10 email best practices for Marketo Engage

Marketo Engage Email
Alba Clerigues
Marketing Automation Consultant


There is one common goal for email marketing: to send great campaigns that generate great results.

Follow these email marketing best practices to keep your customers engaged, improve your brand image, and boost your campaign results from here on out.

1.ㅤTrack the right metrics

There are a ton of metrics to set KPIs against and measure performance over time. We recommend focusing on delivery rate, open rate, clicked, unsubscribed and of course the number of conversions as a result of your emails. To dive deeper into email marketing metrics, download our Email marketing masterclass in Marketo for free.

Tip: If possible, assign a monetary value to your conversions. This can make it easier to assess the success of a campaign and if it is worthwhile.

2.ㅤEmail campaigns: it’s all in the set-up

Whether your sending engagement, batch or blast campaigns, do not under-estimate the importance of the frequency and timing of your emails.

Under-emailing could result in poor inbox prescence and lost revenue opportunities, whilst over-emailing may lead to a drop in engagement and higher unsubscribe rates. It’s all about finding a balance for your audience and industry.

Start by sending two or three emails per week, monitoring and adjusting based on the results. Remember to take a holistic view of the number of emails your subscribers recieve e.g are they in other email programs or trigger campaigns?

Don’t forget to also consider the timing of your emails; adjust the send time of emails to match your subscribers’ behaviour, needs, and most importantly geography.

3.ㅤStay on top of data cleansing

A clean and reliable database is the foundation to email marketing best practice. Poor data quality not only limits your success but could negatively impact relationships with clients, and skew results. We know how complex and time-consuming data management can be, so here are some of our most popular resources to help:

4.ㅤKeep it targeted and personal

Whilst emailing your entire database can be useful from time to time, for example, when sending a company update, if you’re looking to follow email best pratice, segmentation is the way to go.

Segmenting your data using smart lists lets you build emails designed for specific audiences with targeted messaging.

You can further increase the personalisation of emails using dynamic content based on a prospect’s activity and preferences. Tokens are also a great way to make content resonant with recipients, for example using a first name in the subject line or products / services they are interested in, in the the body copy.

Tip: Use a ‘reply to’ email address and make it easier for potential customers to get in touch.

5.ㅤMake it easy for readers

Every email you send is competing for your audience’s attention against countless other distractions. In short, your content needs to get to the point, quickly! Here’s how:

  • Make emails skimmable; clear and simple – with the main aspects highlighted so they stand out.

  • Avoid big chunks of text – and utilise bullet points, lists and headers to make it easier and more appealing to read.

  • Use calls to action (CTAs) that drive a desired behaviour. But don’t get carried away – the fewer calls to action, the more attention they’ll get. Remember that their placement in the email is important too, make them easily accessible to prompt readers to click through.

  • Be creative – with subject lines and preheaders. The two should work in unison e.g be connected and communicate the correct message so readers already know the email subject before they open and are not drawn in under false pretences.

6.ㅤConsistency – brand and styling

The look and feel of your emails is vital for brand identity. Branding and styling should be consistent with all other brand asetts across your business. Professional email templates can help to achieve this. Watch our webinar Mastering Marketo Email Templates to learn more.

7.ㅤBe compliant with ease

Make it easy for recipients to opt-out. Of course you don’t want them to, but situations change and content may no longer be relevant to them. Facilitating this process will not only improve your audience’s experience, but also improve campaign results.

Maintaining data privacy best practice isn’t always easy, especially with changing global legislation and database growth.

A preference centre can help achieve both these goals, allowing people to chose what communications they’d like to receive. Our team of consultants are on hand if you need support building email preference centres or creating scaled marketing operations that are compliant with GDPR and other global data privacy laws.

8.ㅤUse email deliverability best practices

Your email marketing campaigns are only as good as your deliverability rates. Here are some tips to help keep bounce rates down and emails as far away from the spam folder as possible:

  • Maintain a positive email domain reputation by creating consistent, strategic campaigns that follow the right preferences and bypass SPAM traps & blacklists

  • Develop an authentic, correctly configured email marketing set-up that boosts your email reputation and protects your company against phishing and spamming

  • Ensure emails are formatted correctly, mobile-friendly, body content and subject lines A/B tested & personalised to meet your customers’ needs

  • Use single or double opt-in methods to build your email list to boost list quality and engagement

9.ㅤDrive click-throughs with engaging content

Many prospects are hesitant to engage with you e.g click on a CTA or fill out a form, for fear of being hounded by sales people. You therefore need to add incentives and ways to provide more value from content, so it’s click-worthy.

You can even develop behavioural emails that capture data points and help you better personalise communications. For example, say you lease vehicles and prioritise lead follow-ups based on the size of the deal. You could ask the email recipient to click on one of two buttons/images in an email “<50 vehicles” or “>50 vehicles”. You can then take them to a relevant landing page and store the value they selected in a field to dynamically change content in future.

10.ㅤTest, test and test again

We’re ending the our email best practice advice with the best place to start – testing. Always send a test before launching to avoid those all too common mistakes that are so easy to make: unfinished subject lines, broken links, or inaccurate personalisation.

To send the best version of your email campaign every time – make consistent use of A/B testing in Marketo Engage.

Tip: Try using a tool such as email on acid to check how emails will look on every device, and help predict deliverability.

Get in touch  with our team of Marketo Certified Experts for more guidance around implementing email marketing best practices, engagement campaigns, email templates or training.