Email marketing remains one of the most effective and cost efficient forms of marketing for any type of business. Armed with a quality list, email marketing can serve as a large part your inbound marketing investment. In fact, it’s long been considered one of the most influential forms of marketing. Here is what you need to know about ensuring your emails are making it through, being read, and getting clicks.
What makes a successful email marketing program?
Effective email marketing starts with interesting, relevant content. Your subject matter should resonate with your target audience. Even the best email marketing effort, though, is only as good as your contact list. Refer to your software analytics to determine if your contacts are opening your emails, engaging with them, or even getting them at all.
I was recently asked by a client why the emails we were sending on behalf of her company were getting filtered. She expressed concern that this was also probably happening to most of her contact list. Referring to the data analytics, we were able to point out that they had a 28% average open rate. They also maintained a 20% average click-through rate. Even though she was not getting her own emails, her contacts were receiving and engaging at acceptable rates.
Now that we established that her own experience was not mirroring that of her target audience, we still need to explain why she wasn’t getting her own emails. The simple answer is that she’s not the target audience—and wasn’t acting like one. She wasn’t engaging with her own marketing content like one of her customers would. The result was that her activity qualified her as “unengaged”. Therefor, her email software relegated her marketing communications.
How To Achieve High Email Deliverability
High deliverability is affected by many factors. At the core is relevance and value for the target audience. Your emails will remain unread and un-clicked if they are not useful and interesting.
Many email providers like Gmail and Outlook refer to previous interactions with past campaigns from that sender to determine relevence. This affects whether your latest campaign makes the inbox or the “other box”.
If recipients are engaged, they do the following:
- Open: It is a good signal that your campaigns aren’t spam if a user frequently opens them.
- Reply: It is also a good signal if people respond to your email campaigns (via reply email). This helps improve your reputation with email providers.
- Not junk: It is considered a very strong positive indication that your campaigns are relevant if people move your email out of the junk folder.
- Move to folder: Email providers take it as a good sign if your recipients move your emails to various folders in their inbox
- Add to address book: Email providers also take it as a good sign if your recipients add your email address to the address book.
Negative factors that increase the likelihood of marketing emails ending up in “other” or “spam” folders:
- Move to junk: It is considered a strong negative factor if people move your email into the junk folder.
- Delete without open: Another negative signal is if our recipients take a quick glance at the sender and subject and then delete the email.
These combined factors determine two unique scores for the sender:
- Your score with the individual subscriber: You will increase your score with an individual subscriber if they consistently open your campaigns and move them to folders.
- Your score with the email provider as a whole: You will increase your good reputation with an email provider if the majority of the subscribers with that provider are opening your campaigns and moving them to folders.
5 Tips for Improving Your Email Deliverability Scores
- Email only people who have given you permission to contact them.
- Use a familiar ‘From’ name in your emails. Try to use a real person, rather than info@…, for instance.
- Use segmentation to send targeted, relevant campaigns
- Use a real reply-to address in your campaigns
- Configure your account to send from your business domain.
Key Takeaway for Effective Email Marketing
The main point is that it is equally important to increase the number of contacts in your list, as well as maintain an engaged audience of existing contacts. You will improve the efficiency of your marketing and maximize your ROI if you keep a well groomed contact list.