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When it comes to email marketing, you’ve heard enough about using strong subject lines, applying a call-to-action, segmenting audiences, and yadda yadda yadda.  None of that stuff is new.  On top of that, emails have often taken a backseat to newer, more exciting marketing media.

Yet email marketing is still hugely important and there’s a lot more to know.  It can be a powerful conversion tool (often has the highest ROI) and is extremely useful in nurturing and building customer relationships.  In fact, many of our clients use targeted emails to generate sales and new leads because it’s so effective.

As technology and behavior changes, email marketing is changing too.  Here are 10 new email marketing best practices that everyone should know:

1. Avoid Overcrowding Links – As an ever-growing number of people check emails via mobile, bunching too many links together can lead to a case of “fat fingers” where a person accidentally clicks the wrong link.  It’s not just annoying; it will affect your conversions too, so be more strategic about where you put links.

2. Implement Single Column Design – If you design your emails with mobile in mind, then you’ll know that the single column treatment is ideal for everyone because it makes scrolling and finding info a breeze.  If you really desire sidebars or multiple columns, you’ll want to invest in responsive email design, otherwise the viewing experience may be tainted.

3. Align Subject Lines with Pre-Headers (header tag) – In many inboxes, the pre-header line from inside the email appears below or beside the subject line.  This short preview often says, “View in your browser” because most people fail to move this line elsewhere.  You can build a more compelling argument to click by re-writing this line so it creates a unified message with your subject line.

4. Test CTA Buttons vs Links – Some studies have shown that buttons get clicked more than underscored links, others have shown the opposite.  Rather than being told which is better, test it in your emails and see which one wins.  And keep testing to find the optimal mix for your email campaigns.

5. Be Concise with Copy – Seriously, our inboxes are inundated with emails and our brains are overloaded with information.  If you can say something in 10 words or 5 words, use the 5 words.  The easier it is to digest, the more likely it’ll be read and acted on.

6. Expand Social Integration – Twitter and Facebook aren’t an exclusive email club.  Your Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and other social media links deserve a spot in your email too.  As icons, they don’t take up a lot of space and can give you a lot more ‘social cred’.

7. Collect Email Contacts In-Person – Buying lists is treacherous and wasteful.  Tempting signups online can be slow going.  This year, make a better in-person effort. Collect emails at your trade show booth, conferences, or storefront…  Make it easy on yourself with a business card scanner and import that stack of business cards to your CRM.

8. Send Follow-Up Review Emails – Reviews are such a vital part of SEO now and people love to share their opinions.  Make this possible with a follow-up email encouraging reviews from recent purchasers.  You could also automate the process by incorporating Yotpo’s Mail After Purchase email feature or new “site review” feature into your marketing plan.

9. Educate Customers – Emails are not just opportunities to sell, they’re also great platforms for educating customers more about your products, services, company message, and more.  Because emails are such a powerful, intimate marketing experience, you can really make education a worthwhile endeavor.

10. Track Email Conversions – Okay, opens, clicks and click-through rates are great, but conversions are the most important of all.  Too many businesses concentrate on the first three and then forget about the last one, but this year is the year to turn that around.  Track your stats and rework your emails to optimize conversions.

If you’re looking for email marketing help, but don’t want to make a full-time commitment just yet, LeapGo offers the perfect solution for you.  Our 10-Hour Flexible Marketing Service gives you a block of 10 hours you can use whichever way you’d like, whenever you’d like, so you get more control over your time and money.  Put 5 towards email marketing and 5 towards SEO or put all 10 towards email – it’s up to you!  Learn more and get started today >>

Do you have any other email best practices you’d like to share?  We’d love to hear your insights in the comment section below!

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About the Author: Jason Corgiat

I started building websites in 1999. Through the years I've worked with hundreds of businesses in various verticals and have built, implemented and managed digital strategies for companies of all sizes. My education is not formal and neither are my methods. Chances are, I can add value to your organization from day 1 but I'll let you be the judge. I'm a proud father of 4, luckiest husband in the world, and enjoy the occasional gym session. How was that for a bio?

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