9 Email Marketing Best Practices to Generate More Leads

    by Pamela Vaughan

    Date

    September 1, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    emailThis is a guest post written at Dreamforce by Jamie Turner, founder of the 60 Second Marketer. He is an in-demand marketing speaker and is currently writing a book entitled Go Mobile with Jeanne Hopkins, the director of marketing for HubSpot.

    I’m here at the Dreamforce event in San Francisco to learn about some of the new tools and techniques Salesforce.com and other vendors are promoting to businesses like yours. Some of the information I’ve collected is about cutting-edge tools like Heroku, Radian6, and Chatter. But I’ve also collected information about some of the more traditional marketing tools, most notably email marketing.

    While email marketing may not get the attention some of the newer tools get, it’s still a terrific way for you to generate leads and convert more prospects for your business. With that in mind, I wanted to share some email marketing best practices you can use to generate more leads for your business.

    9 Email Marketing Best Practices for Lead Gen

    1. Use Incentives to Increase Open Rates: When you include an incentive in your subject line, you can increase open rates by as much as 50%. “Free shipping when you spend $25 or more” and “Receive a free iPod with demo” are examples of good, incentive-focused subject lines.

    2. Stick to Fewer Than 3 Typefaces: The less clutter you have in your email, the more conversions you’ll experience. Don’t junk up your email with more than 2, or at maximum, 3 typefaces.

    3. Keep the Main Message and Call-to-Action Above the Fold: If your main call-to-action falls below the fold, then as many as 70% of recipients won’t see it. Also, any call-to-action should be repeated at least 3 times throughout the email.

    4. Keep Your Email 500-650 Pixels Wide: If you go wider than 650 pixels, then you’re asking users to scroll horizontally to read your entire message. That’s a no-no.

    5. Put Your Logo in the Upper Left-Hand Side of the Email: Eye tracking studies have found that people instinctively look for logos in the upper left-hand side of emails. Put your logo in the upper left-hand side to ensure it gets the most visibility.

    6. Write Compelling Subject Lines: A good subject line should contain no more than 30 to 50 characters. It should also create a sense of urgency, and it should give readers some indication of what to expect once they open the email.

    7. Use Auto-Responders for Opt-Ins: Be prepared for your readers to forget they opted in. Set up an auto-responder that reminds people they opted in to your email database. The auto-responder should be sent out 1 day, 5 days, and 10 days after the person registers. Each auto-responder email should include additional content or bonus material to reward the reader for opting in.

    8. Closely Tie Emails to Landing Pages: Your landing page should match the email in terms of headline, copy, and content. The look and feel of your landing page should also match the email. And make sure you’re utilizing tracking tools to see which emails and landing pages performed the best.

    9. Conduct a 5-Second Test: Send a copy of the email to a friend or business associate. Can they quickly tell what your call-to-action is? If so, you’re golden. If not, keep working.

    There are a lot of new tools in a marketer’s tool chest that are getting a good amount of attention these days. But don't forget about old, yet reliable and faithful tools that can still really help you get the most out of your marketing initiatives.

    What are your experiences with email marketing? Do you have any tips you’d like to share?

    Image Credit: Jonathon Narvey

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