The NoReply Dilemma: Best Practices For Your Email Strategy

Let me tell you a short, sad story.

For months, I have tried to stop a brand from sending me these emails (we don’t do naming or shaming here). But every time I try to contact them, I get back an automated reply that says that my email failed to be delivered. Oh, the wonders of no-reply email addresses. You can imagine my frustration… Now I understand how my mom would feel when she asked me to tidy up my room. It was like talking to a brick wall.

In this post, our friend Chris Arrendale, CEO and founder of Inbox Pros, explains what a no-reply address is and why sending your marketing emails using a reply-to address is always the best idea.

There is a misconception that sending from a noreply email address is the best way to go to avoid being flooded with email replies. If you’re not familiar, you’ve likely seen this type of sender address before – most of the time it looks like this: noreply@domain.com.

What is a noreply email address?

A noreply email is an email address that is not monitored and blocks customers from replying. However, it can confuse and frustrate customers if their replies go unanswered or worse – bounce.  Let’s explore why it’s never a good idea to use this type of account for email marketing and what you should use instead.

Why you shouldn’t use a noreply address

While noreply addresses are tempting, there are a few reasons why you shouldn’t use one. Here are the most important things to consider.

A noreply email address decreases deliverability and increases spam

Certain ISPs, network spam filters, and customers’ personal email security settings are set up to send noreply email to the junk folder. This will decrease your open rates and overall deliverability rates, and will increase your chances of landing in the spam folder. Being inboxed less leads to lower possible conversions, specially when sending blast emails.

Want to know more about email deliverability best practices? Download our guide now!

Banner Email Deliverability

Also looking at email trends from a broader sense, 53% of email is opened on mobile devices. To accommodate for the smaller screen, many email clients set their inboxes on mobile devices to just show a preview of the sender and your email address as well. As a consumer, would you open an email with a noreply email address? You’re more likely to feel like a company is unapproachable.

A noreply address can hurt your customer experience

When a customer replies to an email, it’s because they have something to share. They could have a support question, a comment about your product or service, or just some constructive feedback that can help a brand with its marketing efforts. Adding your contact information to your email campaigns will help direct some of these comments, but it’s likely many of your customers still opt for just replying to your campaigns. If they get an auto-reply telling them the email can’t be delivered, how do you think they’ll feel?

Post-GDPR, it is also more important than ever to take the time to evaluate whether you should use a no-reply address for your marketing campaigns. How can you expect your subscribers to contact you to claim their rights if you don’t allow them to do so?

NoReply Inbox
Do not reply email in a Gmail inbox

 

Swapping out the noreply for a reply-to address

Most ISPs do not allow email recipients to add noreply emails to their address books. If a recipient can’t add you to their address book, you’re more likely to be flagged as spam and sent to the junk folder. It is also much more likely for subscribers to hit the spam button if they can’t reply back requesting removal of their email address. I’ve seen cases where customers unsubscribed from some of their favorite brands because noreply emails addresses were not being monitored.

Another interesting point to remember is that it shows credibility to ISPs when recipients engage with your email, replying to your email being one of those cases. Safe sender privileges include bypassing some of an ISPs mail filters and delivering straight to the inbox.

Best practices when sending email replies

Hopefully, by now you understand the importance of adding a reply-to address to your marketing and transactional emails. To help you implement yours, here are some best practices you should keep in mind.

Keep an eye on the unsubscribes

As mentioned before, some people skip over the unsubscribe link and reply directly to your email asking to be removed. These customers bypass the unsubscribe link because they’re afraid it will only flood their mailbox with more emails. Make sure you honor these requests promptly and suppress the email addresses from your list. The last thing you want is for these recipients to feel like they are being unheard and in frustration, mark your email as spam.

Also, monitor your reply email address if you’re sending to a domain where the recipient never opted into your email program (something you shouldn’t be doing anyway). The mail administrator (at the recipient’s domain) may try to contact you at your reply email address. This is a crucial moment because if you don’t respond back, the email recipient may report you to a blacklist and/or try to contact the Email Service Provider (ESP) or Data Center to complain about your email.

Build the best conversation

A reply-to email address is essential to any email marketing program. It nurtures the conversation between you and your customers.

Many B2B senders will use a sales person’s email address as the reply-to to keep the conversation personal and on a more one-to-one level, while B2C senders may use a general reply-to address that may be monitored by multiple email marketing professionals. Both scenarios build the confidence that when the recipient replies to the marketing email, the email will be received and followed up on.

Summing Up

To sum it up, the noreply email address should never be used to send from. It tells your customers that you don’t really care what they have to say.  You’re also missing out on an important opportunity to collect feedback and learn how to improve your product and also it’s not the best way to grow your email list.

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This blog post was written by Chris Arrendale, the CEO and Founder of Inbox Pros. Chris has more than 13 years of experience in the technology and software industry and has worked directly with many different ISPs, webmail providers, spam filter providers, blacklists, and partners to resolve email deliverability and privacy issues. He works with many leading organizations and enterprises to ensure regulatory compliance and maximum deliverability across all systems.

7 Strategies To Improve Your Customer Experience With Email

Sometimes email marketing can feel like an ocean of buzzwords from the movie Office Space. Synergy. Circling back. Improving customer experience. Okay, that one’s actually important. But what if you’re working on other projects (like TPS reports) and struggling to brainstorm? ⛈

Have no fear. In this article, we will share some strategies that will help you improve your customer experience with email and strengthen their overall relationship with your business. Don’t worry, there are no buzzwords required. So sit back, relax, and get ready for some knowledge.

office space push customer experience

What is customer experience?

Customer experience is the impression that consumers have of you and your brand. Obviously, you want them to think positively of you and to feel like they are receiving value from your products, services, and support. Creating a great customer experience is essential for any business, whether online or in-person.

What does this have to do with email? Well, some people may associate the term “customer experience” with in-person services and support but, if your business is online, you need to have a communications and support strategy that can help all of your customers, regardless of location. Email is a fantastic—and fun—way to do this.

Using email to improve your customer experience

First things first: why is email such a great tool for improving your customers’ experience with your brand?

Simply put, email is a quick, easily customizable way to reach your clients and let them know that you genuinely care about their questions and concerns. No matter what message you’re trying to convey, email allows you to use both text and other design elements to craft a fast, personalized communication. You can personalize each message so that your clients know you truly understand their needs, and that you care about fulfilling them.

Email is a great way to target your audience more effectively. Tools like segmentation, personalization or email automation help you create a truly customized email experience for each of your subscribers. Sending the right message at the right time and to the right contact is easy with email, but it’s also incredibly effective. Who doesn’t like a timely birthday email with a personalized promotion, offering your favorite doughnut for free at your local coffee shop? 🍩

Strategies to improve your customer experience

In order to use your email program to its fullest potential, you need to be able to differentiate your emails and use specific strategies for certain audiences and occasions. Check out the strategies below to see how you can do this quickly and easily.

Provide a great customer onboarding experience

So you’ve earned a new client—now what? 😳 Well, you have to hit the ground running and provide your customer with a great introduction to your service. Do this by implementing a smooth, intuitive email onboarding experience for every client. When your emails are easily readable and usable from the start, clients will know that you are committed to taking care of their needs from the start.

Use these onboarding emails to educate your clients in the use of your tool or product, so they can make the most of it. Sequentialize them to follow your clients’ learning journey and give them valuable information about how to access their account, how to use your service, and more. In this way, you can reduce future support requests and complaints and foster a positive relationship with clients by giving simple instructions and recommendations from the very first day.

A good example is Amazon’s onboarding email series for the Amazon Echo, which periodically educates customers on some of the cool things your device can do. The example below includes several “starting out” phrases that new customers can use to get started. Alexa, can you define “great customer service”?

alexa onboarding customer experience

Engage with your customers better with customer lifecycle emails

There are multiple touchpoints a company can have with its customers throughout the customer lifecycle. A newsletter registration, a first purchase, a special anniversary… Planning an email strategy for the customer lifecycle will allow you to stay in touch throughout the duration of your relationship and improve the overall customer experience, anticipating needs and highlighting how valuable they are.

Some examples of customer lifecycle messages include:

  • Welcome and onboarding emails. These emails introduce you to new customers and give them important information about your brand, and how you can serve them.
  • Notification emails. Do you have a new product, service, or feature that can help a portion (or all) of your audience? Notify them of it. Also, notify them of events, webpages, and other resources that can improve their experience.
  • Milestone emails. We talk more about these emails below, but milestone emails (for anniversaries, birthdays, etc.) help you to create a genuine relationship with each customer and make them feel valued. Both notification and milestone emails can help you with customer retention—your audience will like the fact that you’re paying attention to their needs and offering both solutions and rewards.

Below is a great example of a welcome email from Affinity, a creative software company. Not only does Affinity address the user by their name, it also links to their account and tells them exactly what they can do through the link.

affinity welcome customer experience

Additionally, the email provides some helpful links to places where many users would want to go. With a simple click, the user can join the Affinity forum, watch tutorial videos, and contact support. Everything a new user would need is all in one place. Affinity is taking the time to ensure that this customer has a great experience with them.

Offer a truly personalized email experience

Make sure that you’re sending truly personalized emails to your audience. We spoke a little bit about this in our previous sections, but personalization goes beyond adding a name or a link. You can use segmentation to sort your audience into groups and target them based on demographics and interest, which helps customers get what they truly need.

For an even better personalization, Mailjet’s dynamic content blocks and templating language can make your emails feel truly customized. You can vary your templates from audience to audience and add images, links, and other content that will shape your readers’ reactions… and future actions. Because of the power of personalization, your audience members may rarely receive the same email, and can say goodbye to bland form messages. Pretty cool, right? 😎

A good example of this is Netflix’s recommendations emails, as shown below. This email provides recommendations to a user who has watched Stranger Things and just returned from the Upside-Down.

netflix recommendations customer experience

Of course, all of Netflix’s subscribers watch different content and have different tastes, so Netflix measures each audience member’s taste and recommends movies and TV shows to them based on what they’ve already seen. It’s a great way to both market their product and endear themselves to their audience by promoting a fun new experience.

Allow and encourage feedback from your customers

This one’s pretty simple. Make sure that you are reaching out to your subscribers and asking for suggestions and commentary on what you’re doing well or could improve on. Customers like to know that they have some measure of say in what they’re using (and especially what they’re paying for), and allowing them to have input into their products and services will vastly improve their experience… and make you stronger.

There are many strategies you can use for feedback, which include:

  • Reply-to addresses. Make it simple for your customers to provide direct feedback by giving them a reply-to address that they can send emails to. You may not want replies going to the email address or addresses you sent from, so using a unique reply-to address allows you to receive feedback without clogging up your sender inbox.
  • Contact calls-to-action. Sometimes, people just need reminders. Include bright graphics, attention-getting copy, and (if applicable) direct contact links for your customers. If you don’t have links, include your best contact information. Tell customers you want to hear from them and improve their experience. That provides an incentive for contact and communication.
  • Surveys. Send your customers surveys. What do they think you can do better? What are you doing well? Make sure your survey is simple, cleanly designed, and allows for detailed responses. To incentivize customers, you can highlight that their feedback will make you serve them better, or tease the fact that you’ll provide a reward for fast completion or pick a respondent at random. Make it fun for your customers.

A good example of a survey notification comes from Food52, a food and cultural website. The email is clean and easy to read, and it promises a short survey that will help provide a better customer experience. The email reader knows that they will be able to make a difference and improve their experience with Food52 as a result. And who doesn’t want that? Especially when it involves food…

food 52 customer experience survey

Create an emotional connection with your customer

Seems pretty obvious, right? Everybody likes to be noticed. Make sure that you truly notice your customers, and let them know you’ve noticed. Tell their stories, share content that you’ve created for them, and let them know that they are not just a number, but a real relationship. Opening up an email just for them—that might even have them in it—is a personal and exciting moment.

On your side, highlight your team members, your values, and your brand personality. Don’t be afraid to have fun with it. Tell your stories and create truly engaging content. Everyone likes to know that there is a real person on the other side of their email. And, by making the effort, you strengthen your genuine bond with each customer. 💪

A great example of an individualized email is the below email from Hubba, a food delivery and pick-up company. This email is specifically targeted to highlight achievements and recommendations for one of its workplace customers. It’s not a sales pitch—instead, the email offers statistics and trending restaurants that are unique to the organization, and it takes time to spotlight an “office hero.” This creates a sense of bonding and recognition for the customer, as they know they are receiving curated content that’s fit for them.

hubba email

Reward, reward, reward your customers

Hey, there’s a reason why we all love birthdays, contests, and personal or professional incentives. 🎁 Everyone loves getting a prize, reward, or just a surprise gift. Don’t reach out to your subscribers only when you have something to sell. A one-way, hard-sell relationship is not going to last very long, and your customers will not appreciate the experience.

So, to continue the theme of these strategies, treat them well. You can use some of the following reward options to build better relationships.

Incentives

Use emails to offer well-received incentives like loyalty programs, discounts, and first looks at new products. People love knowing that their loyalty is rewarded with exclusives like discounts and first looks. Throw in a freebie every now and then, too. Offer a free service or product for said loyalty programs, with a certain amount of points, or just for fun.

These options are great for retention and provide an incentive for your customers to open and read your emails—after all, who knows what may be inside?

Milestones

Celebrate milestones—birthdays, membership anniversaries, and more. Send those celebratory and milestone emails (and, hey, you can conveniently send those milestone emails with Mailjet’s anniversary tool), and watch the positive feedback and extended customer relationship life cycles roll in.
As with the above incentives, milestone celebrations provide incentives for interaction and, additionally, strengthen your customers’ bond with you. Showing that you know a birthday or anniversary provides a personal touch.

Check out the below birthday freebie message from Pizza Hut. It’s fun, colorful, and it offers a free product exclusively for the reader. What subscriber wouldn’t love it? Also, we hope those cinnamon sticks come with extra icing…

pizza hut

Contests

Throw contests to get your customers involved. Need a new tagline, product name, or other new idea? Encourage your customers to get involved and submit their suggestions. Offer prizes to those who come up with the winners.

Not only does this give your customers a personal investment in you via their own contributions, but it’s a fun way to promote yourself and offer them new information without sounding like a sales pitch.

Use analytics to improve customer experience weak spots

Ah, numbers, the letters of math. When it comes to customer email strategies, you may expect that, once you send an email, its usefulness is limited. However, using analytics for sent emails can give you a big boost when it comes to refining your overall email strategy. You can use analytics tools to track your email open and click-through rates, subscription numbers, and more.

These numbers say a lot about your customers’ satisfaction with you. Are your onboarding emails clear enough? Do your users appreciate the content of your loyalty program emails? Use analytics to see how your emails have performed, and where you can improve your customer relationships via email (hint: you could use one of the six previous strategies to help you out).

When these numbers begin to grow, you’ll know what your customers are responding to… and how you can give them more of what they want most.

Improving your customer experience with Mailjet

So, hopefully, our journey through customer email strategies hasn’t been as bad as spending your Saturday in the office. Used wisely, all of the above tips can help you make more genuine connections with your customers and extend your relationship life cycles.

office space easy

If you want an easy, all-in-one platform to help you grow your email strategy quickly, remember that Mailjet has everything you need—including email-building capabilities with segmentation, personalization, dynamic content, milestone and anniversary email automated workflows, advanced email analytics, and more.

Now, you’ll have to excuse us. We have to go finish some TPS reports…

What Is An SMTP Relay And Why Do We Use It?

Emailing is hard. It might look easy at first–just write something smart, press ‘Send’ and wait, right? But mastering the ins-and-outs of emailing is actually not that simple. The world of email is full of complicated words like email deliverability or relay servers, confusing acronyms like SMTP, MTA or IMAP, and detailed metrics that need to be understood.

Setting up contact lists and creating your first newsletter are great starting points, but if you’re looking to take the next step in your understanding of email marketing, then you should probably take a closer look at SMTP relays.

SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, and is essentially the backend system that helps you and your company send, receive, and relay messages between email senders and receivers. Let’s take a look at what it is and how it works.

What is an SMTP Relay?

An SMTP relay is a protocol that allows email to be transmitted through the internet, from one server to another, for delivery. It was first created in 1982 and continues to be the internet standard that is widely used today.

An SMTP relay is an email relay service that basically works in two steps:

  1. It receives the outgoing mail from the sender (that is, your amazing Groundhog Day’s email campaign).
  2. It delivers it to the recipient’s local post office, another SMTP server.

Simple, right?

Hold on, but what is ’email relay’?

OK, so maybe not that simple yet. To break this down a bit more, let’s imagine the journey that your normal snail mail may take to get to its destination:

 

snail mail

Email relay is the process of transmitting an email message from one server to another. In the picture above, the local post offices would be the SMTP servers and the email transfer that happens between them is what we call ‘relaying’.

So for example, when you send out your latest campaign ‘Cute Puppies Looking For A Foster Home’, your company’s SMTP server relays your email to the server owned by your recipient. But if you were to send that campaign to someone with your same domain, there would be no ‘email relay’, as your SMTP relay server wouldn’t need to transfer the email to a different SMTP server.

Sending through an SMTP server with an email service provider

So what does this protocol look like when it comes to an email service provider like Mailjet? Getting the most out of your own SMTP relay server is not easy, so most businesses that need to send mass email to their customers use SMTP relay for ease of maintenance and added analytics insights.

Sending through an email service provider via an SMTP relay saves companies from having to run their own mail server. As you can see in the diagram below, the business or sender creates the email and their server sends it to Mailjet’s SMTP server to prepare and send it out to recipients.

smtp (4)

In order to combat spam, a majority of webmail providers and email clients (i.e. Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc.) put a limit on how many emails you can send to different recipients per day. As businesses, who need to communicate en mass with their audience, would often exceed this limit, they will require the services of an enterprise level email sending platform. Like Mailjet, yes. 😉

An SMTP relay provider can help businesses and organizations deliver large volumes of email without getting them mislabeled as spam or running up against small sending limits.

Email service providers invest a lot of resources into building their own email infrastructure to handle large volumes and work closely with the major internet service providers (ISPs) and webmail providers to improve email deliverability and deliver these emails straight to the recipients’ inbox.

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Behind the scenes: SMTP server tracking

There’s an added layer of value to sending through an email service provider. With Mailjet, before our SMTP servers send an email, our system automatically adds link trackers in the body of your message. This then allows you, as the user, to properly track opens and clicks after an email has been received.

Mailjet also translates feedback from ISPs (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc.), since each one communicates in its own way. Our service saves developers time by converting this into an easily identifiable response, displaying whether an email has been delivered or has bounced. These metrics make it easier for you to identify issues that might impact your email deliverability.

Want to know if a third-party SMTP relay service is the choice for your company? Our Email Infrastructure Handbook helps you understand the pros and cons of homebuilt and outsourced email infrastructure and find the best fit for you.

EN-Infra-Guide-Banner

Choosing an SMTP relay port

Aha! Another tricky aspect of the email world. To understand what SMTP ports are and how they work, we need to take a step back and see what happens when computers communicate with each other on the internet.

Let’s say you are trying to reach mailjet.com. In this case, the Domain Name System (DNS) is converting this to the actual IP address that is hidden behind the name of the site. In Mailjet’s case, this is 104.199.110.216. You probably could remember 4-5 IPs like ours, but who can actually remember more, or really… who would want to?

An SMTP port is one that is meant to be used for SMTP connections. Today, the most common SMTP ports are 25, 465, 587, or 2525. This doesn’t mean that they are the only ones, though. These few ports are the most used ones for these types of connection, and because of that they are almost always opened, which means you should be able to reach your destination.

Choosing the right SMTP relay port to use is actually an important consideration when it comes to SMTP. So much so that we devoted an entire blog to this already. If you’re trying to decide which port to use, be sure to read our article ‘Which SMTP Port Should I Use?‘ to see which one is best for you.

Wrapping Up

Ultimately, SMTP relay makes our lives as marketers much simpler by handling all of the heavy lifting in the backend so that we can spend more time crafting content and building out our contact lists.

Blog post isn’t the right format for you and you still want to learn more about SMTP relays? Check out this episode of Email Explained. Our Sr. Technical Account Manager gives us the 101 of what you need to know about SMTP Relay.

Want to know more about SMTP and Mailjet? Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to know about our new articles!

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This article is an updated and expanded version of the post ‘What Is An SMTP Relay?’, published on the Mailjet blog in April 22, 2015 by Amir Jirbandey.

Lead Nurturing: All You Need To Know About Closing Leads

Many of us know the Glengarry Glen Ross line about sales: “The ABCs of leads—always be closing.” Unfortunately, closing a lead generally requires more than three dramatic words and a very angry Alec Baldwin. How do you get to a place where you’re closing consistently? The answer is simple: lead nurturing.

In this article, we’ll give you the scoop on how lead nurturing works, and tell you about different channels you can use for your own nurturing strategy. Let’s get down to the basics—the ABCs, if you will. And don’t worry, there are no scary chalkboards or Baldwins here.

always be closing lead nurturing

What is lead nurturing, anyway?

Lead nurturing is basically what it sounds like: creating and maintaining relationships with consumers at every stage of the purchasing process. Some of your potential leads may be looking to buy your brand’s products and services immediately. Other leads may just be getting into their initial research-gathering phase. No matter where they are in their journey, you should make sure you’re connecting with them authentically and consistently.

In a world built on fast and easy, words like consistent and authentic may seem like hard work. However, successful lead nurturing will help you bring in more business—and foster genuine, positive relationships with your customers. Impersonal, one-size-fits-all-style marketing may sound tempting in the short-term, but it means depriving both you and your consumers of authentic, satisfying connection. As they say, slow and steady wins the race. 🐢

What are the benefits of lead nurturing?

In case “not getting fired by the guy from Beetlejuice” isn’t enough of an incentive for you to pursue lead nurturing, here are a few more business-minded reasons why you should try it out.

  • Better lead relationships = more sales. This one speaks for itself. Giving your leads the communication they want and need makes them far more likely to buy from you than a more distant competitor.
  • Practice makes perfect. By using and honing your lead nurturing skills, you can figure out what type and channel of communication works best for different kinds of leads—and pursue future leads with your tested, successful methods.
  • Focus on your overall marketing plan. By trying out different types of lead nurturing strategies, you’ll be able to see which types of leads connect most easily with your brand, and understand which types of audiences to target on a larger scale.

 

How to target and pursue a lead

Let’s be honest: not every lead you encounter will be a good fit for your brand. Additionally, some leads you pursue may respond best to a certain style of relationship and communication… one you may not be very used to. Keep an open mind when it comes to communication, but target potential leads carefully using some of these tips.

Score your lead

In this context, “scoring” a lead doesn’t mean closing a deal. It actually refers to scoring (i.e. grading) a lead. A lead scoring system lets you assess how close any given lead is to actually purchasing your brand’s specific types of goods and services. Many leads end up not being closed due to uncertainty or decision changes on behalf of the buyer, and that’s okay. You simply need to sharpen your focus on the leads that are ready to enter the sales process, and continue comfortable communication with those that are not.

To start scoring, take note of a lead’s demographic characteristics (industry, location, company size, etc.) and behaviors relating to your brand (the number of click-throughs on your emails, form submissions, demo or trial requests, etc.). Assign scored values to each behavior, such as one star for an email click-through and five stars for a free trial request. Then, measure each lead’s total value to gauge which ones you can engage who are actively considering a purchase. ⭐⭐⭐

Pinpoint problems you can solve

Once you’ve figured out which leads you want to pursue, understand what problems they’re trying to solve with your products and services. How can you solve their problem, and solve it better than anyone else? Where does your brand fit into their needs? Figure out your best qualifications for each lead, and be prepared to sell them on your answers. A generic pitch may entice one or two leads, but a personalized approach impresses everyone.

Figure out which channel is best suited for nurturing

Maybe one lead is very active on social media. Maybe another prefers email campaigns. No matter where your leads stand, approach them according to their patterns and preferences. Not only is communication much easier when it’s through someone’s preferred channel, but your knowledge (and hopefully mastery) of said channel will communicate to your lead that you both understand their desires and know how to accommodate them. Before you know it, you’ll have converted a new, satisfied consumer.

casablanca friendship

How to use common lead nurturing channels

Before you walk into the sunset with your new customer, you need to successfully establish a positive relationship. There are several channels you can use for lead nurturing, and all of them have their do’s and don’ts. Take a second to review some of these best practices for common lead nurturing channels.

Email programs

Email marketing… it works for a reason. It’s a quick, reliable way to engage with leads and keep their attention. However, just because you can do a lot with email lead nurturing doesn’t mean you should do everything. Here are some quick tips.

What you should do

  • Make your emails user-friendly and easy to understand and navigate. No matter what kind of content you have, a difficult-to-parse email turns off readers.
  • Offer helpful information with relevant links. Sell yourself and your qualifications. Link to your website, social media and other places that show off your products and make you stand out.
  • Tailor your emails to specific leads. Let them know that you’re putting in effort on their behalf. Pinpoint their problems and make your solutions clear.

 

What you shouldn’t do

  • Overload leads with a ton of emails. Relentless amounts of emails can get you ignored, blocked, and/or taken off their list of potential providers.
  • Make them do the hard work. Don’t make your leads search for what makes you great. Let them know exactly why they should choose you.
  • Don’t be pushy or negative. If a lead is not where you want them to be in the sales process, keep communicating with them comfortably. don’t complain or try to push leads into a deal.

 

Social media and dynamic website content

Social media and dynamic website content are also important for attracting and nurturing leads, especially those who are just beginning to gather preliminary information about you. Take note of these do’s and don’ts.

What you should do

  • Create a wide variety of content types. Mix it up! Find out what kinds of content your leads like and respond to, be that videos, blog posts, or snappy tweets.
  • Create different content from your email campaigns. Experiment with new tone, style, and copy, especially on social media. People expect brand voices to differ across platforms.
  • Interact with interested consumers. Replying to social media posts, answering questions, and creating easy-to-use contact forms go a long way to forming a genuine relationship with leads.

 

What you shouldn’t do

  • Get so caught up in trends that you forget to sell your brand. Memes, GIFs, and funky web designs are cool, but remember to always have a goal in mind for your content—even on more casual platforms.
  • Get into fights or act negatively toward consumers. If you get negative feedback through your website or social accounts, don’t subtweet someone or try to “prove them wrong.” Handle complaints from leads rationally and with care.

 

Marketing automation

There are all different types of tools you can use to manage your marketing processes and make your life a little easier… just be sure to use them sensibly.

What you should do

  • Use your tools based on leads’ level of interest. Don’t schedule 30 emails to be sent to a lead who has shown only an initial hint of interest in your brand. Let their curiosity build with lower levels of communication and lead them further into the sales pipeline.
  • Aim for quality and consistency. Sending out an info-filled newsletter at the same time each week keeps you in your leads’ minds and shows off how you can help them.

 

What you shouldn’t do

  • Rely completely on automation tools for scheduling and sending. Sometimes, going off-schedule to nurture a lead with a specific communication can strengthen your relationship and keep you trained to deal with immediate requests and needs.
  • Act like a machine. Don’t let your tools fool you into becoming impersonal and automatic in your communications—your leads don’t want the Terminator. Use your brand’s uniqueness and your own style to build real, human relationships.

 

Lead nurturing with Mailjet

Remember how we said that email marketing works for a reason? Well, you can make it work even better with Mailjet’s Passport, an email-building program that allows you and your team to collaborate and design, edit, send, and schedule emails that will appeal to any lead. Mailjet’s advanced email tools also include features like contact segmentation, content personalization, and more. Plus, if you’re looking to measure your email’s impact after the fact, check out our analytics and statistics tools to discover the strengths of each message.

mailjet demo

Try our free Passport demo and check out our featured offerings and documentation guides to see how you can better communicate with your leads.

What to remember about lead nurturing

We’ve reached the end of our journey. Now, you hopefully know a little more about lead nurturing (communicating with and developing leads) and why it’s so important for any brand’s marketing strategy (better sales and much better relationships).

There are so many channels to use to nurture a lead, and communicating with an interested audience helps you hone your marketing, customer communication, and problem-solving skills. Plus, you’ll be able to recite your ABCs—and convert your leads—with knowledge and confidence. 😎

Unsubscribe Link: Why You Need It In Your Marketing Emails

We’ve spoken many times about building a contact list as one of the main steps in your email marketing strategy. We have also often repeated how important it is for you to have a clean list. In fact, you’re probably a bit tired of hearing all about it up by now. We get it. But what we haven’t told you about is how important your unsubscribe link actually is.

Some hate them, but unsubscribe links can really help your email deliverability. Want to learn how? Read on!

Email unsubscribe: A friend, not a foe

An unsubscribe link is a link within your email campaign, often placed in the email footer, that allows users to cancel their subscription when they don’t want to receive any more emails from you. As we mentioned, unsubscribe links are important to protect your email deliverability and are also required by many spam laws around the world.

It’s always painful to see people unsubscribing from your contact list, but it’s more beneficial than you may think. We know it may seem backwards to offer your clients an easy way for them to leave, but if you’re providing your contacts with quality content, most of them won’t even look at that unsubscribe button.

Sometimes, though, even the most engaging content might not be the right fit for some of your subscribers. And if this happens and your contacts can’t find your unsubscribe link they may just mark you as spam. You don’t want that, and we don’t want that for you.

Contact lists: is more always better?

Contact lists are something we – as people who send emails – cherish very much. Our businesses often depend crucially on the communications we send out to our subscribers. So, we never want to lose contacts. But when it comes to contact list, more isn’t always better.

Although it’s difficult, you always need to keep in mind that subscribers who don’t engage with your content are not valuable to you. What you want instead is to have a list of contacts that actually open and read your emails, and hopefully that click on and share some of the content too. We recently explained what these email statistics mean for you and how you can improve them to enhance engagement.

Sidekick Unsubscribe Email

Sidekick’s content team keeps its email list clean in a very effective way, notifying subscribers so that they can stay on the list, if they wish; otherwise they will be unsubscribed. This is an example of very good practice.

One way to ensure that your list is clean and that people actually want to receive your communications is to allow them to unsubscribe from your email list. There is absolutely no reason to force someone to stay in your contact list, if they don’t want to receive your offers and communications. It won’t benefit your business in any way, in fact it can cost you business.

But this is probably not enough to convince you… You want to know more, right? Until now you probably thought many contacts = big contact list = good. Well, we’re sorry to be the ones to tell you, but quantity doesn’t equal quality.

Benefits of including an email unsubscribe link

It’s not merely about having a clean list – including an unsubscribe link in your emails has many other benefits.

Avoid customer frustration

We’ve all been there. Without even realising we’ve given consent to receive newsletters from a website or a brand, we start receiving emails that we are not particularly interested in. Hmm… annoying. Especially when your inbox is full of promotional emails that – let’s be frank – you don’t care about.

Why would you put anybody else through this? You know yourself how frustrating it is. Especially if you open a newsletter hoping to find an unsubscribe link… but it’s not there! It’s important to be understanding of people’s needs and preferences and allow them to opt out of your email list, if they wish to do so.

In fact, this improves the whole email marketing experience. As email marketers, we should know that, unlike other social channels, the inbox is for content you specifically want to see.

Groupon Unsubscribe Email

Groupon gives unsubscribing from their Daily Groupon list a fun twist.

Get valuable feedback

If you’re sending a confirmation email to let your users know they are no longer part of your mailing list, you can use this opportunity to gain more information about why they are unsubscribing (and maybe suggest an alternative newsletter of yours they could find more interesting!).

This feedback can be really helpful, as you might learn why people don’t find your newsletter’s content valuable anymore or whether they think your email communications are sent out too often, all of which can inform how you adjust your strategy to best meet your audience’s needs.

Beta List Unsubscribe

Beta List asks its subscribers to take a few minutes to give some feedback on their email communications, so that they can understand how to do a better job.

End up in the inbox, not in spam

There is no other way to say it – fundamentally, including an unsubscribe link in your emails gives you more chances to end up in the inbox rather than in the spam folder. This is also because if people don’t want to receive your newsletters and they find no unsubscribe link when they look for it, they will probably flag your email as spam.

You should know by now how detrimental it’s for your reputation to have emails that end up in the spam folder. Your spam complaints should always be kept to a minimum. At Mailjet, the acceptable threshold of spam less or equal to 0.08%. If your spam rate is higher than the threshold your account can be suspended or, in some cases, even terminated.

Comply with anti-spam legislation

Every country has their own law on the inclusion of an unsubscribe link, as this is mandatory in anti-spam legislation. Since it came into effect in May 2018, GDPR has set the standards and has become a must-follow for any brand with contacts in the EU. Non-compliance with GDPR puts you at risk of fines up to €20 million or 4% of annual global turnover, whichever is greater.

According to article 17 of GDPR, ‘Right to erasure’ or ‘Right to be forgotten’, data subjects have the right to request their data to be erased. Data controllers have the obligation of deleting such data when it’s no longer necessary for the purposes for which it was collected, or the data subjects withdraw consent for it to be collected and used.

Widget consent proof

This applies to email marketing campaigns too. If a contact requests to unsubscribe from a list, they are exercising their rights as data subjects. Your duty as data controller is to delete such data. With GDPR, consent cannot be something that you obtain once and that’s it. The European regulation allows people to choose for themselves and to protect their personal data at any given time, should they change their mind.

How can Mailjet help

Our Sending Policy is very clear when it comes to unsubscribe links, to ensure our clients are protected and we can offer the best deliverability. At Mailjet, “all marketing campaigns must include a clear and concise link for recipients to easily opt-out of receiving future communication. The link must be easy for anyone to recognize, read, and understand.”

As a GDPR compliant solution -, we ensure our clients are on the right side of the law by including an unsubscribe link in all of the emails created with our drag-and-drop editor, Passport. While this link cannot be removed, it can be customized to fit one’s brand.

All of our subscribers are free to unsubscribe from our email list at any time.

Wrapping up

We hope that by now you understand how important including an unsubscribe link is for your email marketing practices. Always remember that consent, unlike diamonds, is not forever.

If you want to learn more about how to keep your contact list clean to maintain a strong email deliverability, check out our post on email list cleaning tips!

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Have you cleaned your contact list recently? Have you seen an impact on your metrics? Or maybe you have been able to improve your emailing strategy based on feedback you got from unhappy readers? Tell us all about it on Twitter.

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This blog post is an updated version of the article “Unsubscribe Link: Why It’s Fundamental For Your Email Marketing” by Laura Chieri, published on the Mailjet blog on April, 12th 2018.