Marketers risk consumer backlash from aggressive direct marketing tactics, especially when using online targeted marketing and consumer tracking strategies.
Permission-based email manages to avoid controversy, mostly because email recipients consciously sign up for email marketing.
In spite of this, permission-based email marketing has a problem. Consumers sign up for the email, but marketers have no guarantee they’ll open, or even see, their email messages.
Email Management and Direct Marketing
Increasingly sophisticated email management systems account for part of the problem. Consumers set their email accounts to view only what’s important to them.
For instance, Return Path reports that 87 percent of Gmail users manage incoming messages with Priority inbox. Only 17 percent of incoming emails find their way into the Priority inbox, and it’s reasonable to assume these are the only emails read.
So what happens to those emails which don’t get read?
Consumers often forget they granted a marketer permission to send emails and mark their messages as spam. Hotmail reports a staggering 75 percent of emails marked as spam are actually permission marketing emails.
Other dead ends for email messages include being deleted if left unread for a set number of days, or being blocked. Email managers may also redirect messages to specific folders, leaving time-sensitive emails languishing.
Many email management systems reroute emails based on keywords. For instance, emails containing expressions such as “limited time offer,” “50 percent off” or “all prices marked down” may get shunted to the spam folder because they look like what they are: sales pitches. Avoid hard-sell language in your email to keep you off the management system’s radar.
Dealing with Email Management through Content
Getting permission-based messages past email management systems is a serious problem for the direct marketer. You could decide that people shunting your emails to the spam folder wouldn’t have read them anyway. To some extent, this is true; direct email campaigns always assume a certain percentage of people won’t read the message.
Unfortunately, people savvy enough to set up email management systems are your target audience. After all, a marketing campaign for a Baltimore SEO company can assume a certain level of technical know-how among its intended audience.
While you can’t guarantee your email won’t run afoul of email management systems, you can take some steps to minimize the risk. Be clear and direct about the contents of any email service: you want the consumer to fully understand the benefits of signing up for your emails and, more importantly, reading them. Intrigue your readers and they’re more likely to assign your email to the Inbox instead of the spam folder.
Making clear statements about your email’s value, of course, only holds up if you provide that value with quality content and valuable, actionable information. Content, as always, is at the core of a successful marketing campaign. You’ve got one chance to impress an email reader; fail to make that impression and your emails will never see the inbox again.