I’ve been reading a lot about the New Inbox and how it’s going to cause the demise of email marketing as we know it – or, at the very least, lead to huge changes. Others are more optimistic, and see opportunities.
In regards to how I, as a marketer, feel about the whole ‘change’… Well, it was tempting to take this article, cross out the word “Priority” and replace it for “Primary”. Google even has a new cute video.
Because while the algorithm is more complex, the arguments we made three years ago are still valid for the new change:
- Be human
- Ask them for a favour
Last year, one of my favourite bands was in town for a concert. However, the show was sold out when people bought all the tickets before the box office officially opened.
Because people who were in the mailing list, who followed them on social media, who were waiting for the news, – the band’s biggest fans – could buy the tickets before the box office opened.
So a word to the wise: your biggest fans will listen to what you have to say. Regardless of whether you land in the Primary or the Promotions Tab.
It helps if you use a double opt in to get people on your list in the first place: they already did everything they could to make sure they’d have you in their inbox. Provided you’re delivering on what the newsletter promised, odds are in your favour they’ll keep opening, reading and clicking your emails.
Use a real email – and a sender name that’s a person. You should also include the name of your company, but that should be the domain of your email – which should resolve to your website (and, if you’re using an email marketing service provider, should be authenticated).
Having your own domain adds professionalism – and isn’t all that expensive. My own company bought our domain name before we got business cards.
But, and this is especially true if you’re a small business, your name as a sender matters. When people go out of their way to go to your brick and mortar, or when they meet you at a tradeshow, it’s not “The Company” they went to see. Often, it won’t be the product they remember.
It’ll be the experience of talking to you, the business owner, and how you made them feel. Extend the warm fuzzies: use your name as the “from” – and let your personality show when you write.
Not being a corporation is your greatest advantage.
Ask them for a favour
The three major factors affecting whether people open (or not) your emails are:
Your name: who the email is from
The subject: what the email is about
The preheader: because marketers often forget it’s there, you can use it to your advantage to grab your contact’s attention.
Your subjects should be short (try and keep it under 25 characters), personal, to the point and honest.
But your preheader can hint as to what more there is to come. I love asking people to add me to their contact lists (hidden in the alt of my logo’s image) if they can’t see the Cake. That sentence is going to switch over to “Worried you’re missing these? Drag the email over to your Primary tab” for my Gmail recipients.
Bonus: people tend to think more positively of you if you ask them for favours.
I could go on and on…
There are plenty of other reasons why I don’t see email marketing going steeply downhill as a result of the Tabs. But I’ve already droned on quite a bit already.
If you have questions though, or want to hear more about it, you can shoot me an email… or sign up for our newsletter. Just drag us over to your Primary tab, please: wouldn’t want you to miss an update ;)