I had a deliverability problem. And no, I’m not talking about Amazon.
I’m talking about my email deliveries. They weren’t landing in the Inboxes of my email subscribers. So all of the great content that I worked so hard to research and write went into the virtual trash can of Spamland or even the Promotions folder.
But then I learned how to authenticate my email address (more on that below). After I authenticated my email address, my deliverability rate improved substantially.
For this week’s blog, I turn to Amy Hall, a MailChimp (MC) expert, to answer some specific questions on how to have the most effective email marketing campaigns, including that little trick of email authentication.
You must read her tips before sending your next email campaign.
I met Amy through a private Facebook Group we both belong to. She’s smart and eager to share her knowledge with others. And just because she loves MailChimp doesn’t mean that her general tips and guidance can’t apply to ALL email marketing – no matter which email service provider you’re using.
Let’s jump right in with this Q&A with Amy Hall …
LEONA: Amy, tell us a little bit about your “MC Expert” designation. What type of training did you receive to get that designation?
AMY: Mailchimp doesn’t have a certification program or its own training. My training came by way of working in MC for the past nine years, talking with other MC assistants and solving problems with them.
The epiphany that I was an “expert” came when I was on a chat with MC trying to solve a problem. Mailchimp said there was no way to solve it. BUT while I was on the chat I figured out a way to solve the problem! I asked MC if they thought it would work and they answered YES!
LEONA: What are three tips that you can offer on building a successful campaign?
AMY: Think of three things when building a campaign:
Deliverability – Be careful about using too many images in your emails. This may result in emails being delivered to the junk folder or not delivered at all! And with more than 70 percent of emails read on mobile devices, download time and data usage may be an issue for the reader.
Readability – I can’t tell you how many emails I see that I can’t read on my phone. The font is too small, or the images are too large and I can’t read the text. Make the font at least 16 point; anything smaller and it’s too hard for most people to read.
Clarity – Get to the point quickly and succinctly. Don’t opt for a long email. Most people don’t even read to the bottom of an email. Stats show that the email links that get clicked are in the top main information section of the email. Links further down in the email are less likely to get clicked. Gmail automatically truncates long emails so your readers may not even see the whole thing.
LEONA: What’s your advice for writing an effective subject line?
AMY: Subject lines should be short, sweet and to the point. Let the subscriber know exactly what they’ll read in the email. And remember, on mobile devices you have about 30 characters for the subject line.
If you’re sending your free opt-in download let people know, Here’s your download of “Insert Book Title Here.” Don’t just say Here’s your download. It’s not clear what they’re receiving, and they may not open the email.
LEONA: I know one of the top challenges marketers face today is landing in an Inbox and NOT in the Spam/Promotions folders. What are your tried-and-true tips for landing in the right spot?
AMY: Always authenticate your email address with your email service provider (ESP). This way it looks like the email is coming from you and not Constant Contact or Mailchimp. (Editor’s Note: Not sure how to authenticate your email address? Each email service provider (ESP) provides how-tos on their website so be sure to check out your ESP’s website. Here are the how-tos for some of the most common ESPs such as Constant Contact and MailChimp.)
LEONA: Thank you so much Amy for your time and generosity in sharing these great tips. I learned so much – especially the importance of authenticating your email address, which has already improved my deliverability rates. If my readers would like to learn more about you, where would they go?
AMY: They can learn more and connect with me my through my website, www.amyhall.biz.