Email is one of the greatest forms of communication for any business. Like any new role, there will always be a set of challenges. Mistakes will happen, and that’s okay. The email marketing landscape is constantly changing, which makes it hard to really know what consumers are looking for in their inbox. We’ve prepared a quick list of the most important things to know before you hit the send button.

ALWAYS get permission from the people on your list

We know – when you are just launching your company, it’s hard to develop a contact list from scratch. There are sites where you can purchase lists based on interests, but it’s heavily frowned upon and for many email programs, illegal. The best thing to do is continue to use inbound marketing to promote your company and your content. If you have an email sign up form on your site, people will sign up if they’re interested.

Think about customization

Now that we’re a few months into 2018, email customization is growing and becoming even more prevalent. Emails that are customized for the consumer (content catered towards interests, using first names, city locations, etc.), perform better than those that aren’t. When preparing your copy, think about WHO is receiving the email. This is especially true when you start to segment your emails. You wouldn’t want someone in California to receive information on a deal happening in Massachusetts, for example.

Consider the spam filter  

When you are writing your content, take a few extra moments to think about the subject line. There are a number of words that can trigger an email clients’ spam filter – which means your message will likely never be seen. Beyond the copy, email marketing programs will also provide advice on how you can avoid the spam filter.

Keep the content to a minimum (and use those subheadings)

Think of emails as a piece of marketing material that you can scan. When they are loaded with information, it makes it difficult to read. Novels are great, but not in emails. Many people read emails from their devices so it’s important to keep the amount of scrolling at a minimum. By using bold headings and a little extra whitespace, you’re making it easier for the reader to scan the content. If you are including an image, be sure to add padding to the outside so the overall layout doesn’t appear crowded. 

Always have a “reply” email

Who the email is coming from is just as important as the content. Whether it’s the name of the business or the name of someone who works there (such as the CEO, President, etc.), having a name will add credibility to the email. It also allows the consumer to respond with feedback and/or questions. 

Include a call to action

What is the goal of your email? Are you asking your audience to read a blog? Sign up for a webinar? Once you determine what you’re looking to get out of the email, add a call to action to get the desired result. Normally in the form of a button or link, this CTA will prompt people to do what you’re asking of them. Without one, it’ll be more difficult to measure the success of your email.

Double, and then triple check your links

Between the call to action and any other links you have, a lot can happen (even something as a small as a typo in the address). Be sure to check all links, and check them one more time – maybe even a third time just to be safe. An email with a series (or even just one) broken link can seriously affect your results. That webinar you included in your CTA would be useless. 

Make it mobile-friendly

Last year, research showed that more than 65 percent of people use their phones to read email. In 2018, it’s very likely that that number is even higher. Because of this, ensuring a completely responsive and mobile-friendly email template is crucial. All email marketing programs offer templates that are built to fit all screen sizes. Just be sure to do your due diligence and test how it is viewed before you hit send. If you can’t check on your own devices, programs such as Litmus will do that for you. 

Pay attention to how many emails you are sending

It goes without saying that there IS such a thing as “too many” emails. What that means will depend on the person, but it’s safe to say that one email per day is probably too many. However, not sending enough emails can also affect the way your consumer will interact with your brand. So, what’s the happy medium? We feel that 2-4 times a month is a great start, though some industries require less. 

Don’t get blacklisted

Some email programs allow up to a certain about of “hard bounces” and unsubscribes. If you purchased emails from one of those lists we talked about, you have a much higher risk of that happening. If it does, your account will be suspended. The best way to prevent this is to make sure that each and every one of your emails are authentic. Programs such as Neverbounce run tests on the emails and will provide reports on which ones are valid, invalid, or likely to fall into other issues on the receiving end.

By following these 10 tips, you’ll be good to go for your first email. Remember, always check the click and open rates so you can improve as you continue your career in email marketing.