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Top 10 Tips to Optimize Your Email Marketing Campaigns

When it comes to your email marketing campaign would you rather:

A) Have no one open your email or that it be directed into a spam folder?
B) Have a few people open it but have no one click on any of your links?
C) Have a high percentage of people read it and click on a link to take action?

Nine out of ten people are going to choose option C (the tenth person doesn’t know what email marketing is). The bigger question is, how do you get people to actually open and read through your email marketing message and then take action?

1. Carefully Craft Your Subject Line to Fit Your Audience.

Your subject line is the first thing people see, so make it scream to be opened (NOT LITERALLY). Something as simple as, “Hey” could do the trick, or you may need to use something more specific like, “House on fire? Step away from your computer and do these things now!”

2. Focus on One Specific Call to Action.

If someone made it past the subject line and opened your email, you don’t want to confuse them about its purpose. Your email marketing campaign has a goal, focus your CTA on achieving that goal: Download the free e-book, for example.

3. Test and Refine.

Someone spent a lot of time coming up with A/B testing technology, so take advantage of it! Use two versions of your email, identical in all but one element. Change up the subject line, CTA or the email design and see which one gets a better response. Instead of saying, “This isn’t working,” imagine that you could identify which element wasn’t working so you can optimize and improve future campaigns.

4. Utilize Seed Lists.

An email seed list (or a test list) is a list of people you can send your email to before you send it to your entire mailing list. To further refine your campaign, A/B testing can be used with your seed list so the better performing option can be widely distributed. Your seed list, as well as your overall email list, should, of course, be created using the proper permission-based practices.

5. Segment and Customize.

Use tips three and four to gather as much data as possible then utilize that data to segment your list and customize the message to the different segments.

6. Stay Away from Spam.

All of your efforts are worthless if your email marketing message doesn’t make it to your audience. Avoid the dreaded spam filter by using permission-based marketing practices and learn about some of the common mistakes that can be flagged as spam by filters.

7. Authenticate Your Sending Domain.

Learn about the different email authentication standards used by ISPs such as Gmail and Yahoo and make sure you implement them. Not only will you build trust with the email programs, but if your email is tagged as having been authenticated, your customers will also trust what you send.

8. Make It Responsive.

The number of emails opened on a mobile device has increased 80 percent in just the last six months and 36 percent of all email opens are now on a mobile device. If your emails aren’t responsive, you’re leaving out a big chunk of your audience.

9. Text-Only Too.

Some people, and more importantly, some email programs still prefer text-only email messages. Be sure to include a text-only version of your message to help bypass spam filters.

10. Remember, Sharing Is Caring.

You’ve done your homework, gathered the data, done the testing and crafted the perfect email message. You’ve successfully distributed it to a list of willing recipients who are responding positively. Let them do the work for you and give them the opportunity to share the love. Adding a “share with a friend” feature or social media sharing buttons gives your message greater reach.

Now, go forth and email effectively.

Picture of Lynne Morioka
Lynne Morioka
With a background in journalism and public relations and 15 years of experience encompassing writing, editing, communications, PR, and social media, Lynne's passion is writing. She helps brands find their voice, so they can effectively express who they are and inspire action.