Email Marketing in 2019 – Unbeatable Best Practices

“*Don’t Open This Email*”

This gets your attention, doesn’t it? Well, imagine what this subject line can do to the open rate of your emails..

But does that mean that your readers actually engage with your emails?

There are many factors you need to take into account when you create your email marketing campaign. To help you push the edge, we gathered the best email marketing practices to take your engagement to the next level.

Is email marketing still effective in 2019?

Yes! Yes! Yes! With email marketing, you have total control over your audience and the message you’re sending to them. This especially works for mobile phone users, whose number increases every year. Also, it’s very inexpensive but gets a lot of ROI! Another reason to consider email marketing is that it’s easily integrated with your marketing strategy.

But first the basics!

What Is the Best Email Platform?

Tough question! We’ll try and list the 5 best marketing platforms that will make your life stress-free (when it comes to email). The software is ranked based on their features, flexibility, and UX.

  • ConvertKit

    Positive

    - Very simple interface so you can pull off a successful email campaign even with 0 experience

    – Easy email editor

    – but it’s text-based (they swear that this makes the emails perform better because they look more personal)

    – Visual automation builder – who tried it, knows how important this is

    – Landing pages

    – Great customer support – they make you feel like you’re part of the team

    – Subscriber-based fee

    Negative

    – Doesn’t have too many features and it’s not flexible

    – The email editor is text-based – this is both positive and negative because sometimes you need a little more creative and visually appealing emails.

    – Doesn’t offer a more complex automation

    – Uses only tags – as opposed to lists and tags

  • ActiveCampaign

    Positive

    – The king of marketing automation, offers a lot of options for more seasoned marketers

    – Flexible email builder – and with a lot of visual elements to choose from to express your creativity

    – Great customer support – really important so you don’t bang your head against the wall

    – Uses tags and lists

    Negative

    – It’s used by bigger companies, so it’s not beginner-friendly.

    – Complex automation – as much as it’s positive, having more features for automation can lead to confusion. You must have the knowledge and clear vision about your automation to use it.

  • Mailchimp

    – the most popular email software.

    Positive

    – It’s free for the first 2000 subscribers

    – Easy email builder

    – Powerful automation

    Negative

    – No live customer support

    – After the first 2000 subscribers, you pay by list size – this means that if one email appears in more lists, you pay multiple times for it

    – In the free plan, there is Mailchimp signed email footer

  • Hubspot

    Positive

    – Good UX – even if you are a newbie, you can find your way around and create the campaign of your dreams.

    – Custom Reports – you can find out exactly what you need to improve your success rates

    – It’s a CRM platform too – so you can lead whole marketing campaigns through it (not just email)

    Negative

    – It’s the most expensive 

    – Workflows relate only to yes-no prepositions

  • Klavyo

    – email marketing for E-commerce platforms (like Shopify)

    Positive

    – Extreme customization of flows

    – Powerful list segmentation and automation

    Negative

    – Slow customer support

    – Not very user-friendly – it takes time to get used to it and learn it

What’s My Next Move?

You got up in the morning, washed up and put on your best clothes. After all, today is the day you’ll be releasing your new marketing campaign. You prepared for this for a long time – choosing the best software, running lead campaigns, you crafted your message carefully. But, is it enough?

The email marketing creation process from start to finish in an infographic.

Make a new checklist and don’t push the red button before you check-mark everything.

  • A/B testing – it’s the best way to find the optimal solution for subject lines, content, CTAs, and everything you want to test really. The best place to start is at the beginning or the subject line. because It’s the part that will make or break your Open Rate.

    We recommend going personal all the way. Use the first name of the recipients, because the personal approach always works.  Also, try evoking emotions – curiosity, joy or excitement. 

     

    Then test the content you have. Usually, to save time, we use the same template with similar copy and CTAs over and over again (especially if it worked for you). But, you can experiment with some minor details. For example: use softer CTA’s – instead Shop Now use Check out our shop now; use less or more images or text, more daring copy.

  • Welcome emails – often we concentrate on the selling part and we forget this part of the campaign. But, welcome emails are crucial for building stronger relationships with your brand for one simple reason – they arrive right after the user signs up and your business is still fresh in his mind. 

    With welcome emails, you need to keep it personal and always use the recipient’s first name. Consider avoiding no-reply emails and encourage the users to get in touch with you. Ask them things like “Why did you press the subscribe button?” or “What do you hope to learn or to see here?” Anything that will set a more conversational and personal tone because this will make your readers open the other emails as well.

  • Don’t send too many emails– or your recipients will unsubscribe. According to a recent study, 69% of the people unsubscribe because they get too many emails, and only 15% want to receive daily emails. And make sure you get the timing right as well. In fact, there is a whole science behind what is the best time for sending emails.

    However, you shouldn’t take these numbers for granted – always be testing and experimenting.

  • Use CTAs – as we mentioned before, CTAs are a must, but they don’t need to be as rigid as Shop Now. They don’t even have to be directed to a purchase page. Instead, you can link it to a blog post or a relevant resource. 

    Soft CTAs don’t require people to buy or make any decisions but give another way to indirectly make a purchase. This will give a more educational or entertaining (depending on the content) vibe to your newsletter, instead of traditional sales pitch email.

  • Relevant content – Gmail is the most popular and the most used email provider on the planet. But, a few years ago they started using labeled tabs, such as Primary tab (the most important as all the personal emails go there), Social, Promotions, Updates and so on. This means that the marketing emails go to the promotions tab which is easily ignored by the users. 

    WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO US, GOOGLE? Sorry, had to get that out.

    Jokes aside, this is because they put the needs of the users first! So every email that has many links, images, and uses ‘’spammy’’ words (such as urgent, winner, low risk) is placed in the promotion tab of Gmail to die there. Oh, and also it takes into account if there were engagements with previous emails. So the advice for the welcome email stands – encourage the reader to reply to your email because it tells Google that they want to read your email.

  • Segment and conquer – to send relevant content you need to segment your audience. The simplest way to do this is to just ask. You never considered this, did you? But it’s the best way to find out your audience’s preferences and send them content that they will want to read. 

    Segmented email campaigns drive 760% increase in revenue. (jaw drop). So, start askin’ those questions immediately. For example, if you sell bike equipment, you can ask if they are into mountain bike or they like more relaxed riding scenery. Then you can create your campaign accordingly – for the mountain biker campaign filled with adrenaline (where can they ride, tips to avoid accidents, the best food to prepare for longer rides), for the relaxed ones – a calming and pretty campaign (what music is the best, yoga exercises, photos of relaxing scenery).

    Other ways to segment your audience is asking for preferences in your welcome email, have users complete a profile or segment based on purchases.

  • Measure like it’s the most important thing in the world – besides open and click rates, there are other indicators is your campaign successful. Those can be the total number of people who opened and clicked your email in the last 30 days, so you can divide them and make a separate campaign for active and inactive users. 

    A way of measuring the effectiveness of the content and CTAs is with Click-to-Open Rate (CTOR) or the percentage of subscribers who click through after opening the email.

The Wrap-Up

To get it short – you need to experiment. There is no unified solution when it comes to email marketing. But, these best practices will help you in finding out what works.

Email marketing is an essential part of the marketing strategy, so don’t forget about it. Or don’t be quick to say that it’s not for you if you had a few unsuccessful campaigns. That means you haven’t found the right formula for your business yet, and you need to keep on trying until it works!