10 email best practices for Marketo Engage

Marketo Engage Email
Alba Clerigues
Marketing Automation Consultant


There is one common goal for email marketing.
Send great email marketing campaigns that get 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 that you can monitor and set KPIs against to measure performance over time, however, the ones that we tend to focus on are; delivery rate, open rate, clicked, unsubscribed and of course the number of conversions as a result of your emails.

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

We are always going to suggest always-on engagement programs in Marketo rather than batch and blast campaigns, but the set-up will depend on which you decide to go with. If you’re using the automation capabilities of engagement programs, for example, the importance of the frequency and timing of emails should not be underestimated. Under-emailing could result in lost revenue opportunities and poor inbox presence vs over-emailing overkill, a drop in engagement and higher unsubscribe rates. It’s all about finding the balance for your audience and industry.

We’d suggest starting with two or three per week and monitoring – maybe your contacts are fine with that, or maybe they’d only prefer to hear from you once a week. Remember to take into account that some subscribers may have received other emails from you based on trigger campaigns. Another thing to consider is the timing of your emails; adjust the send-time of emails to match your subscribers’ behaviour, needs, and most importantly geography.

Tip: Give control back to your audience by letting them manage their frequency, using an email preference centre.

3.ㅤStay on top of dirty data

A clean and reliable database is the bread and butter of successful campaigns; 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 have shared some of our resources to help you achieve a clean and reliable database and, most importantly, make sure it stays that way.

4.ㅤKeep it personal

Whilst an email blast to the entire database can be useful and effective from time to time, such as a new product launch or a company update but when it comes to marketing communications, segmentation is the way to go. Segmenting your audience with smart lists will allow for the creation of personalised content designed for specific individual customer segments and in turn a much larger chance of success. Add personal touches to emails, whether that’s using tokens to insert the recipient’s name in the subject line or at the start of the email or dynamic content based on a prospect’s activity and preferences.

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

5.ㅤMake it easy for readers

By sending an email you are effectively competing against countless other distractions that time-poor consumers have. In short, 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 well-thought-out calls to action (CTAs), but don’t get too carried away – the fewer calls to action, the more attention they’ll get – remember that their placement in the email is important too, and make them easily accessible to prompt readers to click through.

  • Be creative with subject lines and preheaders, they should work in unison i.e 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 emails are vital for brand image. They are essentially the first, or main representation of your company. Branding and styling should be as consistent as the timing schedule of the campaign is based on. Professional email templates can help to achieve just this.

7.ㅤBe compliant with ease

Don’t make it difficult for recipients to opt-out, although that’s the last thing we want them to do, situations change and content may no longer be relevant to them, or they no longer need your services. Facilitating this process will not only improve your customer’s experience but improve campaign results as poor deliverability will be avoided.

Staying on top of data privacy with Marketo isn’t always easy, especially with changing global legislation and company (and database) growth but that’s where preference centres come in. 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 email deliverability rate. And when the average office worker receives over 121 emails per day, the race to the inbox is on.

We can help you keep bounce rates down and get as many of our communications straight to the inbox of potential and existing customers and far away from the spam folder. Here are some best practices to follow:

9.ㅤDrive click-throughs with engaging content

Many prospects are hesitant to fill out a form for fear that they’ll get hounded by salespeople. Is what they get in return worth exchanging their precious personal data for? Adding incentives and ways to provide more value to content can make it more click-worthy. Emails with images, videos and animated gifs perform better than those without.

You can even develop behavioural emails that capture data points and help you better personalise communications – for example say lease vehicles to your customers and prioritise sales follow-up based on the size of the deal. You could ask the client to click on two buttons/images in an email “<50 vehicles” or “>50 vehicles”. You can then take them to a relevant page and potentially store the value selected in a field to dynamically change content

10.ㅤDrive click-throughs with engaging content

We’re ending the best practices with the best place to start; testing. Always send a test before hitting send to avoid those all too common mistakes that are so easy to make; unfinished subject lines, broken links, or inaccurate personalization.

Tip: As well as sending a test to yourself to check all email elements, try using a tool such as email on acid to precheck your campaign against servers, devices and sizes to check if your email is optimised across the board .

To send the best version of your email campaign every time – make consistent use of A/B testing in Marketo Engage. Ensure that recipients are getting the most relevant, value-added content from you to boost the performance of each email.

You now know all our recommended email marketing best practices.
So what will you get to work on first?

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.