It's a new year. And while there will certainly be new technologies and tools that marketers can use to reach their target audience, a key to success in 2018 will be learning how to better use existing marketing tactics. Email marketing is one of the most effective forms of online marketing, but ensuring deliverability can be a challenge. Here are three strategies business owners and marketers can use to improve the effectiveness of their email marketing.
The main challenge of email marketing is ensuring that a particular email is seen by the target audience. This means having accurate email addresses, not having messages blocked or flagged as spam, and trying to get a message delivered to the main inbox for a subscriber. In a recent post, the email verifier ZeroBounce offered advice and tips on getting an email marketing message delivered.
Add reCAPTCHA On Email Registration Page
A persistent challenge of any email marketing campaign is ensuring the emails are coming from legitimate sources. Whenever a business adds an incentive to signing up for an email list, there's a chance that someone will use an automated bot to add numerous email addresses. For example, if a company creates a drawing for email subscribers, a person with a bot can add thousands of entries to increase their chances to be the winner. An email subscriber list that's filled with bad email addresses can lower a domains ranking for future campaigns, so efforts must be made to reduce the activity of bots.
The best tactic for preventing bots from filling out any sort of form is to use the most up-to-date CAPTCHA method. Many internet users have encountered such options when the user must identify something in a photo. Some of the best options use Google reCAPTCHA options, which don't involve the user doing anything, but uses a power algorithm to determine if their recent activity is consist with bot behavior.
Marketers may ask, "Why does it matter if a bot fills out the form so long as the email addresses are good?" The answer is that to determine if a domain is sending junk mail that should be blocked or filtered, ISPs take note if the domain is sending a lot of emails that aren't being opened. So bots adding thousands of emails that won't be opened is bad for the marketer.
Use Double Opt-In Verification for New Subscribers
Similar to the item above, using double opt-in verification helps to ensure that all emails added to a list are legitimate and verified. When soliciting subscribers, a double opt-in system is the best defense against fraudulent entries. Since the potential subscriber has to click a link in an email to made their subscription final, this method ensures the person has access to the email they're adding and verifies their intent to subscribe.
CAPTCHA isn't perfect and bots will get through at times, so a double opt-in system is like a final defense. It's not just bots. Regular users can at times put someone else's email address into an email system, whether on purpose or by mistake. A double opt-in system only allows for people who truly want their email to be on the list.
A double opt-in system is also important for deliverability. Without a system to verify the intent of new subscribers, marketers could end up sending messages to people who never wanted them in the first place. These people are likely to mark a message as spam rather than ignore it, and that's the worst thing for email marketers. Getting too many messages marked as spam can get a domain blocked entirely from email servers.
Separate Out Different Email Types and Use Separate Domains for Each
While the first two tips are fairly straight forward, this last strategy may take some extra work. Many businesses send out email campaigns to different kinds of consumers and for different reasons. Depending on the situation, it can be useful to separate out the email types and use different domains for the various categories. When companies send all of their communications from one domain, it becomes more likely that email filters will put everything from that domain into the spam or promotional folder.
For example, emails for customers engaged in a transaction, such as buying confirmations, receipts or customer service answers can come from a different domain than the one used to send marketing campaign emails. This helps to ensure that the most important messages end up in the primary inbox. It can be problematic if a customer didn't get their receipt because it went to the spam or promotions folder. As stated before, this takes more time and effort than the other strategies, but it's worth the effort. Even large companies like eBay, PayPal and Playstation use separate domains for their marketing and transactional email.
To learn more, read this article on the factors that determine how ISPs rank domains and filter emails accordingly.