Email marketing Best Practices that are Commonly Ignored by Email Marketers ? Lyris

The Ten Most-Ignored Email Best Practices

Over the last several years email has become one of the most preferred marketing tools and publishing channels. Every email marketing program follows a set of best practices. Some of these include signing up new subscribers and optimization of the email message for the best possible view.

Lyris, leaders in email marketing solutions, conducted an audit of 203 commercial email messages and found that few email marketers are using all the possible best practices in their email marketing programs. This meant that they were not getting the maximum from their email marketing efforts.

During the course of our audit, we divided senders into six market segments: publishers, retailers, travel, financial services, business services and consumer services. We found that some segments had adapted to using email best practice more so than other segments.

The Ten Most-Ignored Email Best Practices

1. Subscription-administration center in each email message Percentage Rate of users: 17.7 %
Subscription-administration is an important component of your email message that helps to keep you connected to your email newsletter subscriber and ensures that your mails are not flagged as unsolicited email.
Tips: Somewhere in your site, you should provide an email address to unsubscribe followed by an unsubscribe link. You should also furnish a link to your privacy page, along with your reference page. Always include your contact information that states your street address, phone number and email address.

2. Site search function Percentage Rate of users: 17.7 %
Tip: By providing a site search function within your email message, you will allow users to search through your site for anything from products, past article archives, company information, or any useful information that they may be seeking. This helps the subscriber to search without having to go to the main site and follow through with the search.

3. Forward to a friend link Percentage Rate of users: 25.1%
Tip: Providing a link to forward your email messages on to friends of the same interest, is far more efficient than just adding a line somewhere in the body of the email requesting that they forward the email. The best thing about using a link is that it is sent through your server, allowing you to track all those who forward your messages. It will calculate how often your emails are forwarded, and what actions are resulting from the forwarding link. By providing this link, it also eliminates any sending errors that may arise when recipients try to simply forward the mail through their email client.

4. Subscriber Link Percentage Rate of users: 27.1%
Tip: Offering a subscription link in your email newsletter allows all readers who had it forwarded from a friend to sign up. This subscriber link eliminates searching the site for instructions. By saving the email reader time, you may just score one more subscriber if it’s fast and efficient.

5. Add-to-safe-senders-list request Percentage rate of users: 35%
Tip: Making sure you are added to the approved or safe senders list keeps your emails from being blocked or targeted on a black list. Providing a safe senders list request will enable email readers to add you to their white-list, with convenience.

6. Web Version Link Percentage rate of users: 37.4
Tip: By providing a web version link, it allows email clients to view your email message in their web browser instead of a preview pane. Many have either blocked images or don’t support HTML messages.

7. Telephone contact number provided Percentage rate of users: 40.4%
Tip: If your reader or client wants to directly contact you, a contact number is imperative. Without one, you may just lose a sale, or prospective client. Many times users feel that email is less social than direct contact. By providing all contact information, you are providing that extra step for them, by cutting out the frustration that email often causes. No more hunting your web site in frustration trying to find your contact information, it will be right there at their disposal.

8. Displaying the recipient’s email address Percentage rate of users: 43.8
Tip: Having credibility is one of the biggest challenges of sending and receiving email messages. To take the fear away that your email is not credible, you should always help the reader that may have duplicate copies sent to them by displaying their email address so that they may determine what email address they wish to unsubscribe from your mailing list. Many times they will have different emails for different uses, and will get your email to each and every email listed.

9. Navigation links within the email directed to the web site Percentage rate of users: 48.3 %
Tip: Providing navigation links at the top of the email newsletters will strengthen your relationship with your readers. Using links in the newsletter with multiple sections or articles help your subscribers navigate more effectively. Having multiple site links let your readers see different portions of your web site that they would normally miss or not see at all. Having these navigation links adds value to your website as well.

10. Email address provided for feedback or contact purposes Percentage rate of users: 53.2%
Tip: Implementing an email contact gives your subscribers a fast and easy way to contact you. Subscribers often have questions they need answered in a timely manner, and having an email contact gives them the security to know that if a problem arises it will be resolved soon. Most email marketers add only an email address rather than a phone number. Every email marketer should implement this email marketing best practice for no other reason than to build character and rapport for a lasting relationship.

Sheila Jones brings 10 years of experience to Lyris as an email marketing expert. In this role Sheila is mainly responsible for contributing her insights and research in developing the LyrisHQ integrated marketing suite. Sheila holds an MBA in marketing from the Harvard Business School and an engineering degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


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