5 Email Marketing Best Practices for 2021

Targeted email marketing is an extremely effective way to reach your customers and drive sales. But it’s an art. You need to make sure that what you’re sending is relevant and engaging (and also that you don’t seem intrusive). Square Marketing gives you a solid leg up here.

Because it automatically creates lists of your loyal, casual, and lapsed customers, you can make sure you’re always targeting the people who will be most interested in what you’re sending. One group may be more appropriate for an event invitation, for example, while another may be better suited to receive a huge sale announcement.

But beyond effective targeting, there are a number of email marketing tactics you should familiarise yourself with—especially if you’re just dipping your toes in. Here are our top email marketing best practices:

1. Don’t flood people’s inboxes

Think of all the email you get in your personal account—and how quickly it adds up. You want to respect customers inboxes the same way you expect other businesses to respect yours. But what’s the right cadence? Definitely not more than once a week (even that can be a lot).

A general rule of thumb is to only send an email when the content is truly engaging and worth the read. If you send an email that’s not engaging for customers, you’ll get a slew of unsubscribes.

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2. Avoid the spam filter

Click Here for a Prize! WIN A FREE CRUISE! These are the types of subject lines that are likely to get caught in spam filters. So before beginning your email marketing efforts, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with UK regulations and know the laws on email marketing.

Beyond the law, some common spam triggers include all-caps subject lines, a low text-to-image ratio, or exposing HTML in the body of the email. Cliche openings, such as those we all received throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, may also cause potential customers to turn away. So maintaining relevant messaging may help you to get past human spam filters too.

3. Send actionable content

With each email you send, think about the action you want your customers to take when they open it. Is it to shop a sale? RSVP to an event? Include one actionable link (this is commonly referred to as the call to action, or CTA) as the centrepiece of your email.

Some examples include “Shop the sale”, or “RSVP here”. Square Marketing has beautiful, ready-to-go email marketing templates for promotions, announcements, or event invitations that make it easy to plug in your CTA.

If you’re encouraging your customers to make a purchase, ensure your web shop is easy to use. Improve your website with eCommerce tools and take advantage of Square’s free online store, which offers solutions for selling, shipping, click and collect, and delivery. It also accepts online payments.

4. Best time to send marketing emails

If you’ve already sent some emails, Square Marketing allows you to measure customer engagement. The tool has a wealth of information about how your email performed. You can see things like your open rate (how many people opened what you sent), your click-through rate (how many people clicked on your CTA), and even how many people came in and bought items or purchased online as a result of what you sent.

The day of the week and the time of day you send your email can have a big impact on improving email open rates and click-through rates (check out these 2020 email marketing benchmarks), so it’s worth pouring over your data to spot trends and identify the best time to send marketing emails for your audience. But if you’re sending your first marketing email, common sense will get you most of the way there.

Think about when you’re most likely to open and read your own email. Typically, most people go through email in the morning, around 7:00 to 9:00. (heed the time zone). Generally, weekdays are also better. Make sure you time your email so it will get noticed.

5. Say something enticing

Subject lines are crucial. Don’t overlook the importance of subject lines, as they’re often the reason someone opens your email or deletes it. This topic is an expansive one (we get into good email subject line examples in another post), but basically, your subject line should entice people to open the email to learn more. This can be accomplished in a number of creative ways, but generally speaking, the best email subject lines are simple, direct, and actionable. You might mention topical events, for example by enticing customers to seize new opportunities as the economy reopens, but keep messages grounded in your offering.

There’s a lot to know here, but hopefully this gives you a primer on email marketing best practices.