5 ways to send the most relevant emails to your recipients
How do you get people to open and engage with your emails? Columnist Scott Heimes says it's all about sending what they want to receive.
Every email marketer’s goal is to deliver engaging messages to the people who are actually interested in receiving them. And while that’s easier said than done, it’s an achievable objective that you can reach by understanding the type of mail your recipients want — and keeping your messaging relevant to those insights.
Marketers need to be committed to delivering relevant, wanted email; otherwise, their engagement rates are at risk of dropping and their unsubscribes increasing.
Marketers need to stay disciplined and only send messages that the recipients have opted in to receive. To do this, we’ve established a number of best practices. Here are five to get you started on the path to relevancy.
Enable specific opt-outs
Often, users are interested in only receiving mail of a specific type, like daily or weekly deals, newsletters or certain notifications, not all of the marketing email from your brand. Cater to this by creating a link to the preference page within your email for users to easily opt out of and into the emails they wish to receive.
Recipients are much more likely to remain engaged if you allow them to control their preferences and what comes to their inbox.
On the subject of choosing preferences, marketers need to honor them. Brands often send too many emails, which overwhelms the customer.
If your brand is experiencing a large volume of customers choosing the preference to receive less mail, consider sending a daily or weekly digest that combines many emails into one. While your message may be resonating with recipients, sending those messages too often will not provide positive results.
Clearly state who is the sender is
Send mail from extremely clear domains in your from and reply-to lines, and remain consistent with them and your subject lines. Building a consistent, reliable reputation for your brand lets your users know you’re committed to providing them with the content and messages they want to receive.
Make it easy for customers to identify mail that comes from you versus the other messages they may be receiving in their inbox.
Test, test, test
Testing all aspects of your email is crucial to remaining relevant. Test subject lines, images, text, links, and even the preview pane and above-the-fold content.
A/B test small batches to compare which parts of your message resonate best. Ask the right questions — for example, does one call to action generate more clicks than another? Does one subject line garner more opens than another?
Keep track of all of the results, and run with the best-performing ones.
Pruning and maintaining email lists are valuable practices. Let the uninterested and unengaged users go; they only bring down your engagement rates, which you should check regularly.
If engagement is down, run a re-engagement campaign for unengaged recipients, and unless they respond positively, remove them from your list. Only the truly engaged email addresses are the most valuable.
All of these practices are designed to help your emails get opened, read and engaged with. The more relevant your email is, the more likely it is that the recipient will act upon your call to action and click through to your website. And after all, that is what marketers want to achieve.
If you send emails that recipients do not want, or send too often, it will negatively impact the ability for your message to reach the inboxes of the people who genuinely want to read them. By committing to honoring your customers’ preferences and delivering the messages they want to receive, your brand will experience greater engagement, which will eventually drive your business growth.