eBook: 365 Email Marketing Best Practices for 2016

365 Email Marketing Best Practices for 2016 via @meshagency #365EmailTips

One of the most useful pieces of ungated content you will ever get your hands on, chock-full of useful tips and tricks from some of the top experts in the field.

Introduction: 365 Email Marketing Best Practices for 2016

Introduction: 365 Email Marketing Best Practices for 2016 via @meshagency #365EmailTips

I’m riding shotgun with my Mac on my lap and trying not to get car sick, while looking at a blank page with the ‘Lorem Ipsum’ Lisa, our Senior Designer, put in place for character count reference peeking at me from another window, and I’m looking for inspiration. The twisted part of me wants to leave it in, but most of you don’t know my sense of humor, or have reasonable context for the joke. So I’ll stick with the quick and the dirty. About 9 months ago, I was looking for our next big content creation idea. In 2014
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Section 1: Strategy

Section 1: Strategy via @meshagency #365EmailTips

“Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it’s about deliberately choosing to be different.” — Michael Porter

I see a lot of people wanting a “tried and true” approach to marketing. I understand that. They want a long-term (I recently heard three year) plan: a list of tasks that can be done to increase sales. The reality is that strategy is about doing things differently than everyone else. The real successes happen when you aren’t following the herd, when you’re making a conscious and informed choice to approach marketing a little differently. —B

#1: Determine Users’ Intent

#1: Determine Users’ Intent via @meshagency #365EmailTips

“Could you imagine if the user intent were somehow jumbled? For instance, imagine that the email was optimized for selling and that the sales page was optimized for educating. The entire marketing campaign would fall flat. That’s why sequencing is so important. Remember that email is, ultimately, just one part of the sequence.”


You must be astute to the intent of your users. Then, make sure that your email messages match other parts of your marketing campaign, such as your landing pages, so that they’re all optimized in the same way to meet the intent.

#2: Develop Detailed Buyer Personas

#2: Develop Detailed Buyer Personas via @meshagency #365EmailTips

“Having a deep understanding of your buyer persona(s) is critical to driving content creation, product development, sales follow up, and really anything that relates to customer acquisition and retention.”


Using your analytics, social media, customer reviews and just about anything else you can get your hands on to develop a buyers persona is a great way to develop an understanding of how your best customers (ideal buyers) think and feel about your products.

#3: Think Omnichannel Marketing

#3: Think Omnichannel Marketing via @meshagency #365EmailTips

“53% of total email opens occurred on a mobile phone or tablet in Q3 2014, which Experian reports was an increase from the 48% seen in Q2 2014. If your email marketing campaigns aren’t already mobile-ready, make that a priority.”


Because you don’t know when and where your customers are going to open their emails, it’s important to prepare for all channels as you develop content. Omnichannel functionality is designed to streamline the customer’s experience regardless of how they check their inbox.

#4: Don’t Forget About Landing Pages

#4: Don’t Forget About Landing Pages via @meshagency #365EmailTips

“Unfortunately, emails, landing pages, and websites will probably start 2016 still out of sync in terms of how mobile-friendly they are. According to the Litmus and Salesforce Infographic, 2015 Mobile- Friendly Email and Landing Page Trends, 16% of mobile-friendly emails are bringing subscribers to webpages that aren’t mobile friendly.”


A lot of email marketers use landing pages to siphon customers from an email into a sales funnel. This doesn’t work, however, when you’ve taken the time to optimize your email for mobile users but neglect to do the same for your landing pages. Be sure to optimize every step of your email marketing campaign, not just the email.

#5: Carefully Plan Your Autoresponder Series

#5: Carefully Plan Your Autoresponder Series via @meshagency #365EmailTips

“Plan out the entire sequence before you start writing. Write a quick outline of how many messages you want to include and how far apart those messages will be delivered. Your outline will keep you on track as you write the whole sequence.”


Autoresponders take the grunt work out of daily communications with your audience—but it can do more harm than good if not carefully planned and thoughtfully executed. Think about the customer’s journey. How can your autoresponder series assist your audience achieve their goals?

#6: Use the Right Words in Subject Lines to Increase Open Rates

#6: Use the Right Words in Subject Lines to Increase Open Rates via @meshagency #365EmailTips

“You may be better off asking for a ‘call’, instead of trying to put some time on their ‘calendar’. Both words tend to be used when scheduling meetings, yet we see that subject lines containing the word ‘call’ work best (62% open rate, 35% reply rate), while emails bearing ‘calendar’ perform worse (33% open rate, 10% reply rate).”


Know what words in your subject lines increase email open rates. Examples include “call”, “meeting”, “welcome”, “renewal” and “upgrade” among others. Research which words work best with your brand and go from there. See if you don’t notice a dramatic difference in your email open rates.

#7: Know Your Purpose

#7: Know Your Purpose via @meshagency #365EmailTips

“First, you need to know what you’re trying to accomplish with your email marketing. You can’t expect to succeed if you don’t know what it is you’re trying to accomplish.”


Before you send your first email as part of an exhaustive email campaign, you must know the reason for your email. You’ll need to determine if your goal is to improve customer retention, get more customer feedback, increase sales, or drive traffic. Be clear about what you’re trying to achieve.

#8: Provide a Special Offer Immediately

#8: Provide a Special Offer Immediately via @meshagency #365EmailTips

“[Fashion website] Yumi Kim gives her new subscribers a 15% off discount in her welcome email – an incentive that makes them convert right away.”


Ensure new subscribers stay loyal by providing a special offer in your opening email. Think 10% to 20% discounts on select if not all products or services to show consumers you’re thankful for their business and mean to keep them on as long-term customers.

#9: Put Subscription Forms in Plain View

#9: Put Subscription Forms in Plain View via @meshagency #365EmailTips

“The top of your sidebar is one of the most visible places on your site. So, it makes sense to include an email sign-up form there.”


Site visitors won’t be able to sign up for your newsletter if they can’t find your subscription form. Place your subscription form in a prominent place or have it stand out from the rest of the site to make it easy for visitors to find.

#10: Brainstorm About Email Every Day

#10: Brainstorm About Email Every Day via @meshagency #365EmailTips

“However you plan your email campaign, just make sure you include it as part of the day’s tasks. Content ideas that are perfect for the busy small business owner include curating relevant content, repurposing content, and creating a quick checklist or group of tips for your readers.”


Help yourself a heck of a lot with email marketing by carving out time every day to brainstorm. It doesn’t matter if you send emails that day or not, because you’re still spending quality time thinking of how to further engage your subscribers. You never know what genius idea you’ll come up with for your next campaign.

#11: Small Businesses: Make Email a Top Priority

#11: Small Businesses: Make Email a Top Priority via @meshagency #365EmailTips

“Consider the economic value email offers budget strapped small businesses and quite frankly, all businesses. Sending an email doesn’t cost anything unless you are using a subscriber such as Constant Contact, SnapRetail or MailChimp – however even then the costs are minimal compared to printed goods and other marketing strategies that may include snail mail or advertising.”


Small businesses frequently have much more personal relationships with their clients than their corporate counterparts. Take full advantage of this by crafting engaging email campaigns that focus on these personal relationships and why your customers were attracted to your business in the first place.

#12: Survey Unsubscribers for Feedback

#12: Survey Unsubscribers for Feedback via @meshagency #365EmailTips

“Ask questions like ‘Did you find these emails valuable?’ to ascertain actionable insights from the feedback you receive to alter and impact your email marketing strategy. If respondents answered that sample question and said they didn’t get value from your emails, then revisit your approach to email content.”


It’s disappointing when a customer decides to leave your email list; however, it’s also an opportunity to get valuable feedback about where your content went astray. Set up a short survey, and poll unsubscribes to improve your content or strategy.