Whether it’s your business account or personal Hotmail account, we are used to receiving hundreds of emails a day.
As a business, email marketing is an effective way to promote your business, provide offers, create brand recognition and update people with news.
However, going head first and sending out 30,000 emails to your customers in one-go comes with various risks and there are some very specific ways of executing it, as highlighted below.
How you obtained the subscribers
Although you may receive spam emails on a daily basis, there has to be an opt-in by the customer in order to receive further emails and newsletters. You may have noticed this when you are purchasing a product online or filling out your details for a financial product. In short, there must be permission from the user in order to receive future marketing content.
The risks? If a customer feels that you have sent unsolicited email, this can be considered a data breach and in some cases, they can take legal action. In addition, with GDPR rules coming into place in Spring 2018, there are now stricter penalties and fines in place for those that do not handle data carefully or abuse it.
Test, test, test
The template and design you use for your emails could be bespoke or using a template found online. The important thing to do is send test versions to yourself before it reaches the masses. Here, you want to check things like the subject lines, the alignment on the screen, how it works on different browsers and devices and that all the links work.
The last thing you want to do is send out 30,000 emails and then find out that you didn’t include a link to your main product or that there is a misspelling. In fact, you regularly see even established companies send out the same email twice, sometimes apologising for some corrections. Remarkably, some quick tests beforehand would avoid this.
You have to warm it up
If you are using your own system or a professional email software provider, your first bulk email campaign still has to be treated with caution. It is because your IP address needs to be warmed up and sending out too many too soon, can be flagged as spam by most email providers like Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail.
As a result, it is best to send out your first email campaign to just a few hundred or thousand email addresses. Once you can see clear open rates and responses, your IP address is now warmed up and you are ready to send to the masses.
Avoid going into people’s spam folders
Going into customer’s spam folders is a very common and a loss of potentially good business. Using a professional email marketing provider will normally help you overcome this. Other tips are to avoid using particular words that get flagged as spam including cash, dosh, money, SEO, casino, gambling and PPI.
Strong subject line
Your subject line is key to maximising your customer open rates. Some of the most basic methods include adding the customers first name into the subject line to create familiarity and improve engagement. This can usually be automated by email software so it is important to ask for your customer’s first name when collecting data. Other practical methods include using rhetorical questions, puns and also giving an offer in the subject line to increase conversions.
For more adventurous marketers, the role of artificial intelligence (AI) is starting to emerge as a way to optimise subject lines. Companies such as Phrasee use AI to learn what the customer has clicked on before to replicate the kind of language and style which will make them click again. The idea is that it still uses human language and not automated language that you may see more other spam related emails.
Strong calls to action
Your emails must have a purpose and clear call-to-action. This could be to read a news article on the site, buy a product or claim an offer. A very good tip is to actually include multiple calls-to-action on the website and places to click, including the logo, in the header, footer and a main button. This is how you truly optimise your copy and improve your chances of conversion.