It’s no secret that there is a right and wrong way to send an email. From writing your content all the way through to clicking the send button, there are a number of things to keep in mind when it comes to crafting the perfect email marketing campaign.

Depending on your industry and your clients, this list could be much longer. We’ve rounded up some of the top do’s and don’ts that can be applied to every business that uses email marketing.

Email Marketing Do’s:

Be timely: Emails are an effective way to communicate timely information. Don’t wait weeks after an event to send out a notice. If you want to share some of your latest news, do that as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the less it becomes “new” for your readers. And speaking of time, you should consider the time zones of your contacts. Some email programs will optimize to send at the best time, and others you will need to program manually.

Segment your lists: Even if you only have a hundred people on your contact list, segmentation can really improve your results from a campaign. Not all of your news will be relevant to your contacts, so it’s not always necessary to send it to everyone. We get it – some emails will be more general and should be sent to everyone. If you need help on determining which emails should be segmented, we’re happy to help.

Use multiple calls to action: Just like a website, an email should always have a call to action. It might be a “contact us” link, or a button to ask the reader to download a white paper or view the blog. Regardless of the action, you should always have the goal of bringing your reader back to your website.

Enable an opt-out button: As awesome as it would be to keep all of your contacts, it’s not entirely realistic. The material may no longer be relevant, or the customer has lost interest. Including an opt-out option in your email is a sure way to remain compliant with the not-so-unspoken email marketing rules, and provide your customer with an easy way out.  

Test before sending: This is probably the most important DO of email marketing. Test. Test. Test. And test one more time. Before you click send (for good), read through all of your content for typos. Check all of your links for 404’s and make sure your images look as they should. An email may look one way when you are crafting it, but could look completely different on a mobile device. Testing on multiple devices and browsers is the only way to ensure functionality.

Email Marketing Don’ts

Use boring subject lines: Subject lines are a tricky feat. Crafting something short and attention-grabbing takes practice, but is key in securing the open and click rates. Power words such as “New” and “Introducing” are proven to show an increase in clicks. Words like “Earn” and “Guarantee” don’t work as well. When you are crafting your email, use tools like CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer. It will score your email headline and tell you which words do and don’t work. It’s a game of trial and error, but eventually, you’ll get it.

Ignore mobile: Across multiple industries, more than 50 percent of people read and open emails on their phone. If your email marketing campaigns aren’t responsive to mobile devices, you risk losing that reader. Programs such as Emma and MailChimp offer mobile-friendly templates to ensure responsiveness. 

Send to contacts without permission: Never buy email lists. It may be a tempting way to build your contact database, but it won’t do you any good if the contacts remove you immediately or worse: report you as SPAM. This will affect your future results and can actually harm your email marketing account. If you have one too many spam reports, you risk being able to send out another email in the future.  

Send without testing: If you don’t test your email before sending, you risk a multitude of mistakes. This includes checking for any broken links, typos, and badly sized images. We all make mistakes, but too many and too often can harm your business.

Forget to track results: Tracking your results is imperative in adjusting future emails and campaigns. If you’re not tracking, how will you know what to change?