Email is ALIVE: Breathing new life into email marketing

This is week 9 of MDR’s Email Best Practices series

In week one of our series we asked the question: Is email marketing dead?

Survey4We agree. However, we know from experience that the old “batch and blast” method is a dead end for marketers, but following MDRs best practices can reinvigorate any email campaign. As the leading provider of email deployment services to the education market—and creator of the largest teacher online community—we have first-hand knowledge of the best practices that move the needle in opens, click-throughs and engagement for this audience.

Over the last seven weeks, we provided best practices that can give any email marketing program new life. If you haven’t been following along, click here to start at the beginning. Below we’ve compiled the key takeaways from our series into this helpful checklist.

Segment down to a unique audience

  • Make campaign goals specific, realistic, and measureable
  • Segment your list by narrowing to a specific unique audience
  • Tell them how YOUR product solves THEIR problem
  • Less than 50,000 is the sweet spot in email campaign size; segment until you get there

See Full Audience Segmentation Article

Personalization to stand out in the inbox

  • Personalize To and From address fields to improve opens and clicks
  • Customize emails with dynamic content to show relevance

See Full Email Personalization Article

Make every word count

  • Each element of email copy must be strong and work together
  • Sell the click-through, not the product
  • Fit 90% of your message within the subject line, preheader and headline
    • Subject lines should be concise and focus on identity, brand and user relevance
    • Pre-headers should work in unison with and appear below the subject line
    • Headlines should make a connection with the reader
  • Use a Value Statement to make a case for your offer and its benefit to the reader
  • Talk about THEIR benefit in CTA text

See Full Persuasive Email Copy Article

Design for the eye of the recipient

  • Ensure your emails follow basic best practices
    • Coordinate emails with landing pages to improve conversion
    • Use images sparingly to avoid spam filters and image suppression
    • Move CTAs “above the fold”
    • Offer a web version of your email
    • Use contrasting colors to improve email readability
  • Design for mobile first
    • Simplify emails by removing tables with too many links
    • Focus on one core message
    • Use a single column and reduce email width to 320-550 pixels
    • Leverage larger font sizes (14-16 pixels+ for body text)
    • CTA buttons should be at least 44×44 pixels
    • Headers should be 110×120 pixels
    • Send multipart MIME messages that can be viewed as HTML or plain text
  • Seed your list to see the recipients’s POV

See Full Email Design Article

Be a welcome sender

  • Know your Sender Score to ensure emails reach inboxes
  • Watch reply-to emails for deployment problems  
  • Manage hard and soft bounce-backs and regularly clean up your lists
  • Warm up recipient IP addresses to be a welcome sender

See Full Email Citizenship Article

Improve email performance through testing

  • Use message testing small wording changes make a huge impact
  • Test email design and layout to improve clickability
  • Test settings to target specific audiences
  • Fine tune send time for your audience

See Full A/B Testing Article

Integrate campaigns for better results

  • Use multiple channels for more impact
  • Focus on the channels where your audience is active
  • Keep brand, message, and design consistent
  • Make connections with each channel
  • Select the right channel for the job
  • Match channel and message to your goals

See Full Integrated Campaigns Article

Marketing will continue to evolve. New channels and outreach platforms will emerge. But our research consistently shows that educators rely on email as a resource to learn about new products and to stay connected with brands they trust. Email has earned its place as the backbone of any marketing campaign, and you can look to MDR to keep your email marketing program alive and thriving.

About MDR: Build your brand, champion a cause and/or inspire a child by leveraging our suite of email marketing, market intelligence, creative services, database and technology. Deliver relevant content and create meaningful connections with millions of educators, parents, and children who can benefit from your organization with our unique connectivity to the market. Speak directly to your desired audience through our WeAreTeachers, WeAreParents and EdNET communities. Align your brand with the most trusted partner in education marketing, MDR. Contact us today.


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