Why Planning Your Email Campaign is Like Throwing a Party

Posted by Tom Sather 

Do your email subscribers want to come to your party? Hosting an event is a great way to build relationships while treating your friends and family to a good time. Everyone loves a great party, especially one that’s memorable, leaving guests in anticipation of the next invitation. This is the same way subscribers should feel after receiving a marketing email from your brand. Therefore, when it comes to creating your next email marketing strategy, follow these party-planning tips to leave your guests impressed.

Keep it Exclusive
Mailing exclusively to users who have indicated they want your messages is the best way to build a loyal and engaged subscriber base. If you’ve invited a casual acquaintance to a few of your parties and they repeatedly declined the invite, chances are they’re not interested. The same logic can be applied to subscribers who aren’t reading your messages. Having low engagement may affect your deliverability, so keep a close eye on users who are deleting without reading or, worse yet, marking your messages as spam. If you have a few of these killjoys on your list, it might be time to stop inviting them, which brings me to my next point …

Clean House
Just as you would clear your house of dirt and junk, taking the time to tidy up your email lists is something that should be done on occasion. Over time, your lists may accumulate spam traps or inactive addresses. These party crashers can definitely ruin the fun, as sending to large amounts of these addresses is a common attribute of spammers. If your list contains too many spam traps or inactive accounts, mailbox providers could mistake your email for spam and block you from reaching the inbox.

A clean list can help get you in the inbox, but your message’s appearance is often the key to winning over your subscribers. Just as you would rearrange furniture for a party, consider trying new locations for your call to actions or trying out different subject lines to see what your guests prefer. Having a clean layout and an accessible design can also increase your chances of engagement. Before you hit “Send,” take a look to see how your messages render across different email clients and devices.

Always Have a Warm Welcome
Just as if you’re inviting guests into your house, make sure your subscribers know they’re welcome. Sending a welcome series lets users get to know your brand. It’s an introduction that tells them what type of content they can expect from you and encourages them to start interacting with your brand immediately. A welcome series can also set the tone for your relationship. Subscribers who are highly engaged with your welcome series are likely to remain interested. Use feedback from your welcome series to determine if you should invite them to your next party, how often you should invite them or if you should just take them off the list.

This post was originally posted in Total Retail.

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About Tom Sather

Email data and deliverability expert Tom Sather has worked with top-tier brands to diagnose and solve inbox placement and sender reputation issues as a strategic consultant with Return Path. As the company’s senior director of research, Tom is a frequent speaker and writer on email marketing trends and technology. His most recent analysis of new inbox applications’ effects on consumer behavior was widely cited across leading business media outlets including the Financial Times, Ad Age, and Media Post.

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