How to Ensure Your Emails Aren’t Labeled “Spam”
As my colleague, Helen Veyna, recently wrote, “Email is one of the most powerful tools us marketers have at our disposal, but it can only help us generate results if our messages land in the inbox and, more importantly, stay out of the spam folder.” So how do we make sure our emails are being delivered to our intended recipients’ inbox when we want them to? Let’s examine the three most critical elements involved in reaching your desired email destination.
Using Quality Data
The exciting, clever, and compelling content of your emails will never see the light of day if you’re not implementing data collection best practices when curating your email lists. This means developing lists organically through quality SEO practices, demand generation campaigns, and social media outreach — as opposed to the cardinal sin of digital marketing automation: purchasing your lists from third-parties.
To ensure inboxing, everyone on your list must have voluntarily opted-in (better yet, double opted-in — discussed further below) to receive messages from your organization, and each of those addresses must be active, meaning the email is still in use. You should also have clear and direct “Unsubscribe” options listed prominently on each of your emails to give your recipients the chance to cease receiving your messages. If not, they’ll just begin marking your emails as “Spam,” which is a no-win situation for everyone.
Segmenting Your Audiences
Your sender reputation is highly influenced by engagement and goes a long way toward reaching your inboxing goals, so you need to make sure you’re sending targeted messaging to specific audiences who are legitimately interested in what you have to say. If you’re sending irrelevant information to disinterested parties, those emails are doomed before they’re sent. Instead, you need to segment your audiences so you can create and send personalized messages to people who actually want to learn more about your products and services.
By opting-in to receive messages from your organization, your audience segments were implicitly agreeing to a set expectation that doing so would benefit them. Don’t let them down. Segment your audience using a powerful marketing automation platform, tailor your messaging to meet those audiences’ expectations, and drive engagement with consistent emails that benefit both sender and recipient.
Provide a Clear Path to Opt-Out of Emails
We mentioned this above, but it bears repeating: you must make it clear and easy for unsatisfied recipients to opt-out of your emails. Holding them captive wastes your resources, damages your reputation, and forces recipients to take drastic measures (i.e., label your emails as “Spam”). When the spam rates increase, your reputation takes a hit, and repairing a damaged reputation is extremely difficult and time-consuming, so it’s best to follow best practices from the start to avoid headaches further down the road.
In some cases, recipients might not necessarily want to cease all communication; they just need a little break — or might only want to receive information about specific products or services. One proven solution that benefits everyone is to provide a link to a landing page where the fatigued recipient can update their preferences regarding the type and frequency of emails they want to receive. Once you have this information, continue to segment accordingly — if done correctly, you’ll be back in their good graces before too long.