Have you ever wondered why some of your emails go into the Promotions or Clutter folders? Or why your emails don’t seem to be read in general? You’ve read numerous email deliverability blogs on the topic, and perhaps you still can’t figure it out. 

We see it on a regular basis - the same frustrating situation of email deliverability. We conducted an analysis of emails sent by one of our clients and what we discovered may create some discomfort.

Check out our list of helpful hints to get your emails and your leads to connect – we’re confident that this list will help you get your emails to the inbox and increase your clickthrough rate, too.

Fulfill the promises of your links

Have you ever had the experience of clicking email links that promised you one thing but delivered something entirely different? Misleading or multiple links can be a problem, and you can end up with results you didn’t expect.

Here’s an example of what I’m describing. One of our clients inserted an email link to a “story,” but the link was misleading since it didn’t go to a story at all. Instead, the link was directing subscribers to an item with a dry description of a project they completed. The result? Readers who had clicked on the link were not happy and they went one step further; they quickly bounced right off of the linked page and unsubscribed.

Misinformation in emails leads to undesirable actions by readers - and can you blame them? Sharing information is all about building trust with your readers, so when they are misled, whether purposely or accidentally, they will leave and perhaps never return.

Always ensure that your links are active and direct readers to the information you promised them. Otherwise, you’ll develop a “bait-and-switch” reputation with your email list, and they will stop clicking on your links.

Also, be careful how many links you add to your email because too many links in an email can trigger spam filters and alerts. Keep it balanced, straightforward, simple, and honest – you’ll gain subscribers rather than lose them.

Deliver original content

If your strategy involves giving your readers news and discoveries first, it will give your audience the exclusivity factor. Be different – rise above what everyone else is doing and talking about. Stand apart from your competitors by offering your own content with your unique perspective.

If your audience believes they’re privy to content that no one else has yet received, it shows that you have something valuable to offer, which in turn entices your audience to come back on a regular basis. This will build your reputation as someone on the leading edge of their market, consistently providing content of interest to them.

Ask precise questions

One good way to connect emotionally with your subscribers is to ask questions about what could be happening with them. In other words, rather than declarative statements, flip those statements into questions. (As a bonus, you won’t come off as sounding “preachy” in your emails.) Emotionally, which of the following statements is more likely to get a response?

  • People like you should be eating more vegetables. Eating a diet filled with vegetables can increase your lifespan by as much as 10 years. See if you’re eating enough vegetable by clicking here.
  • If you could add 10 years to your life by eating more vegetables, would you do it? Or do you feel like you’re getting all the vegetables you need? Want to find out for sure? Click here.

See what I mean? The second statement is much softer, less preachy, and more engaging, don’t you think?

Questions can also be used to help you generate new ideas for content. A survey (but don’t call it a survey when asking for feedback) can be a wonderful tool to start a conversation with your leads. Surveys can also reveal problems that your leads may not realize they have.

There are two big problems with surveys, and you’ll want to commit to overcoming both of them. First, so many surveys lack creativity or fail to consider user engagement. The urge to make every question multiple choice is a strong one, but you’ll get your best engagement by varying your answers. Yes, it will make it more challenging to create a summary spreadsheet, but the summary spreadsheet is far less valuable than the insights you could receive.

For the best feedback, ask open-ended questions such as:

• What’s your top challenge regarding your topic area?

• How are these challenges impacting what you most want or that you want to solve?

• What will be the best way you can overcome the challenges you’ve expressed above?

• Is there a hot topic your audience wants you to weigh in on?

The second big problem with surveys is a lack of follow-through. When we added survey capability to our Genoo platform, we did so knowing that our users want to ENGAGE BEYOND THE SURVEY, so we’ve implemented surveys so the answers can go straight into the lead’s record in our centralized lead database.

Using those answers, you can create follow-up emails that respond directly to the respondents’ interests, and those emails can even be set to go automatically when a survey is submitted. (So much better than dumping out a spreadsheet of answers from another survey tool, manipulating the survey six ways from Sunday, then divvying up leads in an email platform to figure out how to respond to them!)

Choose a side and defend it

When you are positioning yourself as an expert, don’t be a “flip-flopper.” If you’re too broad, it waters down what people learn from you. Don’t muddy those waters by recommending numerous theories or practices. Your expertise should be solid, guiding your leads along a path so that they can make a decision. They are looking for guidance, after all, not someone who can’t decide on the best course of action.

Your guidance and authority are what makes people turn to you for information, so if you continually offer differing opinions, it’s very likely your readers will get frustrated and move on. People need answers - and fast - so that they can apply what they learn to their businesses.

To be an expert, it’s necessary to provide valuable insights while taking a confident stance that should be reflected throughout your entire engagement marketing strategy. 

Don’t tell the whole story in your email

Storytelling is a valuable tool, and stories are best told on your blog – not in your emails. Use email to deliver enough of a teaser to get people to click through to read your blog post. You can then use that click to measure the engagement factor in your emails and to discover what interests each of your leads – this is what marketing automation platforms (like Genoo) help you measure. Always be aware of what your subscribers click and what information compels them to do so.

Another tip is to keep your emails short and focused with a high-value click that you can measure and react to. Keep the click “above the fold” in the first or second paragraph of the email as this will pay off for you.

Send clean emails

It’s very important to send error-free emails to your leads. Some people think that occasional typos are fine and the reader will be forgiving, but frequent typos appearing in your emails are unprofessional – and your subscribers may not take you seriously. Good communicators are succinct and professional in their communications. Proofread, then have someone else proofread your emails. Spelling and grammar both count, and, depending on your target market, they may count even more than you realize. Take the time to care about typos and word choices; it can make a huge difference.