Email is still one of the most effective channels for marketing a product or service. However, as with all forms of digital marketing, email marketing best practices are constantly changing. This was as true in 2018 as it has ever been. Marketers who learn from these developments in strategy are more likely to plan and implement campaigns that deliver strong results.
The following are 10 key lessons we learned regarding email marketing best practices in 2018. Use the information here to strengthen your own campaigns and get a competitive edge.
Email Verification is More Important than Ever as a Best Practice
Not all email addresses stay valid forever. For example, sometimes a business email address “goes bad” if the employee leaves the company or the business closes. Continuing to send emails to subscribers whose addresses are no longer valid will increase your bounce rate. Depending on your ESP, if your bounce rate gets too high, you can get marked as a spammer.
That’s why verifying all email lists before sending content has become one the most important email best practices in 2018 and will continue to be crucial through this year. The more time passes, the more addresses go bad. We’ve reached a point where it’s imperative for all marketers to clean their lists of invalid emails regularly.
Consumers Want Security
Hackers have targeted emails with increasing frequency in recent years. According to Symantec, one out of every nine email users was likely to encounter email-delivered malware in the first half of 2017 alone.
This has resulted in an increased focus on security. Taking the time to ensure you’re using the strongest possible security protocols is among the most significant email campaign best practices.
Email Best Practices Now Mean Going Mobile
The average email user is more likely to check their inbox via a mobile device than desktop computer now. That means it’s necessary for content to be organized accordingly.
Emails should not merely consist of large chunks of text. Using formatting elements and dynamic forms of content (such as video and images) to break up text into scannable sections is an essential part of email marketing best practices.
Email Marketing Frequency has Declined
Evidence suggests Internet users are overwhelmed by the large amount of content to be found online. Thus, the best way to make a good impression on followers may be to decrease your email marketing frequency and only send approximately two messages per week. Marketers who have done so in recent years have seen open rates increase as a result.
2018 Proved That The Best Time to Send Email isn’t Universal
What was the best time to send email in 2018? There’s no right answer for everyone. A review of several studies indicates Tuesday may be just barely the best day of the week to send emails (weekends and the end of the week are worse). Additionally, some studies indicate the ideal time to send is 10:00 AM (in the recipient’s time zone), while others indicate sending emails at 11:00 AM yields better results.
The point is that the best time to send email in 2018 was still unclear. That means one approach isn’t universally perfect. It’s still necessary to monitor your campaigns to determine what works best for you.
Email Campaign Best Practices Prove People Want Personalization
Innovations such as artificial intelligence in email have allowed businesses to offer customers a greater degree of individualized service than ever before. As a result, consumers expect personalization. That’s why personalizing subject lines and segmenting email lists have both been shown to boost open rates, landing this firmly on the list of email marketing best practices from 2018.
Rewarding Followers is Important
Surveys indicate consumers appreciate loyalty programs that are easy-to-use and deliver attractive rewards. Thus, smart email marketers often spent at least part of 2018 planning how they could boost their followers’ experience by rewarding them for subscribing, sharing content, making purchases, and more. This consideration continues to be a key component of email best practices.
Testing Email Design is a Campaign Best Practice That is Crucial Now and Into the Future
Most email clients can now reliably display images and videos. As a result, marketers have demonstrated that this type of content was among email marketing best practices in 2018, and will continue to be used to an increasing degree this year.
However, not all clients display email content as it was intended to appear. Now that dynamic elements are more common (and expected in marketing emails), it’s essential that emails be tested across various devices and clients before being sent.
Along with video and images, marketers have also found success incorporating a greater degree of interactive features in emails. Designing emails to function as “microsites” with links and other interactive content boosts engagement and sets a campaign apart from what consumers may expect. That’s why this became one of the most popular email campaign best practices of 2018.
Monitoring Campaign Performance Remains a Key Email Best Practice
All of these lessons don’t change one core truth about email marketing: you get better results when you take the time to monitor your campaigns. By A/B testing, experimenting with various tactics, and tracking key metrics, you’ll be more equipped to determine what does and does not work for you.
Email marketing is still powerful. One of the biggest reasons this is true is that email lets you engage with followers on a regular basis. Learn from and use 2018’s email marketing best practices to continue building on this momentum effectively.