Part 1: Getting into the impenetrable inbox
Direct marketing (also known as Email Marketing) has grown in popularity over the past 5 years. It’s comeback is partially due to the growth in other digital platforms, including Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram. As consumers become de-sensitized to paid digital advertising like adwords, Facebook ads and such, vehicles that were once burnt out and overused (like email) are surging back in popularity - and effectiveness.
Technology really is an ecosystem, so with the rise in email marketing, comes the increase in email security. Email platforms like gmail, Outlook, and iCloud are continually updating spam filters and algorithms to filter out marketing emails. I hear you - What a pain, right?! So when it comes time to start marketing your event, you need the best tips and tricks to ensure you’re getting into as many inboxes as possible….lucky we’re here to help!
Tip 1: Personalize it
Using platforms that allow you to include personalization variables can help you cut through email filters exponentially. A simple execution of this is replacing your opening email line with “Hi [first name]” rather than “Hi there.”
Take this tip even further and try personalizing the subject line. Not only will that help get through the email filters, it will also help your open rates - we’re naturally inquisitive creatures, and when a subject line says our name, we can’t help but click!
One of my most successful emails had a hashtag in it - it felt super personal to the recipient: #NAMElovesevents
Tip 2: A/B test your formats
This just means ‘split your database in half, send each group a different format then see which one has the best results.' Some email filters scan for rich, html formatted emails. Although these are pretty, to a computer they’re a sure sign that your email is ‘promotional’ and therefore should be sorted into a lower tier inbox. Try also sending plain text emails. These will not only help your success rate, but may also help encourage better, more personal connections with your audience.
Tip 3: Change your sender details
Most marketing automation and email blast software allows you to edit the name and email address of the sender. Most of us typically respond to this by making the sender our company name, event name or a department name.
But remember! You are trying to outsmart the email filters and make them think that your email is in fact intended for that particular recipient. Changing the sender details to a simple name and email address of someone in your company (perhaps your primary event organizer or head of communications) will give your email more personality...and pervasiveness.
Tip 4: Timing is crucial
Setting up your email to send during the working day is crucial for open rates. Day time sending tells the inbox that you’re in the same timezone as the recipient (that makes you more real, apparently!) It also means it will be fresh and ready for your audience to read it hot off the press. Although most of us check our emails first thing in the morning, it’s typically with a plan to start on a productive note - anything deemed unnecessary can be lost or deleted. I recommend sending emails in the early afternoon as people check through their inbox after coming back from lunch.
Days of the week can also affect your email success rate. This varies between industry, but a typical rule of thumb is to avoid avoid weekends and aim for mid-week (Tuesday-Thursday).
Tip 4: Think long term - don’t overload them
Building credibility in the inbox is a long game that you’ll need to work on over time. Email filters will come to remember which senders are ‘trusted’ and preferred by the recipient. Make sure that all of your emails are relevant and try not to blast your recipients with too many emails in a short period of time - activity like that can often raise the spam filters which is not what we want!
Tip 5: Try emailing from your event tech software
You may be using a popular email marketing system like Mailchimp or Sendgrid; these tools are great but are so popular that they are often flagged by email filters as marketing platforms. Sending email notifications to your attendees via your event technology suite is sometimes a more reliable way to get your email in front of the eyes who need it.
Let us know if you have more tips to share with our community, we'd love to hear your experiences