Looking for ways to improve email marketing? Here are 15 of the best Email Marketing practices to improve your open rate and drive results.

1. Don’t purchase contact lists. ever.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. A healthy email campaign is dependent on a healthy open rate. Your emails’ performance will drop if you contact people whose information you purchased rather than earned from a previous interaction.

2. Avoid using ‘No-Reply’ in the sender’s email address.

Never use the words “no reply” or anything similar as your email sender’s name, for example, “noreply@imaginethis.com”.
This only prevents recipients from responding or opting out of further emails, which they have the right do to at any time. Rather have your automated emails come from a first name. Your customers will more likely open an email knowing it’s from another human being.

3. Stick to fewer than three typefaces.

Keep your email simplistic. Avoid clutter and stick to fewer than three fonts or typefaces.

4. Optimize the email’s preview text.

Avoid keeping the “can’t see images” link in the preview text of your email. This could ruin your open rate as you’re basically telling your recipients that your email might not work.

By default, preview text displays the first several words of the email body and recipients can see this next to the subject line before opening the email. The problem is custom email templates tend to include conditional statements such as “can’t see images?” or “not displaying correctly?” in the top banner, allowing it to slip in the preview when the mailer is sent.

5. Include an email signature.

People are naturally more inclined to pay attention and read an email that feels more personal. Adding your email signature is a great way to achieve this.

6. Clean your mailing list regularly.

Some recipients may not opt-out, but still never bother to open your emails. Although, it seems ideal to email as many people as possible to reach more prospects, keeping your least-engaged email contacts may do more harm than good on your open rate.
People who don’t open your emails make your campaign look worse since you’re not analysing the quality of your campaign against your loyal and engaged recipients.
Rather cut off dead weight to give yourself a cleaner contact list and more accurate opening rate.

7. Keep the main message and call-to-action above the fold.

Around 70% of recipients won’t see your main call-to-action (CTA) if It falls below the fold. Also keep in mind, any CTA should ideally be repeated at least three times in various places and formats throughout your email.

8. Personalize the email greeting.

You’ll more likely open an email with a more personal greeting, right? The same goes for your recipients.
Invest in an email marketing tool that will allow you to configure your email greeting to automatically include the name of the people on your contact list, so that everyone receives a personal version of the same message.

9. Keep your email 500-650 pixels wide.

Email templates wider than 650 pixels will then require users to scroll horizontally to read your entire message – and no one wants that. This is even worse for a recipient who is reading your email on their mobile device. Therefore, keep your email 500-650 pixels wide.

10. A/B test different subject lines and calls to action.

If you’ve noticed a decline in your email’s open and click-through rates, there are a couple of things to take a look at.
1. You might be emailing to wrong people
2. Did you buy your contact list (hopefully not!)
3. You might need to improve the content of your email

Conduct an A/B test to find out more of what your audience would more or less likely react to.

11. Put your logo in the upper left-hand side of the email.

Whether its centered or on the left-hand side, remember to include your logo, as branding the header of your email reminds your recipients that the mailer came from you and is part of a series.

12. Use incentives to increase open rates.

Incentives in subject lines are proven to increase open rates by as much as 50%. However, be careful not to overwhelm your readers or come across as “spammy”. Try and keep it personal.

13. Allow recipients to subscribe to your newsletter.

If your current subscribers love your content and forward your emails to their friends, you’ll want to make it easy for them to subscribe to your newsletter too. Add a small but visible CTA that allows an email viewer to subscribe to the newsletter if they received it from someone else. Just ensure this “subscribe” button doesn’t distract or confuse your contact list from the main goal of your mailer.

14. Write compelling (but concise) subject lines.

A good subject line creates a sense of urgency and has between 30-50 characters, including spaces. Anything beyond this length often gets cut off by email accounts and mobile devices. Remember to always give your readers an idea of what they can expect once they open your email.

15. Use auto-responders for opt-ins.

Try setting up an auto-responder to remind people they have opted in to your email database. The auto-responder should be sent out one day, five days, and 10 days after the person has registered.
Here you can include additional content or bonus material to reward the reader for opting into your newsletters.