In the last post we looked at list cleanliness and relevance when it comes to email marketing. Spending 30 minutes per month investigating those aspects of your email marketing and another 30 minutes on fairness and deliverability means you can get away with spending just one hour a month on a few key areas of email which directly improve the effectiveness of reaching your conference delegates.
Let’s look at fairness and deliverability:
Be fair (15 mins)
Only send to delegates who've agreed to hear from you. Tell them why you're emailing them and in what context. If someone attended your conference two years ago and they normally attend 2 conferences per month do you think they will remember your conference from two years ago? Probably not. Tell them how you got their email and what your conference is about. And better yet; tell them this email is an early promotional offer for the next conference or a call for abstracts on topic X. In other words give them context.
One simple way of checking whether you’re sending an effective email is to send yourself a test email and leave it unread a few days. Then go back to this email and open it with a fresh pair of eyes while pretending to be a recipient. Maybe send it to your personal email at home. Then ask yourself: is this email worthy? Did this email need to be sent? Does this email make sense to the people it is intended for? And is this email making me want to act upon it?
Crucially you need to give your recipients a chance to unsubscribe if they wish to do so. And while you’re at it, make sure not to send spammy messages by checking your spam score using Contactology's Email Spam Checker.
As business email users are forecasted to receive an average of 84 emails per day by 2015, it’s even more crucial not to spam.
Leave the mail to the mailman (15 mins)
Email deliverability has many aspects to it, including keeping a good reputation and sending to active subscribers who have accepted to hear from you.
The other simple, but powerful element to remember is: leaving the mail to the mailman. In other words email should come from email servers. This means don't rely your email to be sent by just any server. They need to go out from reputable email hosts. This leads to better deliverability because emails are then properly recognised.
Find out if you are emailing from a reputable host:
- Are you using one of the services which KISSmetrics has listed? Then you should be fine as these are all professional email service providers (ESPs).
- Are you using email from one of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition (ESPC) members? Then you should be covered. This is of course not an exhaustive list.
- MXToolBox has a great blacklist check service where you can search an IP address to see if it’s blacklisted. If you are using a professional email service provider such as MailChimp, you can simply Google “MailChimp IP” or “Campaign Monitor IP” etc. in order to discover the IP address used by them. Then just pop that in MXToolBox to see if they are blacklisted (which is unlikely if they are a large, professional email provider). If you’re not using an ESP, you can see here how to check your IP address in Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL or Outlook.
Email is a significant channel for communicating with potential and existing conference delegates. We’ve covered four aspects of email marketing and suggested spending an hour a month on keeping your email efforts as effective as possible.
There are other aspects of email marketing that need to be considered, what works for you? Let us know in the comments.
Image credit: Wing Hei Choi Photography