Harness the power of email marketing with these
simple tips that will keep your emails out of the
junk folder... and get your recipients to open them!
Here are my top five techniques for getting today’s emails delivered, opened, and acted on.
Do these things right and you'll be able to profit from all of the new opportunities... and continue to enjoy the impressive ROI email marketing provides.
a. Manage your "subscribe" and "unsubscribe" requests
When people ask to unsubscribe from your list, do it. People who aren't promptly removed from your list after making an unsubscribe request can accuse you of spamming them, and you can quickly find yourself in trouble with your ISP.
Of course, it's just as important that people who ask to be added to your list are subscribed right away, since you never know which one of those subscription requests is going to end up being your best customer.
If your subscribe and unsubscribe requests aren't handled automatically, you should take care of them right before you send out a mailing. This ensures that your list is as current as possible, and it also means that you don't have to deal with this chore on a daily basis.
b. Remove duplicate addresses
Before you send any mailings, make sure you don't have any duplicate email addresses in your list. There will always be some people — more than you might think — who will opt in to your list and come back later and sign up again, forgetting that they've already joined.
Start sending them multiple copies and just watch how fast they unsubscribe from your list — or worse yet, report you as a spammer!
This kind of spam complaint is relatively easy to clear up, but it is still a hassle, and besides, you've lost a potential customer.
c. Clean your list
Cleaning your list also means sifting through the messages that "bounce back" to you after a mailing, and deciding which ones should be removed from your list completely, and which ones you might want to try mailing again.
"Bounced" messages, for whatever reason, were not successfully delivered to the intended recipient. Most can be categorized as either "soft" bounces or "hard" bounces.
• Soft bounces: These are messages that could not be delivered at the time they were sent, but may be deliverable at some time in the future. These types of bounces are usually caused by the recipients’ ISPs being busy.
• Hard bounces: These are messages that can never be delivered. Hard bounces are usually because of incorrect or canceled email addresses.
Delete hard bounces immediately. Dead addresses are used as spam traps, and if you are found to be repeatedly sending messages to one of these addresses, you could have a problem with the ISP receiving them.
Emails that are returned as soft bounces, on the other hand, are the result of a temporary problem, so you'll want to re-send your promotions to all the soft bounce addresses a couple of days later. You'll be surprised how many messages get delivered on the second try
d. Divide your list to conquer more subscribers
Given the mountains of email people receive these days, most only want to see what's relevant. And, unfair as it may seem, anything irrelevant could be considered spam... and reported as such.
If the people on your list know that the message you're sending is something they want, they'll open it!
Using email to target different segments of your audience is one of the single most effective ways to market products or services on the Internet.
You can segment them by:
• whether or not they’ve bought from you
• where they live
• brands they’ve bought
• age group… and more
There's no end of ways to segment your audience depending on the information you've collected!
Try it and you can just about guarantee that the results of your email marketing efforts will dramatically improve.
e. Snag your recipients' attention by using their names
If there's a "secret" to getting email recipients' attention, it's this: Personalize the subject line. No other single technique will boost the response rate of your emails as much as personalization.
Have you ever noticed that a great salesperson will find out your name and then use it every so often while they talk to you? It's a way of establishing trust and building rapport. And the truth of the matter is that nothing gets a person's attention faster than hearing or seeing their own name!
By personalizing your subject lines, you also make your email appear more authentic and safer to open, because recipients will be more likely to view your email as coming from a trusted source.
Email marketing remains a highly effective tool for any business. And the success of your campaigns rests largely on the percentage of your messages that get delivered and opened.
It may be little more of a challenge to make sure your emails get delivered and opened these days, but by keeping your list squeaky clean and sending highly relevant and personalized messages, you will not only improve the likelihood of people opening your emails, you'll avoid being labeled a spammer.
Derek Gehl is CEO of the Internet Marketing Center – an educational website for Internet business owners that attracts more than 1.8 million visitors each month, and has generated over $60 million in online sales. Derek's email course, The Insider Secrets to Email Marketing, Advanced Series details the techniques and strategies that IMC has tested for success.