Email errors can be a turnoff – don’t let mistakes affect your response
Even in the age of textspeak, instant messaging and social media chitchat, people still care about quality control in communications of an even slightly more formal nature. They may write “lol” and “CU tonite @ 8” on facebook or their mobile, but they don’t like it when spelling mistakes and errors creep into a letter from the energy company or even a restaurant menu. Or, come to that, a marketing email.
In these contexts, poor quality control can quickly undermine brand credibility and – as research repeatedly shows – even lead to loss of business. After all, would you give someone a job who couldn’t spell your name?
Many emails err alike…
Here at Alchemy Worx, we’re up to our necks in email. Hundreds of messages flood into our accounts every day as we monitor what’s going on in the world of email marketing. And guess what? Loads of them contain errors. And loads of those errors are the same. And all of them could easily be avoided.
To err is only human, of course, and often only too understandable. For most marketers, an email send means tight deadlines, quick turnarounds and last-minute changes. All of which can open the door to errors. But none of that will count for anything if a subscriber leaves your list in disgust because you’ve emailed them twice. And got their gender wrong both times. About an offer that’s already expired…
Catching the glitches
So what can be done? Increasingly ESPs are adding tools and functionality to help you avoid sending poorly constructed emails (after all poor emails can upset ISPs – relationships that good ESP rely on). But there are still some areas that even the best software struggles to catch. With our help, you can still fix that glitch and save the day…
How to avoid the top 6 mistakes your Email platform won’t spot
The plot of the science fiction film ‘Inception’ centres on the interesting concept of planting ideas in the dreams of the unwitting dreamer, the objective being that so that when the ‘dreamer’ awakens the idea is freshly planted in the subconscious.
This imaginative concept set my mind racing on which ideas, specifically related to deliverability I would plant in some marketer’s minds as key thoughts so that when they awaken the ideas might crystallise during waking hours:
1. Move away from the thought process that all emails that are sent make it into the inbox. Not true! In fact, ISPs, filtering companies and consumers all block, filter and report email as spam, meaning that only a subset of all mail sent is actually delivered to the inbox.
2. Focus on improvements; be obsessive about understanding what the metrics are that can improve overall response, start to think about Inbox Placement Rates (IPR), seek to improve, make it a KPI. Challenge all comers who state ‘delivered’ or ‘accepted’ is a reliable guide to what makes it to the inbox, because it is not. The fundamentals of reliable calculations require the accurate use of a broader collection of metrics.
3. Think about deliverability, not as a terse-technical subject dominated by those responsible in the technical team, or that someone else worries about so they the marketers don’t have to .Think about it as something that everyone in the organisation should be aware of and have some insight of.
After the dream the marketer will awaken with these three thoughts at least somewhere in the mind and when met with the word ‘deliverability’ their eyes won’t glaze over or worse still ignore one of the most important aspects and barriers to success.
Richard Gibson, Channel Relationship Manager at Return Path and Chair, Email Marketing Council. Twitter: @RichardGibson.