Many factors affect how recipients view email from your company, such as frequency, sender, and the nature of the message. Nevertheless, there are tested principles for getting the most from the effort and money your company invests in email marketing.
Following are five basic tips to get better results from your email marketing. Implementing just a few of these tips will improve the percentage of your emails that reach your audience and get them to open your message.
- Write anti-SPAM. People only have the opportunity to open emails that first get past spam filters. Spam filters zap some 10-20% of emails even when people have given you permission to send email. Avoid using spammy keywords, ALL CAPS and multiple exclamation points!!! This advice goes for both subject line and message. If you use an agency, make sure they run emails through a SPAM check before sending them.
- Pay attention to subject lines. Write your subject line to tell what’s inside vs. trying to hard sell with an advertising headline. Unless people signed up with an expectation of getting sales promotions via email, they will tune out, turn off and delete blatant advertising from your company.
- Identify yourself. When recipients click the “This is spam” button in their email programs, it usually means they don’t recognize you. Make sure your “From” and “Subject” contain your company or brand name. Use your personal name if that’s what the person would remember.
- Keep your email list fresh. Too many hard bounces are a sure sign of a stale list. Hard bounces mean your email could not be delivered. The best fix is to keep in touch with your list regularly, at least once a quarter. Soft bounces usually mean the recipient is “temporarily unavailable, e.g., their mailbox is full. Also check your bounce reasons. Hard bounces could mean an address failed because it no longer exists. It could have been incorrectly typed when the person opted in to your list. But hard bounces might also be spam filter rejections. If you use an email campaign service (or agency), records will identify a bad address vs. a spam rejection.
- Be timely and relevant. Email delivery technology keeps advancing, but people don’t change. All the research we have seen confirms these principles: Personal messages are at the top of the interest scale, followed by affiliations and timely news. Most people are not interested in stale news, requests for money and offers that are too good to be true.