Five Ways Email Marketing Can Boost Your Inbound Marketing

It can feel as if the digital world is always creating new opportunities to market your products and services, but some of the oldest methods are still the best. Take email, for example. Email has been around a lot longer than social media, but it’s still one of the most effective ways to acquire and retain customers for many brands. Here are five ways that you can boost your inbound marketing by using some smart email strategies:

  • Use automated campaigns: We’ll start with one of the clearest ways to make your email marketing more effective. Set up an autoresponder email service that runs automatically. Using ReachMail or a similar platform, you can make sure that your company never fails to acknowledge an email from a potential customer by having it send a predetermined response whenever you receive a message. NGO charity: water exercised this strategy to great effect in a campaign that automatically sent each donor an update on the project and showed them the people it was helping.
  • Pay attention to your copy: a lot of companies understand that it’s important to send emails, but many of them don’t pay enough attention to their content. You might be surprised to learn how many companies are run by people who can’t or don’t take the time to write well—but customers notice. That’s why successful email marketers like the ones at Buzzfeed make a point of jazzing up their copy with jokes, catchy phrases, and references that their target markets will enjoy. Join their mailing list, and you’re sure to see good examples whenever you open a message from them. Pro tip – use an A/B testing tool to see which version works best.
  • Offer incentives: marketing shouldn’t be a con, it should be an offer to exchange value. You’re not trying to trick people into giving you their time, attention or money—you’re providing them with something that they need, and they’re compensating you for it. Ramit Sethi offers some good advice on how to create meaningful incentives for your potential customers: make your free content better than your competitors paid content. Focus on giving your target market something they can use is an excellent way to boost your conversion rates and see them opt into your mailing list or subscribe to a paid service.
  • Reward your subscribers for referring others: incentives aren’t just necessary for acquiring new subscribers. You’ll also want to make sure that you’re growing your mailing list—and the best way to do that is through word of mouth. You can turn a customer into a recruiting asset by offering them further benefits for bringing in their families and friends. Since potential clients that have been referred are over 30% more likely to convert than those who haven’t, this is an area you can’t overlook.
  • Grab ‘em with your subject lines: ever open an email from an unfamiliar company with a subject line that includes phrases like “special offer” or “best product ever”? Yeah, me neither. If you want your emails to stand out from the deluge of spam that your customers receive every day, you have to be creative. It’s even better to be funny—check out this list of clever email marketing subject lines for some excellent ideas.

Email remains one of the most practical tools for you to grow your business—you just have to think outside the box a little. You can test these strategies for free with ReachMail,, and watch as your emails net you increasingly more customers.

9 Tips To Inbox at Gmail

“How can I get to the inbox at Gmail?”. Probably one of the most common questions from email marketers we get at ReachMail.

We recently attended the Email Sender and Provider Coalition semi-annual meeting in Palo Alto in May,  Gmail’s Product Manager Sri Harsha Somanachi had these suggestions to get into the Gmail inbox:

      • Personalize as much as possible – Gmail empowers users to control their inbox. If your email ends up in the bulk folder and the user marks your email as “Not Spam” Gmail will weigh this heavily in your favor and lean towards placing your email into the inbox. How should you personalize? Consider:
        • Segregating your non-openers – This will keep your spam complaints down. (Here’s how it’s done in ReachMail)
        • Personalizing content – Use the subscribers history to send them a unique appeal. Possible options beyond their name include product purchase history, website usage and to a lesser extent demographic data including age, geography and gender.
    • Take seed list inbox data with a grain of salt. If your seed list is bulking that may not necessarily reflect bulk folder placement. Seed lists such as Return Path’s Inbox Monitor  may not show user engagement like actual subscribers. Somanchi said that when he gets complaints of seed lists bulking, he often see actual subscribers inboxing.
    • Make sure your email is authenticated - At a minimum, conduct an SPF check or DKIM check. Furthermore, to be extra careful, Gmail recommends publishing a DMARC policy.
    • Send from a consistent sending IP – Gmail still strongly measures your sending IP reputation. Don’t switch it up.
    • Use GMail’s Postmaster Tools You can check on your sending reputation and can see the trendline in how your email is perceived by Gmail.
    • Starting new? Start extremely slowly – If you have a new brand or domain, Somanchi recommends starting very small. Send just 10 emails per day and ramp up only by a factor of 1.
    • Warm-up ALL your sending infrastructure - Gmail looks at everything –  your sending IP, the “From” domain, DKIM, SPF and the “from” header. If you change just one of those – (e.g. from domain), you need to warmp-up all over again.
    • Screw up? Take a break - If you send an email that severely damages your reputation – don’t “mail through”. Rest your sending infrastructure at least 3 or 4 days, correct the issue and start very slowly again.
    • Enable one-click unsubscribe - Top brands know that making it easy to unsubscribe dramatically cuts down on “spam” complaints. Don’t feel like making it easy? Your subscribers will mark your mail as “spam” if it’s difficult to opt-out. Here’s how it looks:

To enable one-click unsubscribe, Gmail states “Provide a ‘List-Unsubscribe’ header which points to an email address or a URL where the user can unsubscribe easily from future mailings. (Note: This is not a substitute method for unsubscribing.) “ Check out more at ReachMail.

Work Email Trends After Hours

Nothing is certain, except death and taxes—and according to the latest surveys, nonstop work email. In Part 1, we talked about Americans’ relationship with work email and learned that while there are some differences from region to region, as a whole, work email remains a major, constant component to most people’s lives. So, is that a problem? ReachMail recently surveyed 1000 people to learn what it means to manage their inboxes.

 

When asked how much email respondents deal with, it’s unsurprising to see that 54% stated that they receive more email now than they did three years ago. Thanks to remote work and smartphone access, emailing is not limited to the 9-to-5 hours offices used to keep. 25% of respondents said they send emails after 6pm, and 23% admitted to sending emails even later, after midnight.

So who’s sending these emails? Interestingly, it’s men who are sending more after-hours emails, with 62% to women’s 46%. By age demographic, Gen Xers are most likely to send a work email after midnight, whereas 49% of Millennials claim to never click Send after 9pm. This might be because Millennials are not far enough into their careers to warrant more urgent or immediate action on business emails. The survey notes the connection between growing work responsibility and the tolerance for after-hours email. In fact, only 1 in 5 respondents who make $105k or more consistently say no to email during time off.

If Millennials are least likely to be sending post-work emails, they have the opposite issue for receiving such emails. According to the survey, Millennials get the most after-work emails at 62%, followed by 49% Gen-Xers and 47% Baby Boomers. This could be because Gen Xers were first adopters when emailing became such a prevalent part of work culture, whereas Millennials have always had email integrated into their lives, and companies might incorrectly assume that Millennials want to be connected at all hours. If they do, it’s probably not to their jobs but friends, family, and Facebook instead.

Speaking of personal time, at least 29% of those surveyed said that they frequently check their work email on days off and on weekends, and 46% check occasionally. Those percentages decrease for vacation but still—61% of people check at least occasionally while on vacation.

Why? Some respondents—in fact, 55% of Millennials—say that receiving and responding to work emails makes them feel important. That might help explain why Millennials are most likely to adopt the practice of inbox-zero than Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers. The fact that inbox-zero practitioners are more likely to check email more than 25 times per day, it’s no wonder that after-hours emails are so easily tolerated.