Will your marketing email get through?
If your business produces an email newsletter, you know how much work goes into it. Writing content, maintaining the database, working through responses.
I have been doing an online newsletter for more than 12 years.
While this is my primary communication vehicle with clients and prospects, I am the first to admit how hard it is getting.
A short while ago I was testing my latest online newsletter before hitting the send button to all 18,000.
They are sent out through an online email distribution company. All of my test emails were put straight into my own junk mail folder.
I should all know about spam filters and what to write in newsletters. After all, I’ve written two books about it.
However, no matter how I tweaked and removed words that might catch a spam filter’s ever watchful eye or the most discerning corporate filter, the same result. Straight into my junk folder.
This issue had an article about marketing, so there was no way to pick a synonym for the words marketing and sales (each in separate paragraphs, mind you).
How could I not say the words "give away" in the contest I was running?
As there was nothing I could do, I threw in the towel and pressed send, dejectedly thinking there wasn’t anything I could do about it.
Then an idea struck me. Why not send a follow-up email immediately afterwards telling my readers to look in their junk mail folder for the newsletter?
This email went out 15 minutes after the first finished. One paragraph. Plain text. The subject line read: Check your junk folder.
The email was personable and said they should have just received my business quick tip newsletter and as my copy went in my junk folder, theirs might also.
I suggested they right click it and select safe sender to prevent it from occurring again. I also promised them there were six interesting short articles in it, so to please take a look.
The newsletter was out by 12.55pm. The follow-up email at 1.15pm. By 5pm I had over 800 emails personally replying to me.
In total, more than 1200 responses to the check your junk mail folder email.
1. Most responses were from those having received it.
2. Few had it in their junk folder. Rather, they had not received it at all.
3. Many wrote of xtra pulling non-spam emails into its spam folder
4. Some individuals received the second email first – by up to one day! This is because when servers are busy, they softly reject emails, which are then presented again at a later time.
5. What a lesson in goodwill – while people rarely comment about the newsletter, this seemed to give them an opportunity to send good wishes.
6. If you do something like this, allocate sufficient time or have a mechanism for response.
7. What about the thousands who did not write? Did they ever receive either of the emails?
Delivery is, has and will be a key problem for anyone using email. What you might not realise is the depth of the problem.
Next week I will highlight the No 1 problem with marketing emails and how you can vastly improve results.
Debbie Mayo-Smith is an international speaker, trainer and best-selling author who works with businesses wanting more effective management and staff.
For more tips and her newsletter www.successis.co.nz