miss any marketing opportunities.

Check out these Email Automation Statistics:

The greatest marketing automation benefits are:

  • – saving time (30%)
  • – lead generation (22%)
  • – higher revenue (17%)
  • – customer retention (11%)
  • – monitoring marketing campaigns (8%)
  • – shortening of the sales cycle (2%)

How to Use Email Automation

Email Automation could include sending a welcome email when someone subscribes to your list, sending a cart abandonment email to people who add items to their shopping cart but don’t complete the purchase, etc.

8. A/B Test

A/B test your email subject lines, calls-to-action, email content, sending times, etc. to see what works best for your audience and goals.

Check out these Email Testing Statistics

  • 11% continuously test their email marketing
  • More marketers test creative elements 20%, and subject lines 16%

9. Use Images and Graphics

Include images in your email to make it more visually appealing. Just make sure that the images are relevant and add value to the email content.

Check out these images in email stats:

  • Emails that include graphics have a higher open rate (27%) and CTR (4.5%) than text-based emails (20% and 3%).

How to Optimize Your Images for Email

The key to email content best practices is optimization. Be sure to optimize your images before adding them to your email provider (or your website, for that matter). This means sizing them properly, compressing, and making them in the right format. The website tiny.png makes it easy to compress your images for the web.

Why Optimization Matters

For example, a photo you take with your smartphone may be 2400×3600 pixels in size and 3MG. The container for your email message may only be 600px wide. So adding the full-size image would be way overdoing it. If you resized the image to 600×800 and compressed the image using Tiny.png, the size could be 20kb. That’s a savings of 15000% And a much faster loading email. And 74% of users delete a message if it doesn’t open within 5 seconds or less.

10. Optimize for Mobile

Make sure your email is optimized for mobile devices. This means using a responsive email template and/or keeping the email content short and to the point.

More readers than ever are using mobile devices to answer and respond to emails; in fact, 81% of users check their email on smartphones, 74% on desktops/laptops, 21% on tablets, and 2% on a smartwatch. Yet, only 1 in 5 emails is properly mobile-optimized.

11. Use Alt Text

Use Alt text for images in your email so that subscribers who can’t see images can still understand what the email is about. When you upload an image, you will be given a dialogue box that includes the title and alt text. Use simple descriptive terms on what the image is.

To learn more about Alt-Text and its importance in accessibility, check out Hubspot’s Guide on Image Alt Text.

12. Use Plain Text

Include a plain text version of your email for subscribers who prefer that format. There are a few providers I have used that do not include plain text as an option, so ensure. your software offers this if it is important for your marketing (I had a client switch providers due to this one facet alone.)

13. Create a Signature

Make sure your email signature includes your name, title, company, website, and social media links. Get bonus points for including an email opt-in offer. 🙂

14. Share on Social Media

Use social media to promote your email list and encourage people to sign up. You could include a link to a sign-up form in your bio on each social media platform.

15. Use a Freebie

Give something away for free in exchange for people’s email addresses. This could be an ebook, white paper, report, coupon, etc.

Be sure to create a freebie that your audience will want. If you’re not sure what to create for your freebie, check out 28 High-Converting Lead Magnet Ideas To Grow Your Email List.

RELATED: 13 Free Canva Lead Magnet Template

16. Use Contests

Host a contest or giveaway and require an email address to enter. Just be sure that the contest you choose to do attracts the right people on your email list. There is no use in building an email list of people that are never going to be interested in your business or services.

Some popular contest software you can use are WooboxEasyPromosGleam, or Wish Pond to make your contest easy to run and fun.

17. Add a Website Sign up

Add a sign-up form to your website so that people can subscribe to your email list from there.

Where to add Your Email Sign Up Form

There are several places where you want to include your email sign-up form. You want to have one above the fold (before anyone needs to scroll). You can also include a sign-up form in your sidebar, below each blog post, and in the footer. Don’t make people search for your sign-up!

18. Use Pop-Ups

Use pop-ups on your website to encourage people to sign up for your email list. Just make sure that the pop-ups are not intrusive or annoying by limiting when they pop up and making sure they are easy to close.

Check out these pop-up stats:

  • The average conversion rate for pop-ups is 3.09%
  • the top pop-ups have almost 10% conversion rates
  • Of top-performing pop-ups, 92% of them have pop-ups that display after 4 seconds.
  • The lowest-performing displayed their ads between 0 and 4 seconds.

19. Include an Opt-In

Include a link to a sign-up form in every email you send out, even if people are already subscribed to your list. This way, if people forward your email to a friend, they can easily sign up as well.

20. Easy to Unsubscribe

Make it easy for people to unsubscribe from your email list if they want to. Include an unsubscribe link in every email and process unsubscribe requests quickly. If you are using an email service provider like Constant Contact or Kartra, this will be automatically included.

21. Use a Double Opt-in

Use double opt-in for your email list to ensure that people really want to receive your emails. This means that people will need to confirm their email address after signing up for your list.

Optin Monster says this about double opt-ins:

Using double opt-in is also a great way to keep your email list clean. The spammers who sometimes target single opt-in email lists won’t get anywhere because if they don’t use real email addresses, they’ll never get confirmation emails. And if they appear on spam blacklists, they won’t get your emails at all.

22. Check Deliverability Rate

Keep an eye on your email deliverability rate and ensure it’s high. If it’s low, this could mean that your emails are getting caught in spam filters.

Most email service providers make it very easy to see each email’s deliverability, so be sure to go in and check after each email. See #2 for how to improve your deliverability rate.

23. Monitor Open Rates

Monitor your email open and click-through rates to see how well your emails are performing. If you see a decline in these rates, try changing up your email content or sending frequency.

What Is A Good Open Rate?

If you are not sure what a good open rate is for your industry, check out these Email Open Rates by Industry

24. Research Unsubscribes

Ask people who unsubscribe from your email list why they’re leaving. This feedback can help you improve your email marketing strategy.

25. Stay Compliant with CAN-SPAM Laws

Make sure you are compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act and other email marketing laws. This includes things like having a physical address in your email signature, not using false or misleading header information, and giving people the option to unsubscribe from your list.

Most email service providers walk you through these steps when you set up your account and won’t let you send out until it’s complete. Using a reputable email service software will help you not have to worry about staying above the law and out of jail.

The Power of Email Marketing

Email marketing can be a powerful tool for small businesses. By using best practices for email marketing, you can create emails that are more likely to be opened and read, and that will help you grow your business.

If you want to learn more about email marketing or need help getting started, our team of experts is here to help. We offer online courses in email marketing that will teach you everything you need to know to get started with this valuable form of marketing. Sign up today and see the results for yourself!

And remember, you don’t need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or a dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don’t even need a lot of time. 

What you need it to be smart. 

And email marketing is smart for your small business marketing!

About Digital Marketing Expert Torie Mathis

Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity.  She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART.

Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine. Learn from Torie at the Smart Arsenal and on her channel.

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hi im torie
I help entrepreneurs  learn digital marketing.
And I make it easy! 

You don’t need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. You don’t even need a lot of time.

What you need is to be SMART.

Is YOUR marketing SMART?

Find out here.


Hi! I'm Torie!

Torie Mathis HeadshotI help entrepreneurs (like you) use digital marketing to get more clients + make more money. And I make it easy!

You don’t need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. You don’t even need a lot of time.

What you need is to be SMART.

Get Smart AF

from your Digital Marketing Coach Torie Mathis!

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