If you’re reading this, it’s likely because you’ve received an email from me. All my emails are hand-crafted for an audience of 1.
Email marketing best practices have a very high bar. Don’t be “mailchimped” into thinking you can get off easy with the push of a button.
You opened my email because you know I will not send you junk. I write to you with an idea, an introduction, an opportunity or an amusement. You might call it “marketing,” but I call it paying it forward.
Sometimes, I’ll send a similar email to 2 people, or 5, or maybe 30. Rarely, 50. Whatever the number of recipients, I’ve hand-selected them to receive something I am fairly certain they will find valuable.
For instance, I know a lot of people in building, finance and law firms in the Bay Area and NY/CT. Comes with my territory, these are mostly people I know socially or by working on projects together. And they love nothing more than to hear about what some other contractor or other lawyer is doing online, in print or in the local market. Fun for me, fun for them. Is this an email marketing best practice? Yes, in the extreme.
There is nothing better than a personal letter, from me to you.
There is always a “you” that I write for. Sometimes it’s Kate, Emma, Diane, Kurt or Jason. Paul, Rick or Brian. They may not know that I’m writing “for” them, but I am, write between the eyes. This brings my writing to life, and heck, it keeps me interested.
Writing for an audience of one makes me very clear on what I want to say, and I don’t self-edit or put my emails or blog posts through a multi-stage editing process. It’s real and it’s raw.
Kelli, this one’s for you.
The bar for email best practices is very high and most people don’t have standards. Believe me, Mailchimp or your CRM will not save you.
You came for email best practices, here are 11 email best practices to avoid email coodies.
1) Send email to people who want it. Don’t send it to people who haven’t asked for it.
2) Don’t use spammy ‘trigger’ words or language or ! excalamation points! in your email.
3) Put your company name in your email, and use your @company.com address, so you don’t go to spam.
4) Send your emails during working hours.
5) Don’t send multiple emails to the same set of people in one day.
6) Make sure you have authenticated your mail server. If you don’t know what that means, hire someone who does.
7) Too many images sends your email into spam folders.
8) Most people’s lists are too big. You can have many lists, keep them targeted with something in common.
9) If someone sends you to their junk or spam folder, your @company.com address now has coodies and other email clients will filter you into spam. Believe it. Read this again.
10) If you’re blast mailing to a list and have too many bounce-backs, you have coodies. See #9 above.
11) Bonus: be real, and have a proofreader for major email news, as if it were a press release.
What’s email coodies? It’s that stupid word from our childhood, ooooh, he has coodies. As far as your email address is concerned, coodies is when your email is in a central database called a “spam gateway” that blocks your future emails before anyone sees them. Oh, but they trick you and “open” the emails before they send them to the spam folder, so you might think people are really opening your emails. But they’re not.
More people are using email marketing, so the bar is rising higher. Be smart.