Email Marketing: Tips, Best Practices, & Avoiding Pitfalls

Email marketing is a popular and effective way for businesses to reach their target audience and increase their ROI. However, with so many emails being sent and received every day, it can be challenging to stand out from the crowd and ensure that your message is being heard. Let’s explore some of the best practices, copywriting tips, calls to action, customer journey strategies, and different types of email marketing to help you improve your email marketing campaigns.

Best Practices for Email Marketing

Before diving into the specifics of email marketing, it’s essential to establish some best practices. Following these guidelines will help you avoid common mistakes and ensure that your emails are well-received by your subscribers.

  • Segment your audience: Not all subscribers are the same, so it’s crucial to segment your email list and send targeted messages to each group. This way, you can tailor your content to their specific interests, increasing the likelihood that they’ll engage with your email.
  • Personalize your emails: Using a subscriber’s first name in the subject line or greeting is a simple but effective way to make your email feel more personal. This might take a bit more work up front, depending on how your customer data is stored, but worth the extra effort. You can also use their past behavior or purchase history (see segmentation above) to personalize the content of your email.
  • Optimize for mobile: With so many people checking their emails on their phones, it’s crucial to ensure that your emails are optimized for mobile devices. This means using a responsive design that adjusts to different screen sizes and keeping your content short and easy to read.
  • Test, test, test: A/B testing your emails can help you identify what works and what doesn’t. Try testing different subject lines, calls to action, and email designs to see what resonates best with your audience.

Copywriting Tips for Email Marketing

The words you use in your email can make or break its effectiveness. Here are some copywriting tips to help you craft compelling emails that resonate with your audience.

  • Keep it concise: Attention spans are short, so it’s crucial to get to the point quickly. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short and focus on the most important information.
  • Use a conversational tone: People don’t want to feel like they’re being sold to. Use a conversational tone that feels authentic and approachable.
  • Highlight the benefits: Instead of focusing on the features of your product or service, highlight the benefits that your subscribers will receive. What problem does your product solve, and how will it make their lives better?
  • Use power words: Power words are persuasive and emotionally charged words that can help your message resonate with your audience. Examples include “free,” “limited time,” and “exclusive.”

Calls to Action

Every email should have a clear and compelling call to action (CTA). Here are some tips for creating effective CTAs.

  • Make it clear: Your CTA should be the most prominent element of your email, and it should be clear what action you want your subscribers to take.
  • Use action-oriented language: Use action-oriented language that inspires your subscribers to take action. Examples include “Download now,” “Sign up today,” and “Get started.”
  • Create urgency: Creating a sense of urgency can encourage your subscribers to act quickly. Use phrases like “limited time offer” or “last chance” to create urgency.

Customer Journey Strategies

The customer journey refers to the different stages a customer goes through before making a purchase. Understanding the customer journey can help you create targeted email campaigns that resonate with your audience at each stage of the process.

  • Awareness: At this stage, your goal is to introduce your brand and establish credibility. Use informative content like blog posts or educational resources to introduce your brand to potential customers.
  • Consideration: At this stage, your goal is to convince potential customers that your product or service is the best choice for their needs. Consideration emails can include product demos, case studies, and testimonials from satisfied customers.
  • Decision: At this stage, your goal is to convert potential customers into paying customers. Use limited-time offers, special promotions, or free trials to encourage them to take action.
  • Retention: After a customer has made a purchase, your goal is to keep them engaged and encourage repeat purchases. Use personalized content, exclusive offers, and loyalty programs to keep them coming back.

Customer Spotlights

Customer spotlights are a great way to showcase your brand’s success stories and build social proof. By highlighting satisfied customers, you can show potential customers that your product or service is worth their investment. Here are some tips for creating effective customer spotlights.

Choose the right customers: Choose customers that have had a positive experience with your brand and are willing to share their story. Consider customers that are representative of your target audience or have unique use cases for your product or service.

Focus on the benefits: Highlight the benefits that your customer has received from using your product or service. Use specific examples to show how your brand has made a positive impact on their life or business.

Use multimedia: Use images or videos to bring your customer’s story to life. This can make your spotlight more engaging and memorable.

Types of Email Marketing

There are many different types of email marketing campaigns that businesses can use to reach their audience. Here are some of the most common types of email marketing and how they can be used.

  • Newsletters: Newsletters are a regular email update that provides subscribers with the latest news, updates, and promotions from your brand. They can be used to build a relationship with your subscribers and keep them engaged with your brand.
  • Acquisition Emails: Acquisition emails are designed to attract new customers and encourage them to make their first purchase. These emails can include special offers, free trials, or other incentives to get people to try your product or service. Often these emails are sent to somebody who has filled out a form for information, or traded their email address for something else you offered. 
  • Retention Emails: Retention emails are designed to keep existing customers engaged and encourage repeat purchases. These emails can include personalized recommendations, exclusive offers, or loyalty program updates.
  • Promotional Emails: Promotional emails are designed to promote a specific product or service and encourage subscribers to make a purchase. These emails can include limited-time offers, discounts, or other incentives to create urgency.

Common Pitfalls of Email Marketing

Yes, email marketing is powerful and effective, but what should you avoid when crafting and scheduling your messages?

  • Sending too many emails: One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make is sending too many emails to their subscribers. This can lead to email fatigue, where subscribers become overwhelmed and start to ignore or unsubscribe from future emails.
  • Poor segmentation and personalization: Failing to segment your email list or personalize your messages can result in low engagement rates and poor response. Subscribers expect relevant, targeted content, so it’s important to tailor your messages based on their interests and behaviors.
  • Poor quality content: If your email content is boring or lacks value, subscribers are unlikely to engage with it. It’s important to provide valuable information, discounts, or promotions that are relevant to your audience’s interests.
  • Neglecting mobile optimization: With more than half of all email opens occurring on mobile devices, it’s crucial to ensure that your emails are optimized for mobile screens. Neglecting mobile optimization can result in poor user experience, low engagement, and higher unsubscribe rates.
  • Violating anti-spam laws: Spamming your subscribers with irrelevant or unsolicited emails can result in legal consequences and harm your brand’s reputation. It’s important to comply with anti-spam laws, such as the CAN-SPAM Act, and provide clear opt-in and opt-out options for subscribers.

Is Email Marketing Worth It?

While email marketing is not without its challenges, it can be a powerful and highly effective way for you to reach their audience and drive growth. By following these best practices and continually refining your approach, you can create successful email campaigns that engage customers and deliver results. Creating the right tone and frequency can be difficult, but the process can also be exciting to craft communication your customers are actually interested in engaging with.

Questions? We are here to help. Call Ascent Digital at (970) 445-6100.