“I’m creating some kick butt email copy…but I wonder…
are my emails actually being delivered or am I just wasting my time?”
It’s a looming question that drowns inside every marketers head at some point or another.
You feel out of control of the situation right?
I get it…
BUT…there are a few things we CAN do to ensure we’ve done everything in our power to shove that value inside our subscribers inboxes.
But before I get to that there are a few basic basic DONT’S I want to get out of the way first.
Now…some of these may be a little controversial to some but ultimately the DONT’S below are typical spammer behavior:
- DON’T add someone to your list that has NOT given you permission to do so.
- DON’T send emails that provide absolutely no value to the reader.
- DON’T create misleading headlines or content
- DON’T create generalized subject lines
- DON’T imitate private conversation: Adding prefixes such as RE: or FWD:
- DON’T send your subscribers emails that jump from one topic to the other. ie: affiliate marketing to let’s say…pig racing!
- DON’T mask your links. Now I’m not talking about hiding your link under a call to action. It’s using multiple re directions and link shorteners. Cut it down to a bare minimum.
- DON’T have a generic from email address. Just a first name or the word admin, support etc.
And above all…
Just DON’T be conceived as a spammer!
We know there’s a ton of them out there right?
It gives our industry a bad reputation doesn’t it?
Hell…we may have done a few of these DONT’S before because we’re so excited to share our value, we’ll almost do anything to get our subscribers to open our damn emails.
I know you’ve done it!
So let’s be sure that we are leading with valuable content that actually informs and solves our exact target audiences problems.
*More on that later on*
So…getting back to the DO’s:
What’s an ISP?
ISP stands for Internet Service Provider.
Anti-spam content filters used by these ISP’s have been in major development for many years now.
So here are the general rules that us marketers need to be majorly aware of when sending out our content enriched emails…
1.IMAGE TO TEXT RATIO
ISP’s look at the ratio between your images and your text inside your emails.
It’s a space ration type of scenario here.
60%-40% or 70%-30% ratio (with the text being the highest value) are the advised typical dimensions you want to set as a good guideline.
Although…50/50 can also work quite well for many so don’t by any means set this in stone. As we always say in marketing land: Drumroll please…..TEST! TEST! and then TEST again!
So a full image inside of an email and nothing else will definitely trigger a strong warning flag to the ISP’s.
If someone is using a full image only it usually means they want to hide their content.
An image with text in it doesn’t go down too well either so whatever you can actually deliver in actual text is always a better way to go.
In a nutshell, it’s always safer to simply write it than send it in a full length image so you don’t get flagged.
2. HTML VERSUS PLAIN TEXT
While there is no proof that HTML creates better deliverability than plain text, when you utilize HTML the receiver has plenty more information to go by.
Let me explain…
With plain text what you see is what you get, that’s all there is to it.
With HTML you can dive much deeper, adding images, call to action buttons, specific actions etc, therefore the ISP’s can use the information to improve and create as much accuracy as possible for their anti-spam filters.
As marketers, HTML is the better way to go with much more complex structure and layout resulting in your message looking more attractive.
Straight text opens you up to be judged strictly by your reputation as a sender, where as using HTML gives the ISP’s a more open mind and more to go by.
3. TEXT & LINK GO HEAD TO HEAD
This one’s pretty straight forward…
Simply put, if you stuff your email with links and very little text, your message is most likely going to hit your subscribers spam folders.
This is one of the most basic things the ISP’s look for.
Your aim is to provide content and value to your subscriber, pulling your subscriber to you naturally, not pushing.
Here’s a good rule of thumb:
Provide one link for a very short message ( a few lines of text)
An example of this could be the first paragraph of your blog article with a link to read more or just the title with a link to the article.
ISP’s are usually quite friendly towards these types of emails, the only exception to that could be if their is a domain reputation issue.
When advertising products to your subscribers take it a little easy on the call to action links, two very clear links should do the trick.
This has everything to do with which templates you choose before you write your email.
It can be described as your fingerprint so to speak, kind of like your identity as a sender with the ISP’s.
So it’s not only the information they track, if you are constantly changing your template you’re most likely going to confuse the ISP’s.
Same goes for the ‘from’ address of your emails. If you are constantly changing it and not sending it from the original email that your subscriber opted in for, you’re setting yourself up for a big red flag.
In other words…
The ISP’s LOVE consistency.
Of course the ISP’s understand that you are constantly testing and making improvements but if you are changing everything all the time it is seen as too excessive.
There you have it!
If you follow these 5 DO’s and 8 DONT’S you should definitely see an increase in your deliverability and know that your constant consistent content and value is being divulged by your subscribers that are dying to receive it.
Of course you MUST have identified your exact target audience in order to speak directly to those people and give them what they want.
If you’re marketing to everyone you’re marketing to no one.
Ever heard of the saying: “Stop selling meat to vegetarians”?
I want to share with you a story that I’m sure you can relate to.
How on earth did we ever get THAT insane idea in our heads?
Of course we wanted to “play big” with the so called “Guru’s” so we decided to blow over 3000 bucks on it…..what the!”