It’s hard to overstate the importance of a robust email marketing strategy in the digital marketing world. For small businesses and mega corporations alike, email newsletters can:
- Drive sales✅
- Increase reach✅
- Improve engagement✅
- Customize brand experiences✅
- Boost brand recognition and awareness✅
What more could you want from a single campaign?
15 Best Email Newsletter Practices You Need to Use
Try any of the following practices for your next email marketing campaign. You may be surprised at just how much your audience appreciates them.
1. Make a 🔪Killer🔪 Subject Line
The way to someone’s heart is through the subject line (or something like that). You’re fighting for your readers’ attention, competing against thousands of other emails trying to do exactly the same. In this game, the most important tool in your open rate arsenal is your subject line.
In other words: your headlines can make or break your campaign. So make the most of the limited space you have in your subject line to grab attention and encourage users to open up your email.
Ways to stand out with your subject line include:
- Punny words or phrases
- Emojis (just avoid the eggplant and peach)
- CAPITAL LETTERS
- Punctuation marks!
- This Just In: use urgent phrasing
- Including [Subscriber’s Name]
Whatever you decide to do, just make sure your subject line is accurate and relevant. Misleading or false marketing in emails is against several e-commerce laws and regulations in the United States.
2. Include Eye-Catching CTAs
Your subscribers may open your emails, but don’t stop there—make sure they continue and click through to your landing pages. The best way to do just that? By optimizing your calls to action (CTAs).
Keep in mind the following four fundamentals when designing CTAs for your email newsletters:
- Word choice – Be brief and enticing with CTA copy. We recommend using action words, or energizing verbs with positive connotations.
- Placement – Place CTAs somewhere that make sense in the context of your entire email and are easy to see.
- Color – Drive conversions with high-contrast colors, or colors that make your CTA stand apart from the background.
- Shape – Rectangles and ovals are great shapes. The outline of Texas’s 33rd Congressional District? Not so much. Keep the shape of your CTAs simple and easy to click on.
3. Prioritize Quality Copywriting and Proofreading
Errors in your email content will cost you
Research shows that glaring grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors can increase bounce rates by as much as 85%. And those bounce rates mean that you will potentially cough up +10% on your Google ad spend.
The solution? Prioritize quality copywriting and proofread everything before sending out your emails. Some of our favorite proofreading strategies here at Digital Strike include:
- Checking. Checking. Checking.
- Using online writing tools.
- Letting content “cool” a day before revisiting it.
- Reading your copy out loud.
- Checking again.
4. Perform A/B Testing
Testing. Testing. 1, 2, 3…
Find yourself stuck between two methods for optimizing your email marketing campaign? Perform A/B tests to see what works best. Simply divide your audience into two segments, and pair each segment with a unique version of your newsletter. Send both out, and see which version gets you better results!
Good news: performing A/B tests is easy. Several popular newsletter services, like Mailchimp, offer these tools.
5. Track Data Religiously
In the digital marketing world, we are all subject to the power of All-Mighty Data, which guides the trajectory of all campaigns and venture-planning.
Simply put, you need plenty of information to track the success of any campaign you have. That means you need a foolproof system for keeping track of data points like open rates, click-through rates (CTRs), and conversions. As is the case with A/B testing, many newsletter services automatically keep track of this data for you, so your only job is to analyze this information.
6. Be Consistent
People are largely comfortable with the familiar, which means you can keep subscribers happy simply by being consistent. By consistent, we mean in regards to both time and tone.
Firstly, you want to keep a consistent schedule. So make an editorial calendar, decide whether you want a quarterly, monthly, or weekly newsletter, and stick to this plan. Keep any extra emails outside of this posting schedule to a minimum to avoid flooding (and annoying) subscribers. Break this schedule only for truly important events, such as the launch of a new product.
Secondly, make sure to find your brand’s voice and then stick to it. If your brand has always been more traditional and conservative in tone, for example, don’t suddenly put eggplant emojis in your subject lines.
7. Use Roundups
Time is a precious commodity, and sometimes you have little of it. (Such is the life of a digital marketer.) In these cases, use roundups in your emails. This tactic helps you:
- Circulate old content
- Curate content for different demographics
- Save time and effort
- Group content by subject or theme
Can you say yeehaw, pardner?🤠
8. Be Seasonal
🎵It’s the most wonderful time of the year (to be on top of seasonal trends).🎵
Evergreen content has its place, but seasonal posts can spice up even the most bland of inboxes. Welcome changing seasons and holidays with special offers and relevant content. For example, if you run a bakery, send an email about the easiest holiday pie recipes.
9. Don’t Neglect Social Media
More and more digital marketers are seeing the value in using social media for business; you should count yourself among them. Many people, especially younger audiences, are using social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram for searches. That means you need to make your business stand out on your socials in order to build yourself as an authority to (and connect with) netizens.
Share newsletter signup information on your social media profiles. But don’t just use social media to send traffic to your newsletter; use your newsletter to send people to your socials by including social media buttons in your newsletter.
10. Create an Attractive Email Design
Newsletter design is critical when it comes to email campaigns, as how (un)attractive your newsletter appears to users could influence CTRs and conversions.
We could spend another 10,000 words explaining the importance and intricacy of good design elements, but we’ll keep it simple here. When it comes to visual email design, consider the following two elements above all else:
- Fonts – We strongly advise against using “goofy” fonts like Comic Sans. The stars of the show should always be your content; the design is merely there to enhance what you already have. In other words, don’t overshadow great content with distracting design elements. Keep things on brand, attention-grabbing, and complementary to your copy. When it comes to fonts, that often means choosing a simpler style.
- Colors – Incorporate your brand’s key colors into the design. Just keep in mind that less is more when it comes to visual design. So, if you’re stuck between two colors, pick the least obtrusive of the two (unless your goal is to create contrast).
11. Include Useful Content
Spam on your plate? Good.
Spam in your inbox? Bad.
It should go without saying, but we’ll say it: give your subscribers a reason to read your emails. When it comes to email marketing, quality is always more important than quantity. No matter your emailing schedule, make sure your emails always include content that is useful, helpful, and/or enjoyable (more on that below).
12. Reward New Subscribers
Kick ass and take names… for your email subscriber list!
Giving newcomers a special deal or gift is a tried-and-true customer recruitment method for all industries. Do the same with your emails. Give new email subscribers something special, like a discount code, to entice people to sign up for your email list.
13. Offer More
Blog posts are great, but your newsletters should offer more than just that. Other items to offer to your valuable subscribers include:
- Case studies
- Thought leadership pieces
- Subscriber-exclusive discounts
By offering varied, engaging content that people can’t find anywhere else, you increase the likelihood that subscribers will continue to open (and click through) emails.
14. Make It Easy to Unsubscribe
It’s illegal to make it impossible to unsubscribe from emails in the US. But go one step further and make it easy to unsubscribe.
Let people peace out peacefully from your email list. This one might seem counterintuitive, but trust us. Nothing will make people dislike your brand more than having to jump through hoops to unsubscribe from what they perceive as annoying emails.
15. Don’t Neglect Mobile Users
You’ve carefully crafted the most appealing newsletter… for people on computers. But, according to IBM research, that’s only about half of your audience! More and more people are using mobile devices to check emails, and more than 60% of people report ignoring emails that just don’t look right on their mobile devices.
Moral of the story is that your newsletter layout needs to translate well to both desktop and mobile devices.
Our Favorite Email Marketing Tools
You know the best practices. Now find the best email marketing tools to elevate your newsletter campaigns.
(We aren’t partnered with or sponsored by any of the following tools; we genuinely just think they rock.)
👑Mailchimp👑 is the undisputed monarch of user-friendly email marketing software.
It’s easy to see why too, as Mailchimp:
- Features a drag-and-drop editor that’s intuitive for even the most technologically illiterate,
- Offers plenty of email newsletter templates to suit the style of most businesses,
- Starts pricing for paid plans at just $11/mo, with a free plan available, and
- Has data-tracking software built into its newsletter services.
When it comes to easy email marketing automation, it doesn’t get much better than Mailchimp.
The most popular website builder can also function as an email builder. There are plenty of free or affordable WordPress plugins that make it easy to create email newsletters and newsletter signup forms.
Popular plugins worth exploring include:
Campaign URL Builder
Someone just visited your landing page. Great! But where did this person come from? You need this information to monitor the success of your various campaigns.
If you need an easy and free tool to track URLs for social media and email marketing campaigns, we recommend Campaign URL Builder. Simply enter your landing page URL, campaign source, and campaign medium, and this tool will generate a tracker URL for you. It’s that easy!
But when email marketing (or PPC marketing, or social media marketing, or content marketing, or… you get the idea) gets too difficult, our most valuable piece of advice is to give digital marketing experts a call.
Learn more about Kristen Greif