There once was a time where circulars and mail drops were the only way for businesses to get their information out there. A business would create a flyer or a pamphlet, pay a circular business to deliver it, and would then wait for people to take notice of them. It was hit or miss. They couldn’t track the results, and didn’t have any idea whether their target market was reached. They weren’t certain on how many pamphlets were read, and how many were used to light fireplaces. Yet, thousands of dollars were spent on this form of marketing in the hope that at least a handful of people took notice of the message, product, sale or information.
While circulars still hold their place in today’s market for particular products and services, they are few and far between. They are generally now limited to major specials at particular retail stores, and of course, deals around Christmas time as well.
Email marketing is taking off, but not everyone understands just how to make it work effectively. This article will show you two main ways in marketing your emails to your advantage.
The ultimate goal of any email campaign is to engage your readers and potential customers. The easiest way to lose those readers and customers is by failing to run an email campaign that looks and feels professional.
Our customers are flooded with several emails on a daily basis. In many cases, they choose to delete them rather than open them for fear of being caught up in a scam. There are so many scams out there, asking for money and information, and your email could be one of many innocent emails that don’t pass the test.
This is not because you didn’t provide a safe avenue for people to contact you, or to take advantage of your products and services. It’s because you didn’t make your email appealing enough. You didn’t provide a ‘safety net’ in your subject line, or in the person where it has come from.
There are a couple of ways for your email to pass the test for your customers. The first is by providing a subject line that’s appealing. This doesn’t mean you have to hook your readers with a misleading subject line such as “You’ll suffer immensely by not opening this email!” but you do have to be creative.
For many businesses, the best subject line is one that actually includes your business name. If your customers or readers recognise your business name, they will be more likely to open it and less likely to see it as spam.
For example, let’s say you own a hair salon and you want people to know you offer late night services on a Tuesday. Your email subject line could be: Late night Tuesday – Ma’s Hair Salon.
It tells you what the email is about, and who it’s from. Your interested clientele will get in touch because they won’t have written the email off as spam. This, in turn, grows your email opening success rating. Tips such as these can be offered through any website promotion services or eCommerce website services.
Alternatively, you can build trust and show professionalism in your emails by having someone consistently front your email campaigns. People will begin to associate “Margaret Jones” with your hair salon emails when they are written as if they are from her. It also adds a personal touch.
Build a good email list
With most email marketing campaign software and programs, you are given the option of tracking several kinds of data. One of the most important parts of that data is your send credibility. This is where you can be given a rating based on your overall success of emails reaching their recipients. While there are many things that help you gain a good success score, you need to do your part by building a good email list. Failure to do so can result to email servers blocking your emails from reaching inboxes.
So, what does failure in email marketing look like? It’s easy to spot. It’s where valid emails are bypassing the inbox, being immediately labelled as junk.
A poor list can include:
- Mistyped email addresses
- Soft bounces
- Hard bounces
- Fake email addresses
When many businesses first decide to build their email list, they often hold a promotion or competition. Participants must enter their email address and information, in order to go into the draw to win a prize. While it’s a good way to build up your email base, a good proportion of those email addresses won’t be legitimate. It could include double entries, or fake email addresses just so a person has a better chance of winning a prize. This can happen even with the best website support services being offered.
The trick is to get rid of these before they reach your final email list. This will reduce the risk of emails bouncing back, affecting your overall send credibility. While you can’t get them all, it can give you a chance to correct any mistakes within email addresses such as “@gmail.com” or “@gmial.com”.
And, what is a soft bounce?
A soft bounce, while not as bad as a hard bounce, stops an email from reaching the recipient, temporarily. This could be because their inbox was full, their server was down, or the message was too large for their inbox. While it’s difficult to determine whether the soft bounce will correct itself, it’s something to keep an eye out for.
If you notice that in two consecutive emails, where particular email addresses have had soft bounces, remove them from the mailing list. This helps protect your sender credibility.
What’s a hard bounce?
A hard bounce is something you should take care of immediately. This will require you to remove them from your mailing list permanently, unless the customer requests otherwise and can amend the problem. A hard bounce is an email that has been returned to you because the email address is invalid. This could be as simple as a typo, or as complex as the email program itself rejecting your email. In either instance, failure to take action on emails that are bouncing back can result in reduced sender credibility.
Every six months, you should be checking your email list to ensure all email addresses are valid. After every email campaign, it also pays to keep an eye on your soft/hard bounce rates, and any other problems.
Your success with any email marketing campaign is reliant on your ability to manage your email lists and content effectively. The ultimate goal is to inform, entertain and advertise your products, services and content for an engaged customer base. You can only do this by ensuring your sender credibility remains intact. How did you find success in your marketing campaign? What tips and tricks can you share with us? We’d love to hear more.