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??
Addresses from dead domains are like zombies. They exist in your list and look kind of like the real thing (i.e., valid addresses that you can send to). They may have been on your list for a long time, maybe since you started collecting addresses way back when. But, like zombies, they are mere shadows of their former selves.
When compliance folks like me talk about dead domains, we are referring to addresses within a sender’s list that are from domains which are no longer in business, or are no longer providing mail client services. Having addresses from these domains on a mailing list is an indication to any good compliance specialist that the list is in dire need of clean-up, or that the list owner may have purchased addresses. Neither of these scenarios is good for the client’s sender reputation, nor the ESP’s overall reputation.
Blackjack is a staple at any casino, and it’s a game in which skill and luck both play equal parts. Skill and a little bit of luck are needed in email marketing, too. For example, why take a chance on your email address collection process when you can improve your own odds by using a double opt-in sign up method whenever you can? See what I did there…cards and contacts? Tricky!
Seriously, though: The definition of doubling down is “to become more tenacious, zealous, or resolute in a position or undertaking”. And this is how everyone should approach email address collection. Why?
OK, you can laugh at the title of this post (or even groan at it – I don’t mind)! But the fact remains that you need to find the right email sending frequency; otherwise, it can harm your relationship with your recipients, and ultimately hurt you as a sender.
Recently, I was reading some articles about William Shakespeare (stay with me here, folks!), which led to some posts that discussed whether he revised his plays, how many revisions there were, and how they evolved from first draft to finished masterpiece. Since I’m such a geek about email, I started wondering:
If Shakespeare had a mailing list, would he have tested different versions of his plays to see which one got the best response?
During our 20 years in the business, we’ve gotten every kind of support call imaginable from customers who have gotten themselves into all kinds of tricky email marketing situations.
To help you avoid the same scenarios, I thought I’d put together a list of best practices you should always implement in your email marketing program. I’m also including some things you should never do. The idea is to help save you time, avoid mistakes and preserve your sender reputation.
Remember that slightly embarrassing email address you created back in 1995? The one that was a combination of your astrology sign, your birthday and some other cute innuendo? Yeah, that one. You’re probably not using it anymore, but that doesn’t mean that AOL (or any other email service) isn’t still accepting email at that address!
How can this be? Well, your old email address might now be a Spam Trap.
The buzz about responsive design is getting louder – and for good reason. According to MarketingTechBlog, mobile email opens have increased by 180% in the last three years.
That means you need to make sure your emails are going to look great and function beautifully for all those mobile users. How? Read on!