Email newsletter best practices

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Your marketing department, if they create and leverage off a well-maintained and clean mailing list, are sitting on an incredibly valuable source that your business can use to directly communicate with your customers. Email newsletters can include any number of things, including specials, direct communications, announcements of new services and any number of other things.

Because of the value of this mailing list, going at it without consideration might end up in the value being diminished or, even worse, a loss of subscribers. Here are some best practices for your email newsletters you should use.

Send a Welcome Email

As soon as a customer or user signs up to your mailing list, send them a welcome email. The welcome email not only gives your customers a sense of what they can expect from your mailing list, but it also verifies the deliverability of your messages to your customer. You’re checking that the email address is correct and keeping your mailing list clean of bad data at the same time as offering communication to your customers. It also lets your customers know that you have received their mailing list signup and that they are successfully receiving your messages.

Statistics estimate the open rate of welcome lists at over 80%, so the penetration of this welcome message is incredibly high. Because of this, you might want to offer your recipients a thank you incentive to engage them from this very first email.

The Time You Send Newsletters Matters

Consider your own email habits. You likely open your email first thing in the morning and check through what is in your inbox, reading what you think is prevalent or interesting to you. You probably do the same thing just before you leave for the day too. While you might check your email during the day, research suggests that your customers likely give their email the most attention at these times.

With that in mind, it is suggested that your email marketing messages should be sent between about 9 am and 11 am, or between 3 pm and 5 pm. You should also avoid weekends and holidays, particularly if your business has a strong business to business focus. One last thing to consider is how global your audience is. If your business is international, you should try and cater to as many markets as possible, with a strong focus on your biggest customer base.

Verify Your Deliverability

The spam folder is the email newsletter’s mortal enemy and should be absolutely avoided at all costs. This speaks directly to the deliverability of your email marketing messages. This means checking the deliverability chain from start to finish.

Use a quality email service provider, don’t mask your links, and don’t make your email look like it is a private conversation. Avoid generic subject lines and from addresses – particularly avoid those unmonitored email box from addresses. Use your email service provider reports to verify the deliverability of your email for the best results.

Create a Character or Use Someone Real

Many surveys come to the same conclusion on what matters in gaining your customers’ and recipients’ trust – the sender’s name. Sending your email from a name that builds trust and interest in the email contents comes before the subject in importance. If you have a well-known employee in your company that customers like and respect, consider making them the face of your email campaigns. If you don’t, create a character.

Your sender name is, in many ways, a brand name of your company’s email marketing and you should think of it as such. Your sender name shouldn’t be generic enough that customers can’t identify your brand or company, but it shouldn’t be too corporate and boring. Innovative marketers are including a name and the company name in the ‘from’ field, but you need to use some sense of what would work best for your business. If you’re a strictly corporate company, using a playful sender might not work as well as if you’re selling fun or quirky products in an e-commerce store.

Design Absolutely Matters

The last stop on our journey about how to make a newsletter is the design. As mentioned earlier, one of the reasons users might unsubscribe or quickly delete your mailer is a bad design. This might be because it isn’t responsive and doesn’t format correctly on the device your user is trying to use it on, or it uses colors that make the content hard to read or see at a quick glance. Best practices for design are numerous, but the best piece of quick advice on offer is to make sure you design your email in a way that promotes quick and easy readability across any device.

By embracing these strategies and best practices for when you design your email campaign, you have the best chance of leveraging value from your mailing list. A well thought out and considered newsletter will always hold the most value to your business.