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Email is set to have yet another mammoth year: in 2022, the number of emails sent and received every day is expected to surpass 333 billion, a Radicati Group study shows. Not taking advantage of this highly popular communication channel? It’s not too late: You can find a good email service provider and start growing your list today. Whether you begin with a simple newsletter or jump right into a broader direct email marketing, you can boost your ROI by $42 for every $1 you spend, according to the Data & Marketing Association.
But what if you have been sending emails without reaching that goal? It may be because of some unhealthy habits acquired along the way. Rest assured, that happens to all of us, but the good news is that they can be corrected easily.
Let’s take a look at some of the more sabotaging ones we should leave behind.
1. Inconsistency and lack of punctuality
It’s something companies do again and again: send a couple of emails only to disappear for months — a sure way of killing your chances to connect with the people on a list. Returning to subscribers inboxes after a long absence can have a variety of consequences: Some people may not remember who you are and so unsubscribe right away, others may get irritated and even report what you send as spam.
To build engagement, stick to a schedule, even if that means just sending one email a month, but be consistent.
Related: These 3 Strategies Will Grow Your Email List for Free
2. Neglecting welcome emails
Welcome emails get four times more clicks than other types of emails, according to research compiled by Invesp, so if you don’t have one at the ready, you’re missing out. What to include could be anything you think an audience would find helpful, but kicking off by thanking people for subscribing, then introducing yourself briefly is a solid foundation. Also, include a few useful links that lead people to your website: make it easy for them to find what they came for. If you can, sending a free resource would also make a great first impression (an ebook, a short checklist, infographic or useful video, etc.)
3. An outdated list
Building a healthy email list is at the core of effective marketing. Sending to invalid addresses causes bounces. A bounce rate that exceeds 2% is a sign you’re not following best practices, and it won’t be long until your emails start going to the junk folder. To prevent this from happening, validate your list at least four times a year. A verification service (examples include ZeroBounce and Xverify) filters out invalid emails along with other types of email contacts that are keeping you from reaching inboxes.
4. Spam complainers: do you remove them immediately?
Speaking of risky contacts, abuse emails can jeopardize your deliverability unlike anything else. These are the product of people who hit the “mark as spam” button regularly and tarnish your reputation as a sender. More than one spam complaint for every 1,000 emails sent is an alarm signal.
What can you do? First, remove these contacts without delay and make sure you never email to them again. Also, some email verifiers can detect these addresses in a list, which gives you a chance to remove them before they complain. You may lose a few subscribers, but gain peace of mind knowing your content won’t be reported unfairly.
Related: 4 Ways to Stop Your Emails From Going to Spam
5. Insufficient testing
It’s always exciting when you hit “send” on a new email, but pressing it and seeing the “delivered” status does not actually mean it went to your subscribers’ inboxes. It could very well have been delivered to their spam folder, resulting in poor engagement and wasted resources. The most effective way of addressing this is to test emails to ensure they’ll have the best deliverability. Once you’ve checked that they render correctly on all devices, consider testing where they land with popular providers (many of the same verification companies provide this service too) as inbox or spam. It takes minutes and can make a world of difference in engagement rates.
• Remove inactive subscribers every three months: After 90 days, any inactive email addresses could start bouncing. Plus, people who don’t engage with your emails can affect deliverability.
• Abandon corporate copywriting style: Dry, robotic copy doesn’t make a company look more professional; it only results in lost subscribers.
• Spend extra time on subject lines and preview text: The quality of the first few words people read when they get an email from you makes all the difference.
• Make the process fun: Being excited about growing your business will make implementing new habits much easier, so together with your team, try to make the enthusiasm both joyful and contagious.
Related: Why Email Marketing Is Better for Your Business Than Social Media