Emailing might seem like an old school marketing tactic, but don’t be fooled, it’s super effective! According to an article by Oberlo, 81% of small and midsize businesses still rely on email as their primary customer acquisition channel, and 80% for retention. According to that same article, email marketing still delivers a strong return on investment and for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42. That’s pretty impressive if you ask me. If done correctly, email marketing can have a lot of benefits. On the flip side, if done incorrectly, email marketing can have some pretty negative consequences.
One of these being your emails end up in the spam folder. That’s not good. If your emails do get sent to the spam folder, the mailbox provider is notified about the complaint and after a certain amount of complaints, all of your emails skip the inbox and get sent directly to the spam folder. No bueno. Don’t worry, there are a lot of different things you can do to avoid this from happening. BMG helps all of our customers with email campaigns, so we know proper etiquette and what we are talking about when it comes to this topic. Here are our ten tips to avoid your emails being sent to the spam folder!
This one might seem obvious, but it’s a huge reason why emails get sent to the spam folder. You need to have permission from every single person you send an email to. If they know who you are, they agreed for emails to be sent to them, and they are expected an email from you or your company, you are far less likely to be sent to the spam folder.
If they don’t know who you are and aren’t expecting an email from you, that’s a recipe for disaster. You wouldn’t want to be sent random emails from someone who you haven't heard of, right? So don’t do that to your audience. Get permission and do it the right way. It will make your company look more reputable and will help keep your emails out of the spam folder.
Okay, so you have permission to send emails to your audience but your emails are still ending up in the spam folder. Why? One reason might be due to low engagement rates. If your emails aren’t providing value to your target audience, they may not be engaged or even open the email to begin with. This alone can cause your emails to start getting sent straight to spam. To prevent this from happening, make your emails engaging and filled with content that is valuable to the people you are sending it to so they want to open it and they want to interact with you!
Going hand-in-hand with low engagement rates is having a misleading subject line. This is a no-no. If your subject line doesn’t directly reflect on what’s in the email, people are going to question your validity and your knowledge on the subject and they might stop reading your emails. This would result in low engagement rates, which we just talked about how that could result in your emails being sent to spam. Keep your email subject lines engaging and make sure they directly correlate with what your email is about!
Keeping your lists clean and up to date is important. If you send out an email campaign and you get automatic responses that people are no longer with the company, or the email hard bounced, etc, get rid of the contact. There is no point in keeping it in your records if it’s irrelevant. Not to mention, it will make your emails seem more valid and will make them less likely to end up in the spam folder.
If people respond to your email saying they would like to opt-out of receiving your emails or want to be taken off your list, do it. Do it as fast as you can. You don’t want to send emails to people who don’t want to receive them, because they are more likely to report it as spam. Keeping your email lists clean and up to date not only keeps you organized, but it will also help keep your emails out of the spam folder!
We briefly mentioned sending valuable content in the low engagement section, but we are going to focus on it here because of how important it is. I can’t stress enough how you want to send your audience content that is valuable and relevant to them. This will not only keep them from sending you to the spam folder, but it will also help you build rapport and keep them as a customer. When it comes to sending valuable content, you want to keep up with the marketing trends and what’s hot at the moment. I was reading an article about how videos are going to be the biggest marketing focus for 2020.
People engage really well with videos and they are becoming increasingly more popular than photos by the minute. According to that same article by Oberlo that I was talking about earlier, adding a video to your email can increase click rates by 300%! That’s crazy! Keep up with trends and start including videos in your emails. Giving people what they want is a foolproof way to make sure your emails don’t end up in the spam folder!
Videos might be the talk of the town in terms of engagement, but don’t completely throw away the idea of including photos in your emails. People still do like photos and I can guarantee you they would rather look at a photo than read a bunch of content. With that being said, if you are going to include photos in your emails, make sure they are perfect. The first way to do that is by making sure they are correctly sized, optimized and compressed. If you put a huge photo in your email, it can slow the email down and take forever to open or show up. FYI that’s not a good look.
If you are going to include photos in your emails, don’t use too many. That’s overkill and can make people think you aren’t professional. Use the appropriate amount of photos for the length of your email and make sure they are relevant to the content! No one likes getting an email, looking at the photos and not knowing what it is or how it relates to the email. Just like your subject line, make sure everything is relevant, cohesive and makes sense.
This is a big one, you guys. Do not, and I repeat, do not make your email sound like a sales pitch. If you aren’t a car salesman, don’t sound like one. Keep your email professional & engaging, without being over the top or sketchy. This means don’t use a lot of exclamation points. You aren’t texting with your friends and exclamation points don’t need to be at the end of every sentence. It simply makes you sound unprofessional. On the same note is fonts. Don’t use a random, obscure font that is impossible to read. Stick with a standard one to keep your email looking professional, and more importantly, make sure your audience can read what you wrote.
Lastly, I hate that I even have to say it, but I do. Make sure you proofread your emails before you send them out. There is nothing worse than getting an email that has visible spelling and grammar issues. It makes you look sloppy and like you didn’t put in the time to make your emails perfect for your audience. If you aren’t great with grammar or spelling, that’s okay. Have a colleague read through it before it goes out. Or, you can use Grammarly, which will help you make sure your emails are good to go! At the end of the day, the most important thing is that your emails sound like you and don't sound like a sales pitch. Tell your customers what you want them to know, but do it professionally. If you do this, your emails are less likely to end up in the spam folder.
This next tip is pretty straightforward and to the point. You must include your physical address somewhere in your email. Legally, you have to do it, and if you don’t, you can almost guarantee that your emails are going to end up in the spam folder. This is a super easy thing to avoid. Just plop it right at the bottom of your email, where your audience can see it. It doesn’t have to be super big or get in the way of your email and what you’re trying to say!
Providing an unsubscribe link is SO IMPORTANT!! Yes, I’m yelling as I write this because it seriously is so important. You want to give your audience an out if they want one. If they don’t want to be included in your email lists, don’t force them to be. If you don’t provide an unsubscribe link and you keep sending people emails they don’t want, they have no option but to report you as spam. Just provide the link and you will be less likely to go to the spam folder. Not to mention, this will help keep your lists clean and filled with people who want to receive your emails! A win-win-win situation!
The last tip BMG has to make sure your emails don’t end up in the spam folder is to take a look at what’s in your spam folder to get ideas of what not to do. Look at what’s in those emails and try and figure out why they go to spam or why you reported them as spam. Whatever those reasons are, try to make sure your emails look the opposite!
So there you have it. Email marketing is still a huge part of a marketing strategy, but it’s so important that it’s done right to ensure they don’t go straight to spam. We hope these ten lists gave you some more insight on what to include and what not to include in your emails. Like I said earlier in the blog, we help all of our customers with their email marketing strategy and we feel confident in our email abilities. If you are struggling with the email side of your marketing strategy, give BMG a call today so we can try and be of help to you and your company!