There is no mystery. If you can talk to another human being, you can do email marketing successfully. However – because we are human and overthink – we tend to make things complicated. Here’s five of the top ways in which we do that – and how you can unsnarl your email system to make it (ssssh!) enjoyable.
Myth 1#: Only people with big email lists see success.
Nope. I have clients with a million-strong database and clients with under 1,000. Their success is not related to size, but to content, personality and giving a damn about their subscribers.
Myth 2#: Millennials / Gen Z don’t subscribe to newsletters or marketing emails.
Really? The first generations to grow up with a smartphone in hand? Where every app and social media platform asks for an email address?
The younger generations enjoy email, but they are highly critical consumers with no qualms about using the ‘unsubscribe’ button. Palming them off with a corporate-speak newsletter is not going to work.
Myth 3#: There’s a best time of day to send email
There is no perfect time of day, although you are likely to get more traction at midday, rather than midnight. Mailchimp offers a ‘send-time optimiser,’ which can be reassuring but not something to live by. Thanks to the use of smartphones, people now check their emails intermittently throughout the day.
Myth 4# People are sick of email.
It’s true, we are getting more messages in our inbox than ever before, especially with homeworking (which is why I am a fan of Slack for business). However, the average open rates have remained stable (at >20%), even though the numbers of emails sent have gone up (by 4.3%). Fun fact: 319.6 billion emails were sent last year covering almost half the global population. Email is neither obsolete or boring.
Myth 5# I can’t use <this trigger word> or it goes into the spam folder.
I have heard variations of this for years. Free. Affordable. Cash. Sex. Balloons (yes, really).
Spam filters check a number of elements before letting your email in, including your IP address ‘from’ name, content, subject line and reputation with other providers. You won’t be thrown into spam jail because of just one word, but due to several elements coming together.
After all, Anne Summers, LoveHoney and every commercial bank I know of uses email marketing successfully.
Having said that, there is one message that is at risk of being sent to the junk or spam folder and that’s your welcome email. Therefore, I recommend telling your fresh, new subscribers to check their junk mail as part of your ‘thank you’ page, after they sign up. You get added bonus points if you ask them for Safe Sender status too.
If you made it this far, thank you. That was cathartic. Feel free to comment below or drop me a line on LinkedIn if you have a favourite pet peeve I should address!