Get Started Today
Call (212) 308-5734

Email Best Practices

Know Your Target Audience
It is best to identify your target audience accurately rather than taking the “shotgun” approach and targeting everyone.  There are many sophisticated technological sources that can analyze your database of customers to help provide an accurate “ideal customer” profile.  Based on these results, you can hone your target on lists of prospects based on income, geography, or any number of demographic segments.

List Selection
List selection is crucial to the success of any campaign.  The wrong lists can sink a campaign before it ever gains any momentum.  It is extremely important to use a source (like a broker) that can provide permission based lists from quality publishers that have accurate targeting information, and are not distressed by being over saturated with offers.  Your campaign will have far better deliverability and overall performance, if you work with better quality lists.

Demographic Segment Testing
How will you know how something will perform without testing it?  Sometimes the ideal audience is not as clear and it makes sense to test different demographics in order to find the best fit for a particular offer.  Different universes perform, well … differently (makes sense doesn’t it).  By testing different target demographics you just may find that you have more than one segment of “ideal customers.”

A/B Testing is a Science
In addition to testing different demographics it is also important to test different subject lines and creatives to find the offer that your customers respond to best.  By testing multiple samples and altering single (but essential) elements of the email design, a marketer can see what has the greatest affect on response rate.  Without testing one cannot assume that a small component of a creative will not bring significant results.  This approach can take some time and a marketer must be fastidious (if not scientific) in tracking the different variations.  However, after a few A/B tests you will have a much better understanding of what is working and what is not.

Subject Line Selection
Subject lines should be 50 characters or less.  You may have a great message you are dying to share with your customers, but if it is over 50 characters (including spaces) then put it in the body of the email.

The subject line is the first thing that your customers will see, so it should be razor sharp.  If the subject line is dull the email open rate will be lower, and the campaign will suffer as a result.  You can have the best creative in the world, but if the subject line stinks nobody will see the creative.

It’s also a good idea to avoid any punctuation, symbols, and excessive capital letters in a subject line as all of these elements can trigger spam filters at the ISP level.

Deployment Time
There are many different factors that can determine when and why people are checking their email.  Typically, the best timing for consumer offers are messages deployed from Tuesday through Thursday.  But if you have a time sensitive offer (e.g. a big sale this weekend) a Friday deployment may be the ideal time for you to deploy.  It is generally a good idea to be objective and try and imagine yourself in the “consumers shoes.”  If you lack an imagination, then you may also want to review any previous campaign history as history has a tendency to repeat itself.

Improving the Look of Your Email
So you have a great subject line and bad creative … what is a marketer to do?  Don’t fret, as improving the design and layout of your email is one of the easiest things you can do to see a markedly improved response.  The design and layout of the email are crucial to pulling your customer through the content and inspiring them to take action.  Remember that the emails you send are a direct representation of your organization and will influence a customer’s perception of your brand.  If you are not an email design guru, we highly recommend that you find a designer who is experienced in email marketing.

Contact us for more info on best practices, trigger words to avoid, and other cool stuff