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Great emails share a lot in common. Each element builds off the others, and it takes a cohesive effort to make something truly special.
Think about it.
Your email content must be creative and visually appealing to maintain audience retention, and your calls to action (CTAs) must be top notch to spark engagement. However, nobody will ever see your designs or cleverly crafted CTAs if they don’t open the emails first—that means nailing your subject line and preheader text as well.
With so many components to consider, it can be a bit overwhelming to consistently deliver first-class email campaigns. We get it. At Twilio SendGrid, we eat and breathe email but still must keep in mind email content creation best practices every time we whip up a message.
Below, we’ve compiled all our tips and know-how to help you create amazing campaigns. Every. Single. Send. Follow these best practices to see everything from your open rates to your bottom line go up and to the right.
So why does following email content best practices even matter? Doesn’t it seem a bit tedious to reference a checklist of best practices every time you create an email campaign?
While getting all the nitty-gritty details will certainly add time to your content creation process, we believe it’s a nonnegotiable part of crafting emails. Here’s why:
Ensure you nail every element of your email campaign by following an email marketing checklist. It’ll give you step-by-step instructions on taking your email from start to finish. Although fairly obvious, following a detailed checklist will also help you avoid missing any silly mistakes—such as sending to the wrong list or forgetting to update your preheader text.
Templates can help streamline the email content creation process. So make your life easier by building a reliable list of templates to use for your different email campaigns (e.g., product announcements, event sign-ups, email newsletters, etc.). Check out our free email marketing templates to find the perfect design for your emails.
Customers will open your emails across various clients and devices—so use a responsive design that’ll look great wherever they open it. By using a prebuilt responsive template, it makes it easy to swap content in and out without breaking structural code.
When you personalize your emails, you make them more relevant to every recipient. However, this goes beyond just adding their first name:
Your emails should be an extension of your brand. So use your brand’s logo, colors, illustrations, and voice in your emails to keep everything consistent for your audience. After all, the experience of opening and reading an email should be similar to visiting your website.
Email shouldn’t be a stand-alone marketing channel. So integrate your campaigns across channels for an omnichannel marketing presence. Collaborate across social media, SMS, customer support, web, and paid advertising to keep your messaging and campaigns consistent.
Count your CTAs before you send. Because while you might like to give your audience options, it’s best to limit your emails to a handful of CTAs (ideally, 1 or 2). Too many buttons will distract your readers and decrease the odds of them taking any action.
Preheader text (aka email preview text) is probably the most underused piece of email real estate—yet, it’s one of the most crucial. Customize it to support your subject line and convince recipients to open your email and take a look inside.
Your email subject line is arguably the most important part of your email campaign—make it count. That means crafting and testing your subject line to maximize your open rates. Check out our favorite email subject lines for some inspiration.
Around 1.3 billion people live with some visual impairment, which makes it crucial that you design emails to be accessible for as many people as possible:
Test your emails to improve the customer experience and avoid adverse outcomes. While it’s essential to catch typos and misplaced commas, it’s more important to test the following:
Optimize every email by running A/B tests. We recommend testing the following:
By playing around with your subject lines, you get to see which resonates with your audience. You can also try sending from a different From address to see if a friendly name versus a company brand performs better.
Always analyze your past campaign’s metrics before sending them, as this is a critical opportunity to reflect on what worked and what didn’t. You might find that your last campaign had atrocious open rates compared to your average, helping inform a change with your subject line or preview text on your next send.
Want to consistently create top-notch emails that surprise and delight your audience? Give Twilio SendGrid’s email editor a try. It comes with the following features to help you nail the email content creation best practices we discussed above:
Sign up for a free SendGrid account to see for yourself—no credit card or commitment required.