how to do email marketing, Communication concept: Hand pressing a letter icon on a world map interface

Email marketing best practices

91% of people check their email daily. In fact, email marketing has 3 times more conversions than social media marketing. Knowing how to do email marketing the right way, gives you the potential to increase your conversions.

Email marketing services

You should be able to run your email marketing campaigns from your content management system (CMS). Most shopping carts have an autoresponder to help you create your opt-in form. MailChimp is the most popular platform for automating email campaigns. You could also try Marketo, ConstantContact, Poptin (for WordPress), or Salesforce Marketing Cloud, if you are operating a business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce site.

Introduction to email marketing

Email marketing best practices

  • Have a strong subject line.
  • Use no more than 20 lines of text in your email campaign, a call-to-action button and one graphic.
  • Place all your important information at the top of the email so that it shows in the preview pane.
  • Do not include videos that are more than 90 seconds long, and add hyperlinks to your images.
  • Do not use a lot of text, multiple columns or small fonts.
  • Send out emails once a week. Send them out too frequently, and your emails will be classed as spam.
  • Segment your list of contacts to target specific customers, e.g. their purchase history or age.
  • Offer a free product or service with your sign up.
  • Ensure you comply with GDPR guidelines
  • Set up autoresponder messages.
  • Use the same email with different subject lines.
  • Study your performance metrics, so that you can build on what’s working by tracking your clicks, open, bounce, and spam complaint rates.
  • Emails should be mobile responsive.
  • Pitch your business in no more than 20% of your posts.
  • Test your content before sending out your campaign.
  • Make use of seasonal/event email marketing opportunities.
  • Avoid JavaScript and CSS elements because email providers will block these.
  • Avoid spam trigger words.
  • Avoid strange formats and symbols.
  • Check your unsubscribe rates.

How to find the right email marketing platform

GDPR in Email Marketing

Introduced by the European Union (EU) in May 2018, General Data and Privacy Regulation (GDPR) gives customers more control over how their data is stored and used.

Should I apply GDPR to my online business?

There is a common misconception that you only need to be GDPR compliant if you sell products online, which is not the case. If you have employees in the EU and/or email subscribers in the EU, you will have to comply with GDPR, or face a hefty fine.  In short, unless your website blocks visitors in the EU, you will need to adhere to EU regulations.

Introduction to General Data and Privacy Regulation

GDPR compliance checklist

  • You should make it clear, in your website’s privacy policy page, about how you are going to use your customers data.
  • You cannot share your customers email addresses with your partners or sponsors without their consent.
  • You cannot have a checkbox, button, or any other web control on your site that automatically opts a customer into any agreement. For example, the checkbox should be left blank and not prepopulated with a tick.
  • With regards to email newsletter sign up, you can no longer automatically sign-up a customer to your newsletter because they have made a purchase or registered for an account.
  • Add your privacy policy link to your email subscribe box.
  • The opt-in and opt-out messages should be clear. An opt-in to a newsletter should not include a consent to share customer  information.

email gdpr compliance checklist

GDPR and email marketing

Fortunately, the majority of content management systems (CMSs) and email marketing platforms have created data capture options and templates in-line with GDPR.

GDPR-compliant templates

There are also GDPR-compliant, privacy policy templates available on the web. Alternatively, you can contact an attorney, or a solicitor to draw up policy documents that are unique to your business.

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