Email Marketing: Top 10 Best Practices

Email Marketing Top 10 Best Practices
Irene Martinez Sanchez
Associate Marketing Automation Consultant


Are you looking to boost your email marketing performance? Email marketing can often be one of the businesses’ most successful campaign styles so it’s important to give it suitable focus, paying close attention to best practices. By using the correct methods, email marketing has been proven to produce a great ROI as well as optimum reach to potential customers. In order for your email marketing campaign to prove a success, you’ll need to do a bit of research into the best practices; which can, of course, be easier said than done if you do not already have the required knowledge.

Here are a few email marketing best practices to take into consideration if you’re looking to improve your campaign performance in the near future:

1. Don’t purchase contact lists

Although it can take a long time to build up your email contact list organically, you should never take the short cut and purchase contact lists. Firstly, reputable marketing software won’t let you send emails to contacts you have bought.

Contact lists that are for sale aren’t usually worth the money. If they are being sold, they have been considered unresponsive or have performed poorly in previous marketing outreach. You may also be at risk of having your email address completely shut down. Email providers such as Google, Yahoo! And Outlook have strict rules around unsolicited emails and therefore it would be worth bearing in mind that your email account could be at risk if you choose this technique. This is also a prohibited practice under new GDPR regulations.

2. Aim to use incentives to increase open rates

When you send out emails, be sure to use an incentive within the subject line of your email. For example, offering a percentage off a product or service, or perhaps a freebie with a certain purchase. Giving customers an incentive to open an email is a great way of making a success of your email campaign. Instead of viewing your content as spam or solely in the best interests of the business, recipients should feel appreciated as a potential customer. With that in mind, be sure not to send out too many offers, or it may come across as a pushy business motive – customers prefer a far more casual approach.

With many email providers you can also see the first line of an email without needing to open it, so in a similar way to the subject line, pay close attention to the content in the first sentence to improve your open rate.

3. Avoid using ‘No reply’ in the sender’s email address

One major guideline for email marketing best practices is to avoid using the term ‘no reply’ in the sender’s name. CAN-SPAM is the term used for this type of legislation, which prevents recipients from opting out of emails. Instead, you should replace ‘no reply’ with the sender’s name, so customers sense a human touch behind the campaign, rather than a less personal, robotic procedure.

4. Reduce the number of typefaces used

In order to make your email marketing campaign give the impression of professionalism, one best practice is to stick to three typefaces or less, to avoid emails being regarded as overly spammy.

5. Clean your mailing list frequently

While many of your contacts haven’t opted out of your email marketing campaign, they may not actually open emails on a frequent basis, therefore how can you accurately analyse the performance of your email marketing best practices?

It would be worth having a sift through your list to see which recipients have responded to emails in recent times and those who haven’t. Doing so means you can later delete contacts who are seemingly uninterested in your business and instead, concentrate on those that have shown some engagement and are keen to stay in the loop for news and updates.

6. Be clear on your CTA

It’s easy for the customer to lose the main motive of the email if the CTA (call to action) isn’t mentioned several times within the content. According to research, 70% of readers miss the main CTA if it isn’t stated three times in different formats.

7. Be personal

Another way to avoid your email marketing coming across as spammy is to personalise your emails by using the recipient’s name, rather than a generalised ‘Hello customer’. As the first line is obviously the initial aspect recipients witness, you need to draw in their attention swiftly to prevent losing their interest.

This doesn’t mean you have to personalise each message individually. There are various forms of marketing software that does the job for you, by configuring the names of those on your contact list and adding them into separate emails which are then ready to be sent out.

8. Keep your email 500-650 pixels wide

If your email is any wider than 650 pixels, you’re expecting mobile-user recipients to scroll horizontally, as well as vertically. This is of course, of high inconvenience and the recipient is far less inclined to read to the very bottom if there’s a great deal of effort involved. Make the experience as user-friendly as possible if you wish for your contacts to engage.

9. Put your logo at the top left of the email

According to studies, recipients scan an email for business verification, therefore a company logo would be a suitable form of proving your email is genuine. Add a logo to the top left of the email for optimum visibility.

10. Be consistent

Within your CTA, you’re most likely to include a link to a landing page of your website for the user to click on, however, the landing page should link closely to the email in terms of content and tone, as recipients and customers favour the element of consistency. In order to get an idea of what’s working and what isn’t in terms of your email marketing best practices, use a tracking tool to gain an understanding of which emails and landing pages recipients are most interested in.

If you need help with or have any questions about the performance of your email marketing campaigns, contact us to get started.