Guest post by Bibi Lauri Raven.
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing tactics, if done correctly. Sadly, on average, over 30% of newsletters—even those your potential customers have opted into—will never reach their inboxes. Spam filters are continually evolving, and that can mean bad news for your business.
One of the best ways to keep your messages out of the automated spam folders of web-based emails is to keep customers engaging with your emails.
Follow these steps to create appealing emails that customers and clients won’t ignore, delete, or flag.
Email Marketing To Protect Against Spam
Sending too many emails eventually turns off your subscribers. This is how your servers get pinged as spam by (potential) customers. Once you’ve been blacklisted, more ISPs will have you flagged as spam. With automated web-based email getting smarter, your emails could be going into the spam folder without you even noticing.
A simple blacklist check can help you determine if you’re already on a blacklist. From there, follow the instructions of the original ISPs to get off the blacklist. Good email practices include a straightforward opt-out process, and avoiding spam-triggering words like “DEAL” “EXCLUSIVE OFFER” and “THE BEST RATE” in your subject lines.
Search online for current spam trigger words before you craft that email. By contacting the ISP that has blacklisted you, you can learn precisely what practices are putting you in the spam folder, and how to stop them.
Using email marketing tools for automation rather than a weekly newsletter allows you to send time- or action-triggered emails to subscribers with the information they need to engage with your product or services.
This makes it easier to align marketing efforts with sales goals and helps to build brand loyalty with the consumers more likely to find value in your business. It creates a natural sales funnel, and also allows you to collect data on your ideal customers, craft more effective follow-up emails, and more accurately measure customer engagement.
Progressive profiling allows you to use data you have from various customer groups to send them emails, deals, and newsletters that speak directly to them, and encourages them to click your links, read your material, and visit your business. You can do this in one of two ways: direct or indirect profiling.
Direct Profiling: With direct profiling, you ask questions and have customers provide answers. This can be done using surveys, quizzes, or questionnaires. The information is then added to the user profile on your list.
Indirect Profiling: Indirect profiling creates categories in the email. For example, you have two links on your site, or in an email. When a reader clicks one, that choice is added to their profile as an indication of preference.
Segmenting Your Mailing List
You’ll want sign up buttons strategically placed on your site. They should be visible and accessible all over your website, and across social media platforms. Keep a consistent style, and make it simple to sign up.
You can further personalize your customer engagement by segmenting your mailing lists. Keep separate records for each marketing campaign, and each platform where you’re gaining subscribers. Take the time to craft specific customer personas for various targeted groups.
If you own an antique shop, you don’t just target collectors. Eclectic young artists might love the quirky finds in your shop, but they don’t want the same emails as the veteran collectors, who won’t respond to the same emails that might tempt the young craftsmen and women who are looking for something distinctive.
Collecting data on your various customer personas allows you to personalize your marketing campaigns.
Using an A/B Testing Campaign To Understand Your Responses
A/B testing, also known as split testing, means maximizing your leads through experimentation. There are many factors to a successful email campaign. Timing and successful profiling can help, as can using just the right subject line.
You can test your email campaigns before you start by running two different subject lines and collecting data on which results in more leads. You can also do this if you’re testing between two offers, different times to send your automated emails, and other aspects of your marketing plan.
A/B testing is a quick, low-cost and effective method for optimizing your marketing campaigns. You can find several (free) tools designed for A/B testing of titles, calls to actions, and more.
Get Your Landing Pages Right
Landing pages are where it all happens. You want something visual, and beautiful, but clean and uncluttered. Given the percentage of emails opened on small-screen mobile devices, keep in mind that your email should be readable across platforms. (More on that below.)
While your subject lines need to be perfect, the headlines, and subheadings in your email are even more critical. Of course, to protect against spam claims, add contact info to every email, and a physical address so that customers can contact you. You can also add clear instructions on how to unsubscribe, so readers will do that instead of flagging your messages as spam.
Use Responsive Cross-Platform Email Design
Currently, only about 19% of emails are opened using a desktop program. Most are open on mobile, with the second-highest percentage going to a web-based mail client. What does this mean for your email campaign? It would help if you had something responsive.
Using CSS media queries, you can set your emails to adjust images, and sizes, to make it easier to read on a mobile device or web-based mail client. That makes your subscribers more likely to open your email at the office, on the go, and wherever they find it.
Successful email marketing campaigns can be a cornerstone of your business. With over 30% of all emails sent never making it to their destination, getting the email right is an essential part of your marketing plan.
Estimations suggest that with the right email service provider, you can earn $38 per every dollar spent on an email marketing campaign. That’s a serious return on investment. So stay out of the spam folder by giving customers the kind of customized and personal experience that will build brand loyalty and improve your business.
Bibi Raven is an Internet addict and ukulele enthusiast, navigating her way through the treacherous jungle that is online marketing. She blogs about useful online tools over at What Is My IP Address. When she’s not getting distracted by the next shiny object, she connects ideas, people and businesses. Bibi regularly tries her hand at beating her son on the Nintendo Switch, always having to face the one cold hard truth: she never will.