Inner Circle

Digital Marketing

Increase Your Email Open Rates

by Brittany Harb

At times, avoiding SPAM filters and blocks seems more like good fortune or karma than savvy marketing. SPAM filtering is based on a cumulative point system, though, and there are smart strategies that can help you with your score. We all know the basics, such as avoiding trigger words, bad HTML and SCREAMING IN ALL CAPS, but the following lesser known facts might be just what you need to get your emails sailing past those SPAM filters and in front of your prospective attendees!

Start Off On the Right Foot
Ensure “From” addresses are clearly recognizable and relevant to your organization or show name, and avoid changing them too often. Also, use a real “reply to” email address instead of a “do-not-reply.” (This will also help promote engagement!)

Practice Housekeeping
Keep your email lists clean. Make sure your email provider is set to suppress subscribers who have opted-out as well as any invalid email addresses or hard bounces.

Ask Permission Clearly
Recent research suggests making your “Unsubscribe” link more visible by including it at the top and bottom of your emails. You can weave it in as an intro, too (i.e. “You’re receiving this email because you opted-in, if no longer interested…”). These links must be valid and usable for 30 days after broadcast.

Give Reminders and Great Content
Get on your readers’ good sides by asking them to add you to their “Safe Senders List.” You can also apply for whitelists, or get whitelisted organically by providing great content. Provide inventive white papers, industry news and key information to keep your readers interested — and wanting more!

Watch Your Content
Keep your emails well-designed and HTML clean, and make sure to include a text-only version in your deploy. Opt for text+image layout combinations vs. image-only designs, and find a balanced image-to-text ratio that is made up of at least two-thirds copy. Be wary of large attachments, extra-large font sizes, bright text, and even background colors. (Fun fact: Magenta currently docks you the most SPAM points!)

Ask Twice, Customize
It’s key to utilize a double opt-in method for your new subscribers. After a prospect signs up for your emails through your website, have an automatic reply set up that asks them to confirm their subscription. At this point, it’s also great to offer your new readers some customization options so that they receive only what they’re most excited about reading.

Keep in Touch
Keep your communications interesting with a mix of show updates, industry news and photos. Adjust content, calls-to-action, frequencies and send times to promote the type of engagement you want. If you haven’t seen a lot of activity from certain subscribers on your list, try to get these non-responders more involved with a re-opt-in campaign.

Maintain Your Reputation
IP addresses and domains associated with emails are now monitored. So think bigger picture, maintain your good reputation and stay in the clear. Over time, email providers will begin to recognize your email “from” field, you credible sender, you!

The running list of what exactly constitutes “spammy” criteria changes quickly! Remain in-the-know and opt-in to your email distribution provider emails for all the latest intel.

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