Email is a powerful tool for the modern marketer, but it’s easy to lose sight of its importance when juggling responsibilities. Before you know it, your meticulously-crafted emails can end up in junk folders all over the globe without ever being opened.
What’s worse, recipients may mark your emails as spam. When this happens, your mass marketing campaign may struggle against spam filters of major email providers.
Open rates may plummet, and all that time and effort will go to waste. Not to mention, you may end up with a poor return on investment (ROI).
In this article, you’ll learn how to avoid these pitfalls of email marketing. Instead, we’ll show you how to send bulk email without spamming your readers.
What is spam?
In the simplest terms, spam is irrelevant, unsolicited messaging sent to large lists of people. This mass marketing was popular at one time, but luckily, spam appears to be dimishing as personalization and segmentation gain traction.
That being said, bulk email is still very much in use. However, the traditional method of buying an email list and blasting a generic email rarely pays now.
GDPR updates in early 2018 have essentially made it harder to contact people by email without their prior permission. You can still do it, but it will almost invariably succumb to a spam filter.
If you persist with spam email campaigns, you could run into legal issues, which won’t do your reputation or brand any favors.
How to send bulk email without spamming in 5 easy steps:
- Double-check with the double-opt-in method
- Don’t assume customers want to receive emails
- Build an organic list
- Set expectations
- Don’t be a stranger
Today, permission is paramount in email marketing. Without it, you risk getting reported, even if you are a legitimate email marketer.
By taking the steps below, you can stay on the right side of the law. Plus, you’ll avoid annoying your recipients, keeping spam problems to a minimum.
1. Double-check with the double opt-in method
Nowadays, the double-opt-in method is becoming commonplace. If people really want to sign-up, then they’ll have no issues letting you know with a secondary confirmation email.
Alternative methods that enable single opt-in are still viable methods, but it’s essential to receive recipient permission when sending emails.
2. Don’t assume customers want to receive emails
Perhaps you want to send an email to your customer who put in a huge order last month. That’s alright, right?
Actually, it may not be.
Just because somebody is already your customer (or your friend or your colleague), you still don’t necessarily have permission to send them emails.
Give everyone the option to sign up first before making assumptions.
You should also make unsubscribing easy and hassle-free. Studies show 50% of people mark a brand email as spam, simply because they can’t find a way to unsubscribe.
3. Build an organic list
Using lists that you bought, borrowed, or scraped is not a good foundation for successful email marketing (not to mention, it puts you at risk for serious legal and financial ramifications).
More often than not, you’ll set yourself up for high bounce rates, spam complaints, and ultimately, you may get blacklisted.
This can damage more than your sending reputation, as your brand image may suffer. And as we discussed above, you could even find yourself in legal troubles.
With email marketing in 2018, the only way to grow your business is to build an organic list of genuine subscribers who want to hear from you.
4. Set expectations
If people sign up for a monthly newsletter only to get an inbox flooded with weekly promotions, they may not be subscribers for long.
Your welcome email is an important early step in forging a good relationship with your subscribers. Use it to set expectations of what is to follow.
Whether you offer a monthly newsletter, weekly promotions, special discounts, or information from third-party affiliates, let subscribers know what’s coming.
Being transparent and honest in your emails will go far when it comes to establishing trust with your audience.
5. Don’t be a stranger
Collecting email addresses is great, but if you’re not going to communicate with contacts, they’re of no use.
Over time, your mailing list will become stale and irrelevant. When you finally do reach out, your subscribers may lose interest in you or your offers.
You want your emails to feel relevant, so set up autoresponder emails. These emails are triggered as soon as people sign up or click a call-to-action on your site.
Just don’t send too many autoresponders. You want to avoid the spam folder, and recipients often flag emails when they receive too many from one sender.
Create valuable emails to avoid being marked as spam
Email marketing provides companies with the chance to speak directly with their target audience. It’s a conversation, and therefore, it can be casual in nature.
However, you should still have a goal.
There’s no sense in just sending emails to subscribers for the sake of it if they don’t help you achieve your goals. People want to receive tangible value in emails from brands, otherwise, it’s a waste of space in their inbox.
Before you send out your next email campaign, ask yourself these questions to determine if your email is providing value.
1. Is the email content useful?
With your audience personas in mind, brainstorm some topics that address their pain points and personal goals.
Look for solutions to their problems, or opportunities to help them in the journey towards their goals. Sending people industry updates is great, but it must be relatable to them.
2. Is it interesting?
Once again, the needs and interests of your audience should be used as a guide here to ensure your email content resonates.
Further to that, make sure the tone works well for your audience. It must be consistent with your brand voice, and suitable for your followers.
A conversational tone improves readability in emails and may make your brand easier to relate to. However, don’t compromise your brand image by using an inappropriate tone in email.
Treat your subscribers with respect, and make your emails engaging from start to finish with the following techniques:
- Lead with the key information.
- Break up large walls of text with bullet points and sub-headers.
- Use bold or italic font to add emphasis.
3. Is the content unique?
It’s not easy to find a completely original topic nowadays. Regardless of what space you are in, chances are your hot topic has already been done by a few others.
To stand out from the pack, look for a unique angle that nobody else has covered yet. This will get more recognition than a rehash of the same, tired story.
Making your emails unique is a big step towards positioning your brand as a thought leader. The impact of that is somewhat underestimated, but research indicates 83% of buyers see thought leadership as integral to trusting a brand.
When recipients start to sit up and take notice of the new, interesting ways your brand looks at topics, they’ll appreciate the insights you offer. Soon enough, they’ll want to hear more from you, and they’ll begin talking about your content with their own audiences.
Another clever way to leverage this unicorn aura is to use quirky, thought-provoking subject lines that instill curiosity or elicit reactions from recipients.
4. Are you staying true to your early promises?
As aforementioned, it’s important to set expectations for your subscribers. By delivering emails they weren’t expecting, you’ll deter recipients and lose subscribers.
After you set their expectations, there should be no nasty surprises, which means you can reduce the risk of spam complaints or a drop-off in subscriber numbers.
Just make sure that you follow through with the valuable content they need.
5. Is it aligned with your business goals?
Your goal may be to build a bigger audience, sell a product, or drive more traffic to your website blog. Whatever it is, your emails should be intrinsically linked to your goals.
Every email you send to subscribers should be another step along the buyer’s journey, providing value for them, and also nurturing trust so that you can eventually get them to answer your call-to-action.
Knowing how to send bulk email without spamming is important for all marketers in the current digital landscape. As social media shifts towards being a paid advertising platform, the opportunities for cheap, easy marketing are dwindling.
Email has a lot of potential, but only if you know how to use it.
Sending out a generic email that offers no value to the recipients will no longer cut it. You should treat all of your email campaigns as a direct extension of both your business and your brand.
Using a conversational tone is great, but above all else, you must be consistent and provide valuable content that your recipients find useful, interesting, and unique.
By setting expectations early, and then following through with valuable emails, you can build a list organically, and avoid being marked spam as people recognize your brand as one that delivers.