4 Rules to Design a Perfect Email Deliverability Strategy in 2020
Time and again Email as a channel has fascinated many marketers but doing it in a perfect way have had been a tough nut to crack! Here in this article, we will talk about how and in what scenarios email can prove as just the right channel for your marketing efforts. And how the specific four R's can help your design the perfect email deliverability strategy and an email program!
Early in the business, you have to make an important decision: Do you want to spend five times more attracting new customers or spend significantly less retaining existing ones?
Email marketing with a focus on retention can help restart the dialogue with a customer, trigger engagement, and reduce what’s called the churn rate (when existing customers stop using your product or service).
But before you start designing email campaigns, pay attention to the rule of Four Rs: right channel, right person, right message, and the right time. These four tenets can significantly help shape your email communication and thus lead you to build a perfect email deliverability strategy.
The Right Channel Rule - So Is Email The Right one?
Brands experiment with different modes of communication—from SMS, push-up notifications to even sales calls, but most return to email for its unparalleled use. Not only because it’s cost-effective, but also because customers love it. A recent survey found that 7 in 10 consumers prefer email as a channel.
It’s not hard to guess why: email communication can be both direct yet nuanced. It can keep customers hooked, and so, the email continues to prevail as the right channel.
Now that we know that email as a channel is high-impact, low-cost and vastly effective, you can pay close attention to designing the right kind of email strategy.
What should your emails be like for a perfect Email Deliverability Strategy?
Your emails can be any of the following sorts-
- Educational or informative: Notifying users of new products, services or discounts or simply explaining the industry to them and offering something for free.
- Personalised: Aimed at driving engagement based on the user behaviour on your website. Here’s where you target them based on your understanding of what they like.
- Personalised and automated: Where you identify users, segment them, and target them with a particular message. This is a highly personalised email style that’s sure to demonstrate high click rates.
The Right Person Rule - Who is your Email meant for?
All brands want to talk to the right customer and no one else. But in order to direct the right email to the right person, you have to first identify them. There are multiple ways to do it.
i) Who is the visitor and where is s/he coming from?
Start by tracking who is coming to the site and what is bringing them there—is it your newsletter? A social media post? An influencer’s tweet? What is their demographic—mainly male of 20-30 years of age from a metro city? If this is true, you know what’s the demographic you must now target.
ii) What are they doing on the site?
Then observe the user behavior on the site: what are they browsing or buying, what are their habits like over a short (and then long) period of time. After this initial investigation, devise a customer segmentation marketing strategy where similar customers are clubbed together in groups and a particular type of communication is targeted at them.
For example, if a number of users stopped short at buying the flight ticket it’s possible that they found the price a bit much. Send all of them emails with additional benefits, discount coupons or simply reminding them what a comfortable flying experience they could have with you!
Here’s another way: Say, you sent out emails announcing a new offer and not everyone who opened it came to your website or bought anything from it. Design a new email targeting them with newer, more customized offers.
Segmentation achieves far better results than a cookie-cutter marketing approach. And users love it. Personalized emails have 29 percent higher unique open rates and 41 percent higher unique click rates. Customers love intimate, personal messages and here’s how to bank on them.
There’s always a danger of emails landing in the spam folder. A simple trick of identifying the right user and sunsetting other users might help:
Sometimes, one doesn’t know who is the right user, but one knows who isn’t. This is where you need to proactively address those users not interested in your emails. This is called user sunsetting.
Identifying and Rectifying Inactive Users
When a user hasn’t interacted with your email for a long time, the mailbox provider will automatically start marking your emails as low priority for him/her. When emails are marked low-priority, users might be prompted through a dialogue box and asked if they want to unsubscribe. Some might unsubscribe and some might not, and slowly, the emails will gradually end up in the spam folder.
Caution: If emails start going to the spam folder for a large number of users, it’s possible that even those genuinely interacting with the email might not get them in their inbox.
Sunsetting users can allow you to take control. To enable user sunsetting, you can choose a time period (a month or three) and if a user hasn’t engaged with the email for that long, s/he would be automatically unsubscribed and added to the “sunset contact” list. In doing so, you know that a particular user is not the right one for the brand, and you can streamline your energy for those who are.
The Right Message Rule - What Should Your Email Say?
The struggle for any email marketer is to use language that appeals. But did you know that language can also destroy? A Right message is core to building your email marketing strategy.
Elevate your copy by ditching overuse of exclamation points or language that’s too salesy. Almost all users are immune to HURRY! BEFORE THE OFFER RUNS OUT.
You want to try being persuasive in a more sophisticated and gentle fashion. Apart from segmenting and targeting users based on their behaviour, basic email etiquette is to address them by their names and have a personal email id send emails (not the noreply ones that give an impression that your company is run by bots).
A second important tip is to have a clear call-t0-action. Writers often use the phrase ‘don’t bury the lead’, which means: don’t beat around the bush, get to the point already. Emails are no different. If you want people to take some form of action—spell it out.
The best emails follow a simple strategy of engaging the users. Their tone is friendly, they set the stage for what’s coming up and they offer something valuable.
In short, they do this:
- Welcome and thank you.
- Tell you what you will get from them and they stick to it.
- Follow-up (politely!)
- Give you value: some benefits of coming onboard.
- Create a sense of urgency: Offer ends in 31 days
The Right Time Rule - Is There Anything Like The Right Time To Send Emails?
Emails need to be sent regularly and consistently, but this is more difficult than it sounds. Marketers have to keep many points in mind:
i) Don’t send too many emails that bug your users,
ii) Nor should your emails be so infrequent that users forget about your brand.
The best way is to ask for users’ preferences: newsletter once a week or twice a month, or so on. But even as you struggle to send the right number of emails, don’t forget - send time optimisation.
It’s widely accepted that the festive season is the best time for e-commerce brands but business happens every day. If a user is browsing on your site and leaves without making a purchase, it’s a good time to reach out to him/her.
But this is also true for someone who does make a purchase. A follow-up email can thank the user and encourage them to share their experience or perhaps even shop more.
For regular, day-to-day emails, there are different studies with different findings. Some say that Tuesdays and Thursdays are the golden email days while for some, weekends work like a charm. Individual businesses should observe behaviour on the site and choose the best time based on initial response.
Concluding with a CASE STUDY: What happens when all combinations are Enforced?
One of Pepipost’s customers is a leading news publisher who engages with millions of subscribers daily. While they have a robust email list that is 3.5 million subscriber strong, more email opens are essential for their core ad-based revenue.
For publishing companies, emails reaching the spam folder and not users' inbox can be business-threatening. Close attention to carefully building an email list and thoughtful engagement is critical.
Pepipost devised a personalised email delivery strategy for the company. First, we enforced a strict double-opt in rule to ensure that privacy regulations were duly followed, only genuine subscribers were on the mailing list, and that bots didn't sign up.
Second, the flow and strategy of the entire email delivery plan was revised with careful attention to what was being sent, at what time and how. For instance, Pepipost's AI-based email delivery system prevented toxic email ids from being sent confirmation right away. Slowly, the company's domain reputation improved and additional features like real-time tracking improved email delivery among new subscribers by 20%.
Our experience with the publishing company reinforced our core ethos: that close attention to the right message, right person and at the right time can ensure that the emails you send hit inboxes, are read, and call-to-action fulfilled.
Designing a Perfect Email Deliverability Strategy - Final Words
I started this article stating that Emails have had been a fascinating channel for many marketers but not that tough a nut how I stated earlier. I would urge you to read our "An Unapologetic Guide to Superior Email Deliverability in 2020" which specifically and in detail talks about how Email Deliverability has evolved and how you can hit a Home Run with Email Deliverability in the coming year!
For any doubts, feel free to ping me or comment down below!