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How attractive are your emails?

Article Highlights:

  • Are you sending the right emails to the right people?
  • Recommendations to help improve the deliverability of your emails.

In the last article of our series on Contact Management, I’m going to discuss creating and sending attractive emails.

Two key components of successful email marketing is actually getting email messages to customer inboxes and getting them to open them. So how can you increase your conversion rate once you think you’ve found the perfect subject line?

Here are some recommendations to help improve the deliverability of your emails:

  • Be targeted when creating campaigns. When building a client collection in Contact Management for a campaign, be very specific with the criteria. For example, if you’re running a sale on new Hondas, use the collection criteria to target open prospects that are looking for new Hondas. These customers are more likely to open the email as it is relevant to them. Remember, quality is more important than quantity when it comes to email marketing.

Attractive Emails 1

Use the “Exclude Clients Who Received Bulk Mail” option in client collections to avoid bombarding your customers with too many mailings in a short time frame. Valid options are 30, 60, or 90 days.

  • Honor unsubscribe requests. It’s annoying, and can hurt your email reputation and future marketing, when a customer receives an email from you after they’ve unsubscribed. Additionally, don’t confirm the unsubscribe with an email. Email communication is a two-way street and if the customer does not want emails any longer, simply accept it.
  • Send valuable messages. Be strategic. If a customer was recently in for an oil change and they refused recommended services, send them a follow-up email the next week suggesting why they need a tire rotation or a new battery. Don’t just tell them they need it, tell them why.

Your emails should be beneficial to your customers; they should want to read them. Like I mentioned above, if enough of your emails get rejected, it could affect your inbox placement. Inbox placement (where your email ends up – spam, junk, trash, inbox, etc.) is at the discretion of the mail system owning the mailbox (think Google or Yahoo). The vast majority of inboxes Contact Management sends to are owned by free Email Service Providers (ESPs). Those ESPs want to appear attractive to users so more people will choose them and thus, see their advertising.

The free ESPs know their users only want to see certain messages and prefer to not have to sort through a mailbox full of junk. They attempt to determine which messages each user wants to read and which senders they want mail from. This is determined by referencing the account’s Contact List and observing past behavior from that account. If 10 new emails from a particular sender get sent to an inbox, but are ignored or deleted, the 11th similar message likely won’t ever make it to that inbox, since the ESP can presume “this user didn’t want the last 10, they won’t want this one either.”

Here are three ways your email will be attractive to ESPs:

  • Send messages personalized to the recipient. The more you can make your marketing email sound like it’s not a marketing email, the better. It’s also usually not a good idea to purchase email lists from a third-party and load them into Contact Management for a bulk mailing. These lists are almost always inaccurate, which is a waste of your marketing budget, and they rarely contain customers actively considering a purchase. Think of it this way: Is one sale worth the risk of annoying the rest of the customers on the list?
  • Linked URLs should have a good reputation. Don’t send your customers to questionable sites. Verify all links before you send them out in an email and make sure the link is worth your customer’s time.
  • Create good content. The stronger the content, the better the odds are of getting your email to a place where it will be read. Here are some tips to help:
    • Draft your subject line carefully. It is the first thing a recipient reads and is often what makes them send it to spam. Never leave the subject line blank.
    • Analyze the message in the subject line carefully. It is best to start all email subjects with your business name, for example: “Blackburn Ford – Employee Pricing For Everyone.”
    • Do not use ALL CAPS or excessive punctuation (! or ?) in the subject line or in the body of your message.
    • Avoid words such as “Free,” “For You Only,” and “Guaranteed.” These words don’t add any value to your email and only make it appear spammy. The same goes for phrases such as “CLICK BELOW,” “Without a credit check,” “Do it today,” or “Have you been turned down?”
    • Keep your subject line brief.

After you create the perfect email and campaign, a bounced email is the last thing you want. Here are some reasons why bounced emails occur:

  • Invalid domain.
  • Invalid email address.
  • Email client designates the email message as spam.
  • Recipient’s email inbox is full or has domain restrictions.
  • Recipient’s email platform is down.

When an email message is returned to the sender due to an invalid email address domain, the invalid email address is removed from the Contact Info tab on the Client Profile window and from your Retail Management System.

If you’re looking for information on sent emails, check out the Email Feedback Report. The report can be used to review information about messages sent using Contact Management. You can review details about the delivery of messages, such as how many were sent, how many were delivered, how many were not delivered, and how many were opened. Additionally, the number of email addresses removed from the client record due to an invalid email address can be reviewed.

To access this information, click Email Feedback Report on the Reports tab.

The first column displays based on the information for which the report is requested. For example, if Completed By is selected in the Report By field, and employees John Smith and Amy Roberts are selected in the User field, then when the report is requested, Completed By displays as the name of the column, and the names John Smith and Amy Roberts display in the column so that detailed information for each manager can be displayed.

Attractive Emails 2

Even with all of these helpful tips, it can still be a challenge to send the right email to the right person. If you’re worried about your email deliverability, consider using a solution to help make sure you’re sending the right messages.

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Vice President, Customer Support

Dave Bates is Vice President of Customer Support at Reynolds and Reynolds. In his over 30 year tenure he has held roles at the company in marketing and customer support. Dave and his wife Carolyn enjoy golf, hockey, and spending time with their three children.

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