Are you looking for some email marketing tips to send out successful email marketing campaigns?
In this Email Marketing Mastery Webinar, we share with you what you need to know to improve your email campaign performance, keep your emails out of the SPAM folder, and how to optimize your email campaigns, among other things.
This webinar covers:
-Email Marketing best practices
-Cleansing your email lists
-Email Marketing tips to avoid the spam folder
-List building strategies
Email Marketing Best Practices
Design tips for email templates
Download the Email Template Creation Guide for an in-depth guide on how to design a successful email template.
Less is more
In terms of designing your email, less is more. That’s the number one mistake we see people making: there’s just too much in your email. You don’t need to write an entire blog post. It doesn’t need to be 500 words. In fact, even 100 words is too long. Keep it short, short, short.
Think about when you read your own email. You don’t have a lot of time for marketing emails. You’re going to look at it. And in one or two seconds, it’s either delete or click on it. People are in a hurry, so keep it short.
Keep the images small
Any images you have in your email have to load on your mobile device most importantly. If you don’t have a great internet connection like when you’re on the road, that delayed loading time degrades the experience of the reader. Make sure you don’t upload a two megabyte file. It might look great, but it’s not going to be a great experience for the reader.
Videos get twice the clicks that images or links get. So if you’ve got a video, use it. It’s well worth investing in creating videos and optimizing them for mobile. Over 50% of your emails will be read on a mobile device.
Look at your email on a mobile phone
You definitely need to be looking at what your email looks like on a phone. Don’t just craft it on your desktop computer and go “Oh, it looks great!” and send it out before you look at how it looks on a phone. Make sure to double check it by sending to yourself and seeing how one of your customers will receive it.
Focus on the customer
For the email subject line, you need to speak to the customers’ needs. Don’t talk about yourself. That’s the number two mistake that we see people making. The language in the email and the subject line are too focused on the company.
For example: “We have this great product” or “Save 20% on our great stuff.” The customer doesn’t care. He/she doesn’t need to save 20%, they don’t need to spend any money. That’s the way you should think about it. Make the customer want to spend some money. Make them need what you have to offer. Speak to the customers’ problems, and make sure you’re dealing with the customers’ pains.
Avoid SPAM words and phrases
Avoid using SPAM trigger words in your subject line. These words and phrases may land your email in the SPAM folder before it’s even read.
Words and phrases like: free, cheap, money, cash, easy, no hidden costs, and get paid are just huge triggers for the junk folders.
Give them a reason to click your Call to Action
The third major mistake we see people doing in email marketing is immediately selling to their customers on the very first email. Take this scenario. You’ve got a well written email that is designed right, but at the end it says something like: “If you’d like to learn more, let me know a good time to call you”. For an email like that, you’re expecting them to hit reply right away with an email that reads “Hey, I’d love to learn more. Please call me at 3 o’clock.” The reality is, not very many people are going to do that. What they are more likely to do is go to your website, check you out a little bit, see if you’re not a scam, weigh out their options, things like that.
You’ve got to give them a reason to do that. Direct them to where you want them to go on your website. Put a button in there. Make sure all of the links throughout the email are all pointing to that same place. Don’t give them 10 different links that send them in 10 different places. That doesn’t help you really get results from your campaign.
Make the messaging customer-centric
Here’s a typical marketing email:
If you’re offering a discount, say it differently:
Now, you’re making ME think of MY vacation. Now I’m interested.
Take a look at the analytics
There are benchmarks in email marketing that you should be aware of. Every day millions of emails are being sent out. We know that statistically, 10% to 20% of your marketing emails get opened. That means about 80% to 90% don’t ever get clicked. The recipient of that email never even looked at it before it ended up in their online trash can. What’s more, only 1% to 2% of those emails that do get looked at actually gets a click to your website or a push to your call to action.
You also need to keep an eye on the bounce rate – that’s something that’s increasingly becoming more important. You want to keep your bounce rate at less than a half of a percent.
Evaluate your email lists
You want to make sure to clean the bad emails off of your list.
When you send out your marketing email blast with tools like SalesNexus, they have the capacity of identifying bad emails. When that incorrect email bounces, they’re going to keep note of that. They’ll make sure that you don’t send an email to that email address next time.
However, the damage is done. You’ve already damaged your reputation by sending out emails to those bad email addresses in the first place.
What’s happening is these junk folders are seeing your activity and are going “Well clearly these guys are sending emails to a list of people they don’t even know. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have such a high percentage of incorrect email addresses and emails bouncing back.”
Avoiding spam filters
Spam filters have really been changing and evolving every day now. At the moment, most marketing emails are being read on either Gmail or Outlook. So you really need to keep up to date with the way their algorithms work in determining what gets sent to the junk folder.
If you’re really serious about email marketing, one tip is to make sure you have a Gmail and Outlook account. That way you can test out your emails and see for yourself the way each of these platforms work. When you’re putting together your email marketing campaigns, send yourself a test email. It’s your chance to have a look at what it actually looks like in the inbox. That’s one way you can check if it’s being received correctly and that it’s not going straight into the junk folder.
There are a number of spam filters available today, with SpamAssassin being one of the more popular ones. It’s a default that comes along with one of the most popular corporate mail server programs. There are ways to monitor and find out if these spam filters are putting your emails to junk, and services that can take care of that for you.
Keep in mind that when it comes to spam filters, there are a multitude that your customers could be using, and each one works differently. That’s going to affect your individual customers and the way each of them receives your emails. You’re going to expect to have varying results all over the place.
Setting up a structure for success
Getting around these spam filters requires you knowing what it is they are looking for. Technically, they are evaluating you based on DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Email), DMARC (Domain Message Authentication Reporting & Conformance) and SPF (Sender Policy Framework). These are all things that your mail service provider should help you with. That’s something you should look into when you sign up for a new service. When you set up your account, make sure you check out if they have an option for that. Don’t skip it. That’s really important.
How it works essentially is that you as the brand/marketer, saying to all these junk filters: “These emails are being sent by this other mail service (like SalesNexus or any other mail sender).” You’re basically telling these spam filters that these emails are being sent on your behalf. Therefore, they are “blessed” by you and safe to receive.
This tells the spam filters that your mail service is not spoofing or scamming them. It signals to them that even if you have your own email as a company, you are legitimately using another service for your marketing emails. These probably matter more than anything else in terms of getting into the inbox.
Another element that can have an impact on your email marketing campaign’s success is domain alignment. What this means is within the email itself, there are several places that these spam filters can look at your domain:
From address: email@example.com
Email links / your website: www.yourcompany.com
One thing that we see people do wrong is have all these different domains in the same email. They’ll have an email address with a gmail domain. Then have multiple links that point to several websites with different domains. That inconsistency looks a little suspect to these spam filters who may read it as scammy. It’s another strike against you that can increase the chances of your emails going to the junk folder.
Take care of your Domain Reputation
There are two separate reputations you have to keep an eye on: the reputation of your domain itself, and the reputation of the IP address of the mail server sending the emails.
There are a lot of different ways to keep track of your reputation, with a number of tools available to help you do that. If you want to see how your domain is doing, we would highly recommend checking out Google Postmaster. You can search your domain on their platform, and it will tell you what they think of your domain.
Here’s an insider email marketing tip. Sometimes customers would come to us and say, “We were sending marketing emails through an email delivery service, and something went wrong. Now all my emails, including the regular emails we use for correspondence are going into the junk folder.” That right there indicates that you have a reputation problem with your domain. It could possibly be a problem with the IP Address reputation as well. If that’s the case, you need to start working on your reputation. Unfortunately, fixing your reputation is not easy.
The real key is prevention. Follow these best practices, and be aware of the things that would tarnish your reputation so you wouldn’t have to deal with these issues.
Familiarize yourself with the system
Today Google and other systems read emails in real time though AI. They are using AI to monitor how people are interacting with your emails. As your emails are being sent out and at those moments they’re being clicked, opened, or sent to the trash, Google and Outlook are tracking the percentage of opens, clicks, bounces, opt-outs, and all of that. Those numbers will affect the delivery of all of your emails.
Your open rate, click rate, bounce rate, and your engagement are all important as they are read by these systems and affect your delivery.
The actions of your recipients also affects your sender reputation. If someone marks you as spam, that will definitely affect your reputation. However, it will only affect your reputation in that system. So if I get your email in Gmail, and I mark it as spam in Gmail, then Gmail is using that information. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean it’s going to affect how I get delivered in Outlook, for instance.
Secure a static IP Address
Then there’s the IP, that’s the numeric address of the server on the internet. Some email providers have static IPs and others have dynamic IPs. A static IP means that your emails always come from the same single IP address. That means that one reputation is what matters to you. Some have dynamic IPs. That means you might send an email today with one IP address, then send another email tomorrow with a different IP address. So those reputations are going to change. Ideally if you’re a really high volume sender, what you want is a dedicated IP address.
That means your email comes from one static IP, and only your emails come from that IP. In other words, other customers are not sending from that same IP. That ensures that the reputation of that IP is essentially your reputation. See to it that your reputation or your email delivery is not suffering as a result of other company’s behavior because of a shared IP address.
Manually check the status of your emails
SalesNexus and other email delivery providers have services that can set you up with a dedicated IP. These ensure that your emails are going into the right folder. However, if you want to look into what’s happening to your emails yourself, here are some email marketing pointers.
In Gmail, you can open up an email and click on the settings (the 3 dots to the upper right-hand corner of the email.) Click on “show original” and that’s where you’ll see a message header. This is where you can read what’s happening with your email. These codes here indicate the path the email has taken and it can pinpoint why exactly your email had gone into the junk folder.
Cleanse your email lists
As mentioned earlier, sending emails to a list of bad email addresses is the fastest way to get into trouble. What you want to do is cleanse the bad emails off your list BEFORE you start sending emails.
Some people think that the simplest way to do this is to load up their list first, send out their email campaign, and whatever emails bounce back – those are emails they’ll remove and will no longer send emails to. Well, that’s not great email marketing advice because you would have already damaged your reputation by sending out that first campaign. What you need to do is cleanse first, otherwise, you’ll be doing more damage than good.
Who and what to leave off your list
There are services out there that will take your list, and they’ll ping every single mail server and email on there to verify if it is indeed a valid email address. Additionally, they have services that maintain a list of things like spam traps, bots, and complainers.
A spam trap is an email address that a spam filter is using to find spammers. They might put an address out on an internet page. People that scrape the internet for email addresses to build their list will then start emailing that address. There’s no legitimate reason for someone to be emailing that address. Therefore, once you email that address, you are automatically placed on their spammer list.
A complainer is somebody who frequently marks emails as spam. Obviously, you want to avoid those guys.
A bot or a web robot is an automated software application. It’s not a human, so you don’t want to be sending emails to them either.
Finally, there are undeliverable email addresses. Simply put, those are bad emails that you don’t want to be sending to.
Sending emails to these kinds of email addresses affects your spam score, so to speak.
A simple solution to all this is to hire a mail delivery system to handle all this for you. It’s fairly simple to do, and at the end of it you’ll be able to send out thousands of marketing emails without having to worry about damaging your reputation. You can cleanse your email list using the SalesNexus system for only 2 cents per email through January.
We at SalesNexus have a different perspective on the concept of emailing cold lists than most people in the email marketing business. And that’s because we’ve traditionally focused on sales teams. One very common scenario in a B2B sales world is when a company has just hired a new sales guy that used to work for their competitor. Now this new guy has all these customers in a list, and we want him to email everyone on that list telling them that he is now with a new company. That makes sense, these are real people that he’s built relationships with.
Some email services won’t let you do that. They won’t let you load in a list without first opting them in. To be clear, legally speaking, there’s no issue with doing this. The law in the United States (it’s a little different in Canada and in Europe) says all you’re required to do is identify yourself clearly. Don’t pretend to be somebody you’re not and give them an easy way to opt out. That’s all. Again, there are mail delivery services that will take care of that for you.
There are different ways to build up your list. You can adopt lists from new employees coming in. Another thing you could try is joining your local trade association in your industry and get their membership list and load it into the system. Just make sure to cleanse it first because you can not be certain. Just because your local association is using it as their membership list, you can’t be sure that all those email addresses are accurate.
Use Data Cleansing and List Building Tools
Another way to build up your list is by using tools like RampedUp. You can do so much more than just buying a list, these tools have the capabilities to find look-alike customers, and infill data so you don’t have to spend so much time looking for missing information.
With look-alike customers, you can upload a list of your best customers and have the system find look-alike contacts for you. These are people who in the same or similar industry, have the same titles, are in the same area, same number of employees, same revenue, anything you’re looking for.
Another powerful thing this tool is capable of is finding missing information for you. Sometimes you get a list, but it doesn’t have complete details. You may only have a name and a number, but no email address. Other times, you may only have an email address. What RampedUp can do for you is find you all that missing information – company email addresses, personal email addresses, LinkedIn profile information, company titles, positions..etc. When you use a tool like this, you get a targeted list of potential customers complete with their contact and company information that fits in with criteria of your ideal customers. This allows you to focus on connecting with the right customers.
What’s more, RampedUp does an excellent job in updating and validating the data they collect. They are proactively keeping their database up to date so that when someone changes their information on LinkedIn, the information on their database that they provide you changes as well.
Once you’ve got your list, it’s just a matter of exporting it into your email delivery service. Make sure you cleanse it so you know all the emails there are validated. Afterwards, send out your email campaigns.
Keep an eye on engagement
Engagement is one of the newest things that Google, Outlook and the other spam filters really use to put your email either in the inbox or in the junk folder. It’s one of the email marketing tips that’s kind of obscure because it’s new, but it’s definitely something you need to keep an eye on. What’s happening is that they are looking at the open and click rate for each individual recipient.
So what happens if you keep sending emails to someone who has not once clicked any of them open? Well, your emails are going to start automatically heading to the junk folder, that person is just not going to be seeing your emails in their inbox.
If these spam filters and email platforms determine that you keep sending emails to people who aren’t engaging with your emails at all, they start to see you as a marketer or what they would consider a spammer and send your emails straight to the spam folder.
Track your data
So you need to keep track of your data. Take note of who you are sending to, and if these people are actually engaging with your emails. If you have consistently been sending emails to people on your list for a year or more, yet they have not opened any of them, then it’s time to stop sending emails to them. You’ll see that once you do that, it will improve your results with everyone else. If they haven’t engaged with you for over a year, then it’s also time to take these people off your list. We know it’s nice to have a long list, but by continuing to send to these people, you are actually damaging your reputation.
Now, that may seem tough. You might be thinking that if you have a list of 30,000 and you have to take 20,000 off the list because they aren’t engaging or are bad emails – that’s a big loss. Although that may be the case, what you’ll have left are the 10,000 people who are actually clicking, opening, reading, and responding to your emails – those are the ones you want to focus on. And again, you can then use tools like RampedUp to build up your list with a more targeted list of potential ideal customers.
Explore email marketing automation
One of the challenges of email marketing is that someone has to execute all the campaigns you set up all the time – it can become overwhelming and takes a lot of work. One email marketing tip we can offer you is to automate it.
Here’s one of the mistakes we see all the time. People start off great by offering a white paper, video overview, e-book, or any resource. Let’s say you’re sending to a cold list of unengaged prospects at the top of your funnel. Sending them useful content they can use and benefit from whether or not they do business with you is a good idea. You’re branding yourself and you’re becoming a trusted resource. That’s really the key in your first email engagements with people.
However, don’t just switch to a product demo unless they’ve told you something. Unless they’ve done something that indicates they want a demo, don’t offer it to them outright. Keep the conversation on the customer and wait for them to tell you that they’re ready to learn about you. That’s the name of the game in terms of not wearing out your list and having your opt-out rate go too high.
Automatically guide nurture your customers down the Marketing Funnel
You want campaigns for each of the layers in your funnel. However, they are not all one campaign. The way to do it is by sending automated email campaigns that is specific to each layer. At the top of the funnel you have your cold emails, white papers, case studies, case studies, DIY tips, webinar invites, and other useful content. You’re not asking them to make any commitment to you or your company. They’re just staying in that loop where you’re introducing them to helpful resources and relatable content. Then, when they actually click on your email and perhaps click a link within it – that’s a strong sign that they are interested.
Once they click on one of your emails, and especially when they engage with the content, that is when you can switch them over to the next layer in the funnel. That’s when you might consider sending them automated emails with your promo video, your demo video, or even your calendly link to set up an appointment. Then once they click on one of those emails and engage with the content, you can move them along to the next layer in your funnel.
This next layer could include a combination of calls along with your emails. This way you are nurturing your customers down the funnel. However, you’re making sure they are telling you they’re ready to go down through each layer. On systems like SalesNexus, you can set it up so that once someone on the top layer of the funnel clicks on one of the emails, they’ll automatically be switched over to another campaign (which is the next layer in your funnel). With this, the system is automatically moving them down the system.
Connect with us
If you need help with email marketing on the topics we’ve discussed from domain reputation to coming up with a solid campaign strategy, we have consulting along those lines. You can set up a personalized demo with us here.
If you’re interested in checking out RampedUp and building your list, doing the lookalikes or just appending phone numbers and emails to lists you already have, we have a special promo for you.
If you’re not a SalesNexus customer, go start a free trial of SalesNexus now, and we’re going to set you up with a RampedUp free trial. We’re also going to automatically put 500 credits in there for you to go and download a list of leads that you want, that you select with their email addresses and their phone numbers and their LinkedIn profiles.
If you’re already a SalesNexus customer, you can take advantage of the same thing. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and say “Start my RampedUp free trial” and we’ll get it started for you.