What really increases the probability of a company's e-mail message reaching its customer has nothing to do with technology, according to a blog post on smartinsights.com.
"Out-of-email issues" may just be the kicker subhead in the July 15 post by Mark Brownlow—writer, editor and owner of E-mail Marketing Reports—but this aspect of what he wrote for U.K.-based digital marketing strategy consultancy Smart Insights could prove to be useful information for seasoned e-mail marketers.
In his post "How to Get Your E-mails Some Inbox Attention," Brownlow links back to a previous post and provides a review of the basics. Social media and mobile devices are changing the way consumers view e-mail; more competition and message scoring means content must be relevant; and marketers should follow best practices for sender and subject lines, preheaders and preview panes.
Here's the surprise: "If you are a sender that promises value and delivers it, then people will actually look out for your emails," he writes. "The best senders can put out messages on stupid days (like a B-to-B mail on a public holiday) and still get attention, because their readers are actively seeking out their messages."
His suggestions for strengthening the connection with readers include:
• Link to sample e-mails from sign-up pages so consumers will recognize the messages when they start appearing in their inboxes.
• Send an immediate welcome message after sign-up and ensure that the in-e-mail elements in the message reflect those used in future e-mails. Customers expect and look for welcome messages and sign-up confirmations, so companies can use them to train recognition.
• Ensure the design of the e-mails reflect the design, style and colors of the brand and/or website, so there is no disconnect to overcome between what customers expect the message to look like and how it actually looks.
• Maintain consistency of presentation. If the company does change its layout or design, ensure enough recognition elements are retained so that a quick glance will still alert readers to who the business is.
• Don't go too long between sends. The longer companies wait, the more risks they take with recognition. "My rule of thumb is at least once a month," Brownlow opines.