Marketing Cloud Best Email Practices
10 Marketing Cloud Best Email Practices
Email is simple.
It costs nothing.
It reaches your client's mailbox in a second.
You can check how many people have read it and it's simple to prepare, as long as you know what to write in it.
You can personalize the message for your clients by knowing their needs.
These few advantages mean that people who do not have too much funds for company promotions should definitely start using email marketing.
Read about Marketing Cloud best email practices to fully leverage the power of email marketing.
In this article, you will learn:
- Why you should choose email for your next marketing campaign.
- How to create a clear goal.
- Why segmenting your audience is crucial.
- Guidelines to creating an effective subject line.
- How to make your Call to Action stand out.
- Best practises to communicate on all devices.
- The importance of using high quality photos and graphics.
- How colors can change the perception of your message.
- How to set up tracking.
- How to ensure CAN-SPAM compliance.
Are email campaigns still effective?
Even with the increasing popularity of social media, PPC and other types of online advertising, email marketing is still an increasingly used marketing strategy.
And it’s no wonder.
Statistics speak for themselves, people spend approximately 2.5 hours per weekday checking personal emails at work. It can also be much cheaper when compared to other online channels, especially when you already have a list of your customers’ emails.
Email marketing comes with a number of other advantages:
- It generates the overall highest return on investment.
- It's not time-consuming but very effective at a low cost.
- With CRM data, it allows you to personalize the communication with your clients.
- It gives you opportunity not only to bring new leads, but also to nurture the existing ones and take them to the next level.
But to really benefit from them, it’s necessary to build your email campaign the right way. Follow our advice to create a successful and effective strategy.
Create a clear goal
The very first thing you need to do before launching a campaign, is to decide what your desired goal is.
Defining the goals of an e-marketing campaign is the number one priority, when designing the initial email campaign.
It is important to specify not only macro goals, e.g. increasing brand visibility on the web or sales, but also micro ones, such as: subscribing to the newsletter, taking part in a webinar, downloading a file from the site, sharing an entry, etc.
This will give you the Key Performance Indicators, which will determine the effectiveness of the campaign. For example: generated sales, advertising reach, visits to the contact page, e-mail addresses left in the contact form.
When creating your goal, we recommend you to use the SMART model, which will be very helpful at the beginning of the initial campaign meetings and decisions.
Segment your audience
When developing an email campaign, you will hold a lot of customer data, such as: name, surname, gender, age, city, preferences and hobbies. With Marketing Cloud, you also have access to so-called behavioral information, i.e. data on the date of the last opening of the message or a link on which that person clicked.
Thanks to this knowledge, a person planning an e-mail marketing campaign has the ability to divide clients into groups, i.e. segmentation. Members of these segments get personalized messages based on their shopping preferences or habits. In the case of using this type of strategy, the basis is building a long- and short-term strategy and establishing relationships with subscribers.
Read how to personalize your email messages here or contact our team to help you with that.
These are a few ways to segment your audience:
- Demographic segmentation (age, gender…)
- Geolocation (where they live)
- Life Stage (for example: married couple aged 30-35years old looking to buy a house)
- Shopper Type (Deal seekers, Luxury buyers, Online shoppers)
Segmenting subscribers in Marketing Cloud can be achieved in a number of ways. Depending on the data model you are using in your organization, you can use:
- Groups. Filter your subscribers by preference and profile attributes. Works only with groups.
- Data filters. Create a group of criteria to segment your audience. Filters can be reused with many lists or data extensions.
- Queries. Use Automation Studio and SQL to request and retrieve data and place it in a single or in multiple data extensions.
Remember to diversify your campaigns
The segmentation will give you a huge dose of inspiration and thoughts about what you can send in your next newsletter. Lack of ideas is unfortunately a frequent killer of recipients' loyalty and reaction. Just like sending the same content to everyone.
Preparing more than one mailing involves more work, more money, but only this approach to email marketing will bring you tangible results.
Behavioral advertising and recommendation systems are currently developing the fastest on the internet. Everything that allows you to match the offer to a specific recipient. You get exactly the same effect by segmenting and preparing offers for created groups of people.
Create an effective subject line
The first thing people will see is your subject line. That is why, you need to make sure it's simply perfect. Remember to always include your company name, so people know this email is from you. If you don’t do that, your whole effort might be ruined with one click on the button Report Spam.
When designing the subject line, keep in mind that you need to grab your subscribers’ attention and get them excited enough to open it. Designing the right subject line for your subscribers should be your top priority. One of the techniques you can use, is to make it informative, so subscribers know what to expect when they open the email.
The subject line should consist of up to 40 characters. Customers prefer short, concise subjects that immediately tell them what the email is about. The perfect email subject should be short but conclusive and not misleading. Don’t mention anything that is not included in the rest of the message.
Great! You have managed to convince someone to open an e-mail from you, based on your perfect subject line. Now you can't let down this person's expectations for the rest of the email.
Don’t forget to A/B test your subject lines to see what results in the highest open rate. Depending on how you are sending your emails in Marketing Cloud, you can configure this in one of two ways:
- Email Studio. You can define your test audience by entering a percent or value in the Test Distribution section. To view results go to the tracking overview section.
- Journey Builder. Although this functionality isn’t directly supported in the Journey Builder, you can use the random split functionality to split your audience.
Make your Call to Action stand out
Make your goal clear through CTA within your email.
It is very important to make your call to action button stand out because for some of the subscribers it might not be easy to find it and use it, so they will need a little help from you.
Using icons of different shapes and sizes can help a lot to find a Call to Action button on the page.
Remember that nobody wants to read a large piece of text!
It will be better to use short and specific phrases and interesting pictures.
Colorful buttons as well as bold text can bring attention to your calls to action. If you’re able to get that attention, you’re that much closer to helping people take the action that will help your campaign reach its goal.
Communicate your message on different devices
More and more people are using different kinds of devices, like mobile phones and tablets on an everyday basis. Currently, mobile phones hold the first place with 54% device usage in the United States. As your clients prefer to use their mobiles to shop and search for information, you need to keep in mind that, when designing your email campaign, remember to optimize your message so it looks great on every single device and it reaches the largest number of customers.
Before sending your message, conduct several tests to see if the email is consistent on all devices and everything is in the right place.
Remember to set appropriate size settings for a particular device. You want your messages to be responsive and compatible.
You can use Content Builder in Marketing Cloud to create mobile-friendly email messages without any knowledge of HTML. Responsive design lets you send messages that are optimized for any screen resolution. You can preview your created emails and test send them to see how they look in your inbox.
Choose high quality and relevant graphics
Pictures can express more than a thousand words, so good use of them can have an immediate effect on your campaign. Regardless of the desired goal, you want to achieve with your pictures, you need to make sure they do display properly in your marketing campaign.
Photos and graphics should have excellent resolution regardless of their size, if you include a picture with a bad quality and resolution, your subscribers might think that you don’t take this campaign seriously and it will make your brand look unprofessional.
You should also consider whether these pictures benefit your message in any way. If you only include them to fill in the blank spaces, you may damage your efforts by slowing down the loading process.
Colors are important
Most people are unaware of the important role colors play. When making a purchase, consumers subconsciously choose the product based on the color, which often reflects the character of the person.
Experts in marketing and advertising know this very well, they design the product/service with catchy slogans, present the product in the best way possible, but above they choose particular colors, which in marketing will most accurately reflect the desired value.
When planning a marketing campaign, you should remember that warm colors attract attention faster than cold colors.
It would be a good and sensible idea to get to know the color psychology before you take any action on the selection of colors for your campaign.
Track your email campaigns
Tracking your campaign effectiveness should be a fixed point in the email marketing campaign schedule. The insights gained in this way will allow you to clarify the next steps, prepare for user reactions and, if necessary, make the necessary adjustments to the strategy.
Here are 3 marketing metrics to look out for:
- Deliverability rate
- Click-through rate
- Open rate
Deliverability rate is one of the most important steps in defining your unique formula for calculating how many emails have been delivered to the mailboxes.
To calculate the deliverability rate, divide the amount of delivered emails by the number of emails you have sent. To improve your rates, remember to get rid of all non-active email accounts from your emailing list.
Click-through rate is a rate that determines the percentage ratio between the number of clicks and the number of impressions. It is used to check the effectiveness of ads and keywords. By using different calls to action, you will be able to have a direct impact on the rate. Personalized and targeted messages have a huge effect on your results.
Open rate is the percentage of unique email openings expressed as a percentage. It is calculated by using the data on how many messages were sent in a given campaign and how many recipients viewed them.
A good way to intrigue your recipient is to call them by name. Thanks to this, it will pay attention to your message and the chances of reading the email will increase significantly.
Keep in mind that, the user who opens the mail on the mobile has the sender's name in front of him and this is what draws the most attention. Meanwhile, those who open messages on the desktop, focus more on the subject of the message. That's why you can't focus on just one of these elements.
The management of bounced email messages is especially important as it directly affects your reputation. If an email sent to a subscriber is rejected by the email server the subscriber’s status is changed to Bounced. Here are the types of bounces used in Marketing Cloud:
- Soft Bounce. It occurs when the email is rejected due to a temporary condition. The common causes include: inactive account, full mailbox or temporary domain failure. When an email is soft bounced, the system retries sending it to the subscriber every 15 minutes for 72 hours, for up to 288 attempts, which do not count as bounces.
- Block Bounce. A type of soft bounce. Caused by filter issues, such as authentication issues or when IP address is on a blacklist. Subscriber is retried in the next email send.
- Technical Bounce. Another type of soft bounce. Happens due to technical errors, such as a network error. Subscriber is retried in the next email send.
- Hard Bounce. Occurs when the email is rejected due to the server's permanent conditions. The subscriber won’t be retried in the next send to this campaign, but they will be in your next email campaign. Hard bounces can hurt your reputation. That’s why it is good practice to add your hard bounces to a suppression list and use it in your next email sends.
Make sure your email is CAN-SPAM compliant
Before sending your email, make sure it isn’t violating any of the CAN-SPAM rules.
CAN-SPAM is an act regulating the issue of unwanted marketing offers and pornography.
It imposes restrictions on the commercial sending of emails.
This anti-spam legislation requires the following to be included in every email:
Identify the authentic sender of the message in "message headers", always include your organizations name so people know who this email is from
Valid and working sender's address ("From"), include your physical mailing address
Clear message subject which will accurately represent the rest of the message, don’t include anything in the subject line that won’t be found in the rest of the message
Determine the e-mail as an advertisement except when you received a consent from the subscriber (opt-in)
Opt- out link include a link which will enable customers to opt-out from receiving further messages from you
Process opt-out requests process the request within 10 days and your unsubscribe mechanism must operate for at least 30 days after the mailing.
An effective marketing campaign may seem like a complicated process, but in reality it’s not.
All you need to do is to follow some important guidelines, which most of them you will find in this article.
Are you new to Marketing Cloud and need help? If you need assistance and guidance in setting up your marketing cloud, then you should definitely contact our team!