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Email Marketing Best Practices Part 1

by: Leon Blair

on: 8th March, 2016

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In this week’s blog, we are talking about spam emails and how to avoid having your emails stand out in a crowded inbox, this is the first of our four part email marketing best practice series.

In today’s world of email marketing, the problem of receiving spam emails has become so bad that the meaning of the word has changed, it’s no longer seen as receiving unsolicited emails, sent without obtaining permission, spam is now anything the recipient does not want or find relevant, a person who signed up for your mailing list, could do what email marketers fear most, use the ‘mark as spam’ button.

Spam is an email marketer’s worst enemy, and this makes it a lot harder for us to succeed with your email marketing efforts. The average inbox receives 84 emails per day, how many of them do you imagine are seen as spam emails? The amount of emails we receive makes us cautious to emails we don’t recognise, this can cause us problems when we are trying to engage new subscribers.

Spam
Image source: http://www.spam-info.de/4967/angebliche-arbeitsagentur-mails-im-umlauf/

Your subscribers signed up to your email list for a reason; they want to hear from you, and receive relevant marketing content that will benefit them. You must  send them the kind of emails they want, if you fail to deliver, they will see you like any other spammer and you could get ignored, deleted or reported.

So how do you convince your email list that you aren’t spam? Start fighting it from the beginning of the relationship. Here are some tips that will help you stand out from the crowd:

Send a welcome message

deliver-a-timely-welcome-messageImage source: http://namiboise.org/we-welcome-our-new-executive-director/welcome/

If you wait too long before you introduce yourself to new subscribers, they may forget all about you and assume that you are sending them spam. This can be avoided by delivering a welcome message as soon as they sign up to your mailing list, you should include the benefits of the emails you will send them and give an idea of the frequency you will be contacting them.

Get in the address book

Get your subscribers to include you in their address books or ‘whitelist’, this will make things much easier for you, as the email client will know to let your emails go through to the inbox. Give them a visible call to action that asks them to add your email to their address book is all it takes. This can be very effective and should be put in the welcome email, if the subscriber truly wants to hear from you, they will happily add you to their whitelist.

ebay-add-to-your-address-book

Use branded subject lines

With the amount of emails we receive, it’s common for recipients to scan their messages before deciding if they will open and read them. Including your brand in your subject lines is a very effective way to increase your open rates, studies have shown including your company name can make you stand out in the inbox and encourage the recipient to open your email.

being-different-in-the-inboxImage source: http://thebestofemail.com/email-marketing-best-practices/how-to-write-subject-lines-that-get-emails-opened/#.VsMlVZOLRBw

Differentiating yourself from spammers is a never-ending mission, one that lasts throughout the duration of your relationship with your subscribers.

There are many positive steps you can take, but they can all be for naught if you break the trust you build with your subscribers by by going beyond what you promised, like contacting them more frequently than you said, if you initially told them to expect to hear from you twice a month, sending sales offers weekly is a bad idea, you can however, give subscribers the option to hear from you more regularly. Some actions in the fight against spam are complex and tedious, some are straightforward.

Stay tuned for Email Marketing best practices Part 2, next week, where we will be talking about what it takes to make a good landing page for your email.

If in the meantime you feel like your email campaigns aren’t performing as well as you think they should, then drop us a message and we would be happy to help.

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