A lot of things change very quickly in the field of email marketing, especially as technology and techniques become increasingly sophisticated. But some things remain the same, and knowing which best practices remain relevant to email even to today will serve you well when it comes to getting the results you’re looking for. Site Impact is all about keeping what works best and adopting new strategies and technology when they make sense--and there’s always room for both.
Email best practices go back almost to the beginning of email itself; email marketing, after all, came along only a short time after email became a thing that people could do, even before it became a mass consumer service. In the early days, best practices evolved largely out of trial and error; as people discovered that recipients reacted well or poorly to a particular technique or strategy, marketers adapted. Prior to the development of concrete, government-generated regulations, key tenets found in CAN-SPAM, for example, were already best practices for many companies. As reporting became available, it became easier to see the connection between the strategy and the result, which led to more development of best practices that everyone in the industry knows to today. A lot of best practices that evolved in the field of email have become elevated to not just guidelines, but outright rules--for example, the timeframe for abandoned cart emails, or the number of emails to send per week based on which criteria. But it’s important to figure out which things you’re doing because they make sense, and which practices you can discard because they have no justification other than “that’s just how it’s done”.
Of course, the best practices when it comes to email do change in relation to consumer demand and existing technology. For example, it used to be best practice to send one email to as many recipients as possible, to get the word out; now, segmentation and personalization have changed the standard to targeted messages sent to specific subsets of your email list. So it’s important to make choices about which best practices from yesteryear are still relevant and worth holding onto. Ultimately, the practices that endure are the ones that serve the purpose of keeping customers happy and engaged, so when questioning which best practices to challenge or discard, the key concern should be: is this a practice that increases engagement, or is it something that just stands as “a rule”?
While the best practices for email marketing can change and evolve over time--and in fact, new technology makes it impossible for things to remain the same forever--there are a lot of old school practices that remain relevant over time, because they increase the satisfaction and engagement of the recipients on your list. It’s a good idea to question whether you’re doing something because it adds value or simply because you’ve been taught that it’s the way to do something--but where practices add value to your email marketing practices, it’s better to hold onto them until they aren’t helping you anymore. Contact Site Impact to hear how we hold onto tradition while adapting to new technology and strategies.