Let’s make the most out of your email marketing by doing a few things behind the scenes. There’s a lot that happens with an email after you hit the send button. Many of those actions have to do with making sure the email you send is not spam and is “wanted” by the Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) customer. In this article, I focus on some of the mechanics of email marketing that will help to show that your emails are not spam and are “wanted”.
Clean Your Email Marketing List
Most email lists today are a compilation of email addresses collected from the company’s website and routine transaction emails from the company’s routine business dealings. Sometimes the company may also purchase lists for special purposes or conduct broad surveys that result in new email addresses added to the company list. Many companies spend years building their lists and, in good faith, believe that their list is in good shape.
Today, most email platforms can remove bad email addresses as they occur which helps to keep a list healthy. Unfortunately, this is not sufficient for a list to be truly clean, and unclean lists create problems.
Behind the scenes, email providers like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Msn, etc. perform routine artificial intelligence (AI) filtering functions to prevent the free flow of spam into the inboxes of their customers.
One of the key points that will trigger these filters is too many “problematic” emails coming in from the same sender. Thus, one must go “deep” when cleaning their lists and do it at least annually, however in some cases it should be done twice a year.
To clean the list properly you must use a list cleaning service that can do a deep clean. They should be able to segment the list into groups that are deliverable and non-deliverable. A good cleaning company will also reveal some rather “yucky” categories such as “spam traps” or “honey pots”.
After the list is cleaned, upload back into your email delivery platform the “deliverable” group. Though you may see a drop in your delivery numbers, you’ll see a tremendous increase in your delivery, open, and click percentages.
Opens and clicks go up because more of your email arrives at the inboxes instead of the spam or junk folders because you stopped triggering the AI filters.
Authenticate Your Domain
Set Up Your DKIM, SPF & DMARC records before Sending Emails because they show that your domain and IP addresses are trusted and secure, and so are the emails you send. This is a very important step when you are email marketing.
- DKIM which stands for Domain Keys Identified Mails is a specific record that is used to authenticate the sender.
- SPF which stands Sender Policy Framework also is used to authenticate the sender. The DKIM and SPF records both have the purpose of preventing unauthorized messages being sent from your Domain.
- DMARC stands for Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance and it’s what tells the Internet service providers that the emails you send are protected by SPF and/or DKIM.
We don’t need to get too technical on how or why this works. We just need to make sure that you get it done. Whatever email sending platform you are using normally has instructions on how to do this, so just follow those instructions and you’ll be golden. You can also ask someone on your IT team to take care of this.
Send “Reply to” Campaigns to Build Your Email Sender Reputation
First, let’s look at what an Email Sender Reputation is: it is a score that the ISP assigns to an organization/company that sends email. It’s very important that you have a high score because the better your score, the better your sender reputation. If you have a high score then you are more likely to get your emails into the inboxes. Once your score dips too far down the ISP will send messages to recipients’ spam folders or just throw them away. It’s easier to get into the inbox than it is to get out of the spam folder.
ISPs use many factors to determine your score. A few of these are your domain authentication, the amount of email you send, and how interested people are in those emails which is demonstrated by opens, clicks, and replies.
Reply emails are the most overlooked amongst email marketers, but they can improve your score quite significantly and they are easy to do.
There are several topics you can use to do a “reply-to” campaign. Here are a few examples or you can come up with your own.
- Offer a coupon for their next purchase by asking them to reply to you to get their code.
- Send an informative email on some interesting topic and ask them to reply to you with any questions.
- Carry a closing paragraph in your emails that invites them to reply to you for any assistance they may need.
- Send an update campaign, which shows their current information and asks them to reply to confirm.
Test Your Email Subject Lines to Improve Open Rates
There’s no real rocket science involved in having a compelling subject line to help drive your open rate higher.
The good news is there are a number of online subject line testers that you can use to take a mediocre subject line and turn it into a real class act! Do a search on the internet and try out a few. Use the one or ones you like best to make every subject line a winner in your email marketing campaigns.
Check Your Email Content for “Spam Words”
Spam words are your worst nightmare in email marketing. Nothing gets an email sent to the junk folder faster than too many spam words.
As the years have gone by, the ISPs have added more and more words to their spam filters, making the crafting of an excellent email somewhat of a challenge. It may surprise you to find such commonplace marketing words as “Accept Credit Cards” or “Free Trial” or even just the word “Free” listed as spam words.
Do a web search for the most common spam words and use them as a guide when writing your email content.
By taking care of the “behind the scenes” side of email marketing, you can improve your delivery, opens, clicks and conversions! If you’re thinking about how much work is involved in email marketing then contact us here at suited. We are happy to help.