There are not too many things in marketing that are automatic “gimmes.” At least that’s the case if you’re trying to do things using acceptable best practices. Email marketing, however, might seem like something that is fairly easy to grasp. Everyone knows how to email people, after all. If you were successful, people email you back or at the very least you don’t get any bounce-backs. In a worst case scenario someone unsubscribes from you or maybe indicates that your email was “junk” or spam. This is not exactly rocket science, right?
Well, it may not be rocket science, but a recent article from email and marketing company ExactTarget’s blog indicates that there is more to email marketing than meets the eye. The blog post, titled “Email Marketing: Are You A Good Or Bad Sender,” summarizes mistakes that can lead to you being categorized as a “bad sender.” The article also offers advice on how to avoid that fate.
Here is the main thrust of what you need to know according to ExactTarget.
1. How many people receive your email is no longer the only or most important way to track success.
The post mentions specifically that Gmail is starting to mark emails as spam if the recipient fails to interact with the content over a long period of time. That means you need to create content that asks people to share, click, or reply. The longer you go without any activity in response to your emails, the more likely it is that you will be marked as a bad sender.
2. Buying email lists is simply not recommended
The biggest take-away for us is that the post directly states that buying email lists is now a no-no. We usually advise against this practice with our clients if only because it is so difficult to get a person’s attention via “cold e-mailing.” The new argument against buying email lists is that you have even less of a relationship with the recipients, so the likelihood of getting responses or trackable action is minimal.
3. Watch out for typos
This is a good trick to help preserve your email reputation. Make sure that you don’t have typos in your contacts list. If you keep getting bounce-backs when you send out your emails, you could get marked as a bad sender.
4. Send the content that your audience is expecting
Remember our post about “bait and shift” content tactics where a certain kind of content is previewed and then something entirely different is received? Turns out we are not alone in suggesting that you avoid that kind of shady technique. Not only are you breaching trust when you do this, but you are also significantly reducing the chances of anyone sharing your content or reacting to it positively.
How can you make sure you remain a “good sender”? As you might expect, the post suggests that you make sure your “From” email is validated along with all of your recipients’ emails. You want to make sure you leave the door open for interaction with your content. You want to make sure you are providing the kinds of content your audience would find valuable, and, of course, you want to make sure you send out the content you are promising.
Give the blog post a read, and if you have any questions about email marketing after reading the ExactTarget post and this one, feel free to contact us and let us know.
We hope this helps!
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/epsos/8270256961/ via Creative Commons