Email consistently ranks as one of the most cost-effective digital marketing channels for B2B industrial and office companies. According to Experian, attracting a customer using email costs 20 times less than conventional channels. But email is only effective if you're able to reach prospects. If your business's email account has a bad reputation, you'll struggle to reach prospects with your messages. To prevent this from happening, consider the following tips to protect your business's email reputation.
Legal aspects aside -- you can be fined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for violations -- complying with the CAN-SPAM Act is essential to maintaining a positive email reputation. This federal legislation requires business to follow certain measures when sending emails, some of which include the use of honest headlines, your business's addresses, explaining how recipients can opt out of receiving future emails from your business, and honoring these opt-out requests in a timely manner. Failure to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act will likely hurt your business's email reputation and, subsequently, your ability to reach prospects' inbox with marketing messages.
While not a requirement under the CAN-SPAM Act, it's recommended that you use an opt-in list for email marketing. In other words, prospects you should give you permission before you send them emails. You can build an opt-in list by placing a newsletter signup form on your business's website. Once a prospect has entered his or her name and email address, you can begin sending them emails from your business.
If you need help building a targeted list by territory, title, industry, company size or all of the above, let us know. We can help create a list that includes emails that are valid and okay for you to email your message. However, in B2B, sending a marketing message 1-3 times per month is a good amount. Too much can result in a key contact unsubscribing.
You should clean up your list or newsletter list on a regular basis by removing unresponsive subscribers. It's not uncommon for email services to penalize senders for emailing users who haven't opened their emails in a while. To prevent this from hurting your business's email reputation, remove unresponsive subscribers from your list. If a subscriber hasn't opened an email in several months, it's a good idea to remove him or her from your list.
The unique identifier associated with your business's email account is its internet protocol (IP) address. When someone reports or flags your emails as spam, it hurts your reputation associated with this IP address. But you shouldn't change your IP address. Assuming you have a positive email reputation, changing your IP address will eliminate these gains, forcing you to rebuild your reputation from the ground up.
While most email service providers measure businesses' email reputation using their own internal algorithm, many look at the Sender Score. Available at SenderScore.org, it tracks the reputation of businesses' email accounts by IP address. If you haven't done so already, head over to the site and check your business's email reputation. Upon entering the IP address associated with your business, it will reveal its reputation using a scale from zero to 100, with 100 having the best possible reputation.
There's nothing wrong with sending prospects marketing emails, but you shouldn't overdo it. No one wants to receive three or four commercial emails from the same business each day. It's intrusive, aggressive and ineffective at converting prospects into customers. Furthermore, recipients will mark your emails as spam if you send too many in a short period of time, thus hurting your business's email reputation. So, try to send no more than two or three commercials email per week…or even month.
A lesser-known tactic for protecting email reputation involves the use of a feedback loop service. Also known as a complaint feedback loop, this service will forward user complaints directly to your business so that you can address them directly. If a complaint is invalid, you can dispute it so that it doesn't hurt your email reputation.
Assuming you target prospects using email addresses stored in a database, you should review this database on a regular basis to ensure it's accurate and up to date. According to HubSpot, databases decay by nearly one-quarter each year. By four years, for example, most email databases are worthless and offer little or no value. And sending emails to these users could hurt your business's email reputation. You can prevent this from happening by removing users who don't open your messages or have incomplete or invalid information listed.
It's always best to keep your database fresh. SalesLeads can help test the validity of your emails, fill in the gaps where necessary and expand your list when ready.
Finally, make sure your emails are engaging. If they don't "connect" with prospects and pique their interest, prospects won't open them, or worse, they'll mark them as spam. Either way, this can hurt your business's email reputation. By creating engaging headlines and emails, you'll entice prospects to open and read your emails. Not only will this improve your email reputation, but it will also make your emails more effective at converting prospects into customers.
Let us know when you are ready to begin building your own tailored, targeted list.