Four Tips for Email Success This Holiday Season

Email continues to be a leading form of communication between prospects and customers. As the holidays approach, email volume will increase as retailers try to hit their revenue targets. But without a good email strategy, you could miss out.

Every time a customer places an order, your reputation is on the line. But just like product quality and customer service, email can impact your reputation as well. And if you’re not diligent in managing your lists, your emails may never reach their destination. In fact, 17% of email marketing campaigns fail to reach consumers.*

These four key strategies will help your business build and maintain a good email reputation.

1. Grow and maintain your mailing list
The more email “opens” you get, the better your reputation will be in the eyes of your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Conversely, ISPs will filter emails from senders that generate high numbers of bounce-backs, complaints and unsubscribe requests. So, start by sending email only to customers who have opted-in to receive them.

Any emails that bounce back to you should be investigated and removed from your list if you cannot resolve the delivery issue. Make sure every email you send has an unsubscribe link at the bottom, and that you manage those unsubscribe requests in a timely manner.

2. Validate your mailing list
Email verification and validation goes a long way to ensuring delivery of your message. As mentioned above, the more email bounces you have, the lower your reputation as a sender. So it’s wise to have your list validated.

Validation services will scan your list to identify any address data that’s incorrect or incomplete. These companies will also compare your list to their list of known invalid addresses. Validation services can help keep you out of the spam folder by checking the validity of your sender email address domain to make sure it’s not being used by anyone else posing as you.

3. Track and respond to emails
If a spam filter is wreaking havoc on email delivery, check to make sure you’re not violating any of the national standards set forth by the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Next, try to reach your customers directly and ask that they add your domain name to their address book.

You may also consider leaving email delivery to the pros. There are many specialized companies dedicated to email marketing that can take your content and get it to your customers. Finally, ensure that a response mechanism is part of every email, and that you respond quickly and appropriately to any customers who do reply to your email.

4. Provide useful content
Think about how many marketers vie daily for your attention. Now think about the few that catch — and keep — your attention. These are the companies that have connected with you through their ability to provide something you need. Your relationship is based on relevance, and these companies keep your attention by delivering relevant content.

Good opt-in management is the first step to relevance. Make sure you’re soliciting readers from the right audience. Then make sure that you’re not taking too much of the reader’s time. Keep your email content short, to the point and on-topic. Finally, make sure the email drives action. Direct your readers to a place where they can learn more about your offer and make a purchase if they decide to buy.

Read more about mastering the art of reaching your customers here:

*Source: ReturnPath

Before leaving in 2016, Angela ran integrated marketing campaigns for Rackspace. She started in 2003 and did everything from Linux support, account management, sales, product marketing and marketing. She left Rackspace in 2005 to work for PEER 1 Hosting but returned in 2009 because she was interested in the cloud computing movement. Angela is a strong believer in the power of storytelling.


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