We’ve all been bombarded with nightmare emails.
They typically fall into two categories. The boring marketing email (that you didn’t opt-in for) that creates a distracting level of background noise in your inbox. Then there is the seemingly desperate yet uninformed, interruptive sales rep who knows exactly what you need and only needs 15-20 minutes of your time to tell you about it.
We know why those emails are horrible. They just don’t feel right—but there is more to email than just “feeling it out.” Email marketing is both an art and a science that takes time and practice to get right. Nailing down just a few of the best practices for email marketing can result in a huge return on investment (ROI) for your business.
On average, email marketing brings in a 4400% ROI, or $44 for every $1 spent. In fact, email marketing has the highest ROI of any digital marketing tactic.
The impact of email marketing goes way beyond delivering messages, monitoring open rates, and tracking click-through rates. Email marketing, when done correctly, can help you engage with your customers, increase your sales, and ultimately grow your business in ways you never expected.
Email is not going anywhere. With algorithms taking a stranglehold on our social feeds, email is one of the few places left where you can ensure that your message gets delivered.
That doesn’t mean deliverability is a guarantee. Here are six tips to make sure your email gets in front of your audience so you can begin to perfect your digital experience.
1. Choose a Marketing Automation Vendor with good email deliverability
An email doesn’t matter if it never makes it to the recipient’s inbox. Your marketing automation technology is essential to your email deliverability.
When evaluating marketing technology vendors for your email needs, did deliverability make your criteria list? Does the vendor require you to warm up your own IP? Or do they put you in with an already-warm shared pool? Depending on your needs, this can make a big difference.
Regardless, picking a vendor with a strong history of good email deliverability is crucial.
2. Clean your email list prior to uploading to your new vendor
Cleaning your email list prior to uploading with a vendor will be a cleansing process. It will take time, but it’s an important task to take the time to review and remove the email addresses that are more likely to bounce. Those people who haven’t opened an email in a while probably don’t need to make the switch with you (while you’re getting charged for those extra contacts, they’re hurting your chances of your email delivering to someone who wants it).
Many vendors require a list cleaning prior to uploading your entire database. Even if your vendor doesn’t require this, it’s a best practice. You’ll want to start off your new relationship on the right note.
3. Segment your email list by valid contacts and recently engaged contacts
Segmenting email marketing lists can improve open, click-through rates, and conversions. Segmenting your email list is the practice of dividing your email list into groups based on characteristics like interests and demographics. It provides the opportunity for increased personalization, sending emails to the right person, giving them information that they want at the right time.
You can then proceed with emailing smaller groupings of your larger database for the first send. By sending in smaller batches and focusing on the most engaged contacts first, you can prevent deliverability issues from occurring.
Did you know: According to Campaign Monitor (see infographic below), 78% of marketers say list segmentation is the marketing automation feature they can’t live without.
4. Ensure contacts that bounce or report as spam are removed from future mailings
Not all marketing automation platforms suppress email addresses that bounce or report as spam. Find out if your marketing automation vendor automatically removes emails that bounce or report as spam. If not, you need to create a list of these contacts and manually remove them prior to email deployments.
5. Frequently re-engage or remove contacts that don’t engage
I touched on this earlier, but much like that bad relationship in college that went on a little too long, you shouldn’t be afraid to get rid of contacts that aren’t opening your emails—especially if they bounce or have reported you as spam.
It’s worth repeating. Most vendors charge you by how many contacts you have and for every email that you send that doesn’t get opened or delivered to those people who just aren’t interested, your email deliverability scores go down.
Clean your email lists!
6. Optimize the unsubscribe page with options
People unsubscribe for various reasons, and sometimes they don’t want to be completely removed from your mailing list, it may be that they are looking to receive relevant content or less frequent email messages.
Make sure your labels are clear and the process to adjust subscriptions levels are as easy as possible.
Email more than likely should be part of your digital strategy, and deliverability can make or break your efforts. If email isn’t part of your strategy or you really haven’t given it much thought, check out these 24 email marketing statistics from Campaign Monitor to get a feel for how impactful email can be for your brand.
Email is one of the simplest and most effective business communication tools, but it’s not always used to its full potential by today’s businesses. Here are some additional resources to help you on your journey to transformational email marketing:
Email Segmentation – 10 Proven Ways to Segment Your Email List
Email Deliverability – 6 Tips and 1 Secret to Email Deliverability Success
Email Automation – 4 Simple Steps to Get Started with Email Marketing Automation
By following these best practices and focusing on being respectful to and relevant for your email subscribers, you’re on your way to email marketing success. Be sure to download our Marketing Automation Conditions for Success Diagnostic to help you facilitate the transformational changes you need for a successful Marketing Automation journey.