How to Get Your E-Mails in Your Customers’ Inboxes

Sep 14, 2012

When done right, e-mail campaigns are a relatively simple and inexpensive way to stay in touch with customers.

Various missteps, though, can prevent your customers from getting your messages, according to Tom Sather, who recently shared e-mail marketing advice with MarketingSherpa.

“E-mail is the main driver, it’s the workhorse, of the marketing mix,” Sather said. “It’s easy to do, which is obviously a strength. But it’s also a weakness because you can get very lazy and not focus on things you need to do to ensure that your email is getting delivered to the inbox.”

Sather provided these five tactics to ensure customers are getting your e-mails.

Set e-mail marketing goals. “Before even tackling whether e-mails are reaching the intended inboxes -¦ marketers need to define the overall goals of the e-mail marketing program,” Sather suggested. “[T]his step impacts e-mail deliverability because if the tactics to achieve those goals aren’t properly executed, the campaign might harm deliverability, reputation and brand management.”

Make sure your e-mail sends are reaching the inbox. “[M]arketers should monitor e-mail deliverability across spam filters for multiple e-mail systems,” he suggested. “[T]hey might learn, for instance, that Microsoft’s Outlook e-mail application will send e-mail to spam, and they have a chance to correct the issue before that campaign runs.”

Understand reputation management and how it affects deliverability. “Internet and e-mail service providers are now migrating toward reputation management,” Sather said. “This means the filter looks at a number of e-mail attributes, such as the sending IP address. The filter then makes a prediction on whether an e-mail coming from that address is spam.”

Don’t overlook content management. “Even though spam filters are moving toward reputation management, content management is still important,” he suggested. “E-mail content should be regularly tested to make sure the subject line and text aren’t causing deliverability issues.”

Protect your brand from phishing. “[I]f a cybercriminal hijacks a domain and brand name to execute a phishing attack, those bogus e-mails can do tremendous damage to a company brand,” Sather said. “At the very least, it can make recipients more likely to avoid mail from those brands and domains.”

To read the complete MarketingSherpa article, click here.