It’s clear that we’re heading to a new era of consent-based marketing in 2021.
The recent privacy changes from Apple along with the phasing out of third-party cookies means brands are going to have to double down on creating purposeful content and experiences for their customers that they willingly opt in to receive.
Email Marketing isn’t exempt from these changes.
Here are 5 tactics that you should leave on the trash heap as we enter into this new wave of eCommerce.
Resends are used to send a follow-up email to customers if they didn’t open the first message.
Brands would often leverage this as a way of bombarding customers with sales-related messages to save time and resources on crafting better content.
Thankfully, iOS 15’s targeting of tracking pixels means that although we’re using valuable data on email opens, it at least means that Resends are going to be cosigned to the grave.
Resends are awful for innumerable reasons.
First, the customer didn’t open the first email - why pester them by sending the SAME content again?
If your email strategy isn’t engaging subscribers, that means you need to reevaluate your strategy - not send the same crap more frequently.
Secondly, resends harm deliverability. It ramps up your frequency of unengaged messages drastically, leaving ISPs to categorise you as a bad sender which harms your sender reputation.
In the past, marketers would justify Resends solely off the amount of revenue the follow-up emails received, claiming they had magically managed to “squeeze more out of their subscribers”.
What these marketers often neglect to report on is the fact that the resends eroded the sender reputation of the account and lost a boatload of subscribers in the process through the horrible experience they deliver to subscribers.
Guys, if your first message didn’t resonate with your target audience, the second round of harassment isn’t going to reflect better on your brand.
Send more important and engaging emails, and you won’t have to behave like a psycho ex that stalks your customers every 5 minutes.
2: Sending to your whole list
Also known as “batch-and-blast” or “spray-and-pray”, sending to your whole database and getting starry eyed through the amount of subscribers in your ESP isn’t a good idea for innumerable reasons.
First, it destroys your deliverability. Sending to unengaged subscribers is a negative intent signal to ISPs such as Gmail and Outlook that you’re a spammer.
Secondly, it costs you money. Most ESPs charge by volume of sends and number of active subscribers, so you’re literally flushing money down the drain every time you hit the whole list.
Basic segmentation and cleaning inactive subscribers isn’t exactly a groundbreaking strategy, but it’s more essential than ever to succeed with email.
3: Using a Personal Name at the company to send emails
This is a contentious one, as I do this myself from time-to-time and it can generate fantastic results.
By adding a personal name to the sender name (i.e. Adam at Magnet Monster), you can increase open rates by adding a more human element to your emails.
However, if this technique is abused, then it rapidly erodes trust and the technique loses all effectiveness.
I actually audited an eCommerce brand that grossly abused this technique last week. Their open rates had plummeted to sub-15%. When we used this technique for our clients (infrequently), we’re able to generate over 50% open rates in campaigns!
The key is to only use it when you have something important to say.
Big sales announcements and company events that impact the customers are the main two where the CEO can wade in occasionally with a plain text email.
If you need to use a personal name to get the majority of your emails opened, it’s likely that the brand is doing a poor job at creating emails that are worth reading.
Another drawback of using this technique for regular sends is that when the name of the sender suddenly moves on/quits the company, then the trust in the subscriber is lost and they have no affinity to the brand anymore.
I’m a big fan of personal branding, but it should not be used as a crutch for a bad brand.
Use this technique sparingly and focus on delivering value in your overall email strategy rather than relying on a gimmick.
4: Deceiving customers with misleading headlines
“It’s all about the headline”.
It’s true that headlines are important for any type of advertising.
They cause intrigue and get your message read, above all else.
However, the headline is NOT the most important part of email marketing - it’s the name of the sender.
This is because a customer has already willingly subscribed to your brand and will already be aware of the type of content you send out.
It’s true that you can trick somebody for the occasional email with a curiosity-driven email. And by no means am I trying to downplay the importance of crafting a compelling headline.
However, the most important thing is that you deliver upon the headline in the body of the email itself.
If your email content is trash, then it doesn’t matter how effective the headline is, it will simply erode trust with your subscribers.
If you had to choose between putting more effort into your email content VS crafting a quirky headline, invest in content all the time.
5: Using “No-reply” as your sender name
Because nothing shows contempt for your subscribers more than telling them not to speak to you.
“No-reply” not only speaks down to your customers in an era where two-way communication is paramount, it’s also potentially harmful for your deliverability.
It is well established that ISPs like it when customers are able to engage with brands over email, and having a welcoming sender name such as “firstname.lastname@example.org” encourages subscribers to reply and interact with the brand.
Ultimately, this is about respect for your subscribers and having the internal capacity to engage with them and committing yourself to it.
Customer support is making a huge comeback and is paramount in email marketing today, so make sure you’re receptive to engaging with customers when they respond to your emails as it will do wonders for your deliverability.
- Don’t do Resends
- Don’t send to your whole list
- Don’t abuse your Sender Name
- Don’t deceive your customers with misleading headlines
- Have a friendly Sender Name that encourages responses
Data Enrichment Points
- Progressive profiling
- Abandoned cart
- Customer winback flow
- Post-purchase experience