This is the email marketer’s cheat sheet you’ve been waiting for! Email marketing is one of the fastest, most flexible, and most cost-effective ways of reaching a wide audience. It’s the most preferred channel to receive business communication, followed by SMS and WhatsApp. All major B2B and B2C brands use email marketing to reach new customers and retain existing ones. With an 18% open rate and a 0.1% unsubscribe rate, email marketing is one of the biggest channels for corporations to create a strong brand image. Since email marketing has so many huge upsides, all major companies with a digital presence use it for marketing their products.
There are many technical aspects of a business email. A good email with compelling copy and a clear call to action (CTA) can generate amazing results for its sender. A bad email, however, can lead to issues such as a low open/click rate, a higher unsubscribe rate, and limited post-click activity. It may also cause the sender to lose business.
Let’s look at some technical aspects that can convert a bad email into a good one.
1. Enabling DKIM and SPF for Your Email
A Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is an email standard that protects users from malicious emails. The SPF filter checks the domain address and DNS record of the incoming email and matches them to the SPF records of the mailing server. If it finds a match, the email is accepted. Otherwise, it is rejected.
DomainKeys identified mail (DKIM) is an email authentication technique in which emails are encrypted with a cryptographic key. The receipt server validates this key before accepting an email from the mailing server. You can also use marketing automation to automatically add these keys to your outgoing emails.
Many organizations use SPF and DKIM to determine the trustworthiness of an incoming email. They also have filters that accept only DKIM-written emails. Failure to use DKIM and SPF can reduce the integrity and trustworthiness of your email. It may also cause your domain to be blacklisted.
2. Not Disabling Relaying and Throttling
If your server allows email relaying, a spammer can abuse it by connecting their personal email to your domain and using it to send malicious/spam emails to your recipients. This misuse can cause legitimate message carriers to block your server from their mailing list. They may also blacklist your server.
Throttling happens when a legitimate user falls prey to a phishing scam and loses their credentials to a spammer. The spammer then uses those credentials to run mail bombs and DoS attacks. Due to the valid authentication of credentials, it takes a lot of time for admins to identify the culprit.
To stop such issues, you should disable relaying and limit the number of emails passing through your email address.
3. Adding Clear CTAs/Opt-out Links
While writing the content of your email, you should also decide on a clear CTA — signup, download, purchase, submit, etc. It should be the focus of your email copy, and all your content should be directed toward it.
However, in case the user isn’t interested, your email should also have an opt-out/unsubscribe option. It shouldn’t be hidden, nor should it be behind a login wall. The opt-out link should ideally take you to the next page, which should display a short text telling the user that they have been unsubscribed.
4. Spam Prevention
This is one of the most important points in this email marketer’s cheat sheet. There are many steps you can take to ensure that your email doesn’t get stuck in the spam folder. First, make sure that your email doesn’t have problems such as capital letters in the subject, unstructured phrases, or excessive punctuation marks because these types of emails are bound to land your email in the spam folder.
Your email should also be GDPR-compliant and follow the CAN-SPAM requirements. These are legal protocols, such as ways of processing personal information and preserving the legitimate interest of the email leader.
Marketers should also clean their mailing lists from time to time. If you see users on your mailing list who haven’t opened your emails in a long time, it’s very likely that they are no longer interested in your emails and may have marked your emails as spam instead.
The best way to beat spam filters is to send personalized emails based on list segmentation and customer personas. This technique is called hyper-personalization.
5. Maintaining Email Visibility
Your email should have a good aesthetic, and everything in your email should be clear and visible to the reader. You should also make sure that your preheader settings are correct because that’s one of the parts of your email that the reader will see first next to the subject. Finally, fix your image ratios so that images don’t get distorted on various screens. This is necessary because different users may use different screens to view your content.
If you’re using hyperlinks in your email, make sure that there are no broken links in your content. This is especially important if you’re using an image/GIF as a CTA since broken links can increase your bounce rate. This means that you’ll lose out on conversions, which will directly affect the success of your campaign.
Consider adding keyframe elements or gamification to your email, too. This personifies your email and improves your chances of conversions. However, you should make sure that your games are easy to play and reward the user promptly.
6. Email Add-ons
Add-ons, such as social media integrations and dynamic tags, should be checked and verified before sending your email. Broken tags in an email can increase your customer churn and raise your customer acquisition costs.
It’s also important for marketers to time their emails before sending them since doing so improves the success rate of their campaign. For example, if you’re marketing a Christmas sale, you should send your promotional emails at least a week before the actual event.
Many marketers choose email marketing for their promotional campaigns since it generates a higher ROI than other forms of engagement. However, it’s important to remember that it’s a complex marketing tool that requires a lot of fine-tuning and experimentation to get it right.
The email marketer’s cheat sheet above will allow you to avoid common technical mistakes email marketers make while sending emails. It will also give you better control over your email content and maximize your campaign performance.