5 questions I get asked every month about Email Marketing

Email Marketing Superhero
Is it a bounce? Is it a proof?
No it's a SuperEmail!
With smartphones and tablets dominating our lives combined with record breaking web eCommerce sales reported the interest in email marketing is sky high, so I thought I'd list the 5 most popular questions I get asked by experienced veterans and first timers alike.

1. Will my email get blocked as spam?

Start with the tough one I say. With message filtering services and webmail clients like Gmail getting hyper aggressive on incoming emails it's never been more important to send correctly formed targeted marketing campaigns. The era of "fire and forget" email blasting is over so to avoid getting blocked as spam you have to email smart.
  • Watch your subject lines and content
    Go easy on the SALES! and BUY NOW!!'s. Message filters will block emails with too many sales hammers.
  • Check the IP address reputation of the server you are sending from.
    Type in the IP address of your sending server into Senderscore or SpamCop to check it's reputation, your ISP or ESP should be able to provide you with this information.
  • Monitor your bounces
    If you use an ESP (Email Service Provider) check the bounce information in the tracking reports. These should tell you if your email is getting blocked.
Getting blocked as spam is a part of email marketing that can happen from time to time. The secret is to not panic, learn from it, and make sure your next campaign hits the spot.

2. When should I send my Email Marketing Campaign?

Moving on from the "tough one" to the "classic one". The default industry standard answer for this over the years has been:
  • B2B Email
    Tuesday or Thursday at either 11am or 2pm
  • B2C Email
    Wednesday or Friday late afternoon.
Personally, I think this is a bit lazy. Like snowflakes we're all different so why stick to the same plan? It's a great place to start but the only people who can answer this question for you are your subscribers. When do they open your email? When does the phone start ringing after a campaign has been sent? We encourage NewZapp users to look at the open peaks to gauge when their subscribers are most active.

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These peaks are fantastic indicators of when the ideal time to send your next email marketing campaign could be. Based on the most important factor, your target market.

3. US or UK Email Service Provider, what's the difference?

Due to the incredible growth of Email Marketing there are hundreds of ESP's to choose from. We all allow you to create, send and track your emails in our own special ways and this blog would be far too long if I went down the "my dad's bigger than your dad route" so I'll be sticking to the big one. 

Across the pond or good old blighty? Union Jack waistcoat aside, it comes down to 2 factors; The UK Data Protection Act and customer service.
  • Data Protection
    UK based providers have to adhere to the UK Data Protection Act, so your data remains here, on this island, safe and secure. Just as your website's privacy policy promised it would be. Using a provider outside of the UK means your data may well be housed off the island, no longer covered by UK Data Protection Law and potentially in breach of your own privacy policy.
  • Customer Service
    Dead simple this one, UK based providers are awake when you are, not tucked up in their beds thousands of miles away. Our websites have phone numbers on them with email marketing advisers on the end of them ready to help.

4. Should I be thinking about mobile devices?

In a nutshell, yes. Your subscribers world has changed, a recent study claimed we're on our mobile phone every 6 minutes, checking it on average 150 times a day! This begs the question, does your Email Marketing campaign look good on mobile?

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For me, it's all about making sure the subscriber has a good experience when reading my email marketing campaigns. I want them to do something for me so keeping them happy and engaged is a great place to start. My top tips for this are:
  • Keep it short
    Unlike desktop mouse scrolling, thumb swiping can get very tedious very quickly. A good mobile responsive template will eradicate the need for pinching too.
  • Help fat thumbs
    Don't have text based links too close together, if the subscriber clicks on one but gets the other by mistake your email campaign will lose it's charm very quickly. Buttons are the key, big colourful ones that can't be missed by thumbs of busy people!
  • Subject line is king
    Could be the only thing the subscriber reads, so make it engaging. "January Newsletter" for example will not get the job done. 

5. What's a good open and click rate?

Click Me
In a similar fashion as "2. When should I send my Email Marketing Campaign?" this answer depends on quite a few factors. We recently produced an infographic based on NewZapp users by industry as a starting point.

Database age and quality are initial factors when responding to this question.

  • Age
    Your subscribers move around, alot. They change jobs, they change from hotmail to gmail, they go on maternity or paternity leave. Do they think to call and let you know? Unfortunately not, and as a consequence your email marketing campaign goes unopened. For me, any database of subscribers will start to decay after 9 - 12 months if not regularly maintained and response rates will suffer as a consequence.
  • Quality
    This falls into 2 sub categories of purchased 3rd party lists and your own database of subscribers. The open & click rate of 3rd party lists will be considerably lower than your own clean opt-in list.

After database quality comes from email address and subject line. Two of the most vital elements of your email marketing campaign and primary factors as to whether your email is read or deleted in my opinion.
  • From Email Address
    Avoid info@ and sales@ or similar addresses, spam filters don't like them and they look cold and impersonal. And don't get me started on noreply@ this is an email marketing sopbox of mine and anyone who does this should be ashamed!
  • Subject Line
    As mentioned above, this could be all you get so don't waste it with pointless statements like "January Newsletter" your subscribers already know what month it is. Ask a question, tell the reader who you are and why they should read on.