Email Marketing: Busting Myths, Offering Insights
There are a lot of self-proclaimed experts out there in digital marketing. There are people who have opinions, which might be based on experience, but are not necessarily digital best practices or something that will apply to every organization. Sometimes this can be so tiring to deal with.
So, imagine my excitement when I found that HubSpot and SendGrid developed a white paper called “104 Email Marketing Myths, Experiments and Inspirations.” You can get your copy by clicking on the link, but I’ve put some of my favorites below:
Never remove recipients from your list—Wrong!
Unengaged recipients (those who don’t open or click messages) should be dropped from your list through an established sun-setting process. The average email list loses 25 percent of its active contacts every year.
Sending more email means more revenue—Wrong!
Email marketing is a great revenue driver, but the more you send to your list, the less people will engage. Increasing your sending frequency has diminishing returns, so it’s better to test and find the right frequency for your recipients.
The more images, the better—Nope. There is a limit!
Images should be used thoughtfully. While some can make an email more visually appealing, too many can impact deliverability. Make sure your text to image ratio is closer to 60-to-40 or 70-to-30.
Never send marketing email on the weekends—Not really!
While the day of the week may seem extremely important, if your recipients are eager to receive your email, it doesn’t matter when you send your message. However, people are more likely to read email on a mobile device on weekends, so if you do send, make sure your messages are mobile responsive!
The more links in a message, the better—Wrong!
You may be inclined to give recipients a lot of options within your messages for interaction. More information, new resources or new products all compete for clicks. The truth is, recipients should know exactly what to click as soon as they open your email. This means including one (maybe two) calls-to-action per message.
Delivery rate is the same as inbox rate—Not exactly!
This may be one of the largest misconceptions in email. The fact is, a “delivered” email simply means that the inbox provider accepted the email. This is good because you at least know that it wasn’t blocked. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean the message landed in the inbox—it could be in the spam folder too.
You should conduct subject line A/B testing—Early and sometimes.
While it may not be necessary for every send, A/B test which subject line resonates best for the same message to a small segment of your list. Depending on the winner, send that subject line out to all contacts. In other words, test before you send your whole email—it is well worth it.
I just looked at a few emails in my inbox from nonprofits, and I see some opportunities. Now, go look at the emails you are sending out.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.