Having an e-newsletter is an important part of any business marketing strategy. It’s cheap, easy to do and nurtures your database of clients and prospects to keep them comfortable with your brand and offering. The problem is, if you’re not getting any views it’s not doing your business any good.
Email campaigns have been proven to engage readers so it is worthwhile finding an effective and consistent email campaign strategy to increase customer satisfaction, brand awareness and sales conversions.
You do need a little wow factor. Competition is steep. Inboxes are crowded with other mail that can come from an incredible array of sources, both requested and spam. That means your emails have to make an instant impact so people will open them.
Thanks to emails being so efficient, everyone is using them, prompting email service providers to put filters in place to redirect potentially unwanted emails to spam folders or junk mail.
E-newsletters are especially vulnerable to triggering spam filters because they typically use bright and general announcements that are easily tagged as irrelevant. These issues can be addressed if you know how to manage your structure and content.
If your click-through rate is low it’s time to revisit your email campaign plan or content to find something that will get attention and wake up those inboxes.
5 ways to keep your e-newsletter from going to spam
With a few simple tweaks, you can make sure your emails hit your customer inboxes. The biggest factors to keep in mind are design and content type. That way you can avoid wasting valuable time and energy on messages that slip past your audience’s eye.
1. Set expectations when people subscribe
If you have a good marketing strategy and website action steps there will be multiple ways prospects can sign up to be part of your newsletters and mailing groups. Make sure you are clear early on what subscribers can expect to receive in your content — aim for it to be highly valuable to them — as well as how often they can expect to see it arrive. Make sure your e-newsletter lives up to its promises for both content and frequency so you establish yourself as trustworthy and honest.
To really give your customers what they want and keep those click-through rates high you can set up different subgroups in your mailing list and filter the kind of content they receive to match their preferences. This overcomes the temptation to try to cover all your audience needs in one e-newsletter and get into the trap of making it irrelevant to all of them.
When e-newsletters are marked as spam you’re not only missing out on the opportunity to reach customers, but you’re also going to miss the chance to establish your credibility as a business. Promising monthly messages and bombarding them with weekly promotions, or doing the reverse, sends the message you’re inconsistent and unreliable.
E-newsletters need to contain consistent, factual and dependable information so it builds up trust for your brand, one of the major challenges with content marketing that business owners encounter.
2. Personalise your e-newsletters
Personalising an email doesn’t mean slapping a customer’s name in a pre-filled ‘dear customer,’ field. Mass blasting an e-newsletter is a sure way for it to be labelled as spam. It’s important to be targeted and intentional about who in your customer base receives a certain email.
As much as you want to serve the interests of all your customers, not everyone is looking for the same kind of information from you. Some want content about your product, others want more deals so to please them all you’ll need to divide your list and conquer with separate email messages and information.
When developing your e-newsletter copy (and your marketing campaigns in general), use customer personas to establish exactly who you are talking to and what their needs are. You want to be able to solve a problem a specific group of subscribers is facing. Knowing each of your customer personas well helps you create messages that reach the right people by aligning with the topics they want.
3. Clean up your sender and recipient list
Content is important for keeping subscribers on your mailing list, but it’s not usually the most common reason for winding up in the spam folder. The big offender here is messy email habits. To overcome this, revisit both your sender details and the mailing list you’re working from.
When you’re starting out a Gmail or Outlook account might have been okay, but as your business grows you’ll be moving up to a dedicated website and email hosts. Custom domains can present a real issue with high spam tagging. This might explain why you’ve experienced a decline in click-through rates.
Make sure you have human details in your sender information so you are not some faceless firstname.lastname@example.org. Who you are, the business address and your phone number are all little extras that show you are a real place with real people at the helm.
Lastly, make sure you go over your recipient list and move any unengaged emails out of your regular recipient lists. Too many unengaged emails and addresses left orphaned through years of inactivity can clog your mailing list, preventing your e-newsletter from arriving to legitimate customers.
If you like you can put them in an unengaged subcategory rather than delete them and send a little reminder email, “this is the address we currently have on our files, is there a new address that would work better to get our valuable information to you?”
4. Cut out spam words
You probably don’t realise you are using spam words but these do exist. Most standard spam filters watch out for certain word patterns. Basically, anything that sounds like cold marketing will get booted from the inbox.
Getting a little too excited about your punctuation and word choices can result in the service provider filters tagging your e-newsletter as spam. Go for conversational language, avoid any exclamation marks and review your spelling and grammar before sending.
Filters detect and flag messages as spam when certain words or characters are used liberally.
Phrases like ‘business opportunity,’ draw the filter’s attention. Filters are not smart enough to be able to tell what is a scam and what is genuine so it’s best to steer clear of anything that could be misinterpreted to help increase your chances of being allowed through as legitimate information.
5. Include an unsubscribe link
You are legally obligated to provide an unsubscribe link on every email. Failing to provide this will certainly blacklist your e-newsletters.
Obviously you don’t want to make this an easy-to-find or use button, however, it is best to make it as user-friendly and available as possible to keep you in the good books even as they say goodbye. If you make this hard to find or impossible to navigate through it will just reinforce to users that you are worth avoiding.
Email filters will tag an e-newsletter as spam if messages don’t have features that real human audiences would need.
You can use your unsubscribe landing page to help understand what improvements you can make to avoid future opt-outs. List a few clickable reasons why they are unsubscribing (e.g. too many emails, no interest in the content) and collate these responses to find patterns.
When you get your emailing newsletter marketing right you can turn more readers into customers, increase sales and reach your business goals.
Still stuck in the spam folder? Contact us and let’s create stories that stand out.