I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … even in a world that has embraced social media like long-lost friend, email marketing is still highly effective.
However a lot of companies spend time carefully crafting the content and design, only to have their message bounce back. In their haste to just get it out the door, they might overlook a few important details that make the difference between an email that ROCKED or a message that was BLOCKED. So here are some things to keep in mind.
AUTHENTICATE YOURSELF – use an SPF record to establish yourself as a legitimate business and not just another Spammer. SPF is an acronym for Sender Policy Framework and was established as an email validation system designed to prevent Spam and other email vulnerabilities. More info about SPF on Wikipedia. SPF tools at http://old.openspf.org/wizard.html
KEEP IT CLEAN – scrub your list regularly. The presence of inactive or previously bounced email addresses can do serious harm to your deliverability rate and jeopardize your email reputation … which can have far-reaching consequences. It just isn’t worth it, so get rid of those bad email addresses.
And as a Sage or Microsoft partner, you’re marketing to other businesses so I’d also get rid of the email addresses at AOL, MSN, Yahoo, Gmail, and any other personal accounts that are probably used as a Spam receptacle anyway. If your prospects aren’t willing to provide a legitimate business email address, they probably aren’t likely to do business with you.
TEST YOUR EMAIL – Send a copy to yourself and others in the office before sending the ‘live’ communication. For Swiftpage users, you can use the Spam Check tool that evaluates your message and provides a score that lets you know how likely it is that your email will be identified as spam based on common triggers (which provides an opportunity to fix/remove those triggers before sending the final draft).
KEEPT IT SIMPLE – if you develop your email communication in HTML, keep the design clean. Too many images and excessive formatting will get you tossed in the Spam bucket. Excessive formatting can include bold font, oversized font, all CAPS, and the like. It’s ok to use some, but don’t go overboard. And by all means, NEVER use characters like # $ % & in your subject line.
USE ESP – No, not extrasensory perception (although it would be nice to have). I’m talking about an Email Service Provider. Not only do you get Open, Clicks, and other useful reports from an ESP, you’ll improve deliverability since they can schedule your email to be sent one at a time to each person on your list. Because when you Blind Copy 500 people, you’re certain to get bounced or go straight to the Spam filter.
You can Google “Email Service Provider” to check out some options. For what it’s worth, we use and recommend Swiftpage.
Need help crafting email communication that gets to your customers and prospects? Send an email or give us a call and see how we can put some JUICE in your MARKETING.