Tis the season of finals for students of all ages who are wrapping up the school year (or even their school careers). With that in mind, we wondered what would happen if retail marketers were to be given a final featuring a single question - Can you list 10 tips for a  successful email marketing program?

Following is what we would consider an A+ list, along with some explanation:

1) Modal acquisition and Welcome Series

List attrition is unavoidable, so you must continually acquire new subscribers. There's no better way than by implementing a modal popup on your website. It's also important to then immediately engage new subscribers with a series of welcome emails that also offer the opportunity to validate email addresses, provide discount codes for any incentives offered in the popup, request more information about subscribers and reinforce your brand.

2) Mobile-first design
More and more of your subscribers are opening your emails on mobile devices, and a reported 70% will delete your email if it doesn’t look good on those devices. If you’re like most email marketers, you can’t afford not to become familiar with and implement responsive design best practices.

3) Symbols in subject lines
Your competitors are sending more and more emails, so you must make yours stand out in the inbox. While symbols in subject lines don’t work for everyone, it’s worth testing subject lines with and without them, and if they work, getting familiar with when and how they work best for you.

4) Personalized recommendations
The eTail Group reports that 77% of online shoppers make additional purchases when presented with recommended products that match their individual preferences. Use the wealth of customer data you have at-hand to get the right products in front of your customers at the right time.

5) Automated, recurring messages
Creating emails with personalized recommendations can be time-consuming, but you can now automate email blasts that are created dynamically to feature personalized products and then send them over and over again - which leads us to…

6) Frequency
A recent Listrak-sponsored study shows that online shoppers are open to receiving more emails if they feature personalized products and help make shopping easier. Automated, personalized campaigns like Monday Markdowns, Top Sellers Tuesday, What’s New Wednesday and Customer Favorites Friday will give you the opportunity to merchandise the products you want to promote - and that each individual shopper is interested in - on a regular basis.

7) Multi-pass sends
Save time and money by automatically resending emails to non-openers. Test when to re-send the email and whether or not changing the subject line improves opens. With this simple strategy, you can literally double a campaign’s revenue at a fraction of the cost of creating a new campaign.

8) Browse & Abandon data
Hopefully you’re already remarketing to your shoppers who abandon their online carts with emails enticing them to complete the sale. Now, you can do the same for serious shoppers who browse your site but do not begin the purchase process.

9) Ratings and Reviews
Studies show that 70% of Americans read reviews before making a purchase decision. Why not incorporate positive product reviews into your email campaigns to help boost revenue? To optimize this tactic’s success, be sure to make email review requests a part of your post purchase marketing strategy, too.

10) Opt-down
As noted in our first point, you will always have unsubscribes, but why not try to retain subscribers by providing them the option to select what they want to receive and how often? Frequently, this will keep them from unsubscribing altogether and increase subscriber engagement.  

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