Whether your organization has 100 email subscribers or over 1,000,000, the end goal is the same — everyone wants to be sure important messages and announcements sent out via email reach the intended recipients.
For very small businesses, the BCC seems like your best friend. You can send out your email news to your list without going through the pains of ‘creating a campaign’ inside an email marketing platform. Even, better, it’s free, yes? Many organizations (of all sizes mind you — just found out this practice was being used by a company with 500+ employees) still rely on this approach and are seeing their email problems escalate. If BCC is still your cup of tea, consider these caveats — it’s very clear there are better and very inexpensive (and sometimes free) alternatives to get your message out in a professional manner. BCCing almost always leads to: (1) violation of laws and regulations; (2) inconsistent visual appearance of your message to your users depending on their email program (which leads to users and the server flagging as spam, even by valid recipients); (3) lack of insight and analytics to help you improve quality of future mailings; (4) the accidental ‘Reply All’ exposing everyone’s email to everyone.
News vs. Promotions. Choose Your Sending System Wisely.
Many users report certain messages getting through to the inbox without issue while others get held up in junk mail purgatory. Consider your messaging strategy and the platforms you are using to send out messages. For example, some email sending systems were originally designed and tailored to smaller organizations wanting to send out newsletters (rather than solicitations and sales promotions). Email servers are getting better at understanding messages sent and can often tell the difference between a ‘newsletter’ and a ‘solicitation.’ Evaluate the programs being used to send messages. If your efforts began as a small newsletter to your group but now have evolved to be more promotional in nature, your current email service sending service may not be the best option for your needs.
Formatting & User Experience Counts
I receive an email every day from a favorite restaurant with the list of specials. This email is nothing more than a single image of the day’s menu. When designing an email, user experience plays a big role in determining the emails deliverability. To improve the quality of the email and its chances of getting past the spam gate (and getting higher readership of the message, too), consider personalization, user friendly formatting tactics and craft an email that you would want to read and not just press X. Use a combination of graphics and text — ensuring the text next to the corresponding image contributes to the user’s need and interest to download the graphic. Include the person’s name in the welcome part of the email or subject. Explore segmenting your audience based on the type of recipient. Aiming to have your message create more of a 1-on-1 conversation with your recipient versus a mass mailing shows the email servers and junk mail filters this is a unique, important message worthy of the recipient’s eyes.
Ask to Whitelist
Once someone subscribes to the list, provide a thank you screen with the request that the user adds his email address to their own whitelists/approved sender lists. When a recipient adds your sending email address to his approved list, it ensures your message bypasses the spam filter and junk mail folder rules and ends straight in the inbox. To be super-user friendly, create visual guides with screenshots for various email platforms showing a user step-by-step to accomplish this. Besides, the recipient wants to receive your messages. Asking the recipient to go the extra mile is especially well-received when the initial subscription is linked to a specific benefit to the recipient.
Try Other Messaging Platforms
Customers preferences to receive information is changing — and so are the options to reach them. Email is not dead, and neither are a growing number of messaging environments to correspond with recipients. Consider Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or SMS/Text to communicate announcements, promotions and events. Some customers prefer these channels compared to email and the complexity required to ensure deliverability is far less on direct messaging than via email.