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10 Must-Haves for Successful Email Marketing

With over 3.6 billion email accounts worldwide (The Radicati Group), email marketing is a very (cost)-effective way of getting your information into your customers’ hands regardless of location. Plus, approximately 91% of consumers check their email at least once daily. This further enhances the necessity of having a great email marketing strategy.

When we first started doing email marketing for clients 10 years ago, it constituted about 10% of our direct marketing mix, with direct mail and, to a lesser extent, telemarketing constituting the vast majority of direct marketing efforts back then. Ten years later, this ratio has flipped where we are now doing about 90% of direct marketing for our clients through email marketing, with other direct marketing now taking a back seat.

For many of our clients email marketing has become their most effective marketing tool and the emphasis on email marketing is well founded. We see almost instant results and email marketing is easily trackable. The following list includes ten crucial must-haves for your marketing emails:

  1. The Subject Line: This holds a lot of importance because this four or five-word phrase or sentence is the first thing that a consumer will see. If it is generic or boring, there is a strong probability of it being skipped over or deleted. Catch your reader’s attention with something exciting and NEW!
  2. Your Logo: Your Logo should be located visibly (preferably at the top) of each email. Readers should immediately recognize who the email is from.
  3. Quick Contact: Your recipients should be able to easily respond to the call to action of your email—add an easily identifiable link or button for your call to action and allow them to contact you, or make a purchase, etc.
  4. Catchy Header: This is a marketer’s one chance to make an impression. This is the tone of the entire email, so make it count! This can be similar to your subject line, in order to keep consistency in subject matter.
  5. Call to Action: The call to action is the ultimate goal of your email campaign—what you want the reader to do. As mentioned earlier, make it clear what you want your customer to do and how to do it.
  6. Text/Image Ratio: Many email users do not have their inbox set to automatically download images in emails. This is why it is crucial to leave the copy as text and not in a large image!
  7. Personalization: An option for smaller-scale or more custom emails is to code the recipient’s name, organization or some other unique data into the email or include a special message. Let them feel special and not one of 10,000! This is especially handy when creating an email with minimal graphics.
  8. Compatibility: It’s crucial for the code to be compatible for every device your readers may use. This means making them easy to view on their smartphones!
  9. Opt-Out/Unsubscribe Link: While this isn’t what any good marketer wants, you always should have a link for recipients to unsubscribe from emails. It’s also mandatory as part of the Can Spam Act.
  10. Preview Campaign: Always test your email campaign before sending! The worst thing you can do is send it without making sure it is optimized in all browsers/platforms and that it is free of any glaring errors or bad links!