Email Campaigns – Managing Customer Expectations
Load and send? Batch and blast? Direct marketing concepts are ancient history in the modern email environment. Today’s email marketers must navigate their way through a complicated landscape of shifting customer expectations, challenging new technologies, evolving government regulations and other issues old-school direct marketers never had to face.
The below tips will help get you started on the road to success with your email campaigns.
1. Permission is not optional
When you send unsolicited email, you hurt your brand, your campaign and your sender reputation. Don’t use “stealth” methods to collect email addresses such as pre-checked boxes on site registration forms. Use a proper, two-stage opt-in process that requires confirmation before the address goes into your database. Ask subscribers who have been on your list for more than 12 months if they want to continue receiving your email and retain all the permission data on each subscriber.
2. Manage your sender reputation
Don’t get on an ISP’s bad side by sending too many emails too often or by generating a high number of spam complaints. ISPs will block your emails, shunt them to oblivion in the bulk folder and won’t bother to tell you what you did wrong. Here are some valuable tips for managing your sender reputation:
- Honour unsubscribe requests within the ten-day window dictated by CAN-SPAM laws.
- Stay off blacklists by monitoring, resolving and learning from spam complaints. If you’re delivering relevant content in formats that recipients want, you’ll minimize those complaints.
- Use a double opt-in process and unique IP address.
3. Clean and analyze mailing lists
A “dirty” list – one with too many unsolicited, incorrect, out-of-date or duplicated addresses – hurts your campaign performance and your company’s delivery and sender reputation. “List hygiene” means cleaning out bad addresses, which reduces undeliverable emails and helps you spot problems fast. Review your list to see who hasn’t opened or clicked for the last six months. Provide them with a compelling offer to re-engage. If that doesn’t work, try changing the frequency with which you contact them to test if that makes an impact in how they engage with you.