A high bounce rate can be detrimental to your continued email campaigns. In order to protect their customers from unsolicited or unwanted email communication, many Internet Service Providers and Spam Filters look at previous bounce rates for your sending email address to determine whether to deliver your emails. The logic is this: if an email has a high bounce rate (20% or greater), the sender is a potential spammer, “making up” email addresses to try to hit a lot of recipients with their message.
If a lot of your emails are bouncing, we do recommend removing those particular email addresses.
Online Outbox utilizes a technology called “Automated Bounce Processing”, which helps control your bounce rate. If a particular email address bounces three times within a relatively short period of time, that email address is automatically deactivated from the Contact List. This helps keep your emails deliverable over the lifetime of your email campaign.
Emails coming from trusted email addresses are less likely to be knocked into a Spam or Junk Mail folder, or delayed or even blocked by your subscriber’s Internet Service Provider (ISP). And it’s all about deliverability, right? Or at least, it all begins there. If you can make it simple for someone to add you to their address book, you’ll have a higher probability of your email being received.
Here’s what you can do: Include a line of text that reads something like “Keep our emails out of your Junk Mail folder. Add us to your Address Book!”, and insert a hyperlink (using the icon that looks like two chain links, in front of a globe) to this non-descript page: http://www.memberlandingpages.com/address_book/address_book_add-a.htm
Instructions for adding you to their address book in a wide variety of email clients are listed within this document. Again, what could be more simple?
Your subscribers are busy. They typically don’t have time to pay close attention to every piece of information in their inbox, so you’ll need to make the important information very accessible: highlight the main thoughts you want to communicate with a headline, using a larger, bolded font, or a set of bullet points, only providing the details necessary. Provide a link to a blog or a web site for more detailed information. If your subscriber is truly interested in further research, they will follow the link, but you don’t want flood people with too much information, or they won’t process any of the information.
Don’t use too much text in your emails; it will overwhelm your readers. Keep the content small, easily read, with prominent calls to action. Most calls to action will be links to specific areas of a web site. In your email, make use of call out areas in specific areas of the email to highlight specific thoughts. Studies have shown that the content placed at the top and left are most visible to most readers. It’s where we’re trained to start reading, and by default, we tend to look there first.
Offer value to people by providing information that is relevant and meaningful. Don’t try to “hard sell” someone, but rather, simply build the relationship. When you build rapport with your subscribers, they’ll view you as the resident expert, and will certainly consider your knowledge resources in their purchasing decisions. And that is what your emails are all about — increasing your bottom line.
• Advanced HTML tags such as <div> or <iframe>.
• A heavily nested table structure
• Cascading Stylesheets to define page layout or advanced CSS to control things like margins and float location.
• Spaces in HTML links.
• Empty cells – best practice is to use spacer images to control cell size
• Flash or other multimedia programs – unless it is clear that some recipients will have issues rendering the multimedia and or flash
• Embedded images – too intensive to download and can be pushed to attachments
• High level ASCII characters such as ®, or ©.
• Large images that frustrate users by taking a long time to download.
• Images with lots of text – use images for pictures only, and send any text as part of the email content. This makes the email smaller and maximizes the number of people who can view the text message.
Email marketing can sometimes be a little daunting, but I hope these tips keep you out of the ditch…
• Attractive layout and vibrant color schemes
• Font sizing to assign value to the words
• Call-to-action areas: Use repetition to tie in the design elements but make it obvious in some way that it’s different than the rest of the email
• Images – but make sure the overall size of the email and images is kept small (< 100KB)
• Properly formatted, properly closed HTML tags – some email clients are very finicky and will not display poorly formatted HTML.
• Fully qualified links (for example, make sure that each link starts with “http://”) and ideally end in an extension (.html, .htm, .asp, .jsp) or query strings
• If link ends in a directory i.e. http://www.eloqua.com/products ensure you add a backslash “/” to allow for Netscape browsers to realize the link http://www.eloqua.com/products/
• Colour – don’t be afraid of colour but don’t abuse it. Generally, a maximum of three colours should be used (colours in logo or image do not necessarily count towards this colour maximum) as any more than that usually appears messy and amateurish.
• Simple CSS to control the appearance of style elements such as font and bullets.
• Headers that are between 600-800px wide.