For entrepreneurs who use email marketing, getting your messages into the inbox is critical. But some common misconceptions about email marketing reveal that the real challenge isn’t about getting in the inbox at all. The secret -- if you want to call it that -- is creating email content that people actually want to read. It’s that simple.
Below are the two biggest myths about email marketing. By shifting the focus to sharing content that receivers won’t think twice about opening, we’ll squash each myth once and for all.
Myth 1: Everyone wants my email marketing content.
We like to think our content is what everyone wants, but that’s just not the reality. Just like this very article you’re reading, not everyone will find it irresistible, and not everyone will think it’s valuable to them. Newsflash -- some people can live without your marketing emails. That’s ok. Your objective is to please those who can’t live without it, and find more people like them.
Here's a tip. Really take the time to get to know your audience. Survey them, and ask for feedback on a regular, but not annoying, basis. Find out what challenges they’re facing, or ask them what product features or new service offerings would be beneficial to them. The more you know what your audience wants, the more you can deliver it to them.
Myth 2: My marketing emails aren’t showing up in my subscribers’ inboxes.
It’s not that emails aren’t getting through or that they’re not showing up. The question is where are they showing up? Inbox filtering -- common with Gmail and other popular email services -- may cause your marketing and promotional emails to get auto-filtered into a "Promotions" or "Social” folder.
Consider this. You have to have personal engagement to show up in a reader’s primary inbox instead of being placed into one of the filtered folders. Engagement for email marketing is slightly different than person-to-person emails where the focus is mostly on interpersonal conversations. The difference with email marketing is that the goal is to get groups of people -- your email subscribers -- to engage by clicking on the embedded links that takes them to more of your content found on your website, blog or social channels. You can even give them a chance to respond to questions or customer surveys you’ve built into your marketing campaigns.
The more content you send that subscribers want to open -- and the more you provide ample opportunity for them to click through to even more needful information, feedback and promotional deals -- the more times you’ll bypass the pesky filtering mechanisms.
High engagement from your email audience also helps build a strong reputation with email services. “As your audience opens more of your emails and engages with the content, it sends a signal to the Gmails of the world that you’re sending content that they actually want,” says Tom Kulzer, the CEO of AWeber, an email marketing provider. “This type of reputation-building is crucial if you want to get your emails delivered to the primary inbox."
Kulzer also recommends exploring the topic of reputation building before getting started with an email marketing service provider. “When considering a provider, you need to make sure they have solid reputation management systems in place. Here are five key questions to ask. If not, it doesn’t matter how awesome your content is, it has higher potential of not getting delivered to the primary inbox as you would expect or hope.”
There you have it. The top two email marketing myths put to rest simply by having awesome email content that builds quality reputation. As email marketing continues to be the highest ROI marketing channel for your growing business, don’t let these myths stand in the way of your success.