Email marketing is as popular as ever and is here to stay despite the naysayers proclaiming that “Email marketing is dead!” In fact, the best email marketers earn 6 figure incomes by sending promotional emails to their responsive lists.
If they can do it, then it is possible.
There are 2 fundamentals that must be in place if you wish to be a successful email marketer...
Firstly, your emails need to land in your subscribers inbox instead of their spam folder.
Secondly, your subscribers need to open your emails and click on your links.
This post will not focus on click through rates because that will depend on the text in your email.
The most important steps are getting the emails to their inbox and getting them to open the emails. If you can do that, that’s more than half the battle won.
The tips below will help you to achieve both steps successfully if you adhere to them.
- Test your emails before sending them
It may seem like common sense, yet so few people do it. Sign up for the most commonly used email accounts like Gmail and Yahoo. You may be surprised to know that most people stick to their email service provider for decades. It’s just too troublesome to change providers.
Sign up for different accounts and add these emails to your own list. Before you send any email, send it to these test accounts first and check if they land in the spam folder. If they land in your spam folder, you can expect similar results for others. Fix what needs to be fixed so that you end up in the inbox.
- Ask subscribers to whitelist your email address
In your first email to your subscribers when they sign up, do give them specific instructions on how to whitelist your email address so that they do not miss out on what you’re sending them. While many subscribers will not take action, there’ll be several who do listen to your instructions and this will significantly improve your deliverability rates.
- Practice list hygiene
Once a month you should actively remove subscribers who have not opened your emails for the past 3 months. These subscribers are probably no longer interested in your emails and are dragging your deliverability stats down.
- Watch your deliverability and open rate stats closely
Do not just blindly email without checking your stats later on. Keep an eye on emails that have higher deliverability stats and open rates. See what’s working and what’s not. You’ll then know what is going on and be able to tailor your emails accordingly.
- Do NOT force subscribers to stay on your list
Always give subscribers the option to unsubscribe from your list. There are many marketers who do not give their list this option. Some even re-import unsubscribes and add them to a new list.
This is counterproductive. Why would you want someone on your list if they don’t to be on it? They’ll either ignore your emails or hit the spam button. If too many people are hitting the spam button instead of unsubscribing, sooner or later the email service provider will take note of the address these emails are originating from.
Now your emails will be much more likely to trigger the email service providers’ spam filters. So, always provide an easy way for people to leave your list if they want to.
- Maintain a good sender reputation
Your sender reputation is very important. Your open rates, clickthrough rates, etc. are all taken into account to measure just how good an email marketer you are. You want high open rates, high clickthrough rates and low bounce rates.
If you have a bad sender reputation because you’re hitting your list with 10 emails a day and nobody is bothered to open your emails, your sender reputation is going to suffer… and your emails will trigger the spam filters.
Boosting Open Rates
- Build a Tribe and Not a List
This may sound different from what you’re used to hearing. After all, everybody and their brother keeps saying that “The money is in the list!”
Here’s the catch – Ultimately, it’s not the size of the list that matters but the responsiveness of that list. A marketer with a responsive list of 2000 people will get more sales than one who has a list of 30,000 people but most are unresponsive. Your goal is to build a large and responsive list.
The best way to build a tribe is to provide value and be an interesting email marketer. If all you do is hammer your list with promotional emails, they’re going to get numb… and numb subscribers will ignore your emails over time.
Make your emails informative, entertaining and something that they can look forward to. If people enjoy your emails, you can bet that you’ll have a loyal following that eagerly opens your emails.
- Engage with your list
One of the best ways to increase open rates is to actively engage with your subscribers. By doing so, you’ll build relationships with them. People are much more likely to open your emails if they consider you a friend.
Encourage them to email you with questions if they need help. After all, you are an authority in your niche. That’s why they’re on your list. So, help them as best as you can.
Be prompt with your replies when your subscribers contact you. Do NOT ignore them. Not responding is also a response.
By replying your emails you’ll inspire loyalty, trust and this will lead to higher open rates. The email service providers like emails that get responses and your deliverability will improve too.
- Have a good subject line
Research has shown that over 60% of people open emails because they were intrigued by the subject lines. So, make sure that your subject lines are interesting and get attention. Your list will be much more likely to open the email. Do note that the subject line must be related to the email content in some way or another.
- Treat your subscribers as people and not numbers
Far too many marketers treat their subscribers as cash cows. All they do is send email after email trying to get their list to buy every offer that hits the market. There is no relationship building, no value, no nothing… and after a while, no opens either.
People get on a list to get answers and value. Hardly anyone subscribes to a list just to get hit with incessant offers. So, balance your promotional emails with those that give the subscribers value.
- Send your emails at the right time
Ideally, you should know roughly what times your emails get the most opens. Mail your list consistently at times when the response is good. Probably the best times to send an email are from 9am to 12 noon.
It would be a good idea to wait a day and email your unopens too. Sometimes people get too busy and may miss out on your email. By sending them another one, you increase your chances of getting your message across. Don’t overdo this though. One reminder email to those who didn’t open your email should suffice.
By following the tips mentioned above, your list will be in good health, your subscribers will be loyal and your sender reputation will be good. Your deliverability and open rates will go up and you’ll be a much more effective email marketer.