You’ve heard the stories about how email marketing is a powerful tool for nurturing leads and growing your business.
Now you’re ready to create a successful email marketing campaign for yourself and watch your business thrive—but how?
In this post, we’ll go over the basic best practices for creating an email campaign. We’ll also provide a step-by-step process for bringing your first campaign to life.
What is an Email Campaign and How Can it Improve Your Business?
Let’s start with the basics by answering the question: “what is an email campaign?” “Campaign” is the modern term for an email that contains marketing material from a brand.
In the past, you’ve probably heard campaigns called “email blasts,” but that term has since become outdated. Algorithms, data collection, and other technology allow you to create personalized email campaigns.
The term “email blast” on the other hand, tends to imply that you’re sending the same generic content to all of your subscribers.
Nurture Leads and Grow Your Business
Both B2B and B2C brands can reap the benefits of email marketing for nurturing leads and improving customer relations.
For B2B companies, email is perhaps even more valuable. Since it takes longer to build trust with B2B buyers, email campaigns allow you to gently introduce leads to your company with targeted information and content.
79% of B2B buyers have stated that they’ve consumed at least three pieces of relevant content before they reached out to a company’s sales department. Email offers a unique way to deliver content, including blog posts, thought-leadership pieces, podcasts, videos, and more.
Best Practices for a Successful Email Marketing Campaign
Follow these best practices to create a winning email campaign this time and every time.
Design with Mobile Users in Mind
Over half of all emails are opened on mobile devices, and that number is only expected to rise in the coming years.
If your emails don’t render properly, over 70% of people will delete your email in under three seconds, and another 15% could go as far as to unsubscribe.
Choose responsive templates that consider the needs of mobile and desktop users as you design your campaigns.
Write for One Person
Even if you’re sending a campaign to several subscribers, you should still write your email copy as though you’re speaking to one specific person.
Writing like this will help you create a conversational environment with each subscriber—as opposed to speaking “at” them and broadcasting messages.
Use Active Voice and Actionable Copy
A lot of articles like to point out that people have short attention spans. However, many folks are just busy and pressed for time. Keep in mind that people will only spend about 51 seconds looking at your email, so you need to make the best use of every word.
Avoid using the passive voice and use plenty of action verbs in your copy—this grabs attention and keeps your audience engaged.
Limit Yourself to One Goal and CTA Per Email
Set a specific goal for each campaign. Research shows that people become overloaded when they’re presented with too many choices. When this happens, people often won’t take any action.
Limit your CTA and copy to one concrete action per campaign. Give your subscribers one clear task and decision to make, and they’ll be more likely to take action.
Pay Attention to Load Time
Load time is a crucial factor for reducing your website bounce rate, boosting SEO, and encouraging people to visit your site—two seconds is the recommended time. It’s equally essential for emails to load quickly.
High-resolution graphics and GIFs may look nice, but they can kill your load speed. Always test every email campaign to see how long it takes to load on various email clients.
Optimize Your Landing Pages
You can design an amazing email campaign to your heart’s content—but what happens when you're stressed out B2B buyer clicks on the button and visits the landing page to learn more?
Optimize your landing pages for speed, accessibility, mobile responsiveness, and everything else you would tweak with your email.
Remember to remove any barriers to taking action: don’t require that subscribers register to make a purchase and limit the number of clicks necessary to complete the action. Like decision fatigue, click fatigue is very real.
Automate and Personalize as Much as Possible
Automation makes it easy to create multiple templates and schedule them to go out at various times or after subscribers “trigger” an event.
Use the data you have at your disposal to create personalized content with curated blog posts and product recommendations for each subscriber. Personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates and improve conversions by 10%.
How to Create an Email Campaign
These may seem overwhelming at first, but they’ll get easier as you continue to make your campaigns.
Remember that technology offers plenty of tools for making your life as an email marketer much easier. You can automate emails based on triggered events, use data to create personalized content, and follow up with your leads and customers.
1. Identify Your Email Campaign Goal
Choose one goal for your email campaign. Do you want the subscriber to visit a landing page or blog post to learn about your product? Register for an event? Stick to one CTA for each email.
Notice how this email from Wahed Invest does nothing more than describe an event and direct users to RSVP with a brightly colored button.
2. Find the Right Audience Segment for Your Message
Instead of sending the same email to your entire list, break your list up into different groups based on demographics like geolocation, gender, parental status, job role, and other factors.
Shopify sent this email to a segment of subscribers who recently created a store on someone else’s behalf.
Source: Really Good Emails
3. Draft Concise Copy for a Successful Email Marketing Campaign
It’s time to start writing your copy. Keep it as short as possible while getting your point across. Pretend you’re writing to one specific friend, customer, or colleague.
4. Craft an Intriguing Subject Line
Keeping mobile users in mind, most smartphone apps will cut off your subject line after 39 characters. Err on the side of caution to ensure everything fits and make good use of your preview text for expanding your thoughts.
5. Choose Stunning Graphics
High-quality graphics are a big hit in every successful email marketing campaign these days. As Nielsen Norman Group points out, your images and graphics should relate to your content directly and serve a clear purpose.
The Economist uses high-quality graphics that spark interest and relate to the content.
6. Consider Additional Content and Multimedia
Including introductory videos about specific people at your company or aspects of your product can help nurture your leads—especially B2B buyers, 70% of which watch videos during their decision-making process.
7. Customize Your Email Marketing Campaign Template
Now it’s time to get crafty and design your email. Use a customizable template to create a user and mobile-friendly campaign that will look amazing on every device.
The drag-and-drop editor from Delivra makes it easy to create a successful email marketing campaign with your unique branding and personalization aspects.
8. Run Tests Across Multiple Devices and Email Clients
After you’ve finished designing, uploading your multimedia, and pasting your copy, you’ll need to run some tests.
Delivra allows you to run tests across multiple devices and over 30 email clients as you design your template so your email will always look perfect.
You can also run A/B tests to see which images, copy, and subject lines perform best with different segments of your audience.
9. Send Your Email Campaign
It’s time to hit send! You could also create campaigns in advance and schedule them to go out based on your subscribers time zone.
You can also develop triggered email campaigns that your subscribers will receive after they’ve completed certain tasks or clicked on specific links.
10. Track Your Metrics
After your subscribers have had a chance to receive and open your emails, you can track the results. Take note of how many people open, click, and convert from your content.
11. Revise Your Tactics for Future Campaigns
To create a successful email marketing campaign, evaluate your email’s performance, and make adjustments as necessary. No one gets everything right on the first try.
In summary, keep a few points in mind:
- Write each email for one person.
- Optimize for mobile and every email client.
- Keep your message concise and short.
- Limit yourself to one goal and CTA per email campaign.
- Personalize and automate your campaigns.
- Track your results and revise your strategy.
Email marketing gives you a ticket to one of the most intimate ways to contact your audience: their email inbox. Respecting this relationship will help you design and create the most successful email marketing campaign.
Learn how automation from Delivra can help you design and send personalized email campaigns with minimal effort.