The importance of keeping email marketing content relevant, valuable and useful has been highlighted by a new report.
Research by Return Path found seven in ten messages flagged by recipients as spam are actually legitimate newsletters, with irrelevant content one of the causes of this trend.
The firm's co-founder and president George Bilbrey said that when people initially subscribe to a newsletter, they tend to be very excited initially to receive relevant content. "However, over time, as their interests change or the information becomes less useful, they begin to feel overwhelmed," he noted, adding that many then flag subsequent communications as spam rather than simply unsubscribing.
Keeping information relevant and targeted to the needs of recipients is therefore very important, as it is clear email is still a valuable marketing channel for businesses.
Return Path found Europe has the best deliverability rates, with 84 per cent of legitimate emails reaching recipients' inboxes, so the challenge to marketers is to ensure that their emails are the ones that are opened and acted upon.
Effective email marketing
There are many factors influencing an individual's decision whether to open an email, but there are certain considerations each marketer needs to pay attention to.
Content – Consumers are busy and are unlikely to read information if doing so has no direct benefit for them. Therefore, businesses should focus on including enough content that entertains, educates and informs readers on topics they are highly interested in, so that recipients continue to open emails, act on them and share them with others.
Subject line – The email subject line should be treated as content in its own right. Ask yourself what wording will appeal to your audience and encourage them to open the email. Maybe something cryptic or humorous? Or perhaps something straight to the point?
Testing – Increasing smartphone penetration means that people are accessing their emails from an ever more diverse set of devices. Therefore, emails should be tested for all email clients, mobiles, tablets and PCs in order to ensure everything works as it should and the core messages are clear.