For some email marketers, it’s hard to tell why people won’t engage with their emails. Sometimes it’s their content, other times it’s their list quality or lack of proper targeting. If you feel like your email marketing could use a boost, there
are simple things you could start doing that make a big difference. Here are some tactics you may be missing, so you can adopt them today.
Some email marketers miss opportunities to spread the word
Writing marketing emails can take a lot of time and energy. With so many things to juggle, it can be easy to start focusing more on creating your emails than promoting them. But what does it matter that you offer a great email when nobody knows about it?
The most obvious promotion tactic is using social media. Make sure your social profiles link to your sign-up forms.
However, your email content should be different and exclusive, says Uwe Dreissigacker, founder and CEO of invoicing platform InvoiceBerry. “If you post the same text from your emails on Facebook or LinkedIn, why would anyone sign up? Your emails should offer something people can’t get anywhere else,” adds the entrepreneur. With that said, some marketers miss out on using everything at their fingertips to get the word out.
What else can that mean for your company? I asked Siva Devaki, co-founder and CEO of MassMailer, to give us some pointers.
“You could mention it in a few places on your website and more than one sign-up form is ideal. I was shocked recently to find the newsletter signup for a famous national brand hidden away on their website. Don’t make people hunt for it. Promote your newsletter wherever you can,” Devaki told me.
There are other clever ideas on places to promote the newsletter: printed on receipts, on phone recordings, and even old-fashioned word of mouth. By the same token, you can use your email newsletter to promote your other channels: include buttons for all of your social media profiles. Another sharing option is to include a brief invitation to encourage your subscribers to forward your newsletter to their friends. Of course, a link to sign-up should be prominent in every newsletter so anyone who may see it can subscribe.
Some email marketers miss the importance of list health
It’s easy to see how an email marketer can assume that an address you sent an email to at the beginning of the year is certainly active in the spring or summer. But can you remember your first email address? How many different email addresses have you had since? If you’re like most people, probably more than a few. Your subscribers aren’t any different. They abandon an old email. For example, they may go from Yahoo to ProtonMail.
“Frequently people will start using their work or school email just to make things easier,” says Brian Minick, Chief Operating Officer at ZeroBounce. “They stop checking their old address and eventually any emails you send to them bounce. The industry refers to forgotten or neglected addresses as ‘abandoned.’ You shouldn’t send your promotions to people who have no chance of engaging with them,” Minick adds.
There are other types of emails you shouldn’t have on your list: spam traps, role-based, abuse emails (people who hit the junk button repetitively). Other email addresses were never real to begin with. Although it may decrease the size of your list, one of the biggest components of email list health is pruning undesirable addresses.
So, don’t miss out on routine email validation. It helps to keep bad addresses off in the first place. You can set up an email validation API that connects to each of your sign-up forms. If someone makes a typo, it works in the background and alerts them. If they try to subscribe using a disposable or low-quality email, it can ask them to enter another one.
Just as important is regular bulk validation. The same email validation service that provides your API has a platform where you will upload your whole email list. In no time, a bulk verifier will identify harmful emails so you can remove them. Do so without delay or regret.
Don’t forget to make unsubscribing easy
So much of your focus with an email list is growing your number of readers. There’s value in gaining new subscribers, but you should make it easy for disinterested people to get off of the list. It can be surprising how many major brands are careless about making sure there is an easy way to unsubscribe.
If someone opens an email and decides the content is no longer relevant, the unsubscribe link should be prominent. What will this person do if they can’t find it, or you haven’t included one? If they have to look hard for an unsubscribe button, it may be easier for them to mark you as spam. That’s something no email marketer wants to happen. Perhaps more importantly, not including a way to unsubscribe is a violation of the law.
“Spam complaints can haunt you because they run down your sender reputation,” says Dmitry Kudrenko, co-founder and CEO of digital marketing platform eSputnik. “When your sender reputation takes a hit, even the people who signed up and enjoy your newsletter could be prevented from ever seeing them. The email service providers have begun to classify you as a spammer and direct all of your emails to the junk folder,” warns the entrepreneur.
So, make it easy for people to get off of the list. You don’t want people in your audience who aren’t enthusiastic. A lot of email marketers miss the fact that it’s not about the number of subscribers, but rather how engaged they are. Engagement should be your guiding principle. The more engagement, the higher your ROI and the more successful your email marketing.
Closing thoughts: Be confident, but always strive for more knowledge
A lot of email marketers feel they’ll eventually learn all they need to know about email. You’re not doing yourself or your company a favor with this mentality, because you’ll never know it all.
Email technology is changing constantly. So are the trends, regulations, and standards. For example, the recent Apple Mail Privacy Protection updates are forcing email marketers to make changes.
Some email marketers miss out on the opportunity for continuing email education. Start small. It’s a good idea to follow the so-called “email geeks” on LinkedIn and Twitter. Then, look for webinars and books about email marketing.
The best email marketers know that they can never know it all. They don’t want to know it all, but rather as much as they can. The most successful email newsletters come from people who know the most and continuously strive to learn more.