Do you remember when the Internet was fairly new and exciting to consumers? I remember being so excited when my older brother set up my very first email account on AOL. I would get a rush of energy when I heard, “You’ve got mail.” It was the newest form of communication and only the coolest people had an email address.
Over time, email developed a bad reputation due to the multitude of online scams and unwanted solicitations, now commonly known as junk mail. According to The Radicati Group, a technology market research firm, about 84% of the emails you receive this year will be spam.84%25 of the emails you receive this year will be spam. Combat spam with quality email content.
If you want to engage your consumers via email marketing, you need to ensure that your emails do not end up in the junk folder or annoy your audience.
Determine Your Campaign Objectives
Before you start emailing your target audience, it’s best to first explore your goals and objectives. An email marketing campaign commonly has one of the following objectives:
- Strengthen customer loyalty
- Maintain ongoing relationships
- Drive direct customer actions such as a sale or response
- Acquire new leads
Regardless of your chosen objective, it is imperative that you develop a plan of action for your entire campaign. To achieve successful results, create a timeline and stick to it.
Ask For Customer Permission and Use Opt-Ins
Early on in the age of email marketing, companies and brands began to abuse email marketing with endless promotions and other spammy tactics. Thus, the spam/privacy filter was introduced for the protection of consumers and their information.
In turn, the practice of asking permission became standard practice. Before blasting your customer’s inbox with emails, ask if they would like to receive your emails. If they say no, respect their wishes and leave them alone. Some companies ask for email addresses in-store, while others give their customers the option of opting in to their email newsletters and promotions online.
By including opt-in and unsubscribe options to your email message, you are giving your customers control to decide if they want to receive your emails. Some companies even have a double opt-in option in place, which sends a confirmation email to the customer after they have entered in their contact information. This procedure verifies that they did indeed intentionally sign up for your mailing list. It’s a highly effective way to double check that your customers are genuinely interested and target your audience to get better results.
If you are using promotions, giveaways, and downloadable materials as an opportunity to capture email addresses, always include a disclaimer to inform the customer that their information may be put onto an email list for future communication.
Create Your Message
Your message is the most important part of your email marketing campaign. Certain words and phrases will actually trigger junk mail filters. When crafting your message, avoid words and phrases such as:
- Incredible deal
- Save up to
- No obligation.
Here you can find a large list of email phrases to avoid.
When creating your message, use these helpful tips.
- Subject line is the most important part of your email message. It should make sense and be attention-grabbing. In fact, 64% of people will open an email because of the subject line (Chadwick Martin Bailey).
- Employ the use of inverted pyramid style of writing — Write your message with the most important topics first, and the least important information towards the bottom.
- Keep your message short, to the point, and crystal clear.
- Use relevant visual content to add interest to your email. 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text. (Zabisco)
- Include a signature at the bottom of your email. It should include your contact and company details along with a link to opt-out or unsubscribe.
- Try sending your email on a Monday. An Experian Email Benchmark Report found that Monday emails had the highest revenue per email.
Test It Out
A/B testing proves wonders in the online marketing realm. Craft two or three different versions of your emails and compare the results. One of the best email marketing A/B tests is to experiment with different headlines. Try testing one email subject on one list and another subject for another.
Never Stop Working On Your Email List
Think of your email list as a work in progress — you should never consider it complete.
Your email lists will be ever changing, since customers might unsubscribe while more continue to subscribe. Plus, in the future you may decide to target a completely different market.
It’s Time To Start Your Email Marketing Campaign
With these tips and elements in mind, you are ready to avoid the junk folder. Always use proper ethics and practices when engaging in an email marketing campaign. Email is a results-driven marketing channel, and improper schemes or techniques will send your messages straight to the spam folder.
Is your business interested in a successful email marketing campaign? Contact Titan Web Marketing Solutions to learn more about introducing email marketing to your 2015 strategy.
This blog post was written by Titan Web Marketing Solutions intern, Brittany Stevenson.