email marketing

Want to Rise Above the Clutter? Best Practices for Email Marketing

Latest posts by Emma Wilhelm (see all)

We’ve all been there … sifting through irrelevant spam, ads or coupons we don’t need in our inbox. As marketers, how do we ensure that the messages we’re sending are valuable, relevant and not marked as spam? For entrepreneurs, developing an email marketing campaign takes up valuable time and affects their reputation with customers who receive the messages, so it’s important to make sure these resources don’t go to waste.

GoDaddy surveyed over 1,000 consumers on their preferences for receiving email marketing messages. I wanted to provide highlights of that research as tips for email marketers (and to help companies get the most bang for their buck).

In this survey, we found that 41 percent of consumers only open a quarter of the email marketing messages that hit their inbox.

While this number may seem low, the results also show a few key things email marketers can do to increase their engagement rate. How can you make sure your emails are read? Consider the following:

First impressions count

Be mindful about how your email will appear in a customer’s inbox. Most people are busy and get hundreds of emails a day. If you want your email to stand out, make sure it catches your customer’s eye and seems trustworthy. We found that consumers are more likely to label an email as spam if they don’t recognize the company or “from” address. Other red flags are when the language or grammar is unprofessional and when an email requests personal details. And while it may feel more personal to send an email marketing message addressed from an employee or business owner, nearly 60 percent of respondents say they trust an email newsletter more if it’s sent from a brand or company name.

Personalize thoughtfully

Although including a person’s name in the subject line of an email might catch the recipient’s eye, it may not translate into a higher email-open rate.

Half of respondents shared that they dislike seeing personalized subject lines using their names.

One possible reason for this could be that customers don’t like feeling click-baited into opening a message. If you start with the recipient’s name, continue the approach by personalizing the content of the message. Instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach, consider segmenting your email list and customizing content to fit different consumer groups.

The most effective segments will depend on your unique business. Think about how different groups of people engage with your company or product. Are your customers in different geographic regions interested in purchasing different kinds of products? Would certain deals and discounts make more sense to share with millennials or Baby Boomers?

One report found that segmented and targeted emails generate 58 percent of all revenue.

If you make your emails more relevant to your recipients, they’ll be more likely to open them and take action.

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Timing is everything

Companies purposely send emails infrequently in hopes of increasing their customer engagement rate. Others take the opposite approach, and inundate their customers with emails in order to provide them with as much information as possible, hoping something will stick. It’s best to achieve a balance between these two extremes and find that sweet spot: the perfect number of emails in order to keep your customers happy, engaged, and up to date. Our survey found that 43 percent of respondents prefer that companies only send them emails once a week, while 26 percent preferred that companies only reach out when they have useful information to share. Very few people—only around seven percent—prefer to receive daily communication from the companies they’ve subscribed to.

On top of sending emails with the right frequency, be cognizant of when you are sending your messages. Recent GoDaddy data found that Sundays see consistently strong open and click-thru rates. During the workweek, we found people receive twice as much email volume as they do on weekends, which makes it significantly more difficult for marketers to cut through the noise.

Ideally, companies’ and consumers’ interests should align when it comes to email marketing. Businesses want to share relevant news and updates with the right customers to increase sales and engagement. Consumers want to see deals, announcements and information that interests them so they can save money and make smart purchasing decisions. Consider these tips next time you’re drafting your emails and you’ll be well on your way to a successful marketing campaign.

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