Four Resolutions Every Email Marketer Should Make in 2019

New year, new resolutions!

Nope, we’re not talking about finally dropping those 5 pounds that you’ve been swearing to lose since 2014.

Instead, it’s email marketing resolutions that we’re concerned with.

And yes, we know it’s already the second week of January, but we all know how resolutions go! We figured you might want a quick re-do after ditching some of your more… lofty… plans.

So, if you’re ready to up your email marketing game in 2019, this is the perfect way to get started!

1. Write Trustworthy Subject Lines

Everyone knows the first rule of email marketing: Your subject lines need to be intriguing!

There’s one caveat, though…

You don’t want to overhype your subject line or mislead your customers, only to disappoint them once they click through and read your actual email.

You might be surprised to know that this actually happens quite a bit. In fact, statistics show that 54% of consumers have felt “cheated, tricked or deceived” into opening a promotional email by that email’s subject line…

Here are a couple of examples:

Subject line: The One Tried-And-Tested Method To Generate 204% More Leads With $0

Email body: Asks contact to buy a $1,000 course where they can learn the method.

This one’s pretty obvious – the subject line implies that you’ll reveal the all-mighty method in the email, but when contacts click through, they realize they’ve actually got to pay $1,000 in order to get the information.

Wouldn’t you feel like you’ve been cheated? 🙁 

Subject line: I’ve been waiting to meet a man like you forever…  

Email body: Talks about how by signing up to XYZ dating site, you can meet someone who’s been waiting to meet a man like you forever.

Now, why would you invent a fictitious person and write an email to your contact in their name? Just… why???

Yep, you want to pique your contact’s curiosity. But there are better ways of doing this!

Subject line: Thanks for your order!

Email body: Talks about a contact’s “future order”.

This is a real-life example – a furniture retailer actually sent their contacts a “receipt from the future” to promote a sale. Check it out:

Now, it’s not tough to figure out what the marketer was thinking…

“Hey, transactional emails always get high open rates. Let’s make a fake transactional email, so that our contacts can see how much they can potentially save with this sale!”

I’ve got to admit… that’s pretty smart. But put yourself in your contact’s shoes:

You open your inbox, and notice a mysterious “Thanks for your order” email from a store that you don’t remember purchasing from.

Now, remember all the data breaches that took place in 2018. You might assume that your credit card has been stolen, and that the thief is currently on an online-shopping spree. *Cue the hyperventilating*.

You quickly open the email, only to realize it’s a fake email engineered to get you to click. Whaaaat?

Here’s the bottom line: 

Crafting intriguing subject lines is important… but maintaining your contacts’ trust in you is EVEN MORE so. 

So, remember: don’t mislead your contacts with your subject lines! 

2. Proof Before Sending

This is pretty straightforward, so we’re not going to dwell on it much.

We ALL know we should proof our emails before sending them, but we don’t… simply because we can’t be bothered. 

Well, think about it this way:

If you slip up and make a mistake, that’s THOUSANDS of people (or however many people you have on your list!) who are going to be privy to that mistake.

Plus: once you make a mistake, there’s no way of taking it back. 

So stop being lazy and take the time to proof your messages with our simple 2-step technique to avoid mistakes!

Start by previewing your message, then send out a test email – all right from within the Sendlane email editor:

This is a quick and easy way to avoid embarrassing email mistakes with minimal effort!

3. Use Fewer CTAs

When it comes to CTAs, the “more is more” adage does NOT apply.

Most marketers know this on an intuitive level, but they still fall prey to using too many CTAs in their email.

You start off with your primary CTA – maybe you’re asking your lead to sign up for a webinar.

Then you think: oh, I might as well ask them to check out the new eBook we’ve just released. That’s your second CTA.

Then you think: we’re trying to build our following on Twitter, so maybe I should ask our contacts to follow us as well? Enter a third CTA.

Well, here’s the thing: using multiple CTAs can be extremely counter-productive. When you give your contacts too many options, they end up not taking action at all.

Now, if you’re sending a round up newsletter, it makes sense to include a link to each piece of content.

But when it comes to promotional emails, the fewer the better!

See how clean and streamlined this message looks?

There’s absolutely no confusion about what Blu Dot wants readers to do here, making it that much easier for them to actually sell more ottomans.

So, in 2019, resolve to use fewer CTAs per email, and leave it at that! 

4. A/B Test The RIGHT Way

A/B tests are a godsend to marketers who want to optimize their email campaigns…

But unfortunately, plenty of email marketers are actually guilty of skewing their A/B tests (regardless of whether they realize it or not).

If you’ve ever:

  • Stopped your test early
  • Changed more than one variable in an A/B test
  • Ran A/B tests with only a handful of contacts

Then you definitely need to re-look those tests. (No shame, though – learning how to A/B test the right way is NO easy feat, and we’ve all made mistakes!) 

To learn more about A/B testing properly, read 7 Ways You’re Screwing Up Your Email A/B Tests.

A Final Word on Email Marketing Resolutions

Companies generate $44 for every $1 they spend on email marketing, so it’s crystal clear that email marketing can be extraordinarily effective.

This doesn’t mean that email marketing is fail-safe, though…

If you run your A/B tests incorrectly, confuse your contacts with multiple CTAs, and generally make a mess of your campaigns, then of course your email marketing efforts won’t be as successful as they could be. 

So pledge to adopt these four resolutions with us today, and see your email marketing results skyrocket!

Kristen Dahlberg

Content Manager at Sendlane
As a member of the Sendlane content marketing team, Kristen focuses on everything from organization to content curation and process improvement. She enjoys variety and the challenge of learning the best way to accomplish each new goal.

Outside of work, Kristen spends as much time as possible at the beach, soaking up the San Diego sunshine!