Has this ever happened to you?
I bet it has!
A friend of mine called to pick my brain on email marketing. His company has about 70,000 subscribers and their open rates were getting WORSE with each new campaign.
In his testing, he saw that a lot of their emails were getting delivered to the spam folder. He was looking for changes they could make to improve their deliverability.
I explained that consistently getting into the inbox was based on their email reputation. Their email reputation is based on their subscriber engagement. In a nutshell, when a company sends out an email, the email providers (Yahoo, Gmail, etc.) consider the following behaviors, which negatively affect your reputation: [Read more…]
Remember the seasonal golf store in the mall that you bought a gift from last December? Chances are you haven’t heard from them all year but right now they are re-opening and it is just a matter of time before you start getting their weekly emails.
Or what about the big box stores? They’ve been tracking your purchases all year long so they can practically put together your wish list for you – to be arriving in your inbox soon.
So what’s a dealer to do who simply wants to get their newsletter or sales email opened during this busy season? Here are three ideas to keep your email marketing off the naughty list.
MailChimp helped with an eMarketer study on the engagement of email users across the different major email service providers and according to the study, Gmail users are more likely to Open and Click on your emails. I think this could be due to the “trust” factor that Gmail users have with NOT getting Spam. I have been using Gmail since it was introduced and I know if an email makes it into my in-box, there’s a 99% chance that I want to read it or have opted-in for it at one time.
When asking your customers for their email address, ask them for their Gmail address! 🙂
Email – The love/hate relationship – John Max Miller
Let’s first talk about the love…
Email is really the new telephone. It’s BETTER than the telephone. You never HAVE to answer it; you can even ‘listen’ and not answer it! It doesn’t ‘ring’ at dinner time! You can answer it at 4am and no one is upset by that! It’s more convenient for discussions; you don’t have to be available when someone wants to ‘talk’ to you. Email REALLY is cool…
Now the hate…
I have been using a blackberry since the day they came out. I am an ADDICT! It never leaves my side, wakes me up at night, and takes time away from my family every day when we are on vacation. I spend my day ON email and never seem to be able to get away from it.
Now let’s get down to business… How can email help me make more money?
Email will only help you make more money if you USE IT PROPERLY.
Email is NOT a business toy – it is a tool that if used wrong can cut you so deep you will bleed to death – financially!
Email is about communication! Email must first and foremost GET DELIVERED to your customer. No matter the message and how poorly or how well it is written, it has to get into your customers IN BOX.
How do YOU ensure delivery?
Understanding blacklists and becoming white listed is VERY important in this email delivery space.
Blacklists – If you are sending out multiple emails at a time, you need to make sure that you continually monitor blacklisting sites. These sites are independent non-profit companies that specialize in finding ‘open relays’ where ‘spammers’ may be sending emails from and literally can STOP YOUR EMAILS DEAD IN
THEIR TRACKS. You can send 2500 emails and not one of them ever gets delivered.
http://www.mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx will allow you to check if you are blacklisted.
http://www.ordb.org will allow you to check if your servers have open relays and could be blacklisted.
If you are sending emails out of your dealership, over your network, you need someone to monitor your open relays and your black listings. If you become blacklisted, you will need to go through a process to be taken off the black list. This is a process that, if you are sending emails on a regular basis, will have to be CONTINUALLY monitored. Being blacklisted and being taken off does NOT mean you won’t be blacklisted again.
Let’s now get a good understanding of white lists.
Whitelists are, in essence, and approved sender list managed by the ISP’s (Internet Service providers – AOL/Yahoo/Excite etc.) themselves.
In order to be white listed with EACH ISP, you need to go through a formal process and prove/show evidence to the individual ISP that the people you are communicating with have asked for you to communicate with them (permission based). ISP’s, even if you are white listed, can stop delivering your emails to their customers if your emails receive certain levels of “This is spam”, complaints.
You might ask “why would someone who has asked me to communicate with them mark our emails as spam?” Think back to your desktop… When you receive emails, what do you review… advertisements selling you something or emails sent from someone personally to you. This is now where you get into the content of the email issue…
Let’s discuss content!
If you get an email with a bunch of cars zooming across the screen or videos or pictures… what is your first impression?
Most people will in less than a second choose #2. Make your emails personal. Don’t send canned responses with canned pictures. ALWAYS put your message first so they see you are writing them a personal email.
People buy from people they like and trust. This is still a people business and ALWAYS will be.
So we all know that delivery is the #1 issue. Get the email to their INBOX!
Manage your open relays on your servers; make sure you are not black listed – weekly. Make a concerted effort to get white listed with ALL the major ISP’s.
And once you know that your emails are being delivered, make them personal and relevant so the customer appreciates the communication and responds by coming into the dealership to SPEND MONEY.
After all – it does not say ‘Church’ or ‘Synagogue” on the front of your dealership! Make money with your email!
A big thanks to John Max Miller; over at @utoRevenue for writing this
article and clearing up a few questions I’m sure we all have about email and email delivery. If you have more questions or are looking for some help with your email marketing, John invites you contact him at 1-413-243-4800 or [email protected] .