How To Avoid Having Your Email Marketing Flagged As Spam

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Email marketing is still the best online marketing tactic you can use. According to a 2012 Forrester Research study of online purchases where the consumer had previous contact with the brand, 11% of sales originated from email marketing.  Compare this to online marketing such as social media which came in at 1% of sales and you can see where the ROI is.

So, how you are going to create email marketing campaigns that drive visits, convert leads and close customers? Use a narrative based nurturing process over a long term sales cycle and write each email as if it were the next step towards a client conversion.  Individual emails should have a short term objective. The entirety of the email workflow should move the lead further down the sales funnel towards being a client. Unlike a "post and boast email blast" where your talking about your skill set or a recent contract, this method results in higher conversions. 

Marketing emails will continue to move away from the ‘batch and blast’ method that had been previously heavily used. Instead the emails will become more personalized and relevant. Campaigns will continue to be related to real-time data and targeted to a specific group of leads based on where they are on the sales funnel. 

Opt-in email lists will continue to grow in prominence and are a best practice for segregating prospects. Now leads will choose to receive your emails – which will give you a higher set of returns.

The Importance of the Subject Line

According to Christopher Lester, VP of sales at Emma, an email marketing platform, "The email subject line is probably one of the most important pieces of a campaign because the inbox is a really full place, On average, users get about 150 messages in their inboxes each day. So the subject line is really the piece that allows [marketers] to move from something that feels like inbox clutter to something of value that someone wants to open. It's the beginning statement of the story.”

Direct Marketing News shares some essential do's and absolute don'ts when crafting the email subject line. They include...

  • Personalization - Use specific information in your headline. Go beyond the first name.
  • Include a Call to Action - It illustrates the value proposition to the reader and encourages them to take the time.
  • Get to the Point - Be clear and put the most valuable information towards the top of the email.
  • Be Clear - People scan before they decide to read. If you obfuscate you will lose the readers interest.

Don't Buy Lists!

By buying lists you may achieve short term goals – a larger marketing database for instance. However, it can harm the reputation of your brand and your marketing efforts. The method of buying lists rarely has a high open rate – somewhere in the region of 1-5%, and a click through rate of even less. In addition the unsubscriber rate is less than impressive.

Also, email campaigns that utilize bought lists can often suffer from having their IP addresses blacklisted. This can cause a high hard bounce rate – which is a costly endeavor. For comparison, a well run and managed email marketing list will only have a bounce rate of about 1% with it never going any higher than 5% in exceptional cases. Those that are finding they have a high bounce rate should consider the source of their email lists and spend some time reviewing and managing them.

It can take a lot of effort to resolve the issues associated with your IP address being marked as a spam server. And even in the end, most of those people who are on the bought list will not communicate with you. It is an expensive mistake.

Instead, concentrate on gaining the contact details of your marketing database through the use of smart content and value adding offers. Because they have signed up to your email marketing campaigns you will see that your conversion rates will increase. This is because they have already shown a high degree of interest in your brand and what you have to offer.

By collecting what they are specifically interested in you can also send them only that relevant data. This again helps with conversion.

Organizations that utilize an opt-in email lists can often see an open rate of between 25-35% and a click through rate of between 3 and 5%.

So by using email marketing you can continue to generate good revenue while providing alue added content to your audience.