In the age of social selling, email seems to have lost some of its charm as a method for lead generation; however, it shouldn’t be overlooked. Email remains a great way to generate sales leads and convert more of your prospects into customers. Unfortunately, many times email gets a bad rap because best practices are not followed.

Best practices are there to help you properly engage with your prospects in a more likeable manner. Below are some best practices to help your email marketing efforts generate more leads.

Choose Subject Line Carefully – The subject of your email is the first thing the recipient will see; therefore, it’s important to choose one that will engage the reader. Keep it short, concise, descriptive, and to the point. Avoid using ALL CAPS letters because you don’t want them to feel like you’re yelling at them. Also, make sure to avoid spam filter trigger words.

Keep it Simple – Don’t over stimulate your audience. If you’re using too many different fonts, pictures, or words, then you will most likely lose the lead right when they open the email. Stick to your main point and drive it home with as little wording as possible. Also, too many pictures and fonts comes across as spammy and may cause the lead to ignore your email.

Stay Above the Fold – It’s important that you keep your main message and call-to-action above the fold. If you’re message and call-to-action falls below the fold, then as many as 70% of your leads will not see it.

Choose a Call-to-Action – It’s important to repeat your call-to-action. You want to ensure they know exactly what they need to do in response to your email marketing efforts. It’s also important that you don’t inadvertently add multiple calls to action. Do you want them to download the white paper, visit your pricing page, read the brochure, or call you? Which one of those actions is most important in moving the prospect toward a sale? Focus on one of those in the email. Don’t ask them to do all of them in one email.

Use A Marketing Automation Platform that includes Email Marketing – Using an email marketing tool will allow you to easily manage your email marketing efforts. When email marketing is part of a marketing automation platform (we use Lead Liaison), you can also get insights beyond bounce, open, and click through rates. You can see who is visiting what pages on your site. That’s gold for your sales reps when they call to follow up – they will know exactly what the prospect is interested in about your product or service.

Get and Stay Compliant with spam laws – The United States has had anti-spam laws in effect since 2003, and Canada recently enacted its own stringent anti-spam laws.

So, if you’re planning to run email marketing campaigns in 2015, keep these best practices in mind. Your marketing message is crucial to your business, so make sure it reaches your audience. If you need help with your email marketing, contact Jackson Marketing Services today!

Alanna Jackson is a founding partner at Jackson Marketing Services, a marketing firm located in Dunedin, Florida. In addition to her work at Jackson Marketing Services, Alanna is a founding member and editor of RabidOfficeMonkey.com. You can follow her on Twitter @alanna_jax. and on Google+.