Maximizing inbox placement is an essential component of any email marketing strategy. After all, it doesn't matter how effective your messaging is if people aren't seeing it. Internet service providers (ISP) are taking steps to stamp out spam and hold marketers more accountable for providing value with each message they send. This is good news if you’re interested in building lasting, positive relationships with your customers. There are two things to focus on if you want to make it to the inbox: permission and engagement. Follow these tips for ensuring you have both and avoid any unnecessary deliverability emergencies.
Content Is Still King
It's time to put your batch-and-blast messaging strategy where most emails end up: in the trash. Now more than ever, customers expect email that is personalized and relevant to their needs. Do your emails convey a sense of urgency that inspires customers to take action? Or are you alienating subscribers with offers and messaging that doesn't resonate with their interests and past behavior? Use segmentation and personalization to create content that is relevant to subscribers, and your email messages are more likely to reach them – and they're more likely to keep engaging on a regular basis.
Consistency Is Key
Emailing is a marathon, not a sprint. Spikes in email send volume can cause your emails to be flagged as spam. If your business is strictly seasonal, you should consider sending emails consistently throughout the year to avoid that. As highlighted in the first point, though, this content still needs to be relevant and useful. You might send care instructions or how-to tips for your products or start up a monthly newsletter. The plus side? Those extra emails can provide valuable behavioral data for further segmentation and targeting down the road.
Don't Overstay Your Welcome
It makes sense that if you continue to email people who don't want to hear from you, you're more likely to be flagged as spam. However, lack of engagement among your active contacts can also drive down deliverability, even if users haven't clicked that unsubscribe button. Build a segment of subscribers who haven’t opened or responded to your emails, and send them a make up or break up message. If they don’t respond, delete them. Saying goodbye is never easy, but in this case, it’s highly effective at increasing revenue per email and can even build some goodwill as you show shoppers that you care about their preferences.
Make Your Unsubscribe Easy to Find
Having customers self-select whether they want to receive emails is one of the best ways to keep your list clean, so don’t hide your unsubscribe link at the bottom of your email in tiny print. Keeping your unsubscribe visible isn't only a matter of CAN-SPAM compliance; hiding this link can further aggravate already-annoyed recipients and damage your brand image. Place it at the top of your emails in clear, easy-to-read print. If a customer is trying to unsubscribe, they've likely already lost interest in your communications. Wouldn't you rather lose them as a contact than to have them mark the email as spam?
Offer a Preference Center
Not sure how often your subscribers would like to be contacted or what messages they’d like to receive? Ask them! A simple preference center gives your customers and prospects a sense of control and allows you to gather more subscriber data, which you can use to further target and segment the content of your messages. This is also a great way to keep unsubscribe rates low by saving subscribers who simply prefer to hear from you less frequently. These are just a few of the recommended best practices that will help ensure you're only sending to customers who are actually interested in receiving your emails. For more tips on improving your deliverability rate, download our new white paper, “Email Deliverability: Why It Matters, What You Can Do To Improve It.”