Social media platforms are still young in terms of the Internet. While their marketing prowess is almost impossible to overstate, sometimes it’s important to remember that the old ways can still be the best. Email marketing is almost as old as email itself, and while social media might look shinier and more exciting, email can still be one of your strongest platforms for growing your business.
While email marketing is still a major asset, you can no longer simply send out automated messages every day and hope to be seen. The moment you appear to be spam, you’ve lost. Finding the balance between effective marketing and obnoxious spam can be difficult, but once you do, you will see the results almost instantly.
There are a few key concepts you need to keep in mind to avoid looking like spam.
What Is Your Subject Line?
Your subject line is, unquestionably, the most important part of your email. Of course you need to grab people and entice them with your content, but it’s far too easy to fall into the spam trap. Count how many exclamation marks you use. Just like in writing, it’s “one or none.” Overusing them, or using multiple in a row, is a sure sign of spam.
You need to pay close attention to your word choices as well. Phrases like “as seen on,” “be your own boss,” or “earn more cash,” are going to get flagged as spam immediately. Try to think of all the spam you see in your email, and cut those words out of your vocabulary when you’re writing your subject line.
Who Are You Emailing?
A common misstep that you will almost certainly make (we’ve all done it) is not keeping your list up to date. Uploading a contact list to your email program is easy, and once you do it, you can just click “send,” right? Unfortunately, your list will need constant attention in order to get you the best results.
Your email data will decay over time, sometimes significantly. Emails go out of use or get deleted, and if you are sending a steady stream of messages to those defunct accounts, there is a good chance the ISP will consider you spam. The more dead emails, the worse you look, and the more likely it is that you will get dumped into the “spam” folder before anyone even sees your message.
Your list also needs to be real emails. Paid-for email lists are common, but just like buying followers on your social media channels; they will do you more harm than good. It might look impressive to have 10,000 people on your email list, but if most of them are either dead or automated, there is no point in using them. It will make your statistics look bad, and will give you the appearance of a spammer.
Are You Hitting Overload?
Looking at a lower open rate than you were hoping for can be disheartening, but when it comes to email marketing, more is not merrier. Sending out daily reminders, or even 2 or 3 emails a week can burn out your audience. 66% of people unsubscribe from lists because they feel they receive too many emails, and almost 40% of people start to view brands negatively, some to the point of avoiding a company, when they get inundated with messages. You need to have a focus, and make sure each email is packed with what your audience wants instead of trying to send out an email for every single announcement imaginable.
Avoiding email burnout goes and in hand with avoiding burning out your audience on your social media channels. It is a delicate balance, but once your find it, your efforts will be rewarded with more engagement, more customers, and a steadier business.