1. KISS! – Keep It Simple Stupid!

Concise and to the point emails perform better than long-winded sales pitches.

2. Do NOT buy email lists

Ensure that you use double opt-in and that your subscriptions are GDPR (in our case POPI) compliant. If you buy email lists, you have no idea how responsive your list would be and because users did not opt-in to receive emails from you, the chances that you’ll get a high rate of unsubscribes or unopened emails are good. This doesn’t mean you can’t do co-branded or sponsored campaigns with reputable outfits (like Prized).

3. A good subject line is…

Your subject line is the gateway to people opening your emails. If your email sending service allows it, make use of split-testing for your subject lines. Split-testing of email allows you to create more than one subject line (and sometimes entire email designs) to test which give you better opening rates. Most bulk email marketing software packages provide this functionality. Cliffhanger subject lines (sometimes also referred to as click-bait subject lines) are effective, but we don’t recommend using them in every email you send.

4. Your preheader text is just as important

Preheader text is an excerpt function that gives users an idea of what your email is about. Most email clients will display that excerpt without the user having to open the actual email. The preheader, therefore, gives you the extra opportunity to catch a reader’s attention.

5. Make it personal

Personalised emails perform much better. If you use the user’s name (and not just as your greeting) it’s been proven to be more effective. Some email software packages also allow you to use personalisation in the subject line.

6. Make sure your email design is mobile-friendly

In today’s day and age where mobile phones are the first point of contact or research when it comes to the internet, you’d want to make sure your emails are mobile-friendly. Coding up responsive emails are sometimes difficult, but the latest drag and drop builders are quite good at building more complex layouts that are mobile-friendly too. Also, make sure that you test your emails on desktop and mobile to see what it looks like before sending.

7. Add a clear call to action to marketing emails

Just as with websites, you’re clearly sending out communication in order for the user to take some form of action. Be sure to highlight that with a Call To Action link or buttons. To improve click-through, also hyperlink images to those same CTA links where it makes sense.

8.  Maintain your database

Your campaign performance is only as good as the responsiveness of your email list. If you keep sending to recipients who do not open, you’re firstly wasting money, and secondly, reducing the ability for your list to have good engagement statistics. You remedy the situation by automatically unsubscribing those that do not open for a set number of times and ask them if they are still interested in receiving emails and if so, to resubscribe. Further, you can send surveys/polls to better segment your email list so that when you do spend new campaigns, it’s based on a tighter preference set.

9. Timing is important

You should test different sending times to find that golden time to send out emails. It differs from niche to niche, but to simplify, don’t send emails when your users are unlikely to open them and engage. Think about your readers’ habits and plan accordingly. Frequency, like timing, is also important, so make sure you manage your recipients’ expectations (the confirmation email is a good place to start) by telling them how often they can expect to receive emails.

10. Be consistent

If you’re sending out a regular mailshot, make sure that you keep things consistent. Just like with newspapers and magazines, engaged recipients get used to receiving emails at a certain time of the day or week, so once you find that perfect time slot, keep it consistent!