Who knows email marketing best practices better than Santa Claus? For a man that only works one day a year, he does a great job generating publicity. Everything from movies, shows, and books, to full-on government websites that track his trip around the world. Frankly put, Santa drives sales.

According to a study, around 90% of kids are believers in Santa. Doesn’t every business want 90% of their customers to be true believers? So how does he do it?

Luckily for us, Santa wrote to Emailable his top 5 proven email marketing best practices to generate unbelievable sales. This will definitely come in handy for your marketing campaigns to stay out of the spam folder. Let’s take a look at Santa’s list.

Top 5 Email Marketing Best Practices

1. Make a great gift

Yes

Everyone loves Santa because he gives great gifts and spreads cheer. The same is true for your business and your customers. When they open up your email, they want to see something they like, which brings them happiness. They should be excited to open your email, because they know what’s inside is something good.

Have something to offer them! Provide value with every email you send. Whether it’s a big update, a promotion, or a coupon, it’s important that it engages the customers. In fact, when you provide an incentive in the subject line, it can increase your open rate by up to 50%.

So how do we know if we are truly giving customers a great offer or piece of information? That’s where A/B testing comes in.

It’s important to A/B test every part of your email; from your subject line, to your email body and signature. A/B testing your email allows you to pinpoint the most effective strategies, and deploy them to your audience.

Consistently testing your marketing emails will allow you to create more effective marketing campaigns and drive higher conversion rates.

2. Wrap your gifts with care

Bad Moms Christmas

Please, pretty please, treat your email marketing campaign with more care than actress Mila Kunis in the movie A Bad Moms Christmas. Who knows, maybe if she treated that gift with more care, the movie might’ve scored more than a 5.6/10 on IMDb. We don’t want your email marketing campaigns to score a 5.6/10. We’re looking for that perfect score - 10/10. Now that we have a great gift, what else do we need to do?

We must make sure that the gift we’re giving customers in our email marketing campaign looks pretty. Because who likes opening an ugly present? Here’s a quick checklist to ensure your emails always look great:

  • Colors align with brand
  • Company logo present
  • Optimize preview text
  • Keep emails 500x650 pixels
  • Limit the amount of typefaces
  • Hyperlink text indicates URL destination
  • Footer includes company details and an unsubscribe button

Now that you’ve worked through the email marketing design best practices, your gift will be wrapped nicely and with care. Following these best practices ensures that your customer will receive an email that looks visually appealing and increases sales.

We have our present, we’ve wrapped it, so now what?

3. Make a list, check it twice

Santa list

We’re making a list, and checking it twice; Gonna find out who’s emailable and not. Email marketing is coming to town.

Before you send out your emails, it’s crucial that you check and clean your email list. If you don’t, you’ll waste resources on emails to accounts that will never open it. This will hurt your engagement rate and waste time.

Additionally, consistently sending to bad email addresses will lower your sender score. A lower sender score means that you’ll get worse inbox placement with good addresses, potentially landing you in the SPAM folder or even getting your domain blacklisted.

Year-over-year, around 20% of your email list will naturally decay, so if you send to bad email addresses, you’ll hurt your ROI. Below, you’ll see a depiction of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) throwing your unverified emails in the SPAM folder and blacklisting you.

Jingle all the way

Email checkers, such as Emailable, can verify your list and give you key metrics such as “deliverable”, “undeliverable” or “risky”. They’ll keep your emails from getting bounced. The best services will offer deliverability guarantees as high as 99%.

Have you ever heard about Santa delivering presents to the wrong house? Nope. He verifies his lists before delivering them. You should do the same to ensure that your customers are receiving your emails.

4. Timing is everything

Santa's coming

Sender consistency is key.

It’s important for your email marketing campaigns to deliver at the right time as well. If you send your emails at random times, with no consistency, your emails are more likely to be flagged as spam and not land in the inbox. ISPs protect against unusual activity, like massive email sends and sends at inconsistent times. You need to find a time that works best for your business, and stick to it. Additionally, it’s best to gradually increase to your desired total emails sent rather than all at once, which can look suspicious to ISPs.

Remember, consistency is key. Your customers will appreciate your consistency in their inbox as well, driving engagement and sales. When you’re a consistent sender, it shows your customers that you’re a reliable and trustworthy brand.

5. Spread cheer

Spread cheer

Spread cheer through email marketing. Well, you want your campaigns to spread cheer to your customers. They should feel better after reading your email than they felt before. Your goal should be to spread cheer…because it drives high engagement rates and sales. Not only that, but when your customers are cheerful about your company, they’re more likely to recommend it to their friends.

In fact, 78% of people share their favorite recent experiences to people they know at least once per week. Other studies have shown that 90% of people are more likely to trust a brand recommended by another person. If you can get your customer cheerful about your company, your sales will skyrocket.

How can we spread cheer in emails? Here are some quick ways to make your customers feel cheerful:

  • Don’t waste their time.
  • Personalize their emails with information you’ve collected about them and their preferences. Who wants to open an email that says “Hello Customer”? 🤮
  • Personalize the email signature with a real-life person’s name. Most people don’t like talking to robots. People are more likely to read and respond when they think the email is coming from an individual person.
  • Speak like a human, with personality. The more your brand can differentiate itself from the competition, the better. No one wants boring marketing emails.

Great, now we know how to spread cheer in our email marketing campaigns. I think it’s time for a review.

Summary

Phew - Santa’s top 5 went quickly. As they say, time flies when you’re having fun. Let’s go over a quick summary, just in case you skipped to the bottom of the post:

  1. Make a great gift
    • Your email needs to be something valuable to your customers.
  2. Wrap your gifts with care
    • Go through the checklist to ensure your emails always look stunning.
  3. Make a list, check it twice
    • Verify your email list, as lists decay by around 20% per year.
  4. Timing is everything
    • Sender consistency is key.
  5. Spread cheer
    • Personalize your emails, add your personality, and spread joy.

If you follow these proven email marketing best practices, you’ll have an incredibly successful campaign. There’s no way the Grinch (or your boss) will be able to steal your Christmas bonus.

Santa dancing