Put a human face on your email marketing

How many of your customer and prospect emails go straight into the recipient’s “junk” or “spam” folder? Probably more than you’d like to think. Most email software can give you an “open rate”, and tell you which emails were definitely opened, even if it was just someone scrolling past them nonchalantly with the preview pane open. But what of the rest? Some will never have made it to the inboxes of people who would have been quite interested in reading them.

There are hundreds of different spam filtering systems in use. All have different rules, and none are perfect. There are no rules to prevent certain systems from classifying your emails as junk, even if they’re incorrect in doing so. But there are some best practices.

One is not to daub “this is a mass-mailed sales message” in giant letters all over the email. What’s the worst mistake here? Sending the email from a generic address such as “sales@…” or “marketing@…”. Apart from making it harder to get past the spam filter, this is just bad practice. If they’re ringing someone, your sales team will say “this is Fred from the Blue Widget Company”, not “this is the sales department at the Blue Widget Company”. Your emails should do the same.

But don’t make the emails from just anyone, simply to keep spam filters happy. You need to grab the interest of the recipient too! If there’s somebody they know at your company, that’s who the email should come from. Smart marketers keep their mailing lists segmented by sales or technical contact, so they can set the “From” field to a name the customer may recognise.

Discussion

  1. Simon Maher

    Good idea, but isn’t there a danger that if they (the recipient) choose to ‘block’ this type of email (html based often being perceived as more likely to be spammy), that they will also be blocking any other emails that you as an individual might send them later?

  2. Chris Rand Post author

    I haven’t come across anyone having an automatic block and blacklist on HTML emails before – that would be odd, because almost all emails are HTML nowadays. I suppose someone could choose to block you personally because they didn’t like your marketing emails, although it’s not something I’ve encountered in the past either.

  3. Simon Maher

    Many thanks for the response Chris. Yes, that is my concern. If they block my email address because they don’t want to receive the marketing content and in the process they block all my emails. So you think the risk of this happening is fairly low then?

  4. Chris Rand Post author

    I do. If your “unsubscribe” link on marketing emails is prominent, people will almost always use that rather than going to the effort of blocking an email address. But if you were at all concerned, you could always set up a separate email address which still looked like you, just for the marketing mailings. Just make sure that any email sent to the address gets monitored, because people do hit “reply” to marketing emails, even if you tell them not to.

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