3 Powerful Tips to Better Email Marketing
As marketers we all agree that when it comes to online marketing or lead nurturing, email marketing is a very cost-friendly and effective medium. Companies from Walmart to the corner deli are engaged in email marketing initiatives testing everything from creative, offers, behavioral targeting, etc. Especially with Marketing Automation, companies are able to maintain a constant dialogue with their customers without heavily investing into time and resources.
But, whether you’re Walmart or own the corner deli, you face the same challenges when it comes to delivering your emails viz. how to avoid SPAM filters. According to the Message Anti-Abuse Working Group, 88-92% of the email messages sent in the first half of 2010 were spam (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-mail_spam). So, how do you ensure that your email doesn’t end up getting trashed in some spam folder.
Well, here are 3 simple tips to deliver a better email marketing experience and improve your chances.
1. Choose Your ESP Wisely
Unless you are delivering the emails yourself using Outlook, your choice of an Email Service Provider (ESP) is crucial to the delivery of your email. What you want to look for in an ESP are the following:
a. Find out what kind of relationships they have with vendors like Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, MSN, etc. i.e. with companies who control a bulk of the email volume. There are ESPs who have a Tier-1 relationship with these vendors making it easier to deliver email.
b. How aggressively do they manage their reputation. The better the reputation of the ESP, the higher the chance of the email being delivered when sent through their servers.
Here’s a list of some of the most reputable ESPs (in no particular order)
Net Atlantic (SaaS-based reseller of the Strongmail platform)
2. Use a Creative yet Non-spammy FROM Email Address
A lot of companies don’t realize the importance the FROM address plays in email delivery. For the untrained deli owner, it’s easy to use an email address like firstname.lastname@example.org
as his "From" address and send the emails through an ESP. However, this is the equivalent of sending someone a piece of mail using your neighbor’s from
address. Email servers are setup to detect this as email spoofing, and will mark such email as SPAM.
That’s not to say that you can’t use a custom FROM address. There are a couple of ways to do this effectively using either an SPF record (Sender Policy Framework) or DKIM, both of which require a discussion of their own.
3. Create Powerful and Relevant Subject Lines
When it comes to subject lines, there’s no magic bullet, but there are tons of best practices. A subject line acts as an elevator pitch for your email summarizing everything in 50-70 characters. A cleverly crafted and well thought subject line allows you to:
- Creates an emotional bond to your brand
- Creates instant engagement
- Entices your users to open and read the email
- Helps you steer clear from SPAM filters
Remember, for every 10 emails that the user receives, 9 are irrelevant. So, you have a few seconds until the person decides whether to open and read your email or hit delete! So, make the most of it, by creating a thoughtful subject line.
Here are some resources that will help you get started.
15 Rules to Write Them Right
Seven Dirty Words You Can’t Say in Email Subject Lines
Beyond this, your choice of content and offer also plays a role in email delivery. Assuming you aren’t using “spammy” words or phrases and not pushing offers for “Viagra”, you stand a pretty good chance delivering your email if you follow the 3 simple tips above. Just make sure you are communicating with the right audience!