Despite the growing interest in social media platforms and instant messaging apps, email marketing remains a predominant communication channel for numerous industries.
Whether you operate as an eCommerce platform or a small-scale outsourcing startup, email marketing can still turn the tide in your favour.
According to Medium, 60% of consumers prefer email to other channels when it comes to promotion, with an average open rate of 22.86% in 2020. Additionally, 99 Firms reported that 80% of marketers still heavily lean on email for customer acquisition, with 80% who also believe it increases customer retention.
However, due to the sheer volume of email content sent around the globe, it can be easy to trigger automatic spam alerts.
Email deliverability is an important point of contention, which requires a more delicate approach to content writing and optimization prior to a campaign’s launch.
That said, let’s take a look at how you can optimize your email content to ensure higher deliverability as well as which mistakes to avoid.
Build Original Mailing Lists
You might be tempted to buy an already formed email list from a third-party vendor or B2B partner and call it a day. While this approach may be quicker than building an email list of your own, it’s also risky in regards to deliverability.
It’s easy to come off as a spam email provider if you use an unverified list which may or may not be on the blacklist. To avoid that, create your own email lists from scratch and use an email list verification service such as Bouncer.
This will ensure much higher email deliverability and allow you to keep track of how your mailing efforts perform going forward.
Subject & Opening Lines Matter
The first line of defence in terms of your email content’s open rate revolves around the subject and opening lines. These elements will be clearly visible to anyone who receives your email and effectively lead them to decide whether to open the email or not.
This makes writing proper subject lines with clear and professional wording a must. Your opening line should follow the same logic and be written in a succinct, informative, and respectful manner.
Avoid all-caps words, exclamation points, or special characters in these two elements.
Marie Fincher, Chief of Content Writing at GrabMyEssay, spoke on the topic:
“Try to always edit out any unnecessary words from your email’s subject and opening lines. Treat these segments almost as separate entities from the rest of your email and write them carefully to avoid coming off as a spammer.
Doing so will already increase the open rate of your emails significantly, leading to better email deliverability from your business’ accounts across the board.”
Segment your User Base
Odds are that your email list will consist of users of various demographics and expectations when it comes to email content they receive.
A simple example of this can be found in territory-specific discount coupons – you wouldn’t send US-only coupons to your European users.
While your intentions may be good, the users who find your email irrelevant will be quick to mark it as such – irrelevant spam.
This can affect your email deliverability drastically and result in poor engagement across the board. This can be avoided by segmenting your mailing list based on different filters such as industry, territory, and product/service you offer.
Segment your email list as much as possible to create a sense of personalization for the recipients, and they will respond to your content better.
Adopt a Conversational Tone
As we move closer to 2021, users have adopted a more UX-centric stance when it comes to email content. It’s no longer enough to pitch a sales offer to a customer and call it a day.
Instead, personalization plays a large role in your email’s perception. Adopt a more conversational tone of voice in the content you write for your mailing list.
Remain professional, but address your recipient by name or last name and use their prior purchase history to offer something unique to them.
It’s true that this approach may be slower than to simply send a universal email to everyone on your list and call it a day.
It’s also important to note that this approach will yield far better results for your engagement and subsequent email deliverability improvement efforts.
Balance Writing with Multimedia
You should never rely solely on writing or multimedia to carry your email across the finish line.
Instead, balance the two to create an appealing, professional presentation of what your business can do for the recipient. The original multimedia content you create, such as images and videos, should be optimized for mobile viewing.
Make sure that your content is compact in terms of size and doesn’t rely on cheap click-bait calls to action to engage users.
Written content which accompanies your multimedia should work in tandem with it. Treat both elements as parts of the same whole and not as two separate entities.
Your recipients will look at your email marketing efforts much more favourably if you respect their time and focus the messaging as much as possible.
Not only that, but your email deliverability performance will increase as a result of better UX with the content you create.
Allow Recipients to Opt-Out
Lastly, be pro-consumer in your email marketing and allow users to bow out of the mailing list if they are unsatisfied with your content.
Don’t make a mistake in thinking that you will be able to deliver content to users who don’t want anything to do with your brand.
Forcefully marking your email address and content as spam will significantly decrease your email deliverability and paint a negative image of your brand.
Extend an olive branch and offer users to unsubscribe while also allowing them to provide feedback about your brand while doing so.
This can lead to valuable discoveries about user-side interactions with your email, which you otherwise wouldn’t have access to.
Most importantly, it will show people you have nothing to hide or peddle, creating a more positive and professional image for your business going forward.
Common Email Deliverability Mistakes to Avoid
Now that we have a clearer idea of how you can ensure better email deliverability let’s also cover several pitfalls worth keeping in mind.
According to Business 2 Community, 50% of emails contain 300 or fewer words, while 47% of recipients open emails based on subject lines alone.
With that, it’s quite easy to write emails which end up in your user base’s spam folder due to common formatting and wording errors.
Spam content, which is created with malicious intent, follows a similar writing pattern, which automatically gets picked up by services such as Gmail and Outlook.
Avoid the following email writing mistakes, and you will effectively increase your email deliverability by a significant margin:
- Lack of clear call to action – what do you want the recipient to do with the email?
- Heavy reliance on sales tactics and promotional language without any personalization efforts
- Too many multimedia files and links attached to the email’s body – less is more in this regard
- Poor mobile optimization and improper display of email content on smartphone devices
- Lack of direct reply or interactive elements for further communication with your brand
- Reliance on spamming outdated email content without updates to writing, multimedia, or offers
Once you optimize your email content to perform better with your recipients, their engagement with your sales offers will also see a bump in performance.
Proper email marketing is all about meeting the users’ expectations and needs halfway while also staying true to your business’ principles and values.
Make it a habit to analyze the performance of your email campaigns after each one’s finished to spruce up any bottlenecks or dips in performance.
You can always do more in terms of providing value to consumers through email – doing so will improve your email deliverability along the way.
Nicole Garrison is a content strategist, writer, and contributor at a number of platforms for marketing specialists. She is a dedicated and experienced author who pays particular attention to quality research. In her free time, Nicole is a passionate runner and a curious beekeeper. Moreover, she runs her own blog LiveInspiredMagazine.