“I’ll just hit send…”

How many of us have put together an email and sent it to our list with high expectations? I would venture to say all or most of us, only to find out oh my, my open & click through rates are poor, my bounces and complaints are high oh dear what happened?

This is a common misconception with email sending mail business to consumer or business to business is a different game all together then sending a personal email to a friend. When sending to your contacts you first need to know a bit about them and their interests. Here a couple points to consider before hitting the send button:

  1. Target/Segment your mail – the first thing I go when I get a mailing from a company that does not speak to my interests is delete the mail. I will quickly scan it but if you do not capture my attention and make me want to click through your mail chances are I will just delete it. Critically look at your mail; if you were the consumer would you open it?
  2. SPAM, SPAM, SPAM – One of the biggest issues facing mailers is the battles with the receivers. Some days your messages may inbox and others they go to spam. What accounts for this you may ask and the answer is complicated. Receivers may block your mail for a variety of reasons from they have received too many complaints about your mail, lack of engagement from your contacts (not clicking through or opening messages), the content of your email is even fair game for filtering. If a receiver does not like the content of the mail based on certain factors they will filter it. These are just a few of the reasons you could be seeing issues with not always hitting the inbox.
  3. Testing, 123, Testing – Hello, is this thing on? In all seriousness testing is one of the things you can do, even to a domain basis to see what types of mail are better received at what domains. Are text based with few links accepted better than heavy HTML blasts? Does certain language work better? If you change some things in your mailing, does that help? Think of many test scenarios and run them before you send a campaign.
  4. Permission Based Mailing – Some mailers assume that just because once upon a time someone bought something from them, implies you have permission to continue mailing them. Not really. If your list has been dormant for a long time you may want to consider a re-engagement email to peak their interest and also give an optout option.

    As part of this you may want to start with an email stating that they click on a link, which would then tag them as subscriber, and after X days those that do not have that tag would be deleted.

    Also, remove people from your mailing list that are not responsive to your emails. Chances are if they are not opening and clicking then you may need to just let them go.