When you think about Email, think about one of the oldest digital technologies around. Email has been a popular form of communication for over 30 years, and the oldest emails are now almost 50 years old!
With that history comes the price:
The chance of your message being read by the person to whom it is addressed increases based on one single factor:
Who is the person you are sending this message to?
Do they know you? How do they know you? When were they in contact with your brand last time?
All other elements that are also extremely important: when do you send your message, what does it contain, how do you send it etc. combined are not as important as the first one - Who are your recipients?
Who is the person you are sending your message to is so crucial because the success of your message to end up to be read depends on how ready the person is for your message to come through today?
This creates significant stress on two elements:
- the time and
- the pre-email communication.
The latest changes to the law and the latest changes to our behaviour as "consumers" of email communication emphasise the importance of relevancy of your record in the particular database.
It is a simple question that all data controllers must ask themselves when they decide to approach people via e-marketing processes or any other form of email communication:
Are my contacts relevant to my business?
Can these people/contacts benefit from my emails?
If you establish that your subscribers or people with whom you want to communicate are awaiting your communication and are likely to open your email think about the time as the factor to execute any of your messages.
Time in the email based communication
Stating obvious initially: If you had a chat with someone during a trade show last week about your services or products and you approach them, they are very like expecting communication from you however if you had that communication 12 months ago your communication has a great chance to be irrelevant. This is a general rule for any type of communication however there is more to this factor when it goes to the email.
When as a website user you go and buy something online you expect email immediately after your purchase action to confirm your order you will put a lot of effort to assure this message arrived and is in your inbox. You are likely to visit spam folder and stare for a minute or two at the screen just to see it. That is a usual behaviour when you receive transactional e-mails these are usually immediate communication elements automatically sent by a web system to you. Try to imagine this same person behaves like that when they receive your newsletter (e-marketing email)! That would be great - wouldn't be?
Theoretically to trigger this type of behaviour on the recipient side should be the target for your e-marketing and sales emails.
On the recipient side e-mail systems especially in the area of e-marketing work the way that your regular, relevant emails from you to someone who subscribed to your newsletters will have a more chance to go through than an occasional email (machine learning spam software, domain/IP quality score etc.). It means if you committed to send that regular marketing information to someone as long as they do not withdraw their consent to receive it do not hesitate to keep sending it - make sure these messages are relevant. If necessary diversify your messages. If you had a hundred meetings with people in 5 days last week and twenty of them are your potential "hot leads" do not hesitate to compose campaign that is targeting only these people. In the process put yourself on the other side of the "stick" and ask - would I want to be approached with this message? Is it relevant to me?
Relevancy and Security - Subject Line
"Subject Line" is the second element we decided to pick up that in our opinion is crucial to the successful and secure email communication for several reasons.
Immediate visibility - the position of the subject line is very powerful it may hurt your communication, or it may gain it the correct momentum.
To keep it simple we list 5 Do's and Don'ts when it goes to the Subject Line - please note these are generalised, but it may happen that in certain situations for legal or other reasons you can't follow recommendations or even opposite you have to stick to Don'ts in your processes. Please make sure each time this is, however, a conscious decision rather than email communication "faux pas".
Email Subject Do's or Dos (as some prefere ;-)
Email Subject Don'ts
|Keep it short and relevant to your message, think about 50-60 characters max.||Don't forget Subject. In the official communication avoid (no subject) as much as you can. Many people will put this type of message in the "bin", or their software already marks it as spam. In the general business communication, this is considered as unprofessional, bordering ignorance and rudeness towards your recipient.|
|In case of transactional emails put a clear reference (order ID etc.) on the subject along with what this email refers to Your My Shop Order #1234||
Never use private data in the subject line that would easily identify an individual or allow to disclose sensitive data!*
Password for eBay for account John123
* - In general try to avoid sending sensitive data through email!
|If you are sending a regular newsletter, try to make it systematic and interesting at this same time. Instead of My April Newsletter add relevant to the message information My April Newsletter with Spring Offers||
When you send e-marketing to people, do not use over and over again this same email subject!
In complex emails consider using extra separators to group information.
Update 123 - GDPR, Product Updates & New Templates
This will make Subject lines clearer when they are viewed in the inbox.
Do not use all caps unless you genuinely believe this is necessary!
URGENT UPDATE: Store Fire
or abbreviations (see Do's for an example).
Bear in mind use of all caps may have an adverse impact on spam filters as a lot of spam messages tend to use all caps as a part of their subject. Use of all caps in an email may also be considered as "shouting" at someone.
Use Subject line to prompt people to open your message. Not only make it relevant but encourage opening. Make it click-worth-it!
My Spring News - Some Offers Expire Tonight
|Avoid words FREE as these are part of many spam related campaigns. Unless you believe you can get away with it as this is a clear content of the email you are sending. Remember the use of that word may still have a negative impact on your communication.|
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1) Time - Send Email Communication when People Expect! It makes your message more relevant
2) Regular and expected email communication has a more chance to be visible by recipients (spam software, additional effort to look for the message)
3) Subject - Is the most important part of your message - never put anything sensitive in that line that would allow to identify private data and always make it relevant
4) Stay relevant - once your email is open make sure it is relevant for the person who made an effort to open it it will allow you to retain them as subscribers/potential customers