email marketing

It can be tempting around this time of year – just days into January, with another quarter ahead – to look back at the programs of months past and wipe the slate clean: to start campaigns afresh, if it means charting a newer, bolder course. Burning things down to rebuild; we’ve felt the impulse many a time ourselves. But while we empathize, we think there’s just as much to gain in revisiting and expanding on the mainstays – the basics, the fundamentals, the essentials.

Below are five of our evergreen tips for email, along with the assets necessary to put them into action. Give them a look, and put your best foot forward in 2016.

1. Show your subject lines love.

This may seem a straightforward enough suggestion, but it’s one that bears repeating, for the vital part subject lines play in the success of an email. Subject lines are there to entice, to encourage their reader to proceed further, and they deserve your utmost care and attention accordingly.

The best subject lines are short, to the point, benefit-focused, and honest about their email’s contents. Make them provocative with a clever turn of phrase or emphatic statement. Offer numbers, as these can bring shape and urgency to your message – a countdown of tips to try, a list of things to look for, etc.

Get to know subject lines like never before with our 12 Tips for Amazingly Effective Email Subject Lines.

2. Tailor your content to the individual.

Ours is a noisier world than most, and if marketers have any hope of getting themselves across to the prospects and customers they court, it’s incumbent on them to personalize their offers. They should think long and hard about their customers’ unique needs and expectations, and make every effort to draw on the data they’ve gathered on their buyers’ habits and preferences – extending surveys to those who’ve completed surveys previously, videos to those who share videos widely, and so on and so forth.

Learn to speak your buyers’ language with either one of these handy how-tos: 10 Ways to Nurture the Buyer’s Journey and Turn Your Website into a Lead Generation Machine.

3. Make mobile a priority.

The modern buyer accesses email across a wide array of devices – their mobile phones, their tablets, their desktops – and it’s crucial that you accommodate this multi-channel reality. After all: as of 2014, 53 percent of all opens occur on a mobile phone or tablet, in a 48 percent increase between quarters (Experian).

Look to make your emails responsive in their design (accessible on mobile phones and all other devices, with less overall effort). Keep your calls to action pithy. Invest in video where and when possible.

See firsthand How to Use Mobile Marketing to Generate Leads.

4. Segment your subscriber lists for greater variety and engagement.

As you set about personalizing your messaging, it’s crucial you make an equal effort to segment your lists – group like prospects with like, and leverage the behavioral data you’ve gathered (demographic and firmographic details) in your outreach, for a more tailored, intimate approach.

For a start, you’ll want to identify parameters for your ideal buyers: their job titles, education levels, departments, that kind of thing. From there, you might try tracing their online footprints, for a clearer picture of where they’ve been and where they’re headed – the pages they’ve visited, the webinars they’ve attended, the emails they’ve responded to.

Get more Best Practices in Segmentation today, and find out how to streamline your parameters further with Frictionless Forms and Better Landing Pages.

5. Be realistic about your goals and objectives.

As with any marketing program you oversee, your emails should keep to a concrete plan – one that accounts for your budget for the quarter, your overarching business objectives, your company’s bottom line. See to it in the new year that this plan more or less aligns with past efforts: consistent in its KPIs, realistic in its goals. It should be a strategy that won’t drastically change from month to month and that you easily can replicate as you forge ahead.

…and, measure what matters.

Start off your planning efforts strong in 2016 with these New Marketing Metrics for B2B, and dive even deeper into today’s world of data-driven marketing with our High Performance Marketing Guide (covering everything from staffing and team structures to budgets and analytics).