A common qualm that all email marketers share is banishment to the dreaded spam folder. This is where all emails go to die, and it’s a virtual landscape void of all growth and productivity. Marketers have this form of exile in mind as something to be avoided at all costs, but in some cases, no amount of effort on a marketer’s part can prevent their emails from being labelled as spam. However, there are certain fundamental steps that you can take that will give your emails the best possible chance of being directed to your consumer’s primary folder, where they belong.
Be Aware of your Audience
In all businesses, those who take the time for thorough research and preparation will find themselves in the best possible position. By having a thorough understanding of your audience, you will be better prepared to handle unexpected occurrences (like an abnormal frequency of your emails being directed to the spam folder) as they arrive. “Generic email blasts can be a death sentence for your campaign,” writes Andrew Gazdecki of Entrepreneur. “You want to reach a large potential market, but if your email is catered to an audience that’s too broad its recipients will spot the lack of personalization.” Gazdecki goes on to say that researching an audience should include target demographics, specific issues and solutions for sales professionals and HR managers, a thorough understanding of your market’s cultural background, staying up to date on relevant surveys that indicate the trends and demands of your niche market, and establishing a consistent line of communication with your sales department to identify consumer needs, likes, and dislikes.
While spending time on research is a necessity, it’s also equally important to disregard impertinent information, and only apply useful data to your campaigns. “Collecting data on your customers can result in a ton of information. Much of it will provide you with a clearer picture of your audience — behaviors, job titles, buying habits, geography etc. — but the amount of data can quickly overwhelm,” offers Gazdecki. “Determine which data points are essential to your campaign and which points are good for research but really have no place in your email creation process. If, in collecting your data, you find something unique that can help you reach your target market, leverage that.”
Customize your Content to your Audience
Of course, email customization is a ton of additional work, and the average marketer will try to avoid it in all possible cases. However, being a part of such a competitive business, email marketers should consistently take the steps to distinguish themselves from the average among their industry. Taking the time to customize your emails is definitely an extra step, but you’ll reap the fruits of your efforts in the long run. “Personas should be integrated into your website in addition to your email marketing,” Gazdecki writes. “It doesn’t do any good to identify commonalities among your audience if your messaging is still generic. Customize emails based on their target personas, meeting those consumers’ needs and demands by implementing the data you’ve collected over time.”
In order to stay ahead of your industry, you must always find yourself in a position of adaptation, readjusting your work methods in response to the changing needs of your consumers. Email marketing is by no means a static business, so there’s no reason to expect that your workflow will stay the same for too long. According to Gazdecki: “Email optimization isn’t one and done. Effective segmentation requires continuous analysis and iteration. Markets shift and consumer preferences change, so your strategy must adapt along with them.”