Boost your audience engagement by getting your email marketing deliverability sorted
(5 Min Read)
Don’t let your email marketing goals suffer the same fate as your New Year’s resolutions. You know a key part of boosting your email engagement is to get your email marketing deliverability optimised. Making sure those messages get to the right place.
Here are 6 simple hacks that will help your email marketing strategy stay on track when it comes to email marketing deliverability.
1. Focus on Engagement Metrics not the Number of Sends.
At Websand we’re only too aware of the temptation to include your full audience in an important email campaign. But sending blast emails to large groups of contacts is likely to result in less opens. Despite the fact this does sound a little counterintuitive, allow me to explain:
Inbox providers or mail servers, are constantly looking at this because they’re monitoring engagement data from past sends. This history is used to determine how they accept and filter the next incoming mail from a sender.
Think of it in terms of the nightclub bouncer on the door at your favourite club.
One Saturday, Norman’s on duty and lets you in because he likes your patter and the cut of your jib.
The next week, Big Brian’s on the door and tells you to hop it!
Point is, you’re not always going to know who’s supervising the door that night and whether you’ll get in.
In email marketing terms, if a send to your full audience results in lower than average opens and clicks, or, records above average unsubscribe or spam complaints. You are at risk.
The next send could be filtered to the spam folder or worse, blocked altogether. Your reputation has taken a hit. Your name’s not down and you’re not coming in.
2. Send less Holiday Emails.
Your brand’s email strategy doesn’t need to mimic your personal inbox.
Every holiday period it’s traditional to wish your friends and family a Happy New Year but it doesn’t need to be the case for your business.
Most holidays result in recipients and inbox providers seeing a huge increase in ‘happy whatever holiday is approaching’ mail, not only from you but also from your competitors and every other brand that an individual is subscribed to.
Due to the increase in bulk email sent, your communications are more likely to end up in the spam folder or even worse, negatively impact your next non-holiday campaign.
Unless you’ve got a fantastic reason to email, as in a special promotion or a notable discount around a holiday, wait until the seasonal craziness is over to send a targeted thoughtful email that communicates more than just a boring generic message.
I know this might seem odd as this is a post from an email marketing business writing about email marketing deliverability. But when it comes to generic holiday messages, perhaps consider using other channels like Linked In, Instagram or Facebook.
3. Regularly Purge Your Database of Inactive Subscribers.
In the same way you’d do a spring clean, try and do the same with your database to keep it fresh and protect your brand’s sender reputation.
The typical marketing database will decay at a rate around 20%-25% every year.
That decay can come from addresses that are no longer valid and from the non-responsive people that receive your email marketing.
Including disengaged contacts in your regular campaigns can result in your email hitting the spam folder. So why not create a process so that inactive subscribers can be re-engaged, suppressed or removed.
4. Stop Emailing Contacts Who Have not Provided Explicit Opt-In.
Just because someone drops their business card into a bowl at a trade show or enters a competition, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a good fit your marketing list.
Think it through.
Sending email to contacts who have not explicitly provided permission to be included in your marketing list is likely to negatively impact your brand’s email marketing deliverability. Not to mention putting you at risk of future GDPR action.
Contacts who aren’t expecting to hear from you are more likely to ignore your communications or (even worse) mark them as spam.
This negative engagement behaviour can cause your future campaigns to end up in the spam folder, bounce, or be blocked entirely.
Only send email to contacts who have provided clear and explicit permission. You’re more likely to improve your acceptance rate, inbox placement, and overall engagement. Contacts expecting to hear from you are more likely to engage with your marketing and less likely to mark it as spam.
You can gain explicit opt-in from a contact by including a checkbox on your forms. Be sure the box is not pre-checked so that you allow contacts to make their own choice on how they would like to hear from your brand. Read this for more information on collecting consent.
Websand allows you to create global suppression groups, which act as an email preference centre. Giving your audience a choice on what they’d like to receive from you. Respecting your contacts’ communication preferences is the right way to build a strong digital relationship.
5. Verify the email address.
I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan of double opt-in. Since you need to send an email as part of this process if the email is rubbish, that’s a black mark against your email marketing deliverability.
Despite common misconception, double opt-in is not a requirement of email marketing, nor is it a requirement of GDPR. However, clean valid email information collected with user consent is part of the deal.
90% of your audience will fill out their email address just fine. However, that 10% that don’t can badly impact on your email marketing deliverability.
It’s a good idea to use email address verification as part of the signup. Ask the user to enter and then confirm their email. Use verification services such as kickbox to verify the email address data as part of the data collection process. This not only stops mis-spellings of email addresses such as email@example.com, it will also stop the fake email addresses people use when signing up (half heartedly) e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org.
This extra step prevents you from collecting mistyped or fraudulent addresses that can sometimes make their way through to your signup process.
6. Don’t Let Email Be Your Only Digital Communication Channel.
Despite the fact we’re huge advocates for data-driven email marketing at Websand, we appreciate that it’s not the only digital channel you use for engaging with your customers.
Allow your contacts to participate in your brand’s digital presence in a way that works for them. Communicating through email is a great way to share content, add value, and drive traffic to your website. But, it’s not the only way to get your message across.
If you find yourself composing an email that doesn’t contain a clickable element and/or is not targeted specifically to a focused segment of recipients, maybe consider crafting that message in an alternate digital channel.
Implementing some proven email marketing deliverability hacks will help you dramatically boost your email engagement.
Cementing a happy and healthy sender reputation for your brand in 2020 and beyond.
If you’d like some help getting proven email marketing deliverability hacks in place for your email marketing, schedule free no obligation chat by clicking here
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