Smart Delivery = Relevance + Targeting

The following blog post is content from our “Email Deliverability Best Practices Notebook”. It’s full of tips to get your emails into subscribers’ inboxes during the holidays, and throughout the year. Download this eBook here.

Smart delivery means targeting subscribers with relevant content so they will engage.Smart delivery means providing content subscribers want to read, not the content you want to send them. When they want to read it, engagement with your messages goes up. For example, just because you have three specific items on sale doesn’t mean that’s what your subscribers want to buy.

Tailor mailings to segments of subscribers based on demographic data. In the WhatCounts Smart Marketing Engine, segment by zip code or state. Take it a step further and segment by psychographic data: target back-to-school messages at college students, teenagers, or parents.

Give subscribers a reason to keep opening your emails instead of deleting them. The more times someone engages with your emails, the more times they’re going to convert on your email and the better placement your future emails will have in the inbox overall.

Use open, click and purchase data to target your most active and loyal subscribers. Send these subscribers an extra email each month with never-before-seen content or special offers. Doing this not only drives engagement metrics. It also boosts revenue since repeat buyers produce the most return-on-investment.

Set Clear Expectations

When new subscribers sign up for your emails, they should know exactly what to expect in their mailboxes. It’s essential for you to include vital information about each of your emails on your Preference Site. At a minimum, you should address these topics:

Who is sending the email: Identify from which email address the email will be coming. This address should be clearly identifiable with your company.

Type of email: Create a short blurb about the content in the email. It doesn’t have to be long; just a sentence or two indicating whether the email is a newsletter, event invitation, a promotion or educational content.

How often you’ll be sending: This is mucho important. Tell people how often, on what day, and at what time they’ll be receiving your email: daily, weekly or monthly. If you don’t say you’ll be sending a daily email, people who sign up for it expecting a less frequent email will burn out quickly. Be honest and upfront about your send frequency.

What topics or areas of interest the email covers: Preference Sites provide customization options for pinpointing specific topics in which subscribers are interested: deals and specials, hot products, newsletters. Target people by what information they want to receive.

Unclear expectations at the time of sign up are often the drivers of spam complaints. Clearly outlining these items will help reduce the complaints you receive.

Promote the unsubscribe link

It goes against your instincts to promote the unsubscribe link: you don’t want people to unsubscribe from your email list. You think smaller lists are bad. You think losing subscribers means losing ROI.

The truth is, you should value unsubscribes.

No, it’s not crazy to think this way. Consider the alternative to unsubscribing. Inactive, unengaged subscribers would most likely mark your emails as spam or delete them. This could lead to bigger deliverability issues overall and a definite loss of ROI. Think about a person who unsubscribes as one less individual who could hurt your engagement metrics.

The truth is, promoting the unsubscribe link in your emails will help your delivery rates. Hidden or hard-to-find unsubscribe links will generate spam complaints from unhappy users who aren’t interested in the content of your emails anymore.

Where should the unsubscribe link appear in your email? Placing the link in the preheader has been shown to reduce spam complaints in many cases.

Joy Ugi
Digital Marketing Coordinator, WhatCounts
Twitter: @ugigirl

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