While new advertising platforms and techniques are always developing, email marketing is still for many businesses the top-performing marketing channel in terms of return-on-investment. But before you can get customers to click through to your smashing website and make a purchase you’ve got to avoid being cast into the dreaded spam box first. Make sure the following tips are part of your email routine.
Go Legit with your Opt-In
The best practice for obtaining email subscribers is through a double opt-in process, where someone who provides an email address to you must then take the extra step of clicking an activation email to begin receiving messages. Do this and you can be assured your subscribers are:
But…maybe you bought your list (which is not ideal for many reasons) or accumulated some subscribers through other less-legitimate means; what do you do now? First, look at the metrics associated with those recipients. If they are opening and clicking your emails, then you can probably consider yourself safe and continue emailing them.
Focus instead on those who are not engaging. If they seldom/never open and it’s been a few months then it’s time to send those recipients a special “still there?” message. Ask if they’re still interested in your correspondence and get them to (re) opt-in by accepting your free download (make it something good!)
Add a whitelist us button in the body of your emails so your subscribers can be sure you don’t wind up in the spam bin. Many email service providers make this easy for you to include.
Who wants what?
Segment your subscribers based on their interests. They may not have all signed up for the same thing so be sure to send them separate emails pertaining to each groups’ demographic information and previous engagement behaviors.
Don’t use spam words
ISP’s routinely relegate businesses to the old junk bin based on spammy subject lines. Free, Credit, Sale, Click, Cure, Guarantee, $, Cash… these are all considered “spam words” so avoid them at all costs.
Subject line tip: pretend your recipient is physically in front of you – how would you “pitch” him? You probably wouldn’t use the tired subject lines from emails you delete on a daily basis.
This list is a couple of years old, but still a great reference for other words to leave out.
Stick with a consistent sending schedule. How often will be based on the type of customer you have and how newsworthy your “newsletter” actually is. But don’t send a weekly email for 3 months only to stop for the next 3 months. When you try to pick up again your subscribers may forget they ever opted-in and treat you like a spammer.
Clean the list
Learn to let go. This is really important for improving your “sender’s reputation” and keeping your domain from being blacklisted by ISP’s. Set your controls to automatically send a “Do we still love each other?” email once a subscriber has gone 6 months with zero activity. You can’t hold onto these people like you hold onto your dream of being a celebrity chef. Your emails are boring and your food tastes like glue.
Don’t make the breakup difficult
Make it easy for people to unsubscribe when they no longer want emails. You gain nothing by making them jump through hoops to get off your list, and you’re likely to get complaints filed if you do.
Listen to the feedback
The metrics provided by your email service provider are there to be used! Find out what days of the week are the best send times based on performance. Tie your subject lines to your open rates, and also to your click-through statistics so you can replicate successful formulas. Occasionally ask your readers for feedback on what they’d like to see in your newsletter, or what offers most appeal to them.
Getting the most out of your website requires you first get people to your website. Manage your email list with great care and it will reward you with engaged subscribers who become true advocates for your brand.
By Mark Holland exclusively for blockity.co
Business Writer - SEO & Marketing