Do This! (Not That) For Better Email Delivery

Email marketing tactics and food have a few things in common. There’s the good, the bad, and the people that try to make the bad look good for you.

The food industry has resources like the Eat This, Not That book to guide you, but what about email marketing? With all the different tactics out there, it’s hard to know what will help you and what will hurt you.

That will be changing today with AWeber’s “Do This, Not That” approach to Email Marketing.

We’ll kick it off with some of the worst list management mistakes that could be hurting your email deliverability, and what you should be doing instead.

Send Only to Those Who Requested Your Information

What this is: You cannot use a list you’ve obtained through a third party service.

Some third party services will pitch the idea that these email address requested information about your industry, which can be appealing if you’re just starting out.

You need to realize these subscribers did NOT request YOUR information, and you don’t even know how their email addresses were originally obtained. You’d be spamming them.

Another danger is obtaining stale or invalid email addresses. Your message may be filtered because of this, reducing your deliverability rate.

Do this instead:

  • Build your list organically.
    You can put up a web form on your website so subscribers can sign up if they want to be on your mailing list. You can also include links to sign up on social media sites like Facebook. And don’t forget if you have a store to include a sign up sheet at the register!

Check out how we invite people to subscribe on Facebook:

Don’t Assume Permission- Ask For It!

What this is: Subscribers skip the confirmation message and just start getting your emails.

There are some worries that confirmed opt-in makes the sign up process harder for the subscriber. But if you don’t have confirmed opt in on, you run the risk of again getting bad email addresses on your list. You’ll also open yourself up to more spam complaints, and subscribers who aren’t as interested in your company.

Do this instead:

  • Send a customized confirmation message.
    Set up a customized confirmation that explains to subscribers what’s going on. You’ll have a list of subscribers who want your information and are much less likely to complain.

Here’s what a good confirmation message looks like:

Don’t Ignore Your Complaint Rate

What this is: A complaint is recorded when a subscriber marks one of your broadcast messages as spam.

A subscriber who complains will be automatically unsubscribed from your list in AWeber, which may lead to an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. However, consistent complaints hurt your reputation and your deliverability rate will go down.

Occasional complaints may be inevitable, but that’s never an excuse to look into what you could be doing better.

Do this instead:

  • Make sure you are properly setting expectations.
    Does your web form clearly state what they are signing up for? Do you have a welcome message that details your email plans? You can lower your complaint rate by ensuring subscribers know what they will be getting from you and how often you will be sending them messages.

Here’s an example of a form that sets expectations:

Don’t Push Down the Unsubscribe Link

What this is: Using space or unnecessary text to push down the unsubscribe link. This makes the unsubscribe link hard to find.

If subscribers want to leave your list, you should let them! Otherwise you will run into spam complaints which can hurt your reputation and deliverability.

It will also mean your list contains subscribers who aren’t really interested in your emails. If they’re not interested, they won’t be interacting with your emails.

Don’t fall for the idea subscribers may “accidentally unsubscribe”. It’s not going to happen. The unsubscribe link takes subscribers to a new page where they will need to actually choose the unsubscribe option. Hiding the link is just not worth the risk.

Do this instead:

  • Put a link to unsubscribe at the TOP of your message.
    Including some text such as “If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please click here to unsubscribe” is a much better approach. Subscribers will appreciate that you respect their time and attention.

Here’s what it can look like:

Coming Up Next: The “Do This! (Not That)” Approach to Creating Emails

In the next part of the series, you’ll learn the worst mistakes you can make when creating and sending emails. Find out if you’re doing one of these mistakes, and what you can do to fix it!

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