Email marketing campaigns are a great way to grow your customer base and generate substantial ROI. Of the available channels used to reach potential customers and current clients, from social media to cold calling, email marketing ranks at the top. In fact, studies show that “[e]mail averages a return on investment (ROI) of $40 for every $1 spent, far outstripping banner ads ($2) and keyword ads ($17).”
Yet, deliverability is a critical issue to consider. No matter how creative, informative, and well-written an email may be, it may still be intercepted by a SPAM filter. According to Return Path, only 81% of emails sent from commercial email senders reach inboxes. “[O]ne of every five emails lands either in a spam or junk folder (7%) or simply go missing – blocked by ISP-level filtering (12%)
So how can you be sure that your emails aren’t hitting the SPAM folder?
Many email clients and Internet Service Providers implement strict policies with regards to SPAM filtering. As a result, it can be very difficult for a marketer to ensure that their email campaigns are actually landing in people's inboxes. The details of these filters are kept confidential and the only insight available derives primarily from email marketing blogs that offer limited guidance about what will cause an email to be trapped in the dreaded SPAM folder. As a result, the recipe for hitting the inbox is still very much a creative process. Factors that play a significant role in deliverability include template design and coding, content configuration, subject line, sender address and sender reputation.
Below is The Expert Institute’s list for the four techniques saved our email marketing campaigns from the SPAM folder’s deathly grasp. These four tips and tricks successfully ensure that our weekly newsletters continue hitting our subscriber’s inboxes.
1. Remove Inactive Subscribers from your Email List
The first step to better deliverability starts with cleaning your subscriber list. Many companies have acquired huge subscriber lists over an extended period of time and have never removed inactive subscribers. Having a higher ratio of opened to unopened emails will help you to remain in the good graces of the ISP’s.
2. Setup your SPF, DKIM, Sender-ID and Domain Keys
Whether you’re running your own mail server or using a third party email service provider, it’s important to implement the necessary verification standards for sending emails. This ensures that ISP recognize you as a verified sender, rather than a spammer.
3. Avoid SPAM Trigger Words
Engaging and interesting content is not enough to ensure that your email will be read. Email providers have become quite skilled and adept at trapping certain emails based on trigger words. Even seemingly innocent words such as “chance,” “opportunity,” and “solution” are problematic. The Expert Institute sends a weekly email newsletter featuring case studies and legal news and articles dealing with settlements always are headache inducing for our marketing team (just try figuring out ways to avoid eye catching words like “billion” and “settlement” when discussing a newsworthy case!) Hubspot has compiled a great list of words to avoid.
4. Use SPAM Testing Platforms Prior to Sending Emails
Implement rigorous testing prior to every email campaign. This will ensure a higher rate of deliverability and ultimately a higher ROI. There are a number of platforms built specifically for SPAM testing. These products allow you to test your email campaigns on all of the major email clients, ensure proper rendering in various browsers and mobile devices, and also check for IP blacklisting.
These four methods have been extremely influential in the success of The Expert Institute’s email marketing campaigns and we hope they are equally beneficial for your company!
This guest post is courtesy of Inna Kraner of The Expert Institute.