Top email platforms are much savvier and have started enforcing stricter policies on email campaigns. As this trend continues, marketers need to better understand how to avoid the dreaded “email jail.”
If you aren’t making it past the spam filter – or are being blocked completely – there is no way you’ll be converting your efforts into sales or capturing data that helps you understand the overall effectiveness of your campaign.
How can you ensure your emails are hitting the prospects’ inboxes? Here are three important elements to do just that:
Capture and Complete Contact Data
Though it seems like a “duh” in marketing, its shockingly easy to forget the number one rule: Know your audience. Without a baseline understanding of who you are targeting and how, the rest of any email marketing campaign falls apart.
Email platforms notice marketing emails that aren’t being opened or are bounced at high rates – and begin to automatically send these emails to spam.
The first step requires marketers to capture the topics of assets and pages visited on your digital platforms. Then, add in a layer of understanding around message engagement, which means researching which emails prospects opened already and clicked on.
Finally, run a profile to understand your customer segments, then market to look-a-likes. Doing this ensures that those new to your content are likely to click rather than trash.
Version and Tailor Your Message
In today’s B2B sales cycle, multiple people are involved in most purchase decisions. They each need to hear from you in a way that meets their needs, not the needs of their boss or colleague in a different department. You must communicate based on how your product or service specifically improves this person’s efforts.
You can improve these tailored messages by integrating data points from third-party sources that enriches your understanding of the customer. When you consider that accurate, timely, aggregated data is critical for a principal – and that a classroom teacher is most concerned with student outcomes – you will start to shape how you talk about your offering and which features are most relevant to your recipient.
A second element of added context comes from knowing who influences and makes the decisions about what you offer. Again, those making the decision get a different version of the message you’re sending. This encourages open rates when you are speaking specifically to filling a gap.
Consistency along with more targeted messaging informed by audience segmentation is key. This means communicating using many different versions and relying on frequent message sends that focus on smaller groups.
Make Data Hygiene a Priority
In this equation, more emails captured does not equal more sales. It’s easy to think that having more data, even if incomplete or uncategorized, is the best way to go. But the reality is, marketers need to know when to say no. Over the last five years, the costs of bad data have been estimated at $3 trillion annually and representing nearly 30% of data in the United States (source: Bad Data Costs the U.S. $3 Trillion Per Year (hbr.org)).
In practical terms, this means letting your audience choose how they want to hear from you. There are many ways to engage digitally these days and to stay connected with your targets. Don’t force anyone into a single method.
Also, allow those who want to unsubscribe do it with ease. Put your unsubscribe option at the top; don’t make them hunt for it. This not only shows your targets that you respect their time, but – perhaps more importantly – it cuts out those who will never engage with your emails.
As a result, you’ve got a better list that is more targeted and will actually get opened and ultimately increase your rate of engagement. This improves your inbox placement.
With emails targeted at the right audience with the right message, complete and real data, and high engagement rates, you’ll be setting your email marketing strategy up for success from the start.