I have used email marketing for about 2 years now, most of it in the wrong way because I did what most beginners do. Only now do I understand the serious danger of not knowing the following. For instance, did you know that if more than 1 person OUT OF 1000 click your email into “Report Spam” this can block your outgoing emails in the future?
Ok, so what the average company does is make a list of all their former clients, many of whom may not not have been contacted for a while. Then the company goes on blasting emails at them. And then stops for a long period, and starts again.
I used Mailchimp for my campaigns and they are very concerned with spam and will give you many warnings. Then you think, but I am not a spamer !!!
Well, that is your perspective. Now let’s put our honest selves in the shoes or your email marketing company and in the shoes of the final client.
THE EMAIL RECIPIENT’S EXPERIENCE
He either asked for information or bought something through you. Then he doesn’t hear from you and let’s face it : he forgot about you, you are not part of his world anymore. The he receives an email, what does he think : Who the hell are these people ? 1, 2, 3 : “Report Spam”.
You may think, like many beginners, that the good thing with emails is that it doesn’t force the final recipient, if they don’t want it they just have to spam or filter it. But the truth is, you should care how your client perceives your emails, it can have dramatic consequences otherwise.
ISP and EMAIL MARKETING SERVICE
Nowadays, people no longer make filters for their emails, they actually spam them. What it does when a client click on “Report Spam is that his ISP (Internet Service Provider) is notified. The ISP know which servers these emails were sent from and the email address of the sender.
Above a certain threshold, typically 1 per 1000, the ISP may consider as spam anything coming from your domain (your email address) and from the servers that sent the emails for you. Clearly your email service has absolutely no interest in that, neither do you want a major ISP to send to spam and bounce back anything you send. The sad part is that very often when people “Report Spam” they just want to either delete that email, or tell their email inbox that emails like this should go to THEIR personal spam. I doubt they have a genuine intention of reporting you as a spammer, but without knowing, this is what they do. Your Hotmail or Gmail should make the two options very clear, so that people reporting you really want to report you. Otherwise they are jeopardizing you big time.
WHAT TO DO THEN?
- Truly accept and embrace the fact that very few people have interest in your stuff. Side-note: When dating in real-life it applies too.
- Engage your clients at regular intervals right from the first contact (first order, first demand of information…). How often? Dan S. Kennedy in is his best-seller “How to Make Millions With Your Ideas” recommends every that content be sent every three weeks to keep in touch.
- Everynow and then, for the clients who are now receptive to your offers, drop them a few emails with reminders to figure out if they are still interested. If they don’t say clearly that they are, drop them, seriously! Your email should be like this: “Hi, We haven’t heard from you in a while, if you’re still interested in our emails and offers please click here to confirm/cancel your subscription”.
- If you have been blocked by an ISP (it happened to me with a major ISP) you want to contact it and inform them what happened and that you are now aware of the spam regulations and ask for a waiver.
- To prevent that from happening:
- Develop of a culture of email quality: Mailchimp tell you the quality of an email prospect by using a 5-star system. The more interest they detect from a prospect (number of email opens, clicks, etc) the higher his number of stars. When sending a new campaign you can select to send to only people above a certain star number.
- Monitor the bouncing emails to figure out which IPS are starting to bounce your emails so that you prevent that from happening.
- If you purchased lists of emails, be very careful to invite them first to join a mailing-list before starting to bombard them.
- Post mail marketing is still an option. Consider a negotiated contract for mass sending, do NOT proceed directly through the regular Post.
Enjoy your reform of email marketing now and let me know how it goes for you!