email best practices

Does Your Email Marketing Campaign Have the Right BITS?

When it comes to a successful email marketing campaign, it will pay off in the long run if you adhere to the right BITS in your email marketing best practices. And yes, you’ve probably guessed it: BITS is an acronym to help you remember four key factors that will ensure the success of your email marketing strategy:

Subscriber Preferences

Brevity: If email marketing isn’t a format that is made for “short and sweet” I’m not sure what is. In fact, in the world of email marketing, a better expression might be, “short IS sweet.” People want to get through their email quickly and are increasingly using preview panes and subject-line scans  to decide whether or not to read further, open the email, or simply delete without another thought. So as an email marketer, this means meeting an additional challenge in order to get your emails opened to achieve maximum ROI from your email marketing campaign. It’s essential that your email messages get straight to the point AND create intrigue and interest, which will lead to higher email open and click-through rates! Short and snappy subject lines are the first way to make your emails stand out and ensure ease of preview pane readability. Well-written and relevant subject lines also illustrate the main point of your email message. See our post on how to create compelling subject lines for more.

Interactivity: The number one goal of your email marketing campaign is engagement. Because engagement leads to increased subscriber interest, loyalty, and ultimately, for you, increased ROI. And nothing engages the recipient like the opportunity to do something. Give them clickable links that lead to your website or product offering. Tease your subscribers with a little info to start (which satisfies BITS rule #1 – BREVITY), and then provide a link to the full story for increased click-through rates. Provide one-question polls or surveys that they can answer and participate in. Engage your subscribers and lead them into taking an action. If there’s interaction at the inbox level, you’re off to a great start. Inbox interaction tells the ISP your email was welcomed by the recipient, and you’ll continue to be allowed into that inbox. And there’s a ripple effect: If enough people don’t engage, that can reflect universally on the entire domain, and can lead to decreased email deliverability.

Trackability: One of the increasingly important features of email marketing is the ability to track and mine the data that you receive from your subscribers. Who are your subscribers? Where do they live? What are their buying habits? What devices do they use to read their email? What browsers are most popular? When do they open and click through your emails? Gathering, and most importantly, using this data in segmenting your lists and specifically targeting email marketing campaigns to different groups of users will increase the overall relevance and interest in your messages.

Subscriber Preferences: Here at ClickMail Marketing, we talk often about the importance of using preference centers to allow the subscriber to set the guidelines of your communication with them via email. When you allow subscribers to self select, segmenting themselves and giving them control over how often they hear from you and with what content, they are more receptive to your emails because your emails are more relevant. Relevance, and therefore engagement, has always been important for email marketing effectiveness. And overall, this will affect your email deliverability too.

Keep it simple – all you have to do is remember the four BITS of a successful email marketing campaign going forward for increased relevance, increased email deliverability, and ultimately, increased ROI.

Published On: November 11th, 2011Categories: Email marketing best practices

About the Author: Sharon

Sharon Ernst from is on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes. Her newest class on intermediate email copywriting covers 19 tips and techniques non-copywriters can put to use right away for better results. The class has real-life examples and before/after comparisons to make the lessons stick. Find her class at When she’s not busy helping employees, managers and marketers master their writing skills, she and her husband are busy raising pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables on their 20-acre farm.

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