Although most of us are challenged to get through our inboxes each day, email is still the most responsive marketing tool we have at our disposal and the best communication channel with customers and prospects. As educators make their way back to school, here is a checklist of email best practices to ensure your emails are as effective as they can be.
Checklist for Improving Email Effectiveness
- Personalization—focus on delivering engaging content your customer needs. Write from the perspective of a real human being interested in building a relationship and not just a company looking for a transaction.
- Subject lines—should be short and personalized.
- Design—use images and white space to direct the focus of the reader throughout the message.
- Call to action—make it compelling and easy to respond to. Ask the reader to do one thing and put it “above the fold,” or before a screen scroll.
- Optimize—for mobile delivery as most email is now accessed from mobile devices.
- Brand—although educators are looking for solutions, they also pay attention to brands. Make yours prominent at the top of the email.
- Metrics—your own metrics are the most important to monitor over time. Also knowing how your response compares to industry norms is also important.
- List hygiene—cannot be overemphasized and is a major component of email deliverability. Frequent updates, email verification, and list scrubbing all contribute to your data integrity.
- Testing—for optimal effectiveness, you want to continually test components of your email. Here are the most common elements that can make a difference:
- Subject lines
- Job title, grade level, geography
- Preheader text
- HTML vs. text only
- Timing: day of the week, time of day, time of year
- Call to action
- Buttons vs. links
As important as a list of what to do for successful email campaigns is what not to do. Here are some things to avoid:
- Trying to do too many things in one email.
- Being too self-promotional.
- Including too many images.
- Making it text heavy.
- Cluttering up the design.
- Disguising company brand.
- Not optimizing for mobile readability.
Marketers improve the effectiveness of email when they continually fine-tune their email marketing based on results. Focusing on content, deliverability, and testing all email elements over time will yield more responsive email campaigns. Also, working with a data partner that understands the education marketplace and focuses on data integrity and metrics will ensure that your marketing messages reach the right people at the right time.