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5 Overlooked Email Marketing Tatics

By NIRAJ RANJAN ROUT on Mar 21, 2017 10:57:42 PM

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Email marketing yields an average 4,300% return on investment for businesses in the United States. (Direct Marketing Association). This is too significant a number to go wrong with your email marketing strategy!In email marketing, most marketers seem to focus too much on factors like frequency of the emails or the volume of your mailing list when there are several other overlooked, but game-changing strategies to focus on.Focusing on these ignored strategies while composing your email marketing campaign can also help you create differentiation for yourself.Here are a few such strategies.1. Let them Opt-in. Don't shove emails down their inboxes.

Even with all the awareness amongst people about email marketing, I think opt-in is still the most overlooked strategy. Purchased email lists may work for a few, but in general they are not that effective and it also can damage your reputation and they go against the CAN SPAM regulations.

Where does the problem lie? Most people on purchased email lists are not even aware that their contacts are being shared with someone else and this can increase the risk of spam.According to a study by ExactTarget, 77% of consumers prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications through email.

Additionally, if the spam filters notice that your mails are getting consistently low rates and high bounce rates and even complaints, your mails will start to land up in the spam box before you know it.

The most strategic way to do email marketing is to build a list of opt-in email contacts and do a very targeted marketing. When people opt-in for your newsletters and emails themselves, you are securing an audience that is already interested in what you have to say and so, there is definitely a lower risk of spams and higher open rates.

I remember when we first implemented the opt-in strategy at Hiver - the open rates soared to 3X of what we were getting from a purchased list.Here is an interesting article on ways to fatten your email opt-ins list.2. Land up in the primary tab in Gmail instead of promotions or spam.

This is another overlooked factor while composing your newsletter for your marketing campaign.

You might as well not send an email, than landing up in the promotions or even worse, the spam folder.

Here are a few suggestions to avoid this:

  • Avoid keywords like free, bonus, promo. Spam filters are triggered at the sight of these words.

  • Keep the number of images in balance with the content as too many images increase the probability of landing in a promotions/spam folder.

  • Avoid bulky emails.

  • Use a legitimate sender address.

  • Ask your users to include your "from" address in their contacts book.

One important thing to remember is to avoid dirty tricks to circumvent the spam filters that is using misleading subject lines like adding "Re:" or "Fwd:" to make the users think that it is an ongoing conversation etc. This will damage your reputation and in today's email marketing, dirty tricks can get you into the block list within the blink of your eye.

3. Making the emails relevant to everyone (segmentation)MailChimp found that when their users segmented email lists based on data like location and job title, open rates increased by almost 19%, and click-through rates by almost 22% compared to non-segmented sends. One of the most effective strategy for conversions is also the least emphasized if not overlooked strategy.

The idea is to simply give personal attention to your customers. Here is how you can approach segmentation.

  • Pick out a few variables (gender, region) and tag all your contacts accordingly.

  • Work back from your end goal, and create a targeted email with razor sharp calls-to-action (if it's a donation, say DONATE HERE - stop beating around the subject).

  • Go 1-to-1 by determining elements that will make your customers happy, tag customers with notes (pick all your dog lovers and send them doggy memes).

You can use tools like Mailchimp which helps you segment lists by location, engagement, sign-up date and more.Another tool called Django Drip lets you customize your segment lists.There is a whole science behind this segmentation strategy on the internet for your reference and you can begin with this enlightening article.4. Including message preheader.Preheader is the content (usually not more than 100 characters) following the subject line that captures the essence of the email. The simple purpose of the email preheaders is to succinctly answer the question "what's in it for me?" for your readers.Here's how you can use preheaders to call your customers to action

  • Reinforce your subject line.

  • Highlight the question the email is trying to answer.

  • Mention offers like coupons or free shipping offers.

  • Mention the beginning of your email content(as a hook of course, for example, John came to me with a funny proposal …).

What you cannot sell through a 4-5 word subject line, you can sell through preheaders, so it is just as important to invest your time in preheaders as it is to invest in good subject lines.Here are some examples of preheaders that can increase open rates5. Using alternative textAlternate text is the text that shows up when an image fails to load.Alternate Text.jpgThis is important because.

  • If for some reason your images fail to load (which happens quite often), these alternate texts can help your readers grasp the context and understand the content even without the help of pictures. In short, it is an effective fail safe technique.

  • Search engines are more receptive to text than to the images and hence, adding an alternative text can make it easier for you to latch on to the search engines crawling through the web.

  • Visually impaired readers use screen readers and adding alternative text can help them understand the image on the page.

Despite the growing influence of the social media marketing, email marketing still remains highly effective and sometimes, more effective than any other type of content marketing.Given the cost-effectiveness, and robust results, everyone has pretty much ensured of getting the basics of email marketing right. How to stay ahead of the curve? Spend time on areas that most of them have overlooked.Image Source (1, 2, 3)Author - Niraj Ranjan RoutNiraj is the founder of Hiver (formerly GrexIt), an app the lets you share Gmail labels with other Gmail users. Niraj works on programming, customer support and sales, and also contributes to design and UI. He's a fusion music aficionado, loves to play the guitar when he can.