While email may not be the most cutting-edge or innovative method of communication, it has managed to stay relevant over the years.

In fact, it’s actually among the most efficient methods of marketing with an incredible return of roughly $38 for each dollar spent.

That said, the ubiquity of email makes it tougher than ever to stand out from the hundreds of other marketing communications a given user could be receiving every day. The strategies that were successful just 10 or even 5 years ago no longer apply. While following best practices like verifying email addresses and tracking key metrics are still essential, the businesses that adopt to the new environment will continue to be ahead of the competition.

Building an Audience

Email marketing is only as effective as the people it’s sent to. Your top priority should therefore be constructing an email list of people interested in your product or service. It was once common for businesses to simply purchase a list of emails, but this is no longer a tenable approach for a variety of reasons.

The best way to start adding names to your email list is simply to add a subscription form to your website, allowing interested users to sign up. This makes it easy for your audience to register for emails without targeting anyone who isn’t engaged with your brand. Many businesses offer discounts or other incentives to users who sign up for email communications.

You’ll also need to periodically review and trim down your email list by removing any inactive or invalid accounts that can negatively impact your sender reputation. There are many services available online that can do this quickly, and it may already be included if your business uses email marketing software.

Segmenting Your Email List

Just as you wouldn’t want to waste resources marketing to people who aren’t interested in your brand, you should also avoid sending all of your emails to every subscriber Segmented email communications see higher open and click rates and show users that you’re committed to providing them with valuable content.

It’s common for businesses to allow users to sign up for only specific types of email marketing, giving them the opportunity to receive the messages that are valuable to them. You can also use various email marketing programs to divide your subscriber list based on anything from occupation to age.

Focus on Mobile

Emails were once predominantly checked and written on desktop computers, but that’s simply no longer true. Nearly half of all emails are now opened on a mobile device, so any email that doesn’t display well on mobile is likely losing half of its audience.

As if that wasn’t enough, different mobile clients also display content in unique ways, meaning that you’ll need to test your communications on multiple platforms. Luckily, many of the email marketing programs you may be interested in for things like list segmentation and email verification also offer mobile email testing.

Email marketing is one of the oldest methods of online sales, but that doesn’t mean older methods are still effective. Updating your business’s email practices to stay current with the latest trends will help you reach out to customers and avoid making these common mistakes. Any company that stops innovating and improving on its approach will simply be left behind.