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Best Email Marketing Practices in 2020

We send a LOT of emails here at Ruby Porter Marketing & Design. From subscriber welcomes, to big sales, to special discount codes & newsletters, our expert team does it all when it comes to email marketing. With the millions of email users around the world, from children to great-grandparents, has come the hundreds of emails each user might receive in a week. Though it can be challenging to stand out among them all, email marketing has remained an excellent and affordable way to reach and engage all of your market, from new subscribers to regular customers. We know that there are hundreds of methods and options for marketing via email, so we’ve compiled a list of our tried-and-true techniques that will make you stand out and keep your customers engaged and excited about what’s to come.

Know the ethics of email

First thing’s first: you have to have a list of clients that have opted into receiving emails. There are a few important things to consider when managing your subscription lists. The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) protects the rights of individuals and ensures that people don’t receive email updates without their consent. Purchasing email lists is the easiest way to violate the GDPR, so, uh, don’t do that. Instead, just ask! People who want to hear from you will sign up. Subscribers must actively opt in to emails (no pre-checking that box), and make sure your customers are excited to learn about what you’re doing. This will help you have an audience that wants to hear from you!

Regularly clean your lists

If you notice that your open rate is low, comb through your subscriber list and remove people who don’t open your emails. While it might seem counterproductive, doing this regularly can actually help you, because it’ll show you who is interested and increase your engagement. Make sure it’s easy for people to unsubscribe as well, and don’t take it personally if they do (most email marketing services have this built in). Nothing is more frustrating than a company that bombards your inbox and asks you a million questions when you try to take yourself off their list. Easy unsubscribing will help keep your company in high regard, even for users that don’t want to receive your emails.

Automate a warm welcome

Hearing crickets when you’re expecting an email after subscribing leads to uncomfortable questions—did it work? Smart email marketers set up welcome emails to assure subscribers shortly after subscribing that yes, you’re in the club! After all, the first few days after customers subscribe are when they’re the most eager about the brand. Automated emails to say hello and offer a discount, free shipping, or a free download upon subscription will make your new customers excited and feel appreciated. Then, do not to overwhelm them with more than a few emails per week. Perhaps consider giving users the option to choose how many emails they want to get each month via your sign up form—while it may seem counter-intuitive, less is more—and your subscribers will appreciate it.

Get more opens and clicks

Write compelling subject lines and preview texts that entice people to click on the message. Using intentional verbiage to create urgency without making it feel demanding will increase your open rate, because it’ll catch the eye of the reader. The words and tone you use should reflect the branding of your company. To personalize the email, use the sender’s name and tell a story in an authentic voice. This will grab the attention of your recipient and show them that there’s a person behind the message. You don’t always have to be selling something; by not selling a product, you’re actually selling your authenticity.

When to Send It

There is strategy involved in every aspect of email marketing, and timing is an essential component for increasing your reach. Send your emails out at an optimal time for your audience. Mornings are typically ideal, as checking emails is a part of most people’s morning routine. Before actually delivering the email, send yourself and a few coworkers a test email to make sure everything looks right. Best display practices include staying within 500-650 pixels wide and using optimized images, as well as keeping the main message and call to action above the fold (making sure your viewers don’t need to scroll to see it).

Keep it simple, but thoughtful

Your readers will always value quality over quantity in email. Intentional communication will keep your clients excited about hearing from you, instead of frustrated with a full inbox. Plan your emails in advance when an important date is coming up to make sure that your clients won’t miss out. Don’t throw every piece of information you can find into the email; instead, give just enough that makes them want to go to your website to find out more. Short, sweet and intentional messaging will deliver more results than any other method. Here at Ruby Porter, we utilize these tips and tricks to help engage customers, and increase brand presence. If you’re looking for email marketing help, contact us to learn more. Remember to stay personal, genuine and engage your audience!

Erin has degrees in Philosophy, Linguistics, and Instructional Design, and taught English to international students at the University of Oregon. Prior to joining Ruby Porter, she was Project Manager with a local nonprofit, helping connect high school students to career opportunities, including internships in the tech industry.

Erin loves writing, storytelling, presentations, building relationships, and thinking deeply about brand identity. She plays and coaches ultimate frisbee (Go Birds!), loves cooking, hiking and camping in the PNW, and is an aspiring Cat Lady.

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