Rachel Nies / March 21st, 2018
Email marketing isn’t easy. After all the time you’ve invested carefully crafting the perfect email, it’s important to make sure your message bypasses the digital black hole (a.k.a. the junk folder) and lands safely in the inbox of your customers and prospects.
Here are some easy tips to get your email message on its way to spam-free status.
1. Get permission first. Good email marketing starts with permission. Create a sign-up form and put it on your website to build your list in an honest, straightforward manner. After all, no one likes unsolicited anything, right?
2. Give the option to (easily!) unsubscribe or to update their preferences at any time. Along with permission, comes options. Remember, even though they allow you to send them email, that might not mean they want ten emails a week from you.
3. Be careful when buying lists. Buying lists can sometimes mean acquiring addresses without consent, which is more likely to lead to complaints and more importantly, not buying. If you don’t have the time to work on building your own list, make sure to do your due diligence when buying lists to ensure you’re getting a quality list.
4. Practice regular list hygiene. Start pruning and clean up your email list regularly. Switch your mindset to value quality over quantity. Not only will you target prospects and customers who are actually interested in what you have to save but you’ll avoid being flagged due to a bad list.
5. Make your intentions known. Keep things up front and above board by stating clearly what they’re subscribing to.
6. Add a privacy statement. Earn the respect and appreciation of subscribers by keeping their information to yourself and letting them know it. Add a simple statement to your emails and your sign-up forms along the lines of “We never share your personal information with outside parties.”
7. Tell them why. Can you remember everything you’ve ever signed up for? Neither can those on your list. Include why they’re receiving the email and tell them they can opt out in one, simple statement. For example, “You’re receiving this email because you signed up to receive specials offers at AcmePrinting.com. Not what you’re looking for? Unsubscribe or update your preferences here.”
8. Abide by the rules. Most of CAN-SPAM Act guidelines will be met if you follow the tips in this post, but here’s one to be sure to remember: always include your physical address to show where the email is originating from.
9. Maintain good balance. If you do need to send an email on the longer side, remember to break it up with a good balance of text and images to make it easy to skim and visually appealing to the reader.
10. Keep it relevant. Consumers are bombarded by hundreds of messages every day. They will not stop to meander through your content because they have all the time in the world or are curious. You have to break through that noise with content that’s impactful and relevant specifically to them.
11. Clarify your audience. What interests one of your clients might not interest the other. This is especially true in prospecting. When you cast your email net too wide by sending emails to a massive list, you flag the spam filter. Narrow your content focus so you can break your email list into segments.
12. Avoid spam triggering words. The right words are important. Steer clear of words like free, save, discount, etc. Check out this helpful tool to see if you have any of these offenders in your content.
13. Bypass the big three. Watch out for these other sure signs of spam: poor spelling, red text, and adding attachments.
14. Be concise. Keep your subject lines under 50 characters, but at least five to six words in length for optimal mobile performance.
15. Be clear. Avoid being witty or clever with your headline, and get straight to the point. Don’t waste their time getting them to figure out what you’re talking about. Instead, tell them like it is and the result they’ll get from ready your email.
16. Focus on action and urgency. Use words that will spur your readers to action and create a sense of urgency. Then, test your subject line to see how it measures up.
17. Remember, don’t be sneaky. Avoid trying to be deceptive with weird punctuation like F.R.E.E. or S!A!V!E!. Along these same lines, trying to pretend like you’ve already had a conversation with the recipient by adding “Re:” or “Fwd:” to your subject line won’t win you any friends.
18. AVOID ALL CAPS AND EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!! It makes the reader feel like you’re yelling at them and sends up smoke signals to the land of spam.
19. Send your email from an actual person. The first thing people do when receiving an email is to ask themselves, “Do I know the sender?” Your open rate is guaranteed to increase when you are recognized by your recipients.
20. Avoid department names in the email address. For example, instead of the From line being: Acme Printing at Marketing@AcmePrinting.com, use Joe at Joe.Smith@AcmePrinting.com.
21. Frequency matters. Send a steady flow of useful information so that your customers and prospects don’t forget about you. If you’re only sending one email out every three to six months, chances are your name will lose some recognition.
22. Tell them what’s next. What is your end game? The next action that you want them to take? Tell them exactly what you want them to do in your email and guide them to it.
23. Include a nice, big, easy button. Be sure to include at least one clear, call to action button on your email for the action you want them to take next. Make it short, quick, and visible at a glance.
Implement these tips and watch your next email land exactly where it belongs – in their inbox!