Email best practices

Email is easy, right? We’ve all been using email for years. Of the many means we use to communicate and raise funds via digital, it has become one of the most familiar—but not necessarily one of the best-utilized. We think email needs a closer look.

The path to email success starts with best practices for email. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • List quality is paramount – If you don’t have an effective email list growth strategy in place, call an emergency meeting to put one together. Russ Reid is also happy to help. A high-quality, growing email list is an obvious (but frequently missing) ingredient to success.
  • Relevance is key – Communication frequency tends to weigh most heavily on our minds when considering email treatment. But the reality is that relevance matters more to response and fatigue than frequency. If your emails speak directly to the felt needs of the audience segment receiving them, frequency will not have as big an impact. However, if email topics are irrelevant to the audience, even infrequent touch-points will damage your relationship with them.
  • Test, test, test– Another obvious one, right? But how many tests have you conducted in your email program in the last year? If it’s no more than a handful, you have room to improve. Email format, HTML vs. text, subject line, rich media, landing page—your options for testing abound, and each can contribute uniquely to the strength of your program.
  • Let email do what email does – Too many email appeals are just direct mail retreads. The real opportunity with email is to add urgent, motivating elements to your campaign that can only be delivered digitally. Think rich media links (video, slideshows) that enliven or add emotional weight to the campaign, or timely updates to the story or offer first featured in the mail. It can be as simple as a deadline reminder, or as involved as a viral campaign delivered alongside a social media push.

Lastly, don’t forget to look at the big picture when evaluating your campaigns; be on the lookout for spikes in traffic and total giving following email sends.

This list just scratches the surface, but it’s a good start. If you’d like to take the conversation further, go ahead and contact us. We’d love to talk more with you about your email marketing needs.