Email marketing programs succeed when all aspects of mailing are optimized for peak performance. Marketers must pay attention to the technical considerations that impact deliverability -- including IP reputation and authentication, as well as the design and content of messages -- to ensure they are relevant and attractive to their target audience. Here we have outlined six secrets used by the most effective email marketers.
1. Go on-premise to maximize results
In today’s digital communication environment, consumers check messages across multiple devices and tune out messages that don’t immediately resonate. As such, marketers must continually improve their tactics to remain relevant. For high-volume senders, on-premise solutions offer many benefits, including faster deliverability, lower total cost of ownership and improved relevance and targeting.
2. Short is in
Social media and smartphones have caused a change in consumer communication behaviors. Attention spans are shorter. Email, IM, text and social messaging cause consumers to jump around from one messaging channel to the next multiple times a day. As a result, we are turning into a “short burst society,” one in which interactions and communication happen in shorter timeframes. Consequently, marketers need to rethink the ways they interact with and engage customers.
Consider the below tips:
· Attention span: Consumers spend on average 28 seconds reading an email — test shorter copy, headlines, subject lines and calls to action.
· Bandwidth and screen size: Be attentive to formatting and image sizes for mobile (think buttons, not hyperlinks).
· Devices and operating systems: Track which devices subscribers are using to view email.
3. Deliverability is key
Of the billions of emails that travel across the Internet every day, only 75 percent of them make it to the inbox. If your deliverability rate is too low, all of your other engagement and performance metrics will suffer. Eliminating technical or content problems will have a direct impact on the bottom line. The “art and science” of email deliverability is best understood as three pillars: what you say, who you say it to and how you say it.
4. Relevance is king
Bill Gates coined a phrase in the early Internet years: “content is king.” Today, we’d argue that relevance is king. Why? Relevance impacts deliverability. Before messages reach an inbox, ISPs act as filters to ensure that only legitimate messages get through. With a large bulk mailing, ISPs will initially deliver only about five percent to recipients. If 99 percent of those initial recipients open an email without marking the message as spam, the ISP will then let the rest of the mail flow through. In this way, your audience largely determines whether your messages succeed or fail. If recipients deem a message irrelevant, an organization’s reputation as a sender will suffer.
5. Know your audience
Every piece of data collected about a subscriber will help to create a more complete profile that can help determine which message are relevant to them. Below are a few tips for getting to know your audience:
· Grow lists organically: Directly acquiring subscribers gives you access to behaviors and preferences.
· Build understanding over time: Subscribers of their own initiative are far more likely to share their preferences and become loyal customers.
· Stay current: Ignoring addresses that have been abandoned carries enormous risk and can get marketers caught in a spam trap.
6. Say it right
Understanding the technical aspects of deliverability will help ensure that you get the highest number of messages to the inbox as possible. The most successful senders segment marketing streams, subscribe to whitelisting services and monitor their reputation (i.e., set up alerts to stay on top of user blocks, excess complaints, unusual subscriber activity, etc.). Increasingly, successful senders are using sending platforms that have the ability to auto-tune outbound email delivery parameters in real time to optimize delivery, safeguard reputation and improve manageability. They also implement authentication technology like DMARC to help protect against fraudulent sending, which can cause irreparable damage to a brand’s sending reputation.
Creating and maintaining successful email programs take a lot of work. Even as the customer communication environment continues to progress with the evolution of mobile, these six secrets will remain the foundation for achieving successful email deliverability.