Email marketing is an art form. There is a lot to test and consider: timing, personalization, formatting, content and more. Before launching any campaign, it’s important to have a solid strategy in place.

This week, Stephan Hovnanian of Shovi Websites joined us for #SproutChat to share his top tips for building a quality list of email subscribers. Hovnanian offered sage advice for setting tactics to ensure you’re fostering a relationship built on trust. Our #SproutChat community weighed in too with some other wise recommendations. Here are three key takeaways from this week’s discussion.

Consider the Full Brand Experience to Increase Conversions

Email should be personal and direct. Customize your messages based on the customer’s stage in the buying cycle as well as the his or her previous engagement with your brand. Your emails should be interesting and relevant in order to compel the recipient to take the next step. While it’s important to scale your efforts through some automation, a smart segmentation strategy will enable personalization to offset sounding robotic.


Respect the Highly Coveted Inbox With Clear Expectations

When someone signs up to join your email list, state exactly what to expect. Also, let them out of the communications flow easily: The option to unsubscribe should be clear and easy to find. To help manage expectations and keep people in the fold, give them a few options by segmenting types and frequency of emails. Make it readily apparent that you are first and foremost offering something of value—and not just trying to make a sale.

Test, Test & Test Some More

Email tools have come a long way. Find one that offers the right metrics to give you insights into your audience. Test time of day, type of content, calls to action and anything else you can think of—but be careful not to bombard your email subscribers. Still, don’t let them forget about you either. With time and practice, patterns will reveal themselves so that you know clearly what is working and what is not.

One parting piece of advice from Hovnanian, which is worth adopting as your email mantra:

Hear more of Hovnanian’s advice through his posts “What to Do Next With Those Landing Page Emails” and “How to Tell if You’re Boring or Overwhelming Your Autoresponder List.”

Join Us

Next week’s #SproutChat topic will be “How to Host a Successful Webinar,” featuring Michael Patterson, Sprout Social’s Digital Marketing Specialist, who runs our partner webinar program. See you next Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 2 p.m. CT.