It’s what we all have done, are doing or will do; worrying about the proportion of marketing emails being classed as spam. Internet service providers have various ways of defining spam and the reason your latest email marketing campaign has fallen foul of so many is, to put it kindly, because it deserved it. There is no other interpretation, but there are reasons. Do yours fall into any of the categories below?
1/ Your emails are spam
You probably think this is not you. Your company is established, honest and provides value for money. You are merely using email marketing to get to a larger clientele. Yet many such companies collect email addresses from people they have interacted with on other matters, for instance from subscribers to newsletters. If enough recipients mark the emails as spam, you will become marked.
The same can go for bought-in lists. If you must buy, then choose a reputable source, and even then, many suggest sending a reconfirmation email. If there’s any doubt that permission has been granted, then check by asking them or else run the risk of being classed as spam, as well as being fined.
Look upon email list hygiene not as a chore but as a tool to ensure it is, if not pristine, then as high a quality as you can make it. Don’t just clear bounces, but those where you have no proof of permission. Ensure there is no seepage between your email marketing list and any other email lists you use.
2/ You have been underhand
Trickery might work once, maybe twice, but then it’s the naughty folder.
Instances include not being clear what the person was subscribing to. They should not be expecting a newsletter or other information. Make it clear they are subscribing to your email marketing list, and don’t blur boundaries.
It can be tempting to exaggerate in the Subject Line. ‘From £100’ might get you open rates but if the cheapest, when all on-costs are calculated, is well above that, you will generate anger and resentment. It’ll hurt your RoI.
Worst still is trying to confuse by including Re: or Fwd: Open rates are empty if there’s no completion. Remember how much each subscriber to your email marketing list costs and then look to the conveniently placed unsubscribe button.
Well, let’s hope it is conveniently placed and it is not obscured or missing altogether. If a subscriber wants to unsubscribe then the best thing you can do is make it convenient. If you don’t, subsequent emails will be classed as spam. Further, if a subscriber does unsubscribe, then you have an opportunity of sending a confirmatory email in which you will allow them the ability to opt for modified times of send, or frequency. You might even remind them of the bargains they have bought.
The main reason you have a high unsubscribe rate is down to something you are doing wrong: playing dirty or sending spam. The cost of being blacklisted far outweighs any gains. Play fair, play clean.