If you’re an email marketer who relies on email to generate most, or even all, of your organization’s revenue, chances are you’re sending a very large volume of email each month.
Below are the key best practices that we recommend to our clients. They might seem basic, but don’t be fooled. These practices are the foundation of the most successful high-volume email marketing programs we’ve seen in our 22 year history. Follow them, and you’ll put yourself on the road to generating even more sales and revenue for your organization.
Now is a perfect time to get your email list into shape. Why? Well, just like our bodies can’t function at optimal levels if we don’t take care of them, our email lists can also suffer if they are not getting the attention they need.
A clean, up-to-date email list is critical to the effectiveness of your campaigns, and to ensuring that you’re getting the best possible results. Once your list is in good shape, with a little ongoing maintenance, you’ll see improved delivery, response, and conversion rates — and a better-looking bottom line.
Okay, I’m just going to put this out there: the “Gmail issue” – that is, the ever increasing challenge of getting marketing emails to land in the Gmail Primary tab — is super frustrating! There. I said it! And I know I’m not alone on this. However…
Do you know who doesn’t hate the Gmail issue? Gmail, that’s who! And thank goodness for that, because they’ve given us all a reason to pause and consider how we think about our email campaigns, and what our subscribers want to know, receive and read.
That said, from a delivery and compliance perspective, senders can do a lot to ensure they get the best possible results in terms of where they want their mail to land at Gmail.
One of my favorite things about Mad Men was the skill with which Don Draper did his job. His tenacity and creativity helped land major accounts, and his groundbreaking ideas and airtight pitches only helped.
Although the ad men of the 1960’s would not have known how to use a computer, nor would they have had access to the Adobe Creative Suite, agencies still needed to find new ways to differentiate themselves in a competitive industry. Today’s agency professionals are not strangers to this struggle.
As you dip your toes into the waters of email marketing, you need to prepare yourself for the possibility that some of your email might contain content that people don’t want to receive. This is what ESP’s refer to as prohibited content. When you send a message with content like this — snap! — you’ll feel the jaws of compliance bite down on your email program!
Have you ever received mail from a company or organization, even after you thought you unsubscribed? Are you just having a déjà vu moment, or has there been a “glitch in the matrix”?
When this happens to one of your email recipients, they might think that your organization didn’t honor their unsubscribe request, which can result in your email being marked as spam, or even a direct abuse desk complaint being made against you. Trust me, legitimate direct abuse desk complaints are taken very seriously, and carry a lot of weight.
Are these continued mailings really the result of senders or ESPs not honoring an unsubscribe request? Yes and no! Let me explain…
Lionel Richie asked this question (well sort of) back in the ’80s, with his heartstring-tugging hit song Hello.
And you could ask the same question of your subscribers. You know, the ones who haven’t opened one of your mailings in a while. Or the ones who haven’t engaged with you in a way that shows they’re still interested.
In our last post, we explained why it’s important to test your emails before they go out. There are many benefits to incorporating this practice into your email marketing program, from catching typos and grammatical errors to ensuring optimal image display and maximum delivery.
But the biggest benefit of all is a little more abstract.
Picture this: you’ve created a phenomenal email. One of your best ever, in fact. It’s got highly compelling content that’s relevant to your subscribers, gorgeous images, and a call to action that’s practically irresistible. This email is so good, you can’t wait to put it out there and watch the clicks and conversions start rolling in. So you’re really tempted to just pull the trigger and skip the whole testing phase. After all, you know your email is practically perfect.
What could possibly go wrong?
Here’s a scenario for you: You’re new to email marketing, or you’ve got a new list of thousands of addresses that you want to send to. You’ve got an account with an ESP, so you should be ready to go, right? Not so fast! You can’t just open the floodgates – your sending has to be “ramped up”. But what the heck does that mean??