Is Email Marketing Still Effective?
Email marketing is still a key pillar in marketing communication, and it’s not going away anytime soon. For entrepreneurs and smaller organizations that rely heavily on email marketing, deliverability is one of those things that plagues them. Without a hefty budget to spend on dedicated email deliverability software and employees, it may seem harder and harder to stay out of the spam folder… because it is.
In this post, I’ll give you 4 simple ways to immediately increase your email deliverability without having to invest in any additional tools.
Why is Email Deliverability Important?
You may think that email marketing is a dying industry, but it still is one of the most inexpensive forms of marketing communication with the highest ROI. On average, companies (that do it right) see between a 2.5% - 5% conversion rate on their email marketing efforts.
Email service providers (ESPs), like Gmail & Outlook, are becoming smarter and continue to move towards a better user experience through more intelligent filters and different innovative inboxes like the Promo folder in Gmail.
TL;DR: If you’re sending an email to someone, you want it to reach their inbox; not spam.
(TL;DR, short for Too Long; Didn’t Read, means a quick summary of the info presented)
4 Quick Fixes to Your Email Deliverability
Easy as 1, 2, 3… and 4
#1 - K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple St*pid)
TL;DR: Make your emails look like you quickly composed it out of your personal inbox.
Plain and simple, the fancier you try to get with your emails when it comes to images, fonts, colors, and styling, the more red flags you’re likely to raise in spam filters. If you make it past that filter, you’ll be lucky not to land in the Promo folder in Gmail.
Use bolding very sparingly, use correct capitalizations (DoNt GEt FanCY), and don’t misspell words in an attempt to trick your way out of spam because ESPs are much smarter today then they were yesterday.
The closer your email looks like you typed it in a text editor without any special formatting, the greater the likelihood your email will land in the inbox.
#2 - Follow the 80/20 Rule
TL;DR: Stay away from images unless it’s absolutely necessary to have it.
Before ESPs were as advanced as they are today, scammers and phishers would use image files to hide text from spam filters and hyperlink them to things like seedy sites, viruses, etc.
As a rule of thumb, if you keep your image files to 2 or less in count and keep the text/image ratio to 80/20 of an email, you’ll keep the ESPs’ watchdogs at bay. If you’re not all that proud of that shoddy stock photo you doctored up in Canva… leave it out.
#3 - Stick to 1 CTA
TL;DR: Don’t ask people to do more than one thing… they’ll end up doing nothing.
Alright, so this one is more of a long term email deliverability strategy. ESPs keep an eye out to see if and how people are engaging with your email. If your clickthrough ratio (CTR) ratio is consistently high, ESPs assume that what you’re sending is of value to its readers, which means you’ll find your way into the inbox a lot more.
So what does this have to do with multiple CTAs? Simple.
Users are inundated with emails everyday, and they want you to get to the point quickly. They want to know what the one action is that your email is asking for. The more you ask them to do, the greater the likelihood they’ll think to themselves, “Oh, I’ll come back to this later when I have more time” or, “Thank you, next!” without having clicked on anything at all.
Don’t overwhelm your readers. Make it short and to the point.
#4 - Ask people to respond directly… and respond back!
TL;DR: Create actual email conversations rather than just blasting one-way information.
This goes hand-in-hand with #3 above. If your users are actually replying to your email, and getting a reply back from you, this makes your email domain look more human-like to ESPs. How many times have you been in the middle of an email exchange with someone and found their next email in the spam folder? Chances are, never.
Wrapping it up
See, email deliverability doesn’t have to be a topic that makes you break out in a cold sweat. The more that you turn your email marketing tone into one that is conversational and real, the easier it is to get into and stay in the inbox.
Of course there are other things to take into account when you’re dealing with much larger lists, but if you practiced the 4 things I’ve outlined in this article you’re well ahead of most people when it comes to protecting and healing their email deliverability.
If you’d like to get our full Email Deliverability Checklist & Guidelines, drop your email below to get it delivered to your inbox. We even include a comprehensive list of words that you probably have no idea would cause ESPs to have a knee-jerk reaction and kick you into the spam folder.