The First Step In Email Marketing: Reaching the Inbox

email marketingAs Patrick recently pointed out, email marketing still outperforms social media marketing by a fairly large margin. But a recent study found that nearly a quarter of targeted emails that consumers have opted into don’t ever make it into their inboxes! Let’s take a look at the issue at hand, as well as a few ways that you can ensure that your clients see your emails.

Nearly a Quarter of Opt-In Emails Marked as Spam

A study by Return Path recently discovered that, in the first six months of this year, about 22% of marketing emails that customers had opted into receiving did not actually make it into said customers’ inboxes. That number varied by industry and origin country of the email, but it’s still fairly staggering for companies looking to garner conversions through investment into an email marketing campaign. Even worse, the number of emails that do make it into inboxes has declined by 4% in the past year. Industries like industrial manufacturing, computer services, and construction lead the pack for the worst inbox placement rates, while publishing, non-profits, and utilities generally had the best luck.

Increasing Your Inbox Placement Rate

It’s clear that there’s a problem, but while it may seem like the fate of your emails is totally in the hands of mysterious algorithms, there are things you can do to maximize your inbox placement rate.

  • Take charge of your reputation. If you frequently send out unsolicited email, your IP address will be flagged as a likely spam sender, funneling your emails into the spam box. Make sure that you only send marketing emails to people who have subscribed to your list.
  • Avoid spammy content. Seems obvious, but it’s worth looking out for. Filling up your emails with words like “free,” “bonus,” and “prize,” can set off spam filters, as can tons of exclamation points and similar gimmicky formatting. Avoid using “Re:” and “Fwd:” subject lines, too.
  • Double-check your HTML. Spam filters look out for sloppy HTML code, so make sure that all of your i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed before you send out your email.

Have you successfully avoided spam filters as part of your email marketing campaign? We’d like to know how you did it! Share your tips and tricks with us in the comments section.

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Beans graduated from Smith College in 2011 with a BA in History of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, and has worked as a farmer, a cook on a food truck, and an archival assistant. Outside of writing and editing for CEM, Beans enjoys reading voraciously, watching space documentaries, and baking vegan treats. Currently, Beans lives in Salt Lake City, UT.

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