27 Jun 2024

Are your marketing emails putting your organisation’s reputation at risk? If you frequently send emails that don’t meet best practice standards, not only do you risk alienating your members but you might be stopped from sending emails altogether.

Whether you’re contacting current or potential members, there are things you should be doing right that will improve your email deliverability, enhance their quality, increase reader satisfaction and reduce your reputational risk.

In this blog we share our top DOs and DON’Ts to help you deliver effective emails that safely reach the right people.

DON’T use attachments
  • Adding attachments increases the size of your emails and the risk that they will be caught by firewalls and filters that will stop them from being delivered. Host the attachments on your website and link to them using an attachment link within your content.
DON’T make your email too long
  • Not only do you risk content at the end of your email being cut off but long emails increase size and impact their deliverability. If you have a lot of information to share link to a page or resource article on your website where you can go into detail.
DO make sure that your marketing emails are legally compliant

The law varies depending on where you operate and where your audience is. Even if they’re already members it doesn’t mean that you can email them without permission. This is especially important if your email is about services beyond core membership - for example, paid events.

All these laws protect the rights of individuals and enforce the principle of consent and there are large fines for breaking these laws. 

  • United States: CAN-SPAM Act (2003) requires marketers to include a footer in their email newsletters with their organisation’s mailing address and an easy way to unsubscribe from future marketing emails.
  • European Union & UK: GDPR requires marketers to only send emails to people who have explicitly opted into receiving them. Wherever you collect email addresses for users who live in Europe you cannot automatically check the “opt-in” box - they must do this themselves. In the UK, these laws are implemented in the Data Protection Act (2018).
  • UK: PECR (Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003): these marketing regulations sit alongside GDPR and state that you can only send marketing emails to people who gave explicit consent or are current/previous customers who could have opted out when you first contacted them.  
  • Australia: The Spam Act 2003 and the Spam Regulations set out responsibilities under Australian law. Central to the rules is express and inferred consent.
DO run a permission pass campaign
  • This is a one-off email to your recipient list asking them if they still want to receive marketing emails. This double opt-in will reduce the size of your list but will also increase your open rates and clicks with more engaged readers. Wait a week or so, then opt out the people who didn’t open your re-permission email from your list. 
DO include copy that explains WHY the customer is receiving the email
  • For example, "You are receiving this email because you are currently opted in to receive the [insert name here] newsletter".
DO segment your email list & personalise your emails
  • You’ll get higher engagement if you cater messages to specific characteristics that you know about your members and prospects. Do you know your readers are interested in particular topics or have attended previous events? 
  • Create targeted lists and give them content they will engage with. Our email platform makes it easy to reach different groups and automatically pull content from your website that matches their interests. A single email can be set up to show personalised content for each person on the list. Drawing on content topics, conditional content, your content library and personalised widgets, it can be configured so that each individual sees content that’s relevant to them.
DO make sure that your emails are the right size
  • You might think your newsletter looks good but can you be sure how your readers are seeing it? Most email clients default to an email width of 600 pixels for desktop. While this rule dates back to when Microsoft Outlook was the dominant email provider and screens were smaller, it is still a good guide. Any content outside this area could get cut off or not display properly across different email clients. 
DO follow email best design practice
  • We could cover a lot here - from clean email layouts to writing short, compelling subject lines. Your email design must be consistent with your main brand so that users receive a seamless experience across channels. Your copy should also be clear, friendly and conversational. Make sure that your email images are the right size and that file sizes aren’t too large. MessagePipes templates make it easy to create clear email layouts that will engage your readers.
See how Pixl8 can help

Want to know more about how you can send compliant, risk-free emails that members will love? Get in touch with us and see how our team and technology can help.