Smarter Email Marketing: Tips on How to Reach More Email Audiences

In the last decade, email marketing in India has
grown by leaps and bounds
. In the past, it was just your inbox
and spam folders to be checked. Now, we have categorized tabs, such
as inbox, social, and promotions, to look through. Helping with
email categorization is a smart move by inbox service providers
aiming to retain their customer base, which includes increasingly
sophisticated digital citizens. It can be chaos to search through
all your promotional, social, and personal emails to find the ones
that matter most to you. It’s only natural to want to have
something to lend a hand in this.

With the advent of artificial intelligence and machine learning,
the task of has become a multifaceted endeavor. Marketers can no
longer expect results by simply bombarding audiences with emails
using a batch-an- blast strategy. Digital consumers want relevant
communications from trusted brands. Therefore, brands must
personalize the message, the time they send out their message, and
the channel they use to send it out. This means marketers must do
the work to
understand their customers
, build good databases to capture
profiles and behaviors, and use the insights they derive in their
communications.

Machine learning is already being widely used by Global ISPs
such as Google (Gmail) and Microsoft (Outlook) to protect their
brands and their mailbox user customer experiences. We see machine
learning applied to SPAM filtering. This has been very well
effective in categorizing different types of emails. From an email
marketer’s perspective, the first hurdle to tackle is SPAM
filtering by ISP. The algorithm for considering an email as SPAM is
largely around sender behavior and subscriber engagement. ISP’s
model SPAM filters based on Naïve Bayes algorithm. Naive Bayes
classifiers are a collection of classification algorithms based
on Bayes’ Theorem; which describes the
probability of a feature, based on prior knowledge of conditions
that might be related to that feature.

It is imperative for any email marketer to understand how
ISP’s determine emails for inbox and other folders; and set the
precedence to be categorized to reach customers inbox. Hence, one
should contemplate on the factors, which will contribute to
crowning oneself as a Solemn Email marketer.

The most important aspect determining good sender behavior is
the subscriber list. This list should be an exclusive list of
people who are expecting promotional emails from you.  They could
include customers who were your recent purchasers or people who
have signed up or showed interest in your products. Most of the
time, even after following best practices as a Sender, you may not
reach the inbox of your customer, but can end up in other folders,
such as promotional or social. The transition to inbox will take
place with subscriber engagement, which is shown with the recipient
opening and clicking through the email and spending time going
through its content.

Unfortunately, too many digital marketers still do not recognize
the importance of an apt subject line in their promotional email.
It is crucial to attract the attention of your target customers
with a relevant subject line. Today, this can be personalized based
on your consumers’ interaction with you. Rich content will engage
your target segment, and this will lead to more opens and click
throughs and potentially lead to purchase and repeat purchase. A
wrong or misleading subject line will only lead to a high
unsubscribe rate and/or a high spam rate. These kinds of subscriber
behavior will alarm the ISP’s, and they might be quick to mark a
certain sender as spam. It is very easy to be marked as a spammer
by ISP’s but a herculean task to get back on the right track. It
requires a lot of thinking through and strategy to get back to the
good books of ISP’s, starting from setting up proper feedback
loop to whitelisting your IP.

Subscriber behavior is the next aspect, which helps ISP’s
decide on setting the algorithms for spam filters. This includes
actions taken by your contact list on receipt of the email. The
actions can be categorized as positive actions and negative
actions. Positive actions might include opening, clicking through,
moving the email from promotions to inbox, adding to address book
and so on. Whereas, negative actions, such as deleting the email,
marking it as spam, or unsubscribing, will put the marketer in a
bad light. ISP would make a note of such email senders, and very
soon they are tagged as spammers.

If sender behavior and subscriber engagement are being taken
care of, the email program performance metrics should be thriving.
The next step from here would be to look at send time optimization
(STO) and personalization. STO ensures that customers get your
messages at the times when they’re most likely to engage, which
can have a big positive impact on the campaigns you send. When
marketers use send-time optimization they might see a 25%
increase in engagement.

A
recent study
conducted by Demand Metric in partnership with
ReturnPath saw read rates have increased by 2% YoY across
industries in 2018. This increase can be attributed to the
increased volume of informed and engaged customers online, use of
impactful subject lines, and other efforts taken by marketers to
reach the right customers at the right time.

For any business looking forward to reach customers through
email marketing, ideally you should have a keen eye for subscriber
activity and remain mindful of your send pattern along with your
subscriber list. These three factors broadly define if one’s
email reaches customers either the inbox or spam folder.

                                       
         
  
                                                                                                           

Ensure that your emails are going where you need them to go and
that you respect your subscribers’ privacy with
“Do More with Email Deliverability and Privacy.”

Source: FS – Marketing 3
Smarter Email Marketing: Tips on How to Reach More Email Audiences