If you already have a solid email strategy and content plan, there are just four tips standing between you and email lead nurturing excellence. While the tactics and strategies that produce the best results can change from year to year, there are a few guidelines that will hold true as long as subscribers sign up for email lists.
The following tips will help you avoid getting blocked by email service providers (ESPs), extract the most performance possible from each individual message, and avoid otherwise costly headaches in each of your campaigns.
1. Stay Compliant
Regardless of cadence or content, every email needs to be compliant with the CAN-SPAM guidelines created by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):
Don’t use false or misleading header information.
Make sure all “From,” “To,” “Reply-To” and email address information are correct and accurate.
Don’t use deceptive subject lines.
Your subject line has to be relevant to the content in the email.
Tell recipients where you’re located.
Include your address in the email, typically in the footer. It doesn’t have to overshadow the content of the email, but it has to be present.
Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future emails from you.
Best practices include adding an unsubscribe link in the header, in addition to the requisite one in the footer of each email, to make opting out easy.
Honor opt-out requests promptly.
When someone unsubscribes, stop sending them emails immediately if you can. If your system is unable to, inform the user how many days it will take for them to be removed.
Monitor what others are doing on your behalf.
If you hire a marketing company to write emails for you, you’re still responsible for the content of the messages, so ensure it aligns with your core principles and positioning.
2. Test Everything
When you have your initial content, cadence, and goals set, you’re ready to launch. But launching is just the beginning. As your campaign grows, you’ll want to continually test each component to improve and optimize performance.
Open rates and click-through rates (CTR) can be improved by testing the subject lines, content, and calls-to-action (CTAs), respectively, to start. With the right software, you can measure how long recipients spend reading your messages, see where they click, and what devices they use. There’s a metric for every goal.
...make sure to build up a statistically valid pool of data and allow enough time for the campaign to mature...
It’s best to go about optimization in a systematic way to make tracking easy and ensure you know what is causing each performance variation. Examine each metric, decide on one—and only one—to improve, and test the corresponding content until you see a change.
Examining a single metric will allow for a clear delineation of the changes to the campaign performance. As with all tests, make sure to build up a statistically valid pool of data and allow enough time for the campaign to mature, so the audience can move through the sales cycle.
3. Keep Your List Clean
Keeping a list clean is crucial to maintaining engagement and performance, and should be attended to on an ongoing basis. Preferably, all bad emails will be removed before being added to your list, but a few might make it through. Keep an eye out for any bounces, and remove them as they appear, to ensure that you are maximizing your engagement and performance, and enhancing your reputation with your email service provider (ESP).
4. Include a CTA
Include a CTA whenever possible. Prospects won’t become customers if you don’t provide an avenue to do so. This doesn’t mean you have to sell them something in every post. You could offer a link to read more, helpful content, or a PDF download. Examples could include custom content about a new product or service, a brief explanation of your company’s brand story, or an ebook with content relevant to your industry vertical. Simply create avenues for the reader to engage with your brand or company so they purchase from you when they’re ready to buy.
Ideal placements include the top and bottom of the message, at a minimum. The first CTA should be visible without scrolling, with more throughout the content if it’s on the longer side. The goal is to make sure the recipient can take action at all times without having to search or scroll excessively, if at all.
By following these four guidelines, you’ll be able to avoid many email roadblocks and keep your campaign running like a well-oiled machine. If you want to significantly scale your database with cost-effective marketing campaigns and quality leads, contact us. Our industry-leading acquisition platform has helped hundreds of enterprise brands exceed aggressive growth goals, year after year.