Deliverability Reminders: Email Content
Content can be a tricky thing when it comes to email.
A decade ago, you could get away with using tools that looked for keywords in your email and simply avoid using those words. Marketers would then try and "trick" these filters by replacing words like free with F.Re.E.
That "sort of" worked for a little while, although I would still argue that it didn't help increase ROI. It looks hokey to the end user and likely resulted in fewer of the marketers' intended actions.
Anyways, the email providers figured that trick out and got more sophisticated, so spammers (and marketers) then got more sophisticated and so the story goes...
Then, they started looking more at IP addresses to determine the spammers and the "good senders".
Again, the spammers figured out a way around that and the game of whack a mole continued!
Fast forward to 2017/2018 and the email providers are much more sophisticated and have complex algorithms that take into account just about everything in your emails (visible and invisible... aka the code!)
So when it comes to content... there is really ONE RULE!
SEND CONTENT THAT PEOPLE WANT TO RECEIVE.
Plain and simple.
We have clients that send emails that I would surely put in my spam folder, yet they get open rates that shock me. But, truth be told, I'm NOT their audience. And the email providers pay attention to that. They WANT to get mail to people that want to receive it!
This goes back to segmenting properly, building your list the right way, setting expectations, running re-engagement campaigns, etc.
Now.. you'll still need to make sure that the domains in your messages (including your from domain, sending domain, tracking links, etc.) don't have a bad reputation. You'll also need to make sure your IP address isn't bad (listed on various spam databases, has a generally poor reputation, etc.)
But what if you're just starting out or your trying to warm up a new IP and sending domain? Or you're just getting onboard with re-engagement planning and so on? Or you're trying to fix an email program that's not been managed 100% correctly over a period of time.
You'll want to start by segmenting as much as possible and really focusing on crafting content that's laser targeted for those folks. You'll want subject lines to appeal to each of those segments (next week, we'll discuss subject lines in greater detail).
Next here are a handful of areas to focus on with regard to content:
* Vocabulary - make sure your message doesn't look and feel like junk mail. This includes your subject line, body content and header content. Take a peek inside your junk folder in your email and scroll through to get a feel for what's being flagged as spam. If you're using Google, pay careful attention to those that have the message: Why is this message in Spam? It's similar to messages that were detected by our spam filters.
* Copywriting - You'll want to make sure your message doesn't sound overly promotional, but rather more conversational in style.
One tool we recommend checking your content against is SendForensics.
* Coding and Layout - You want to make sure that your HTML code is clean and optimized for email (yes this actually is part of the 'content' grade!)
* Link Quality - The links in your message all play a role in what happens to your message. Links should not be on RBLs (realtime blacklists) or have otherwise poor reputations.
For over a decade Heather Seitz used email marketing to build successful companies and had to solve the biggest barrier to consistent profitability: deliverability. Today she is the Co-Founder and CEO of Email Delivered.
For more information on the effects of email content on deliverability, click here http://www.emaildelivered.com/deliverability-reminders-email-content/. Remember to sign up for the FREE Email Delivered Pulse newsletter for articles, tips, and recommended resources for email marketers.
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