A professional email marketing system such as HyperCube’s Email Marketer will deliver great looking emails, monitor the number of emails opened, and enable clicks back to your website to be tracked. It will also test your email against spam filters before you send it, ensuring the highest probability that your message gets through.
Last year 71% of world email was considered as spam. Clearly spam filters are extremely active in preventing the vast majority of these emails from getting through to your inbox. Unfortunately you don’t even have to be a spammer to be spam- filtered. Innocent businesses sending permission-based emails to people who requested them get spam filtered all the time because of over-zealous filters.
Filters tend to operate by looking for spammy phrases and assigning points to them. Once your email reaches a spam threshold it is blocked. To complicate things more the threshold can vary between service providers and is something you don’t have control over.
So what exactly is a spammy phrase? There is a list of over 100 words that start to raise a red flag with spam filters. They range from the more obvious spam terms to others which seem quiet innocent, for example:
- Dear friend
- Act now
- Increase sales
- Click / click here
Overuse of exclamation points or capitals, bright red fonts, or big images with little text also raise red flags with spam filters.
It’s not enough to just avoid certain terms, you have to consider the entire message and how many apparently innocent words may appear within the email. However what you need to remember is that spam filters are not humans, and that they look for patterns in the email that may not be immediately noticeable to you or I.
That’s why our email marketing system can test your email against SpamAssassin, giving you confidence that your email will get through. Without thorough spam testing your email can be blocked – or worse. If you are seen as a repeat offender, your IP address can be blocked, preventing ALL emails from your company getting through.
For a small investment, Email Markete provides you with a powerful and comprehensive email marketing system. One that will give your marketing message the very best chance of getting through and prevent your company from being blacklisted.
A valuable feature of email marketing is that it allows you to target specific segments of your market with different messages. Why is this important? If you want people to read your emails and respond, you must send relevant content and offers of products they will find appealing and want to buy. In other words, don’t bore people with information they aren’t interested in.
If your business sells to farmers, you will get a better response by sending information that is relevant to that particular person. You might segment your database into sheep, beef and dairy. You could further segment dairy into sharemilkers and owners if this is of importance. There is little value to a sheep farmer in receiving information and product specials relating to dairy farming.
Depending on your industry it may be more relevant to segment by sex, geographic location, type of service used, or product owned by the customer. For example a new car dealership may send different offers depending on the model of car the recipient owns.
Email marketing reaches a segmented audience
Countdown Supermarkets are one of the best at using email marketing to reach a segmented audience. Most weeks an email arrives with featured products on special that are the products you buy on a regular basis. This doesn’t happen by accident of course. When you swipe your Countdown One Card every item you purchase is recorded on their system, allowing them to offer you the exact products they know you like buying.
While this level of sophistication is beyond many businesses, it is a simple process to setup email groups with HyperCube’s Email Marketer and send targeted emails to customers. Customers can belong to more than one group and receive multiple emails.
With Email Marketer’s dynamic content ability, it’s easy to alter the message based on how long someone has been on your list, what their personal preferences are, or what links they clicked on in previous emails.
So while you can still email the full list with a single message when merited, you can also send them multiple messages based on the groups they belong to.
Using professional email marketing software to send an image-based (HTML formatted) newsletter rather than simple plain text allows you to make your email look like part of your brand. Photos and graphics in an email attract attention, make it stand out in the recipient’s inbox, and increase the likelihood it will be read
As HTML emails are highly customisable you can include your brand colours, logo and other identity elements, so the email will look less like a series of paragraphs and more like a professional newsletter.
Statistics show that image-based email marketing receives around 50% higher response rates than plain text emails. Include images to support content, but don’t overpower the page with images. You still need to provide interesting text to appeal to and engage readers.
Carefully chosen images work well, as do graphical treatments such as buttons, coloured backgrounds or coloured text. Did you know that a red “call-to- action” button generates a 22% higher response than a green one?
In addition, having an email render correctly in the recipients email client (Outlook, Gmail, Hotmail etc) is critical. Your email might look perfect in your own email client, but not on others. Unfortunately fewer than 50% of user-created emails through systems such as Outlook render correctly. That’s why when designing email templates for EmailMarketer™ we check for correct rendering in the current versions of the most popular programmes.
Using an effective subject line is a must. One theory is that subject lines should be familiar – and different. Keep the start of the subject line consistent, but vary the rest of the line. For example, “HyperCube News: 5 Tips for more effective email marketing” could be an effective subject line. Subject line length should be around 60 characters or less, and always ensure the subject is relevant to the content.
Personalise your email marketing
Always personalise your emails with a greeting addressing the subscriber by name. The more a recipient knows the message is directed at them the more likely they are to open it. Personalisation adds credibility to the message, reinforces the relationship and produces more opens and click-throughs.
Another rule is to send your emails from a real person i.e. email@example.com, not firstname.lastname@example.org. Obviously anything you can do to get more people to read and respond to your email is going to increase your email marketing campaigns return on investment.
By Aaron Enright