Did you know? The first Email Marketing campaign was launched in the year 1978. Since then, Email Marketing has been the go-to source for almost every marketing expert. It has helped marketers amass huge revenues for their brands and build extremely loyal relationships with their customers.
Almost everything about email marketing has changed & what that calls for is a change in the ways & strategies used by you for Email Marketing.
HOWEVER, modern-day marketing has called for a complete change in the way we send emails now!
Whether you’re a beginner laying their first step in the marketing industry or an experienced veteran, you need to understand that NOW, almost everything about email marketing has changed & what that calls for in-turn, is a change in the ways & strategies used by you for Email Marketing.
Here’s a set of 6 universal Email Marketing do’s & don’ts followed by leading marketing experts, which you should start implementing in your marketing strategy if you’re not following them already!
→ Design your email like a website!
Contrary to popular belief on how & why your emails should look beautiful with heavy images & sexy graphics, modern-day email marketing doesn’t really buy that! Firstly, pause for a minute & think – Who sends these types of heavy emails with several images & graphics – Businesses or Individuals?
Such emails send a direct signal to the email service providers that the specific email’s nature is a promotional one, hence hurting your deliverability, and always remember:
If your email doesn’t get delivered properly, it doesn’t get read & what happens if it doesn’t get read? You guessed it – Your email becomes useless!
Secondly, you must be thinking right now – “But my current email looks so aesthetic & sexy”
Well, the good news is that your email might be looking very appealing, but the bad news is that ‘Aesthetic & sexy’ doesn’t sell.
This has been proven in countless tests, however, most businesses still keep over-designing emails in the attempt to make them looks ‘Aesthetic & sexy’
Following is a classic example of what not to do. As you can see that the email is embellished with heavy graphics & multiple images. The end results? It looks great, but it has ended up in the user’s Promotions folder. You definitely want to avoid making something like that.
Plus, what happens when you glance at this email? You immediately feel like it’s a promotional email looking for the best opportunity to sell something to you, right?
Does it feel personal? No.
Does it feel like a commercial business? Yes.
Both ways, it didn’t appeal to you and the least you would do is to throw the email into your bin/mark as spam, or even worse, get frustrated by further similar mails from them & unsubscribe from their list.
You need to keep your messaging direct, concise & use graphics ONLY till the extent where it keeps your messaging compelling but doesn’t make your email look like a website.
Following is an example of how a ‘well-designed’ email looks like:
No one wants to feel as if you are marketing to them. It feels selfish, it feels like you’re being tricked into throwing your wallet away to them in return for something they will never find credible & useful!
The key takeaway is to still be creative yet subtle with your email designs.
However, if you glance at the illustration above, it is a perfect combination of creative copies as well as discreet designs coming from a business that can’t claim to be a non-commercial business. It is personalized, and it doesn’t feel like they are selling something, rather, helping the reader by solving their problems, without quoting a price-tag on things.
You see? The idea of a ‘Well-designed’ email should not be rigid. It need not always be without any graphics, and it also need not look like a website. Do not follow a set-designed template, make sure you are experimenting with multiple alternatives & analyzing each one of them.
→ Use ambiguous & non-personal email addresses
PLEASE Don’t spoil the only chance you have by hitting your email subscribers with an email address that looks suspicious. This does not only make your brand appear to be doubtful to new prospects, it also makes the already existing customers to start having mistrust in your organization.
Some of the email addresses you should avoid using:- noreply@XYZcompany.com
The emails that you want to get opened should ALWAYS come from a source that seems personal, hence appears to be personal.
→ Use personal email addresses
Think about it, which one of the following 2 emails are you more likely to trust
People appreciate it when they realize that there is a real person who is sending them the mail. That’s why you need to make the email a bit more personalized by using a sender ID such as firstname.lastname@example.org. But wait! There’s a catch.
Knorish Pro-tip: Don’t make it boring! Keep switching up your sender addresses!
Here’s why you should keep changing the sender email addresses:
It is proven that sending emails with multiple sender addresses from your organization massively bumps up the open rates & has a ripple effect on your reputation, improving your overall deliverability.
(Always remember: Sender reputation is the biggest factor that determines the deliverability of your emails)
So, don’t always send your emails from 1 person, keep switching up the names. This means, a big NO to ‘email@example.com’
→ Don’t send emails to all the subscribers on your email list
Have you ever bought your favorite pair of shoes but still come across a message to buy that same pair of shoes? Have you already subscribed to the premium list on an app but they still ask you to do the same via email?
How frustrating is that on a scale of 0-10?
Nobody wants messages that are none of their business. Especially on a platform like E-mail where subscribers are bombarded with tons of emails every single day. All people will do is get pestered & unsubscribe from your email list.
This is one of the biggest mistakes followed by amateur marketers. Always understand that not everyone is interested in your product/service. For a sale to happen, there has to be intent from both ends.
→ Send emails ONLY to the concerned list of subscribers
Let’s suppose you have an email subscriber’s list with 3 sets of targeted audience, at different stages of your funnel.
If you send the same message to all 3 of them with the intent of only serving one, you are likely to see the other 2 finding their way out of your email list.
Here’s how it should go:
- If you wish to send a mail to generate awareness about a new product/service, you can send it to your entire list of subscribers.
- If you wish to send a promotional email, send it only to the new list of subscribers, and NOT the ones who have already purchased your product/service.
- If you wish to send an email to the existing subscribers for a premium upgrade, make sure you don’t send the email to those who haven’t even bought/subscribed to the basic plans of your product/service.
→ Assume different subject lines to be good or bad
If the body of the mail is the brick that is used to make the building, that is email marketing, then a Subject Line is a pillar.
You just can’t say whether one subject line is better than the other on the basis of an assumption.
Subject lines are concise, and they seem like they can be easily written, but NO! They are a make or break situation for you. This makes subject lines the most important element of an email.
Here’s a quick exercise: How many boxes do your subject lines check from the following list:
- Use lower-case, NOT Title Case, or ALL CAPS
- Kept it to MAX 6 words
- Lacked punctuations
- Asked a question
- Generated enough intrigue in them to open the email
→ Follow a structured subject-line strategy but DON’T go by the formulas
If you really want your emails to be delivered to the right inboxes & opened – You really should be doing ALL OF THE ABOVE points.
Intrigue is & will always be the evergreen winner to compel & draw in your reader’s attention.
However, in that process, a big mistake that a lot of marketers make is to go by is sticking to some cliched formulas for drafting their email subject lines, every single time, AND YOU SHOULDN’T DO THAT. Here’s why:
Tell us something, how many times have you come across these lines:
🡪 9 secrets of losing weight fast
🡪 5 ways by which you can make money fast
They are decent, they will get a few clicks, but let’s be completely honest here – How many times have we come across lines like these? Almost every time! They are old, they are out of fashion, & THEY ARE BORING!
This is because they look good in the beginning, & work decently too, but, over a period of time, they keep getting recycled back & forth, training email subscribers to be acquainted with the lines as well as the intent behind them, resulting in email blindness.
You see? That’s the problem with using formulated & templatized subject lines. It’s not just you and us that are using them. Almost every second marketer would be sitting at their desk, using these formulas to draft their email subject lines. Don’t be them, be different.
However, let’s face the truth. Sometimes, we all need that little push when our own creative juices aren’t flowing. Those are the times when you can rely on a distinctive formula that can help you come out of the vicious loop of non-creativity.
Following are a few creative templates you can deploy to make a fresh start & get your creative juices flowing:
- discover the [solution] that will change your life
- stop [undesirable] state today
- [benefit/solution] while you sleep
- X reasons why you need to [subject]
- are you ready to solve/overcome [user’s problem]
→ Purchase an email address list
While it might seem quite exciting to quickly get thousands of people added in your mailing list at the touch of a button, it is quite a wasteful practice. Why?
- This kind of practice is quite unethical to follow
- Why would you want to send emails about your product/service to someone who isn’t at all interested in buying from you?
Like we said before, email marketing is 2-way communication. There has to be intent from both the seller as well as the buyer!
→ Build an organic email address list
The majority of the leads (or prospective ones) from a purchased list are less likely to engage with you via your emails.
To add to this misery, they are going to mark you as spam. One of the last places you would want to end in someone’s email inbox would be the junk folder!
Start by building your own database of email addresses. It is a tough job and doesn’t happen overnight, but it bears sweet fruits for your future email marketing campaigns. Why?
- The email addresses captured by you will already be qualified leads that are interested in your product/service offering
- You are probably not going to be marked as SPAM
The best way to do this is to keep on collecting email addresses in the due course of your business. The more you interact with people, the more email addresses you have!
Knorish Pro Tip: Build an organic email list faster! Use a pop up form on your website to capture email IDs in exchange for high value content
→ Send emails without knowing your intent in the first place
How on Earth are you expecting your users to take an action on the emails that you are sending if you yourself don’t know the intent of sending the emails in the first place?
Sending incessant emails to everyone, without any appeal doesn’t just hamper your email subscribers’ list, but also puts a bad word on your reputation in front of the email service provider you are using, hence affecting your email deliverability.
→ Understand your intent and then send the emails to your email lists
The importance of sending emails after knowing the intent helps with 2 things:
- It will make sure that you hit the right users & amplify their intent
- It will help you/your writers to word the email body & subject lines properly.
Always make sure that you ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you looking to promote your online business?
- Do you want to make people aware of your brand?
- Are you sending people a promotional offer so that they buy your product/service offering?
- Do you want to increase engagement for your brand?
- Do you want to increase YouTube video views?
- Are you looking forward to increasing your app installs?
→ Include multiple links in your email body
Why do you send emails to people? You want them to act on 1 thing, right? Then why would you want to distract your users and bombard them with so many links in the body text, that:
- They get confused and are not able to understand what to do
- You lose your only chance of driving them to take the desired action you wanted them to
→ Use a single Call-To-Action (CTA)
Write your emails with the single aim that you want to achieve and make sure all of the reader’s attention is focused on that 1 link/button in the form of a CTA.
The call to action is a command you want the readers to initiate! Here, we want you to be extremely specific and tell the readers what do you want them to do.
This means using tried & tested phrases such as:
- Enroll now
- Book a demo
- Request a callback
- Sign-up now
- Start a free trial
- Claim your spot here
When it comes to the call-to-action, whatever you want your readers to do, don’t ask them or take their permission if they would want to do it or not, TELL THEM TO DO IT.
Putting all the pieces together
There you have it, these are powerful basics many never implement in their practices, and never achieve the desired results. Following are the final Dos & Donts that can happen if you don’t get your strategies right:
- Email is powerful, but it will take you just 1 mistake to go from a hero email marketer to an amateur email marketer
- Getting your emails right is the biggest investment you can do before even investing in an email delivery platform
Make sure you are diligently following the above basics if you are getting started with email marketing, and if you are not new to the business, it’s never too late to rectify mistakes. Start gradually by building an email marketing strategy that involves the above basics too.
Now go ahead - Make email your biggest secret weapon, not a cribbing and whining tool.