Well, here we are, getting ready to welcome another new year. I thought that for my final post of 2019, I’d go over some best practices to help start your 2020 marketing efforts off on the right foot. A lot goes into successfully delivering an email to the inbox, and these are just a few best practices to keep in mind.
I’ll be touching on some new topics, as well as some that I’ve previously written about such as bounces, spam complaints, and permissions.
DO: Get explicit/express permission
While implied/implicit permission is allowed within Constant Contact, getting some form of direct permission is considered a best practice (it’s also becoming more of a requirement and even the law within certain countries.)
DON’T: Purchase a list
Not only is it a violation of Constant Contact’s permission policy, but it’s frowned upon in the industry overall and could have a serious impact on your sending reputation.
DO: Use Double/Confirmed Opt-In
If getting explicit permission is a best practice, then a double opt-in is the king of best practices. This will ensure those signing up truly want your email, and also help protect your online sign-up forms from potential bot attacks.
DON’T: Scrape email addresses from websites
Contact emails are placed on websites for specific inquiries regarding their business, not to be added to marketing lists.
DO: Use your own domain
Not only does this look more professional than using a free email address (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.), but it gives you greater control over your email setting and security.
DON’T: Ignore your bounces
Bounce management is one of the most important parts of keeping your list up to date. Continually mailing to addresses that are bouncing back reflects badly on you as a sender and can impact your ability to successfully deliver mail to the inbox.
DO: Make your email campaigns relevant to your contacts
When sending out emails, sometimes it’s easy to forget that there is another person at the end of the line. Chances are if the email seems too generic or doesn’t connect with them on a personal level, they’re not going to engage with it.
DON’T: Neglect your subject line
A good subject line will not only affect your open rate, but your delivery as well! Using a clear, concise call to action or teasing something special in your email can entice your subscribers into opening. Just be sure to avoid using too many symbols, buzzwords, or all caps like: “All items 50% off!!!!” or “OPEN FOR A FREE GIFT”. You can also try A/B Testing to test multiple subject lines and find which is most effective.
DO: Segment your lists
This goes hand in hand with making your campaigns relevant, but segmenting is a great way to make sure you are personalizing your campaigns to your contacts. You could segment by items/services purchased, birthdate, interests, location, etc.
DON’T: Rely (only) on images
A few images can help your email campaigns pop, but using only images (or only one image) is never recommended. Often, these will get filtered right to the spam folder. Even if they are delivered to the inbox, if your subscriber blocks images, they won’t see your content. It’s best to offset images with plenty of text.
DO: Keep track of engagement
It’s important to keep track of your opens and clicks since those are the contacts you know for sure are actively interested in your emails. One good practice is to save an ongoing list of these addresses, this will ensure that you always have a list of engaged contacts
DON’T: Send too often
This is a tough one since “too often” will all depend on what expectations are set when the contacts sign up. Whether you send monthly, weekly, or daily, make sure your contacts are aware from the start, but keep in mind that typically anything more than once a day will likely cause your engagement to go down. Once you set a frequency, do your best to stick to it.
DO: Remember we’re here to help!
Have a question? Need some recommendations? Constant Contact is here. You can check out our Help Center for Knowledge Base articles, tutorials, our online Community, as well as the different ways to contact our Deliverability Specialists.
All of these points in one way or another can have an impact on your overall deliverability. I hope this is helpful in your 2020 marketing endeavors (and beyond)!