Is Email Marketing Still Effective?
Email marketing is still a key pillar in marketing communication, and it’s not going away anytime soon. For entrepreneurs and smaller organizations that rely heavily on email marketing, deliverability is one of those things that plague them. If you have the resources to utilize an Email Marketing Software tool, there are many options to choose from, but without a hefty budget to spend on dedicated email deliverability software and employees, it may seem harder and harder to stay out of the spam folder… because it is.
In this post, I’ll give you four simple ways to immediately increase your email deliverability without having to invest in any additional tools.
Why is Email Deliverability Important?
You may think that email marketing is a dying industry, but it still is one of the most inexpensive forms of marketing communication with the highest ROI. Email deliverability is crucial to the success of your email marketing campaign. On average, companies (that do it right) see between a 2.5% - 5% conversion rate on their email marketing efforts.
Email service providers (ESPs), like Gmail & Outlook, are becoming more intelligent and continue to move towards a better user experience through new filters and different innovative inboxes like the Promo folder in Gmail.
TL;DR: If you’re sending an email to someone, you want it to reach their inbox; not spam.
(TL;DR, short for: Too Long; Didn’t Read, means a quick summary of the info presented)
4 Quick Fixes to Your Email Deliverability
#1 - K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple St*pid)
TL;DR: Make your emails look like you quickly composed them out of your personal inbox.
To increase your open rates and improve deliverability, the content inside your marketing emails should be plain and simple. When you try to get fancier with your emails by adding multiple images, fonts, colors, and styling, you are raising red flags increasing the chances of getting into their spam folders. And if you make it past the spam filter, you’ll most likely land in the Promo folder in Gmail. Use bolding very sparingly, use correct capitalizations (DoNt GEt FanCY), and don’t misspell words in an attempt to trick your way out of spam because ESPs are smarter today than they were yesterday.
The closer your email looks like you typed it in a text editor without any special formatting, the greater the likelihood your email will land in the inbox.
#2 - Follow the 80/20 Rule
TL;DR: Stay away from images unless it’s absolutely necessary to have it.
Before ESPs were as advanced as they are today, scammers and phishers would use image files to hide text from spam filters and hyperlink them to things like seedy sites, viruses, etc. As a rule of thumb, if you keep your image files to 2 or fewer per email, and keep the text/image ratio to 80/20, you’ll keep the ESPs’ watchdogs at bay. If you’re not all that proud of that shoddy stock photo you doctored up in Canva… leave it out.
#3 - Stick to 1 CTA
TL;DR: Don’t ask people to do more than one thing… they’ll end up doing nothing.
This one is more of a long-term email deliverability strategy. ESPs keep an eye out to see if and how people are engaging with your email. Many factors can either land your email in an inbox or never be seen again in spam. If your click-through ratio (CTR) ratio is consistently high, ESPs assume that what you’re sending is of value to its readers, which means you’ll find your way into the inbox a lot more.
So what does this have to do with multiple CTAs? Simple.
Users are inundated with emails every day, and they want you to get to the point quickly. They want to know the one action your email is asking for. The more you ask them to do, the greater the likelihood they’ll tell themselves, “Oh, I’ll come back to this later when I have more time” or “Thank you, next!” without having clicked on anything at all. Don’t overwhelm your readers. Make it short and to the point.
#4 - Ask people to respond directly… and respond back!
TL;DR: Create actual email conversations rather than just blasting one-way information.
This goes hand-in-hand with #3 above. We use conversations in all aspects of our lives; email marketing should be no different; a conversation can not be started if you are not using conversational email copy. If your users are actually replying to your email and getting a reply back from you, your email domain looks more human-like to ESPs. How many times have you been in the middle of an email exchange with someone and found their next email in the spam folder? Chances are, never.
Wrapping it up
See? Email deliverability doesn’t have to be a topic that makes you break out in a cold sweat.
The more that you turn your email marketing tone into conversational and real, the easier it is to get into and stay in the inbox.
Of course, there are other things to consider when you’re dealing with much larger lists, but if you practiced the four things outlined in this article you’re well ahead of most people when it comes to protecting and solving your email deliverability challenges.
If you'd like to receive our complete Email Deliverability Checklist & Guidelines, enter your email address here to have it emailed to your inbox. You’ll get a detailed list of terms that you may not realize trigger ESPs to have a knee-jerk reaction and send you to their spam folder.