Every marketing email has a simple job: drive customer engagement and conversions. Easier said than done, right? While many emails stay stranded in the barren wasteland that is the ignored promotions inbox, there are ways to garner attention and drive sales. It all starts with implementing a few email marketing best practices. Start with the basics and build from there. Email marketing boasts the lowest cost per conversions, so there is nothing to lose, and serious earnings to gain.

1. Plan Ahead – Schedule Your Emails

No one has ever crafted a successful marketing campaign flying by the seat of their pants. With email marketing, planning ahead is crucial, especially if one of your goals is a recurring newsletter. Be consistent and send out your emails on a scheduled time frame. For most businesses, weekly planned emails or daily updates are just fine. Planning emails gives you the freedom to create content ahead of time while offering subscribers a bit of familiarity in when to expect something in their inbox.

2. Be Consistent With Branding

Personalizing your emails through Outlook email templates or Gmail templates is an easy way to speak to your audience while leveraging a voice for your company or platform. Stick to a designated color theme, typeface, or email signatories for your templates. Just make sure the templates match the overall vibe of your brand or campaign. If you’re not sure where to start, opt for free Outlook email templates or templates that work with whichever email platform you are planning to utilize. Strive to use the same templates consistently so your readers know what to expect.

3. Don’t Be Afraid To Get Personal

Just like in any aspect of marketing, email campaigns and newsletters work best when they are relevant and timely. This all starts with a dose of personalization. There are many ways to personalize emails, starting by inserting the first name of the subscriber and segmenting your audience. For example, if you run a screenprinting company, you could use a subject line such as “Joe, Enjoy $20 Off Your First Screenprinting Order of $50.” This engages the reader with a bit of personalization and offers relevant information that will convert clicks.

4. Optimize For Mobile

Nothing is more detrimental to an email marketing campaign than failing to optimize your emails for mobile. More and more people are opting to shop from their phones and devices rather than a personal computer. Additionally, most people tend to check their emails on the go or when they have a quick breather from work. An email template that is not optimized for mobile will be difficult to read and likely deleted. If it is engagement and clicks you crave, mobile optimization is the way.

5. Avoid Looking Like Spam

A great email marketing campaign is pretty futile if it ends up in someone’s spam folder. If your emails look like spam, they’ll be snagged by spam filters and your entire email campaign could be blocked. This is bad for business and your overall reputation. How can you avoid spam in your email marketing campaign? Start with the basics: don’t write your subject line in all caps, don’t use “$$$” symbols profusely, and avoid an over-abundance of exclamation points. In your email templates, always include a valid unsubscribe option, a physical mailing address, and a clearly assigned “from address.” These best practices will keep you from becoming just another drop in the virtual spam bucket.