A good mailing list unsubscribe rate is less than 0.5%. If yours is higher than this, maybe you are missing the basics of email marketing. I put together 10 practical email marketing tips you can’t ignore. Take these proactive steps to make the best of your email marketing campaign and maximise effectiveness, while you’re at it.
1. Think before you send it
Think about what you’re sending before you send it — if it belongs in a private email or makes more sense to submit to a group of people, you shouldn’t post it through a mailing list.
Also, check the recipient of the email before you send it.
2. Don’t add unwilling recipients
Nobody wants to be on a mailing list you didn’t request, so just don’t do it. If you do add someone accidentally, or if recipients eventually want to be removed, don’t make it difficult for them. If you can do it yourself, do it immediately. If you use an emailing list client, give clear instructions on how recipients can remove themselves (update your preferences – or unsubscribe at the email’s bottom)
People already receive enough emails willingly. A mailing list shouldn’t feel like a punishment!
3. Timing is everything
Send emails in the morning, when people are first opening their inboxes — between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. — and when they recheck their email after eating dinner, but before they go to bed — between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. According to reports, Tuesday and Saturday both have high open rates.
4. Be consistent
It’s not a good idea to become known as an extremely persistent mailing list because too many emails can desensitise or annoy recipients, and therefore hurt open rates. Commit to sending emails either weekly or bi-weekly and then everyone on the mailing list knows when to expect messages.
5. Use a brief subject line
Think of your subject line as an elevator pitch — it should be brief and capture attention so your audience will want to find out more.
6. Know the appropriate message length
Too long and recipients lose interest, too short and your email could seem pointless. Sending a consistent number of emails will help with this, as too many emails correspond with fewer updates in each one, but a good rule is to observe how many paragraphs your email contains. Readers lose interest when they initially see too much text. Essential information should be at the beginning, where people are less likely to start skimming.
7. Organise dense text
Have a lot of updates? Use bullet points to direct readers’ eyes to a list. Breaking up text will be easier on the eye, and it will be less taxing to read the entire email.
8. Avoid excessive stylising
Using bold or italic text for headings or to highlight relevant information, such as deadlines and meeting locations, is a good idea. Highlighting entire paragraphs is not. The same applies to brightly coloured text, especially on non-white backgrounds, and non-standard fonts that are hard to read.
9. Say no to all caps
While not everyone associates all caps with yelling, it isn’t necessary for an email when you could achieve the same effect with bold or italic text. Shut down the urge when you have it, no matter how important something is.
10. Consider context as well as the audience
Assume the people on your mailing list don’t read all the emails you send, and that there may be people who don’t know what you’re talking about. If you’re bringing up a previously discussed topic, summarise that matter in one sentence for those who missed it before.
You should also offer to bring individuals up to speed in a separate conversation.