14 Ideas To Increase Your Email List

Have you ever experienced the bitter sensation of spending hours preparing an email campaign, only to see some ungrateful contact unsubscribe as soon as it arrives in their inbox? A disappointment like this can only be compared with doing the best exam of your life at school for the teacher then to lose the exam papers.

Yet, although the loss of a valued contact may be painful, you shouldn’t let this does affect your confidence. You will have heard people say a thousand times: “you can’t please everyone”, “it’s not you, it’s him”, “it’s best if you part ways”… And it’s true!

 

The key points for a healthy email list

Despite what you may think at first, the unsubscribe rate is actually quite reasonable (between 0.2% and 0.5%, depending on the industry) and it doesn’t mean that your last email was of poor quality. It’s just the traditional “life cycle” of an email list.

Far from being set in stone, an email list is continually evolving. This is to make sure that our contact list is healthy and, as well as unsubscribes, we need to attract new subscribers who enrich our contact list and, at least, make up for those leaving the list. It goes without saying, that the ideal scenario would be for our contact list to be growing.

Ways to increase your email list

If you see that your list is not growing or, even worse, that it’s decreasing, it’s probably time for you to review your contact acquisition strategy. This is vital for an effective email marketing strategy, and is a bit like a marathon, where it is not the fastest who wins but the one who shows most persistence.

Transform your visitors into subscribers

Do all visitors to your website subscribe to your newsletter? Unfortunately, I’m quite sure this is not the case… The real question is: can your visitors subscribe to your marketing emails easily? If they visit your website, it means that they already have an interest in your company and in what it has to offer… although they might not be ready to buy yet.

Make the most of this interest and encourage them to join your mailing list, which will allow you to create a relationship with this “cold” prospect and will ensure that they remember you when they are ready to buy. Here are some ideas for you to try:

1. Include subscription forms on your main pages

I’m sure you have seen this on lots of websites. Adding subscription forms to strategic pages is an essential part of the contact acquisition strategy. Some email providers, like Mailjet, let you design subscription widgets to add to your websites and, thus, increase your email database.

Although every website has its own special features, the pages on which subscription forms traditionally work best are the homepage, the navigation bar and blog articles.

2. Use pop-ups to capture your users earlier

At the same time, you can also use tools dedicated to gathering email addresses. For example, SumoMe is a free tool that allows you to incorporate a pop-up window, which includes a subscription form to your newsletter, when the visitor is about to leave your site. Integrated into Mailjet, this type of tool could increase your daily subscriptions by 20%. Sounds good, heh?

Newsletter Pop Up

The key to get the best results is to try various locations, designs and text, to determine the best place to position it. Fundamentally, you want to find the place with best conversion potential, without compromising user experience.

3. Remind your readers about the value of your newsletter in the blog

If you use your newsletter to share content from your blog, don’t miss the chance to remind your users of the added value of your weekly bulletins. Take the opportunity to include banners within your content and explicit references to articles or advice shared via the newsletter.

4. Create and share specific subscription pages (landing pages)

As well as subscription forms on main pages, design specific landing pages to subscribe to the newsletter.

These can be optimized to attract more traffic and encourage conversion and may be linked from different parts of your website or on external pages. For example, you could include a link on one of your publications on social networks, or at the end of a guest post for an external blog, encouraging readers to subscribe to your newsletter.

Don’t forget to include the link to this form in your transactional emails and in the email signatures of your employees, so that every non-marketing email you send also becomes an opportunity to increase your contact list.

Newsletter Landing Page

Maximize your use of social networks

“Making the most of your audience to enrich your contact list is good. Recruiting followers who aren’t yet familiar with you is better”.

I’m sure that you won’t be surprised if we confess that when we are not in the office, we Mailjetters spend a lot of time on social networks. And I’m sure that your potential clients do the same. Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn are without doubt a goldmine ready to be exploited when it comes to recruiting potential contacts. But how do we do this?

5. Make the most of adverts on social networks to find the right audience

When configuring your adverts on social networks, segmentation tools are so advanced that you won’t have any difficulties selecting the ideal profiles for your desired audience, we promise!

You could promote your blog publications, your commercial promotions, guides… as well as launching specific campaigns to encourage users to join your mailing list. Still not clear? Loïc Le Meur, a client and partner of Mailjet, was able to attract over 1500 new subscribers in a single year.

6. Add subscription links on your pages

Make sure that you include direct links to your newsletter on your social network pages, either with CTAs like those offered by Facebook (Sign up), or through pinned posts or links in the About section. You can also schedule posts every so often, including an example of your newsletter to get people to subscribe, or relaunch particularly successful publications, adding an invitation to join the newsletter not to miss out on the “latest post like this”.

Social Media Sign Up

7. Launch a competition among your followers

You could also encourage your social media followers to join your email list by launching a competition.

For example, you could announce that you will be holding a draw for a special gift among all of your email subscribers at the end of each month or between subscribers who have signed up within a certain period.

Capitalize on your valuable content

Another effective way to convert your visitors into subscribers is to offer high quality content via email or on your website. These resources should provide sufficient added value for users to encourage them to sign up for your newsletter, to complete a form to access your content or to share it with their contacts. We will now take a look at the different ways to capitalize on your content to make more contacts.

8. Offer promotions and exclusive discounts

This seems the most obvious option, especially for ecommerce businesses. Highlight the added value that those who subscribe to your email list will get and try to make sure that this is something exclusive that attracts the attention of your potential clients. Take advantage of every possible opportunity to highlight this added value offered by your mailing list and ensure that it never stops growing.

Offering discounts and unique offers by email will encourage lots of people to join your list. Some companies choose to launch this type of campaign on a seasonal basis, during the Christmas period or during sales, while others spread them out over the year. Overall, a more scattered strategy would be preferable to avoid users leaving your list once the season in question has come to an end.

9. Make the most of your Premium resources

These Premium resources may take many forms: an official document, a webinar, a case study.

This focus, which is used more and more frequently, is relevant if, and only if, your Premium resources are easy to find for your potential audience. At the end of the day, what’s the point of creating content if no one is going to see it? To do this, you could create a “Resources” section on your website’s navigation menu;, a sort of online library that refers to all of your Premium resources on a single page.

Another good idea could be to include banners and “calls to action” in content related to your Premium resource, whether it is a blog article or a strategic page of your website. As you will see, we lead by example and we have included a banner for our Building Contact Lists That Convert Customers For Life at the end of this post.

You could also use these Premium resources to reach an audience that is as yet unfamiliar with you, promoting them on social networks, in guest articles, adverts… The more you invest in your promotion, the better the quality if the contacts you will obtain.

So, remember, focus and don’t rush. The fact that someone has downloaded your Premium resource does not give you the right to include them in your newsletter or email campaign list, unless they have given their express consent to register ticking the opt-in box in your download form.

As you can see from this image, at Mailjet we ask users if they want to join our newsletter in the download forms for our guides.

Guide Download Form

10. Try email blogging or exclusive content

Offering exclusive content only via email, is a way of giving your emails unique value and ensuring greater visibility on your contact list. This practice is known as email blogging and consists of sending publications, articles or advice via email only.

Essentially, it involves creating an exclusive club of readers and encouraging people to join by taking advantage of this feeling of exclusivity.

Daniel Bonilla, one of the leading exponents of email blogging in Spanish, gave us some advice in our post 5 Tips To Reinvent Your Content Marketing Strategy For Email:

“If there are two things that I recommend for email blogging, they are consistency and persistence.

Always write with the same frequency and, if possible, always send on the same day and at the same time. If your subscribers know that, whether it rains or shines, your email will arrive at the same time on the same day of the week… they will go and look for it in the spam folder if it hasn’t arrived.

Don’t expect overwhelming success overnight. We’re not talking about visits, but about subscribers and ensuring that 200 or 300 people receive your emails and, above all, read them – it’s a major achievement. Reaching 2000 or 3000 people is something that is only achieved with time, patience and effort to generate quality content. But the payoff is huge.”

David Bonilla, founder of Manfred, organizer of the Tarugoconf and founder of Bonillaware.

11. Create newsletters with the potential to go viral

Another way to put your contact list in front of a new audience is to make use of content with the potential to go viral. Yes, we know, finding the key to viral content isn’t that simple… but, at least, make sure that your email is easy to share!

If you manage to find the key to content that really does have the potential to go viral, or if you normally include little unique details in your email campaigns, you could encourage your users to share, either by forwarding the email or by adding buttons on the email itself to share on social networks (either at the end or between the different sections).

Buzzfeed goes a step further in its super cute A-Dog-A-Day and This Week In Cats newsletters, where it includes an invitation to share the subscription link at the end of the email.

Buzzfeed-newsletter-link

Recruit contacts offline

Although digital opportunities are abundant, don’t underestimate the options offered by the presence of your business offline, in other words, in the real world. You may have a shop, you may attend events or trade fairs, or you may have a customer service number on which your users can contact you… Any of these is a good opportunity to enrich your email contact database.

12. Promote your contact list in your physical shop

A physical shop is the perfect place to ask your clients to subscribe to your contact list, either through a traditional visitors’ book or having the landing page with your subscription form open on a smartphone, tablet or computer. Remember that it is important that your clients give their express consent and that you have a record to verify this consent.

For example, when a client buys a pair of jeans in a clothes shop, you could offer them the option of signing up to your mailing list to receive exclusive discounts and the latest catalogues.

13. Collect email addresses at events

You could do something similar if you have a stand at a trade fair or event. When someone shows an interest in your products or services, highlight the value offered by your email campaigns and encourage visitors to join to keep up-to-date.

You could also organize a competition to encourage people to join, although raffles and prizes always involve the risk that people may cancel their subscription shortly afterwards, if they have no real interest in receiving our emails.

14. Increase your list over the phone and via support channels

Another option that many companies forget to leverage on is promoting their email list via their Support channels. In other words, customer service telephone numbers, chats or designated emails.

Of course, you are not going to suggest to any angry user to sign up to your newsletter, but it could be useful to suggest this to clients who contact you to ask about services, the latest updates, etc.

For example, if someone phones or emails to ask if one of your products will be coming back into stock, you could reply and also encourage them to sign up to your email database to be the first one to see the new catalogue or learn about the next season’s products or services. You could also add a step at the end of contract renewal or sales calls where your agents tell the caller about the value of your email communications.

In any case, make sure that you have a system that lets you verify that your contacts have given their explicit consent, which is mandatory under GDPR.

To summarize: How to increase your email list

To sum up, to increase your email list, one-off actions are not enough, you need to develop a long-term strategy that responds to the different needs of your list.

These are the ideas that we have gone over:

    1. Include subscription forms on your key pages
    2. Use pop-ups to capture your users earlier
    3. Remind your readers of the value of your newsletter in the blog
    4. Create and share landing pages containing your subscription form
    5. Take advantage of adverts on social networks
    6. Add subscription links to your social platforms
    7. Launch a competition between your followers
    8. Offer promotions and exclusive discounts
    9. Take advantage of downloadable Premium resources
    10. Try email blogging or exclusive content
    11. Create newsletters with the potential to go viral
    12. Promote your list in your physical shop
  1. Collect addresses at events
  2. Increase your list via your support channels

If you would like to learn more, download our guide ‘Building Contact Lists That Convert Customers For Life ’, where you will find advice on building and growing your list, why you should never buy email lists and how to keep them healthy to give you the best ROI.

Guide-Contact-list-en

Have you already tried some of these strategies? Would you like to share other ideas with us to include in our posts? Tell us about them on Twitter. :-)

How To Boost Your Email List Using SEO

Content + SEO + lead magnets = more emails
This equation outlines for you one of the best ways to get more emails to generate leads and new business.

If you combine brilliant content with SEO and sprinkle on top amazing lead magnets, you will be able to automatically grow your email list.

So, in this article we will show you how to do exactly that. We’ll cover how to:

  1. Find optimal topics to write about.
  2. Create awesome content optimized for search engines.
  3. Ensure your post brings traffic month over month.
  4. Convert this traffic into emails.

Using this exact strategy we optimized all our top-performing blog posts, added lead magnets and then left to go on vacation.

When we came back, we had a lot of new contacts in our email list:

Contact Lists

The best part is that thanks to proper topic research all the people in our email lists are highly interested in our services. This absolutely fundamental to create a loyal, long lasting relationship with your subscribers.

 

Topic Research

To start growing your email list, topic research is the first and most crucial step.
Why, you ask?
Because everyone’s Ultimate Goal is to get content ranked on top of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), right?

To do that, we need to find a topic that can give us a good starting point. And spark interest in the reader.

Here are the steps you should undertake to be successful at this:

#1 Head over to the Topic Research platform of your choice

We use KWfinder because it’s user friendly and accurate.

This tool can help you find topics that haven’t been covered in-depth — but might have a huge potential.

KWFinder Search
  1. First you need to search for something simple like “marketing” – one-word keywords are perfect.
  2. Pick the location and language.
  3. Select Find Keywords.

And here’s where you will see GOLD!

Keyword Search Results

You’ll find all kinds of topics related to marketing:

  1. Obviously ranking content on the keyword “marketing” will be tough – Keyword Difficulty is very high.
  2. However, by clicking on KD – you can sort all the queries from the easiest to rank on Google.
  3. This will highlight some very interesting keywords for you to use, like:
    • Online marketing service
    • Internet marketing secrets
  4. The next step is to click on “Search Related Keyword” – and you’ll see the magic. 😲

Keep going through all related keywords until you see the one that makes most sense for your business. Remember, every topic you write about must help you sell your product.

#2 Find Topics

The Goal is to find the keyword with a Keyword Difficulty score of 40 or less.

If your site already has a high Domain Authority (more than 40), you will easily be able to rank articles with a Keyword Difficulty of 0-50.

In our example , writing an article about “internet marketing secrets” might be a superb idea.

Once you start clicking on “Search Related Keyword” you should be able to find queries that could get you plenty of organic traffic and at the same time has a low difficulty ranking on Google.

So to recap, after only five minutes of researching on KWfinder we found a topic that no one has covered in great depth and also has a huge potential to sell our services.

Once you’ve found a keyword that suits the requirements, you can feel confident that to reach the first page on Google will be possible with 1-5 backlinks!

Now let’s look at how you can transform this knowledge into action.

Creating the Best Content

After we have identified what we will write about, we need an in-depth understanding of the topic.

#1 Research the Competition

Find out who has already written something on the topic. You’ll want to collect the current top five articles about it. Be sure to read the posts carefully:

  1. What do they all have in common?
  2. How are they different?
  3. How can we combine the best parts of each into one article?

#2 Create the Article

No grand advice here. Just sit down and write the content.

You may prefer to outsource it to a freelancer who writes well if you don’t have time to do it or if writing is not your forte.

To make sure the article ranks well on Google it must be optimized according to SEO guidelines.

One rule is to place your focus keyword (and repeat it) where necessary in your post. Otherwise, you’ve thrown your work out the window.

Here’s the 10-step procedure we use to rank any content on Google:

  1. The H1 headline must start with and/or include the focus keyword (headline also has to be less than 70 characters).
  2. Create your SEO title. It can be either the same or similar to your H1 headline. It must also include the focus keyword.
  3. Use a clickbait keyword in the Headline – best, epic, awesome, deal of the year/month, etc.
  4. Include an image in your post with the focus keyword as the alt-tag.
  5. Drop your focus keyword in the first paragraph of the post.
  6. Add 3-4 related keywords in the content. Try to find synonyms and terms related to the main keyword.
  7. Make sure your focus keyword appears from 0.5% to 1% from the total content.
  8. Make sure your focus keyword appears from 0.5% to 1% from the total content.
  9. Also add a meta-description that includes your focus keyword.
  10. Finally, use sub-headings that include your focus keyword.

Once you follow these rules and create a quality article (at least 1,500-2,000 words), your content will be ready to be published and to get backlinks.

You need to secure backlinks to boost the rank of your content.

Essentially, Google views backlinks as votes. The more “votes” your content receives, the more important it is and thus it will rank higher on SERPs.

To make this happen, there are two killer link-building strategies that works 100% of the time.

Yes, these strategies are really that good.

Your goal will be to find pages that already link to posts that are not as good as yours. Then you need to email the site’s owner and ask if he or she would consider adding your content as an additional resource.

#4 Spy on Competitors and get their Backlinks

If your competition is a spot higher on the SERPs than you, they are probably doing something right with their link-building strategy (or something sketchy🤔).

You can use Linkody to find all your competitor’s backlinks. All you need to know is their website’s URL and Linkody will do the rest. This is how to proceed:

  1. Find the URLs on Google.
  2. Add them to Linkody.
    Linkody
  3. Linkody will find all your competitor’s backlinks.
  4. Reach out to the site saying that your tool would be a great addition to their resources.

Make sure you filter out the links that are from blogs (1), that your page doesn’t have (2), and are do-follow backlinks (3).

Then you can go through all the remaining websites (4) and reach out to them.

Backlinks Search

If you have managed to write an awesome post on the topic with keyword difficulty under 40 – all you need is 3-5 backlinks with Domain Authority above 30.

And your content will be on Google’s first page.
Simple, huh?
Next, you’re ready to work on using your content to produce leads you can use for email marketing, re-targeting or re-marketing. You choose. 😉

Leads & More Leads

Getting contact information from people who are interested in your service is costly and time-consuming.
But it doesn’t have to be like this anymore.
This process is now automated.

Lead Magnet

Once you have published an article and secured a couple backlinks, your post will be climbing the SERPs.

To launch your lead capturing machine, you’ll need to add a Lead Magnet. Most often this is a freebie in the form of eBook, consultation, etc.

This works by requiring people to provide their email to receive something valuable in return.

Lead Magnet

Before you design the the lead magnet, put yourself in the customer’s shoes:

  • The person has a problem or a need –Of course, they will use Google to seek out a solution.
  • They should then come across your article, which provides a solution to their problem/need.
  • For example, if your article is a list of “99 internet marketing secrets” – how do you create enough interest for the lead to leave you their contact information?
    • Offer an eBook with 150 internet marketing secrets
    • Or offer the chance for people to schedule a call with a professional to discuss these marketing secrets.

Find out what people experience at different stages according to the marketing funnel so that you know what could come next.

If you build your process around this and offer the site’s visitor a Lead Magnet they can’t refuse – they won’t hesitate to give you their email address.

Call to Action

A call to action is a small banner that appears in the selected location and handles this “email-for-a-freebie” transaction automatically.

You can choose many types of CTAs to generate leads. Here are few options you can incorporate depending on your specific business niche:

Abandoning Traffic CTA

This CTA comes in handy when you want to isolate a user’s attention on one site’s section. If you have something valuable to offer, it can be effective.

Once the site’s visitor has decided to leave the page, there is almost nothing that could keep the person from leaving. However, if you have a high bounce rate on your lead capture page – consider an exit intent CTA to try one last time.

Abandonment Whitepaper

If your page is incredibly engaging and readers spend lots of time scrolling through the post, embedding the CTA is a natural option.

On the other hand, if you know that your readers usually get distracted quickly and spend little time on what they should be doing, you can consider a welcome mat CTA.

Welcome Mat CTA

Note: There’s no silver-bullet CTA, so you should test them all, and hopefully, you will find one that works the best for your audience. Also, the top performers will change over time – so the secret here is to keep testing.

But don’t overthink it. 😉

Newsletter SignUp

In most cases, less is more, and 3 different CTAs is not a good idea, unless you want to annoy your site’s visitors…

How to Add Call to Action

There are ready-made services with easy integration, amazing tracking, and several segmenting features.

On WordPress and the biggest e-commerce platforms, you can use Mailmunch.

No matter which plugin you use, the integration usually is pretty fast and intuitive.

And when it’s done, you will have the ability to collect potential customers’ contact information without spending a penny.

Moreover, once you implement the CTA, you will have the final piece in place to ensure a steady flow of new leads month over month.

Pretty neat, huh?

One important thing to add, is that GDPR requires you to clearly explain how you’ll use the person’s email and to obtain explicit consent to add them to your contact list.

Since you won’t be able to edit the call to action in some cases, a double opt-in is a recommended alternative. This way, you can confirm the person’s email and explain the type of communication for which their email will be used.

Dog A Day Double OptIn

Now It’s Your Turn

Now you know the basics. Use this new knowledge wisely and offer something valuable to your potential customers.

Quickly, let’s recap:

  • Topic research is step number one – find a focus keyword with keyword difficulty score from 0 to 40.
  • Next, distribute the focus keyword and related keywords according to the 10-step guide mentioned in this post.
  • Then, seek out a few backlinks by reaching out to websites that mentioned inferior posts.
  • Finally, add a lead-magnet with a clear consent message and a CTA with an opt-in checkbox to collect addresses and grow your email list.

It is a never-ending game, but you are now ready to start playing. Go forth and conquer!

Gmail Introduces Smart And Easy Unsubscribe

Email. We all need it, right? But sometimes, the sight of that little red badge reminding you that you have 3172 unread messages can get a little daunting.

As part of their never ending quest to make email more manageable and, hopefully, a little less stress-inducing, at the end of April 2018 Google launched several new features for its webmail service, Gmail.

With productivity at the core of these changes, Gmail now offers more confidentiality and an increased security, as well as a range of functions that will help users manage their inboxes in a more effective way. Features such as Smart Reply, nudges or the snoozing options will allow us to navigate our crazy inboxes and make our email experience a bit nicer.

But while we all tend to get quite excited and a bit carried away by all the cool stuff Google usually introduces on its products, there’s one particular update that might make marketers start to sweat and panic.

‘Oh, no! What is it?’ I hear you ask. We’re talking about their new and improved “Easy Unsubscribe” feature, of course.

What is the smart unsubscribe feature on Gmail?

Two years ago, we talked to you about List-Unsubscribe and how Gmail was already adding some sophistication to this header option that allows users to easily cancel their subscription to marketing emailing lists. While the ability to unsubscribe from a contact list on Gmail has been available for some time, it had always been up to the users to determine which ones they wanted to be removed from.

Now, Google is going a step further by automating that process, actively asking the users whether they’d like to unsubscribe from certain promotional emails they haven’t opened in the last 30 days or more.

Only very few email clients have a smart unsubscribe function, but Google is known for setting trends. The suggestions are based on how many emails users receive and open from a specific sender, and it means that, with just one click, the newsletter subscriptions is will be terminated, making it even easier for recipients to stop receiving all of those unwanted emails.

It seems that, for now, this option is only be available in the Inbox by Gmail app on Android or via Inbox by Gmail webmail, although it will be available on iOS at a later date, which has not been disclosed.

What does this mean for email marketers?

Quite frankly, it means that your recipients will have an easier way to cancel their email subscription. So if your newsletters are boring or irrelevant, and the reader has not opened it in a while, they’ll be prompted to unsubscribe.

Don’t panic, though. The the automatic unsubscribe function doesn’t have to be seen as an enemy. In fact, it can be seen as a way to help you clean your contact lists, which in turn improves your deliverability rate.

On top of that, if you ran a requalification campaign in preparation for GDPR to re-obtain consent from your newsletter subscribers, you have up-to-date confirmation that your contacts are interested in receiving your communications and your content. And we are sure you did, didn’t you? 😉

All in all, what’s important to remember is that this is yet another way to keep your email list clean. At Mailjet, we always recommend that you remove inactive contacts every three to six months, to ensure your open and click-through rates remain at a healthy level, to ensure the best deliverability.

So if you have strategically planned and professionally implemented your newsletter campaigns, you don’t have to worry about this new feature.

How can Mailjet help?

At Mailjet, we think the strongest email campaign is the one your contacts really want to receive. The best solution to avoid unsubscribes is to create targeted and relevant emails, and to only send them to those that actually interact with your communications.

To help you maintain an engaged subscription base, here are some top tips:

  1. Segment your contact lists: Don’t send the same email to all your contacts. Use segmentation to send content that is tailored to your contacts based on different data, such us behaviour, location, age, gender… Combine it with personalization to make it even more human. The more relevant your email is, the more engagement it will generate among your subscribers.
  2. Send reactivation campaigns to inactive contacts: every three or six months, identify subscribers that haven’t interacted with your emails and send them a special campaign in which you remind them of the value they offer, and in which you ask them to confirm their subscription. You can include a survey to understand what content they’d like to receive, or highlight what they have missed in those past months.
  3. Use our Exclusion List to avoid sending emails to inactive contacts: If you don’t want to remove your zombie contacts from your list forever, you can add them to your Exclusion List. This way, contacts will stay in your database, but won’t receive your emails.

At Mailjet, we want you to get the most value out of your email strategy. That’s why we constantly share our tips and best practices on our blog and through our newsletter, to ensure our readers are the first to implement and adapt to the constantly-evolving email world.

Keep up to date with the latest email trends and never miss important news by joining our newsletter list in the sign-up form below!

The NoReply Dilemma: Best Practices For Your Email Strategy

Let me tell you a short, sad story. This is my inbox:

NoReply Inbox

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 which says that my email failed to be delivered. You can imagine my frustration here… 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.

Post GDPR, it is 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?

Our friend Chris Arrendale, CEO and founder of Inbox Pros, explains 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 “noreply” and what to do instead

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 overall deliverability rates and being inboxed less leads to lower possible conversions.

Also looking at email trends from a broader sense, 53% of email is opened on mobile devices.  To accommodate for the smaller screen, inboxes on mobile devices 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.

Swap 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.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 9.48.55 AM

Best practices to remember when sending email replies

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 is if you’re sending to a domain where the recipient never opted into your email program. 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 or Data Center to complain about your email.

Building 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.  Where 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.

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.

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Have you had a bad experience with stubborn no-reply email addresses? Share it with us on Twitter. :)

GDPR: How To Requalify Your Lists And Prove Contacts’ Consent?

At the time this article is being written, we are less than 10 days from the entry into force of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and you are certainly overwhelmed with information on this subject. For example, you may have already noticed that some measures need to be put in place, such as evaluating your suppliers processing your data to ensure that they are compliant with GDPR. There is also another major question: your contacts’ consent.

Under GDPR, you will need to be able to prove that you have obtained consent from your contacts to continue sending them communications. And please be aware, GDPR will not only apply to new contacts acquired after 25 May 2018, it will also apply to all your existing contacts.

You must now ask yourself this question: What should I do to continue sending marketing emails to my contacts? Don’t worry, we’ll explain everything.

In which case should I conduct a requalification campaign?

A requalification campaign is a method used to update a contact list. In concrete terms, it allows you to re-obtain consent from your recipients. This method is already used by some marketers to maintain a sound base of contacts and continue to send successful email campaigns. In fact, by having less disinterested people in your contact lists and by targeting only people who have explicitly consented to receiving your communication campaigns, marketing emails are sent only to the people most interested in your content.

First of all, you need to determine the contact lists for which a new consent request is necessary. To do this, identify in which of the 3 situations listed below you are:

  1. Your contacts’ consent has been collected in a clear and transparent manner (via a website, an application, a paper form, etc.) and you have proof of that consent. In this case, there is no need to conduct a requalification campaign with these contacts, you can continue to send them marketing emails, as long as you keep the proof of this consent.
  2. Your contacts’ consent has not been collected in a clear and transparent manner… or not collected at all! ⛔ Please note, in this case, it is not possible to perform a requalification campaign because these contacts have never explicitly agreed to receive your information.
  3. Your contacts’ consent has been collected in a clear and transparent manner (via a website, an application, a paper form, etc.) but you do not have proof of that consent. ✅ If you are in this situation, you must conduct a requalification campaign to obtain their consent and prove it, in order to continue sending emails to these contacts after the entry into force of GDPR.

It is very important to emphasize that a requalification campaign should only aim to requalify contacts who have already given you explicit permission to contact them at some point in the past. Such a campaign should not be considered as a last-minute means of obtaining initial consent from your contacts just before the entry into force of the GDPR.

 

How to conduct a requalification campaign?

1. Use a tool to clean up your lists

The first step is to reduce the risk of a hard bounce (error or final failure message sent by the server of the recipient domain) that would be due to the presence of invalid addresses in your database. For this, we advise you to go through Briteverify. This tool will allow you to carry out an initial cleaning up of your list. Note, however, the following:

  • This method does not guarantee that you will not have any hard bounce in your list, but it can reduce the number of invalid addresses.
  • This clean-up is not a miracle cure against bad list creation practices. You must perform this clean-up on an already solid base, otherwise your contacts could report your emails as spam and cause your deliverability to plummet.
  • The use of this tool does not mean that you have magically obtained the consent of your contacts. In other words, if you were in situation 2 above, you still cannot send them emails!

2. Segment your contact bases

Once this initial “hard bounce” clean-up has been performed, we recommend to segment your list according to the level of engagement of your contacts. To do this, identify customers who have not opened your emails in the last 12 months or more and remove them from your list. Let’s be honest: if they did not open your messages after a year, the game is lost in advance.

3. Look after the frequency and content of your campaigns

In order to create effective requalification campaigns, here are some good practices that we recommend you follow:

    • Don’t just send an email that asks for consent. Instead, send an email reminding readers of the benefits of your newsletter and ask them to confirm that they want to continue to receive your valuable information. It is crucial to convince your readers. For example, if you have an e-commerce solution, explain that if they no longer receive your emails they will no longer benefit from your news about your latest products or your exclusive promotional offers.
    • Do not send only one requalification email because not everyone will open this email. The frequency of sending is always a delicate subject in the world of email marketing. The idea is not to overwhelm contacts by sending too many communications. However, in order for your requalification message to be taken into account by your recipients, schedule a requalification campaign that contains a series of emails, over a defined period, with different content.
    • Do not include just a “Yes, I want to continue to receive your information” button in your email. Allow customers to choose the opposite option, for example, “No, I do not want your information anymore.” This way, you can exclude people who said “No” from your future requalification emails.
 We recommend that you use clear and detailed statements on these buttons.
    • Do not use a single communication channel to obtain new consent, but also target your contacts using other channels. For example, you can start a Facebook campaign to obtain their consent. Whatever the communication channel chosen, however, be sure to keep it once acquired.

And always ensure that your requalification campaign contains clear, transparent and concise information.

To help you, you will find below an example of a requalification email.

And now?

In the end, you really need to view the GDPR as an opportunity. This is in fact an opportunity to clean-up your lists by eliminating hard bounces and inactive contacts. This will increase the engagement of your best customers and strengthen the relationship you have with them. This new regulation is therefore a good thing for your marketing strategy!

Note, however, that subscribers may receive many renewal emails from brands and may feel overwhelmed, so the sooner you develop a requalification campaign, the more likely you are to get a response (a positive one for that matter!).

Once the explicit consent has been collected, be sure to keep it with all the necessary information in order to be able to prove it: the trace of the consent, the email address of the recipient as well as the date on which the consent was given.

That’s it, now that you have a sound base and engaged subscribers, you’re ready to send GDPR-compliant email campaigns!

Infographic: The Psychology Of Color In Email Marketing

We all realize that colors can have different effects on our mood, and marketers have been using this in branding and advertising since the profession began. Just think about how we describe emotions using colors: feeling blue, seeing red, green with envy etc.

Leveraging how colors can affect emotions is vital for the success of your marketing strategy and efforts. Considering that, on average, a reader spends about 8 seconds on an email once opened, you will definitely want to find a way to attract their attention and interest.

In this post, we will be exploring the psychology of colors in email marketing and what affect these can have on the end-user and even deliverability.

Applying Color To Email

What captures the reader’s attention once they open an email is not the text, but the visual elements, such as color, design and images… However, it is color in particular that can awaken interest, or, conversely, cut it at the root, if the combination of colors does not work well.

To help you with your email marketing strategy and to ensure you use the ideal color combination to achieve your goals, we have prepared this infographic with examples of real emails and the messages that each color transmits to the user.

Psychology Of Colors For Email Marketing

In a Huffington Post article, Leslie Harrington, Executive Director of The Color Association of The United States suggests that: “we react on multiple levels of association with colors. There are social or culture levels as well as personal relationships with particular colors”. You also have an innate reaction to color. For example, when you look at red, it does increase your heart rate. It is a stimulating color. This goes back to caveman days of fire and danger and alarm.”

From white to black and in between, here are 7 main colors and the different feelings they evoke:

Color Feeling Comment
Red Energy Boosts your energy levels and increases adrenaline. Considered a high energy color, to be used in rooms and areas where we need to be more productive, such as home offices. We also associate this color with passion and romance. This is proven to derive from our ape ancestors – male chimpanzees and baboons are attracted to the reddened females during ovulation, considered sexual signals.
Orange Fun Represents warmth and happiness, providing optimism and trust. With associations to sunny days and bright light, orange is known to bring a positive outlook on life and portray good health by being stimulating.
Yellow Optimism Yellow is known to be uplifting, happy and cheerful. It is also the most illuminating color, so used in a physical context (rather than psychological), it can be straining on the eye, thus providing a feeling of anger and frustration. No wonder all the cars try to run me over when I wear my high visibility jacket while cycling!
Blue Trust Blue is considered the color of honesty, loyalty and trust. Even though it is the most favoured color by men,  Blue is known to be a calm color with soothing effects. This could be one of the reasons that doctors and nurses wear blue and green, especially when we consider they are opposite red on the color wheel.
Green Growth Due to its extensive association with nature, green is the color for growth and peacefulness. Also considering that it’s in the middle of the color spectrum, it’s considered the color of balance. Green tends to be reassuring however with our modern conceptions of ‘$’, we can also see green as money.
White Neutral White is known to resemble sterility and cleanliness. Due to artistic depictions of religious figures as white and pure, this shade has also come to represent holiness and goodness. As white provides little stimulation for the senses, over use of it can come across as cold and boring.
Black Hidden Apart from its negative connotations such as “evil” (being the opposite of white), death and darkness, black can be seen as mysterious and hidden from the world. This is one of the reasons why when I was 18, I didn’t wear anything but black. In color psychology black means power and control. “People who like black may be conventional, conservative and serious, or they may think of themselves as being sophisticated or very dignified.” Judy Scott-Kemmis argues. Taking all these points into consideration, black can be an empowering shade to use, if used in the right amount, for the right audience.

Keep your product in mind when picking colors

When considering the use of certain colors in email campaigns, the first thing we need to consider is its association to our brand. Maintaining the integrity of the brand is our number one goal, and after that we can start to think about the messaging and the moods that the colors will portray to the audience.

In a research report entitled ‘Impact of Color in Marketing’, it was uncovered that 90% of decisions made about certain products can be based on their color alone.

gender-colour

via KISSmetrics

Gender plays a role when picking colors

Another angle on choosing the right color for your email campaigns is gender. Psychology of colors can be gender specific and certain colors are favoured more than others by males and females, as KISSmetrics uncovered.

kiss-colours

via KISSmetrics

After considering your target audience, you’ll want to think about conversion. What colors will invite your prospects to take action? We recommend A/B testing (or A/X testing!) as well as Segmentation as different approaches work differently for each campaign and segment.

Here is an experiment done by Hubspot:

call-to-action-colours

Taking into consideration what we have learnt so far about these two colors, as well as putting them in a modern context such as driving, where green means “Go”, red means “Stop”; which of these two buttons do you think had the higher conversion

The red button outperformed green by 21%! Probably not what you had in mind, right? Knowing which colors to use for call-to-actions is an ancient old and biblical discussion that will never end (okay, not really).

The lesson we must learn here is that even if we do our due diligence and research, we should always be testing our campaigns. Every customer is different and their response to each color can vary depending on a variety of reasons such as mood, location, device used, choice of color combination and so much more.

Impact of the use of color on email deliverability

As you may already know, there are a host of key phrases which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) don’t like, which means if these words are used then the email is very likely to go straight to the spam folder. These are called SPAM triggering phrases.

Just like these phrases which may send your email into SPAM, you’ll need to consider your image to text ratio – as a rule of thumb use 25% image and 75% text.

Unfortunately, ISPs don’t reveal exactly what triggers spam filters, however through the same collaborative effort of finding out what words trigger them and what text to image ratio we should be using, we have come to understand that extensive use of red in texts is one of the main tip offs.

Red is known as a ‘loud color’, so extensive use of it within text or background usually means that we’re really trying to get the users attention. The same principle is used towards CAPITALS, large texts and symbols such as exclamation or the dollar sign.

Most SPAM filters work on a scoring system. Each of the mentioned attributes above carries a maximum score. The higher your total score, the more likely your emails will end up in SPAM.

Final thoughts

So what have we learnt so far? Psychology of colors in email marketing can be tackled from different angles. Next time you’re designing your email campaigns, keep these thoughts in mind:

  • Does my color combination of text, images and background complement my brand?
  • Have I overused ‘loud’ colors?
  • Have I considered what call to action colors are used to increase conversion?
  • What mood am I trying to create with this message and choice of colors?
  • “I must A/B test. I must A/B test. I must A/B test. I must A/B test.”

Has any of you email marketing campaigns benefited particularly from the use of color? Share your experience with us on Twitter.

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This blog post is an updated version of the post “Psychology Of Colors For Advertising, Marketing And Email“, published on the Mailjet blog on February 16, 2015 by Amir Jirbandey.

How To Plan An Effective Newsletter Strategy

Newsletters are one of the most important parts of email marketing. Not only do they offer ample space for advertising, but they also help to maintain the relationships between customers and companies.

With this in mind, we have put together a blog series for you: “Newsletter Creation: A Step-By-Step Guide.” In this second part, we will be learning about how you can develop a well-thought-out newsletter strategy.

What Makes a Newsletter Strategy Successful?

Planning is key to the success of any newsletter campaign and should not be overlooked under any circumstances. Take the time to define your strategy. When planning a newsletter, it is important to be systematic and go through different stages. This can be challenging, but a well-thought-out newsletter strategy will pay off in the long run.

Step 1: Set out your Goals

The first step in developing your newsletter strategy should always be defining your goals. It can be helpful to review your business goals, visions, and corporate values before you do this: it will give you a good overview of your company and its main aims, which your newsletter should also be working towards.

To identify the aims of your newsletter strategy, you should consider why it is that you want to create the campaign. The more clarity you have on the reasons behind it, the more successful you will be. Ask yourself the following questions:

What do you want to achieve? Do you want to make potential and existing customers aware of new blog posts, special events, or products? Or is it more about, winning new customers and strengthening bonds with existing customers?

The goals you should focus on will depend on your company, as objectives can vary greatly across different industries and organizations.

Step 2: Develop your KPIs

The definition of specific KPIs is super important when planning your newsletter. KPIs are key figures that help you to measure the success of your email marketing campaign and, in turn, of your overall strategy. They are a reflection of how well your email marketing is performing.

Some of the key figures include:

  • Open rate
  • Click rate
  • Deliverability rate
  • Sign-up rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Spam rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Rate of new subscriptions, etc.

Note that KPIs will depend on the goals you have previously set. You should identify and evaluate KPIs that are crucial for achieving your goals. This allows you to analyze and evaluate your campaigns and objectively determine their success or failure, and to adapt your strategy at any time.

KPIs Table

Step 3: Find the Optimal Sending Time

When planning, you should consider the best time to send out your marketing email. The time at which you send out your newsletter is critical for its success. It is vital that you reach your recipients when they are likely to be in front of their computer or have their phone or tablet in their hands. But how do you find out what the best times are?

This can be achieved by analyzing your target group and carrying out various tests. Try and send out your newsletter at different times to identify when your open rates are at their highest and, therefore, when the majority of recipients read your emails.

You can also use analysis tools that show you when your target group is active on your website. You can use this knowledge to send out your campaign at the time when they are active.

In our previous post of the series, we highlighted that there are rough guidelines for sending times in both the B2B and B2C sectors.

Bear in mind, though, that these guidelines are not effective for every company – especially because a lot of emails are sent during these periods. This makes it more difficult to attract attention in the inbox, and your newsletter may quickly get buried under other messages.

So, the best thing you can do is to concentrate on analysing your target group and evaluating your A/B tests and tracking systems in order to find the best dispatch time for your campaigns.

Best-Newsletter-Sending-Times

Step 4: Create Content Guidelines

The content of your newsletter is essential to achieving your goals. Setting up content guidelines ensures that your content sticks to your defined aims. So, your newsletter content should ensure that your goals are met, and they guide and motivate your target group to perform certain activities.

Consider what type of content is most appropriate for your strategy and audience. If you’re struggling for inspiration on potential topics, then we recommend taking a closer look at the newsletters of your competitors and successful newsletters from other companies (it goes without saying, though, that you should not just copy exactly what they’re doing). This is a good opportunity to find inspiration and ideas for new, potential content areas, products, and events.

Another method that can work well is a preliminary survey. This lets you ask your target audience what content they want to be featured in your newsletter. A target group survey can give you new ideas and inspiration. You can incentivize people to take part by offering with a freebie giveaway, etc.

Step 5: Choose your Newsletter Software

Once your newsletter strategy is in place and you know exactly what your objectives are, and which resources you need to meet them, all you need to do is ensure that you have the technical infrastructure to meet your needs. Essentially, you need a professional newsletter software to create, send out, and evaluate your email campaigns.

There are plenty of free ways to create and send your newsletter. WordPress, for example, allows you to send emails directly from your website’s back end, and many hosts provide an SMTP relay which can be used to send your newsletter. That said, we would advise against using these services, as they come with a high risk of damaging your deliverability and reputation.

You need to choose a professional provider that can meet your requirements and can guarantee both high deliverability and the security of your data. Of course, there are many email service providers out there on the market and choosing the right one is not easy. The old saying remains true: We really are spoiled for choice!

First, think about what features you need to successfully implement your newsletter strategy and what services you value most. You can get a good feel for this by making a list and then comparing the various newsletter tools against one another.

To make your life a little easier, we’ve put together a list of items that any professional email service should offer:

    • A drag-and-drop email editor to create newsletters in minutes;
    • A selection of pre-made and customizable responsive newsletter templates;
    • Personalization, for the creation of individual email content;
    • Segmentation options to divide up contact lists and target different audiences;
    • Integrated image editing for easy image adjustment;
    • Responsive subscription widget to build legally compliant newsletter subscriber lists;
    • Intelligent contact management for efficiently dealing with contacts’ data;
    • Optimal deliverability to ensure emails reach inboxes;
    • A/B testing, to try out your campaigns;
    • Detailed statistics, so you can optimally analyze your sent newsletters;
    • A free trial, so you can verify that the newsletter software meets all of your needs;
    • Compatibility with other systems and services, such as WordPress, shop systems, etc.;
    • GDPR compliance and other certifications.
Passport - Drag-&-Drop

Step 6: Build a Contact List

Before you can finally implement your newsletter strategy and create and send your campaigns, you need email recipients. Building a high quality contact list is often considered a challenge, but as long as you take a couple of factors into consideration, it’s not that difficult.

Stay away from Bought Lists

This is fundamental: resist the temptation of buying email lists. Purchased lists contain email recipients who have probably never been in contact with you, don’t know your company at all and don’t want to receive your emails. This makes the risk of your being blocked and ending up in the spam folder very high. The damage is significant, as your deliverability and reputation will suffer.

Win Subscribers with a Responsive Sign-Up Widget

When building your email list, use a responsive sign-up widget connected to a double opt-in form. Double opt-in ensures that no fake email address enter your database and damage your reputation and deliverability. This minimizes the risk of being classified as a spammer by your recipients or their ISPs.

Subscription Widget Setup

 

Add the sign-up widget to your different pages on your website, like your home page, blog, resources pages, etc.

You should also be sure to request as little information as possible when users are registering, as giving up too much data can be seen as a deterrent. To make sure you secure your subscribers as soon as possible, just ask for their email address. You can ask for further information later on. Additionally, you should highlight the benefits of signing up and show your users what great added value your newsletter offers them.

Segmented Newsletter Subscription

 

Top tip: Divide your email recipients into specific segments and guarantee that you actually deliver the added value you have promised. This allows you to tailor content to each segment.

Use Landing Pages as Newsletter Lead Generation

As well as a responsive subscription widget, you can create special newsletter landing pages in order to grow your contact list. The advantage of a landing page is that you can align the entire page with the newsletter subscription and apply all of the optimization options that apply to landing pages.

Miss Selfridge Newsletter Subscription

 

Users visiting your newsletter landing page will not be distracted by any other elements on the website, as the entire focus of the page will only be on subscribing to your marketing communications.

This is the best opportunity to present all of the advantages your newsletter offers to your customers. Make it clear what your potential recipient will be missing out on if they do not subscribe. Ideally, you will already have defined this in your newsletter strategy.

The advantages of a newsletter could include:

      • Special offers;
      • Updates;
      • Latest industry news;
      • Invitations to exclusive events;
      • Access to exclusive content such as e-books, courses, checklists, or guides.
Zalando Newsletter Subscription

 

Granting access to exclusive content upon registration – such as a step-by-step guide or a discount – will significantly increase your subscription rate.

And finally the time for planning has come to an end! Now you can create and send your newsletter.

Have you already developed a successful newsletter strategy? What challenges did you have to overcome? Your opinion is important to us! Take a short survey about our blog and share your ideas, questions and experiences with us at contact@mailjet.com.

Like this article? Then share it on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter :).

Unsubscribe Link: Why It’s Fundamental For Your Email Marketing

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 – you’re probably so fed up to hear this, you’re bored to death. We get it.

 

Unsubscribe: A Friend, Not A Foe

The aim of this post, however, is to help you understand why you should always include an unsubscribe link in your emails. Although it’s always painful to see people unsubscribing from your contact list, it is more beneficial than you may think. If you’re thinking we’ve gone completely crazy, read on and you’ll understand why we advocate this so much.

 

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. 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. But as it is true for many other things, quantity doesn’t equal quality.

 

Reasons to include an unsubscribe link in your emails

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, to make sure 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.

 

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.

Every country has their own law on the inclusion of an unsubscribe link, as this is mandatory in anti-spam legislation.

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.

 

Be GDPR compliant

Next month GDPR will come into effect. At this stage, you can’t really afford not to be compliant anymore. Non-compliance 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.

For a contact to request to unsubscribe from a list is fully within his/her rights as data subject. And your duty as data controller is to delete such data. It always needs to be kept in mind that with GDPR coming into effect on May 25th, consent cannot be something that you obtain once and that’s it. The new regulation allows people to choose for themselves and to protect their personal data at any given time, should they change their mind.

 

How we help you

At Mailjet – 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, which cannot be removed, but can be customized to fit one’s brand. As stated in our Sending Policy: “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.”

 

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

 

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.

 

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.

3 Ways Transactional SMS Will Take Your Email Even Further

Ding ding, you received an SMS. How long did it take you to open it? If you’re like 90% of the world, you probably read the message within three minutes of receiving it. If you’re like 98% of the world, you’ll definitely read it before the end of the day. Truth is, you can’t live without your phone. It knows what you want, connects you to everyone, everything, and those emojis… 🚀 Admit it, you’re addicted! And you’re not the only one.

Text messaging is one of the most impactful channels for direct communication. Between 2016 and 2020, the UK will see a 50% increase in users opting into SMS communications, and in fact 64% of Americans would like to see businesses use SMS more according to InstaGiv. SMS allows businesses to have a powerful personalized exchange with their target audience in an easy and efficient way.

What other channel is as effective when it comes to building strong customer relationships, and reaching them at the right time? You guessed it: email. If you were already in love with the power of your transactional emails, imagine what you can do if you add… Transactional SMS.

Convinced? Get ready to take advantage of it right now. 😏

A bottomless pit of opportunities

Here are three ideas to power your transactional messages with SMS:

1. Authentication

Easily implement 2-factor authentication and verify your users by sending a code via SMS. They will be able to log in with their chosen password, and also have an extra layer of security.

For example, when you manage payment data, customers will feel much more secure receiving a six-digit code for authentication. They can then trust you much more to manage their overall payment experience.

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2. Useful notifications

In a world where customers are bombarded by ads, it’s important to stand out. Alert your customers of critical information via SMS when they need it. For example, low balance on a banking account, upcoming delivery, delayed flight…  Send notifications that your clients need, and make sure they receive them.

Combine these with transactional emails that offer all the extra information that might not fit in an SMS so your users receive that instant alert and also know where to find the full details, whenever they need them.

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3. Confirmations

Nowadays, we are quite familiar with online transactions and, very often, we expect to receive confirmations for our orders. When we don’t, we tend to believe there was a problem (or we panic).

Sending a confirmation SMS, like a pending appointment or purchase notification, in addition to your transactional email will stand out immediately, preventing customer dissatisfaction.  Personalize and schedule your messages to be in line with your brand and customer engagement.

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The good news is: it’s easy to send transactional SMS

Ready to start a 2-factor authentication, send notifications and confirmations to your customers via SMS? Well, guess what? Mailjet is launching a Transactional SMS solution! Cue applause.

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Going back to our roots, where Mailjet first started as a transactional email service (something we are now leaders in), we are bringing this same expertise to transactional SMS. Our existing robust infrastructure allows us to send millions of emails per hour, with no latencies. Naturally, as SMS is poised to be a key part of a brand’s marketing mix, our next step was to bring transactional SMS to our customers with the same standards of our email service, at a very competitive price, and ensuring the best deliverability across 54 countries.

Now, you know. SMS is here to take your transactional emails even further. Really, can you name a more iconic duo?

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We’d love to hear what you have to say about it 😊. Don’t hesitate to share some thoughts on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
And if you need help, start a conversation with our Support team.