Lesson 1

Email Marketing Best Practices

Goal: Make your emails the best they can be, from subject lines to copy.

Chapter 1: Email Marketing Best Practices

Before we jump into the email campaigns, let’s talk about general email best practices to keep in mind.

Subject Lines and Preheaders

You probably know how important subject lines are already. Here are some data-backed best practices to keep in mind when writing them.

The most important thing to remember is to keep your subject lines below 53 characters. Here’s why:

53 characters is not a lot of room, we know, so make sure your subject line is compelling and succinct. You don’t always have to try and cram the subject of your email into your subject line though. In fact, the best subject lines utilize preheaders in tandem with subject lines.

Hopefully you aren’t ignoring the preheaders in your emails, but if you are, they’re worth paying attention to. These humble preview texts help you get more out of your subject lines.

And you don’t always have to get to the point of the email right up front. Sometimes a bit of mystery is just as compelling.

The best way to find the subject line and preheader combo is to test different ideas, and pay attention to your open rates. From there, you can compare data to see what resonates best with your audience. This is where split testing (sending two versions of an email to the same audience) comes in handy.

Email Copy 101

Copywriting is hard. Writing copy that converts is even harder. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you write.

  1. Use the right words
    It’s easy to overcomplicate copy, but as with so many things in life, simplicity really is bliss. If your copy can be read by an 8th grader, around 85% of the general population will be able to read it. There are lots of free readability checkers out there (we love readable.com), find one and use it to make sure you aren’t overcomplicating things and potentially turning your audience away.

  2. Keep your tone conversational
    If words are the bricks you use to build your email house, tone is the glue that holds everything together (Drip does not endorse building homes with glue, this is an analogy, just roll with it). You know your customers and their pain points. There’s no need to pack your marketing emails full of jargon, buzzwords, or overly sales-y copy. Speak directly and plainly to your customers and tell them what they need to know. That doesn’t mean your copy needs to be boring, either.

  3. Utilize marketing psychology
    Human brains are hardwired to respond better to certain things. Whether it’s scarcity (i.e. limited time offers or a certain number of products remaining), social proof through reviews, or reciprocity (i.e. I help you and you help me - free samples are a good example of this), there are lots of ways to tap into marketing psychology in your email copy. The key to success using these strategies is to keep things conversational and readable.

  4. Know your goal
    You aren’t sending an email just to send an email, (hopefully). Even when your email campaigns have multiple emails in the series, each email needs to serve a purpose. Setting a key performance indicator (KPI) like opens, subscribes, or conversions will help you gauge success and measure performance. And we love a measurable metric.

  5. Get personal
    Personalization is the key to a good email. From utilizing form fields to input customer names to including abandoned products in an abandoned cart email. Drip has the tools you need to help you leverage your customer data.

Perhaps even more important than including a customer’s name is making sure their needs and pain points are being addressed in your emails. Everything from the subject line to the email content to the data being leveraged needs to be relevant, timely, and cohesive. Your email marketing ROI depends on it.

Ready to get started building the five email campaigns you need to rock your DTC marketing game?

Lesson 1
5 min read