Steering Clear of the Spam Folder
Emails continue to be an important marketing tool for most businesses. 80% of retailers say that email is their most effective customer retention tool, and 73% of millennials prefer it for business communication. That said, you might be looking at your stats and finding that your email open rate is not what it should be, and that far too many of your emails never make it to customers’ inboxes. Today, we’ve got some advice that will help keep you out of the spam folder.
Make Genuine Contacts
For starters, while you may be anxious about growing your contact list, resist the urge to purchase email addresses for marketing purposes. For one thing, it’s inauthentic, and customers can smell that coming a mile away. Nobody appreciates getting a marketing email they didn’t agree to receive—in fact, emailing potential leads without permission can even violate anti-spam laws, subjecting you to fines. The interactions most likely to be successful are organic ones built on mutual interest. So grow your list through genuine connections.
There’s a natural extension to organic list growth: when customer opt in, you can remind them to add you to their address books. Many of us set aggressive email filters nowadays, so being added to your customer’s contact list is an important step if you want to guarantee they’ll receive your messages.
Use A Service
It’s also a good idea to keep your branding consistent, so that recipients know right away who you are and don’t shunt you into the spam folder accidentally. To make sure your emails dovetail with the user experience you’ve crafted, use an Email Service Provider. ESPs offer professional and customizable designs, so you can ensure a contiguous brand experience between your various marketing platforms.
Another advantage of ESPs like MailChimp, Emma, Constant Contact and Active Campaign is that they’re approved bulk mailers, and can send to more people at a time than the average ISP will allow you to do. These services have worked with ISPs to be recognized as reliable domains, and they conform to legal requirements, automatically including features like unsubscribe links. ESPs also allow you to create custom mailing lists for clients with differing interests, a tactic called “segmenting.” They offer the additional benefit of detailed analytics.
Simplify and Segment
We’ve always encouraged our readers to keep design and content simple and clean on landing pages, and this holds true for email, as well. Stay focused on the call to action, and don’t overwhelm readers with huge blocks of text. Think about color, images, and typography, as well as message. Minimize links. After all, you want readers to respond to your call to action. There’s no point in directing them to someone else’s site, or confusing them by presenting so many options that your message is diluted. Instead, segment your email list and target specific groups of readers with simple, powerful email campaigns that match their interests. You’ll find your click-through rate is much higher.
Resist the urge to get cute with your email subjects. Misleading subjects are a big no-no when it comes to anti-spamming laws, and if that’s not enough for you, they just plain annoy customers. 50% of those surveyed complain of having been misled into opening an email. There are also certain subject terms that are an immediate turn-off. “Congratulations” is one, and “offer” is another. Talk your way around these overused words, and if your ESP offers a service that reviews your emails and provides a deliverability rating, pay attention to their advice.
Any time a potential lead marks your email as spam, their email provider makes note of it. That one fact should be powerful motivation to conform to customers’ preferences when designing email campaigns. Maintaining a good relationship with your leads keeps you on the right side of much larger entities, which in turn makes your emails more deliverable. So put some thought into sending emails that people can take at face value and will genuinely want to open, and emails will genuinely become a dialogue between you and your audience.