More than 15 million people or companies use MailChimp. Constant Contact has over 600,000 customers. HubSpot stands at about 25,000 users.
Are you one of the millions of businesses using email marketing? We’d guess yes. In conversations with our clients and peers, we’ve been noticing some common misperceptions regarding email marketing. So, we thought it was a good time to debunk some of those myths.
Email Marketing Is Free
MYTH! Of course, many organizations pay for an email distribution service. However, this myth goes even deeper than a minimal monthly fee. A major mistake we see clients make is treating email as a free service in the sense that they can send whatever they want to whomever they want whenever they want. This mindset is problematic.
Pretend for a moment that each email blast you send costs $200. Would you still send the same amount of emails per month? As email marketing becomes more and more popular, space in the average person’s inbox is getting smaller and smaller (email marketing has increased by 83% since 2015). Thus, the odds of your email getting read versus the 40 other promotional emails in their inbox each day is quite small. Sometimes, less is more. By treating each email you send as an investment of time and money, you’ll naturally be more selective, strategic and thoughtful in what you send.
Spam Filters Don’t Affect Me Because I Don’t Send Spam
MYTH! Consider what we just stated above: as email marketing becomes more and more popular, space in the average person’s inbox is getting smaller and smaller. On top of that, technology and spam filters are getting smarter. As the average email user gets more and more emails, spam filters are being strengthened to cut back on the amount of unwanted emails landing in their inbox. Even if someone has opted in to your list, your emails may still get caught in their spam folder.
Yes, this is incredibly frustrating. We unfortunately don’t know enough about how spam filters are built, so we can’t get around them. But, there are a few steps you can take to be proactive in making your emails and email lists as strong as possible:
1. Check out these general guidelines to keep your emails out of spam. However, realize that it’s not 100% preventable. Even if you follow these guidelines to a tee, your emails might still get flagged.
2. Implement a re-engagement campaign. Are you seeing a lot of contacts not engaging with your content? Consider starting a campaign just for those unengaged contacts. Send them a series of emails with your best content and see who becomes engaged. At the end, send a last chance email letting them know that if they don’t opt back in, you’ll be taking them off your distribution list. This will help keep your list refined and your open and click rates higher, giving you a better chance to stay out of people’s spam folders.
3. Remove inactive contacts. Skim your contact list and make sure you’re deleting inactive contacts, fixing incorrect email addresses and removing contacts that you might not want to contact anymore. Again, the cleaner your contact list is, the better your deliverability rates will be.
Unsubscribes are Unwanted
MYTH! Don’t let your feelings get hurt if someone unsubscribes from your emails. In the end, it’s better for you. It is likely that he or she hadn’t been opening or reading your emails in the first place, so taking them out of your stats will just increase your open and click-through rates (see average unsubscribe rates by industry here).
And it goes both ways! We recommend going through your email list at least once a year to remove contacts that haven’t engaged with your content in months (but first, see re-engagement campaign idea above). It’s always best to be strategic in your communications and stay in touch with those that truly find your content valuable (remember, email isn’t free!).
The Email Channel Should Be Respected
FACT! And you thought they’d all be myths, didn’t you??? If our email myth-busting has taught you anything, we want you to start approaching email marketing with strategy and respect. Don’t you hate getting emails you never signed up for? What about getting two emails a day, seven days a week from the same company? As a marketer, don’t repeat those same mistakes. While email marketing helps to nurture your leads, it shouldn’t be the sole driver in sales and engagement. Use it strategically and respect that the average person doesn’t read every email in their inbox – your emails are no exception.