It is not only enough to craft a good messsage, but the right channel to deliver that message is also paramount. Most email service providers use high-level techniques to filter out unwanted email to their clients. These emails end up in junk or spam folders thereby reducing the chances of ever being noticed, or even read.
So how do you, for instance, use MailChimp to increase the chances of your emails landing into your clients' inboxes?
Here is a list to get you started!
Domain names checker: Your website developer, host and/or email provider should be able to ensure that your email domain is verified. Private domains are the safest to use.
Using merge tags to personalise your email: For instance, the following fields - To, title, organisation, function, etc. This is done during contacts' upload.
Check out for emails with no names: During contacts' upload, ensure that you filter out emails with no names. Email service providers will mostly treat as spam/junk emails that do not address the receiver by his/her name.
Verify the domain of the bulk messaging platorm: Engage a vendor to ensure that the bulk email sending platform is of good standing with email service providers. In addition, you should also check whether the platform has advanced features such as automatic checker for verified domains. This feature will also serve to show whether your own domain is verified.
Create compelling content; more information and less images. This is because rarely do people send emails with photos in the body of the email. Since internet service providers carry out rigourous filtering, messages with lots of images will automatically be treated as promotional content and will land in the spam folder. This also includes emails from private verified domains.
Lastly, ask recipients to add your email (s) to their address book: This is a worthwhile move to increase the chances of your email landing in your clients' inboxes. This sounds a daunting task if you have over thousands of contacts on your platform. Below is a list of how to apply this strategy.
Various ways you can ask recipients to move your email to their inbox folder.
- Reach out to those who are easily accessible with shared interest. Start with a request to colleagues from your network/organisation to move your emails from the junk/spam folder to their inbox. The system will treat this as the preferred settings for emails from your domain. Hence, it will deliver your emails to the clients' inboxes from then onwards.
- In addition, take advantage of the various contacts gathered through interactions with clients, for instance, previous email communication on enquiries, feedback via emails, contacts from event attendance lists, among others. Start with a specific initial campaign requesting them to subscribe to your company's periodicals. Provide an incentive to entice them to open your emails. This could be informing them about upcoming discounts so that they are the first to benefit, special offers for repeat clients, free samples/seats, among others. At the same time, request them to transfer your emails from junk/spam folder to their inbox folder. The more consistent your clients, and colleagues, keep moving your emails to their inbox folders, the more their platform will read this as a cue to deliver future emails to their inbox.
- You can also, as a standard practice, send most bulk messages to segments of your clients via your preferred bulk messaging platform. This will encourage your clients to frequently check their spam/junk folders.
- Include key feautes in your templates/body of the email: For instance, unsubscribe buttons, physical and post office addresses, contacts for more information, your webiste link, and other ways where clients can reach you to give you feedback. Some platforms have templates with pre-coded features, other platforms might require you to code these features from scratch.
These tips are not exhaustive. But they are critical steps towards realising your Return on Investment (ROI) on your email marketing. However, they are not a one-off, one-size-fits-all solution. The key to effective email marketing is understanding your target market/audience preferences. You can achieve this through rigourous and frequent market surveys/research. Above all be consistent in your communication.
For more information on how to manage email database, and how to incorporate, and train your staff, on the digital marketing component for your projects, please contact us at email@example.com
By Donna Macharia, Marketing, Communication and Acquisition, MDF Kenya.