9 habits for email marketers to cultivate

Craft compelling CTAs, relentlessly A/B test, quickly welcome new prospects, and always offer meaningful value with your content.

Email marketing habits

Our habits often determine how well we perform in life and at work.

In 1989, Stephen Covey tapped into the profound importance of shaping healthy routines by writing “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Although Covey’s tome wasn’t written with email marketers in mind, the advice it offers can help those who agonize daily over subject lines, body copy and list segmentation.

Using Covey’s work as a springboard, here are nine vital habits of successful email marketers:

1. They craft a clear, compelling call to action.

What sort of CTA gets the job done? It “tells your readers exactly what you expect them to do next and reminds them why it’s in their best interest to buy,” Henneke Duistermaat writes at Copyblogger.

2. They never stop A/B testing.

“A/B testing, when done properly, is a game changer,” Blake Miller writes on the SalesForce blog. “It’s important to note that a true A/B test only changes one element at a time. This will allow you to pinpoint which pieces of content—such as the subject line, preheader text or button style—affect certain metrics.”

3. They are quick to welcome new prospects.

“It’s important to take advantage of the window of opportunity when your company or brand is at the top of your prospects’ minds,” Lindsay Kolowich writes on the HubSpot blog. “You can really get a pulse of what future engagement will look like by what people do when you email them within 24 hours of their subscribing to your newsletter, signing up for an offer, and so on. Plus, it’s a great opportunity for branding and setting expectations.”

Here are 10 helpful examples of successful welcome emails.

4. They offer customers value.

Value can come in many forms: It can be “a key insight, a touching story, a special offer or anything else that is relevant to your business and your audience,” says David Finkel at Inc. “What do you talk with your prospects and customers about when you’re with them in person? What do they care about? How do you touch their lives? This is the core of your email messaging.” 

5. They focus on fostering positive emotions.

“One of the oldest marketing strategies is to associate positive emotions with your brand,” Scott Posilkin writes on the AddThis blog. “The same idea is true for email. Surprise and delight campaigns remain a hot-button marketing topic because they work.”

Here are six ways to surprise and delight your customers.

6. They use the power of personalization.

“When you create relevant experiences using personalization, you get better results from your emails,” Movable Ink writes. “When you personalize elements of your marketing emails such as the subject line and email content, you’re speaking directly to your subscriber. If you’re using more advanced personalization information like location or past purchases, you’ve successfully created a relevant experience.”

7. They take subject lines very seriously.

“No matter what they say, people do judge emails by their subject lines,” Olivia Allen writes on the Hubspot blog. “In fact, 47 percent of email recipients decide whether or not to open an email based on subject line alone. That’s why it’s so important to craft subject lines that are compelling enough to get people to click through.”

8. They use the power of segmentation.

“Segmentation is what helps you stay relevant … with your ever-changing list and their ever-changing wants/needs,” Erik Harbison writes for ConversionXL. “If you don’t do email segmentation, you currently have one big list of emails. If you do email segmentation, you could have dozens of lists of emails. Why? Because you’ve taken that big list and broken it down into meaningful, useful segments.”

Want tips for successful segmenting? Here are 30.

9. They let their personality shine.

“The biggest email marketing mistake I see people are guilty of is not letting their own personality shine through,” Paul Jarvis writes for Zapier. “People probably signed up for your list because they liked your unique voice, your point of view, the way you do things that isn’t the same as everyone else. So, when you’ve got something to sell them, for Pete’s sake, keep your personality and voice shining through.”

Kristen Dunleavy is senior content marketing manager for Movable Ink. A version of this post first appeared on the Movable Ink blog.

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