Today is the last day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge and, while I’ve enjoyed the challenge, and made some new blogging friends, I’m glad it’s over. It’s been crazy trying to get a post up every day for 30 days, and I’m happy to be going back to my once a week schedule (stop by every Monday from now on for the weekly post – or subscribe, so you never miss a post).
Today I’m starting a new 5-part series that will run through the whole of May, in the hope that my challenge buddies will want to come back and read the rest of the series, even though we’re not ‘challenging’ together any more. This one is all about email marketing (which I’ll be focusing on this month, now the blog challenge is over).
I’m assuming you already have an email list set up (if not you can check out this post on how to get one started, using totally free tools). In this series we’ll be looking at how to get the very best out of that list, and provide a great experience for your subscribers. Today we’re taking a look at factors that can affect your email deliverability.
If you’re spending a lot of time each week crafting emails to your subscribers, you really need to make sure you have a decent delivery rate. If those emails land in your potential customers’ spam folders, you don’t have much of a chance of making a sale or building a relationship with them. Here are three important tips that will help you feel confident that your emails are making it to your subscribers’ inboxes.
Use A Reputable Auto Responder Service
Using a reputable auto responder service is the single best thing you can do to improve your chances of avoiding spam folders. Companies like Aweber, Mailchimp and Get Response work hard at making sure they are white listed with the big Internet Service Providers and email providers like Gmail. Using a more expensive service like Infusionsoft may get you even better delivery stats.
Most auto responder companies will list their delivery stats. In addition the good ones will make sure your emails are compliant and warn you if your emails have obvious deliverability issues.
Set Expectations and Keep Them
Your chances of staying in the main inbox are high when your subscribers regularly open your email. The best way to guarantee that – outside of providing great content that your subscribers are looking for – is to set expectations from the beginning. Let your subscribers know early on when and how often they can expect an email from you.
You can do this be letting people know in your welcome email how often they’ll hear from you, or you can sign off your messages with a promise of more to come. For example, toward the end of your current broadcast email, mention that they can look for another email from you next Tuesday. You can even hint at what will be in it. This is where a content calendar can be really useful.
Once you’ve set those expectations do what you can to meet them. Yes, things happen every once in a while. In general though, do your best to keep your promise and email when your readers expect it. Doing this regularly will improve your open rates and thus your overall deliverability.
Clean Up Your List Regularly
Another good habit is to clean up your list regularly. If subscribers haven’t been opening your emails for the past six month, chances are good they are no longer interested in what you have to offer.
Check your auto responder services manual or help files to see how you can go about deleting anyone that hasn’t opened an email from you in the past six months. If that freaks you out, or you have a seasonal business, start by deleting anyone that hasn’t looked at your emails in the past year.
Following these tips and keeping an eye on email deliverability in general will make sure your emails are being read by your subscribers. So now we’ve done what we can to get those emails into our subscribers’ inboxes, come back next week to read about how to craft compelling subject lines that actually get them opened!
If you’re just starting out with email marketing you may want to take a look at this training, Funnels That Click. It shows you how to use email to build a profitable sales funnel, and right now it’s down to just $9.99 (from $69.95). I have no idea how long that offer will last, so apologies if it’s gone back up. Check it out here.