3 Email Marketing Must-Haves to Tackle the Evolving Inbox

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Gmail and other ISPs are making email delivery more difficult. The recipient’s primary inbox may not even see your emails due to improved spam filtering algorithms and features like Gmail’s category tab.

It’s possible to ask your subscribers to add you to their address book or move your emails to their primary inbox, but this may not happen. Instead, keep your subscribers engaged and maintain a high open and click-through rate to get your emails into their primary inbox. This means email marketers must focus on improving engagement.

You need relevant, creative email marketing strategies to effectively engage your audience. Include these three elements in your email campaigns to increase delivery and click-through rates:

1. HTML Buttons

Like an image button, an HTML button is a coded call-to-action that looks and feels like an image button. Depending on the recipient’s browser, email client, and device, you can create nearly the same effects with code as with an image-based button.

Using HTML buttons instead of images improves the user experience. An email recipient or their email client must download images to view them. If you use an image-based button, it will be hidden until all images have been downloaded. With an HTML button, the CTA renders before the other images. This means your main CTA will appear upon opening the email, changing the recipient’s entire email experience.

2. Make Mobile-Friendly Emails

Nowadays, people are always on the move, so your emails must reach them. According to Google, 65 percent of consumers begin their shopping journey on a mobile device, compared to only 25% on a computer and 11% on a tablet. Also, over 50% of all emails are opened on a phone. These stats don’t lie—companies must start developing mobile-friendly emails.

Even the best copy and artwork can’t save an email without a strong, mobile-friendly template. Consider a template as the delivery vehicle for your email. Your results will be great if your vehicle is reliable.

3. Examine Deliverability Measures

What’s worse than unopened emails? Your emails go unread. Return Path says only 79% of commercial emails make it to the inbox. That means 1 in 5 emails sent ends up in junk, spam, or undeliverable. And if you rely on 100% delivery to your subscribers and 1 in 5 emails bounce, you’ll struggle to meet your revenue targets.

Follow these deliverability tips to ensure your emails reach the primary inbox:

  • After one hard bounce, delete all emails. Keep hard bounced emails out of future campaigns. An invalid email hard bounces, so there’s no point in sending emails to it. That email could also become a spam trap, which is an email set up by internet service providers to catch spammers.
  • Lower your email provider’s or marketing automation solution’s soft bounce threshold. An email soft bounces due to a temporary server issue or a full inbox. Soft bounce thresholds are frequently set conservatively, like 10 soft bounces = 1 hard bounce. Emails that repeatedly soft bounce could become hard bounces or spam traps, so it’s best to lower the threshold. A soft bounce is defined as an email that has been soft bounced 6 times or more in 30 days.
  • Use good email etiquette Email hygiene is like oral hygiene. Do it frequently to avoid future issues. Email addresses that have been inactive for a long time can go bad in email marketing. When this happens, an ISP reclaims the inactive email address and turns it into a spam trap. They may never engage with your email if they haven’t in over 2 years. You could try a different email cadence, but if that fails, you should move on. You can use a third-party data vendor to validate your email lists to find bad addresses. This tool can identify safe, bad, and unknown emails.
  • Email only those who want to hear from you. Although obvious, not everyone does. Every business is different, but be cautious when sending to inactive email addresses. Try reactivation campaigns to entice disengaged email subscribers with better deals, offers, products, or content.

Follow these three rules to increase email delivery, opens, and clicks. Create, test, and deploy HTML buttons to boost email response rates. Check your email templates for ways to optimize for mobile, such as larger font sizes or keeping the CTA above the fold. Finally, stop sending emails to people who don’t want to hear from you. If you can master these three strategies, you will have conquered the inbox.

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