With the rise of the Thanos, the most tyrannical villain in the galaxy, the Avengers and our other favorite heroes joined forces to save the universe from certain destruction. Tasked with keeping the six Infinity Stones out of the grasps of Thanos, the Avengers faced their greatest challenge yet. While marketers don’t face Thanos and his quest for domination, our emails face villainous spam filters and increasingly uninterested readers. Here are five lessons learned from the Avengers to save your email marketing.
1 – “Who the hell are you guys?” -Thor
As Thor first sees Gamora, Groot, Peter Quill and the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy, he is confused who they are. In this case, Thor quickly realizes their value and asks the “Guardians of Groot” to help him get to Earth. While this surprise worked for Thor, surprising a potential customer with a prospecting email that leaves them thinking, “Who the hell are you guys?”, is a sure way to find yourself sent to junk folders and marked as spam. When employing email marketing in your arsenal, email only those who know you and have agreed to receive your content. While prospecting may seem necessary to build a subscriber group, finding organic subscribers will offer long-term engagement and deliverability.
2 – “You talk too much.” -Thor
After a lengthy dialogue from Thanos about his failures and the persistence of destiny, Thor simply replies, “You talk too much.” Beyond wanting to keep a reader engaged with a balance of meaningful text and images, this balance also impacts deliverability. Spam filters block image-only emails, which are often hiding harmful links or content. According to MailChimp, a leading email marketing automation platform, an email campaign should use a ratio of 80 percent text to 20 percent images. That said, each spam filters has slightly different criteria, so consider which spam filter applies to the majority of your subscribers and adjust according to those criteria.
3 – “Fun isn’t something one considers when balancing the universe, but this…does put a smile on my face” -Thanos
With a quest to create balance in the universe at a deadly cost, Thanos found that although “fun” wasn’t his objective, he still had a smile on his face. For many people, fun isn’t something they consider when sorting through the countless emails landing in their inbox; however, with a bit of effort, one’s business can create content that puts a smile on the reader’s face. Pardot, a marketing automation and lead generation software, compiled five ways to create engaging email content. Of those, two particularly apply. First, in creating content, make it personal—both in its honest tone and personal to the reader. Creating personal content has the prerequisite of knowing who your readers are. This again ties back to sending to voluntary subscribers. Second, show the content’s value above all else. Pardot urges, “Whether it’s mind-blowing statistics about your industry, or a series of funny videos starring your company’s mascot llama, show your subscribers that you’re genuinely trying to provide them with content that they’ll find useful or entertaining….” Providing this value, and at times entertainment, ensures continued engagement and prevents blacklisting by email providers.
4 – “I consider experience, experience.” -Loki
As Loki offered to serve as a guide for Thanos’ Earth-bound journey, Loki suggested his extensive experience with traveling to Earth. After Thanos challenged his experience by saying, “Well, if you consider failure experience,” Loki made the point that all experience, whether failure or success, is experience. Approaching email marketing with this broad definition of experience allows for continued improvement in deliverability, engagement, and conversion. Employ A/B testing in email campaigns to gather information about what elements ushered positive results and which are considered failures. Do not roll out a full campaign only to wonder at the end why it didn’t go as planned. Instead, test variations of your emails to see what brings the best results and which should be put aside.
5 – “Point is, things change.” -Iron Man
With all hope lost, Dr. Strange and Iron Man eagerly discussed how to save the world and protect the Time Infinity Stone from Thanos. Given the responsibility to guard the stone, Dr. Strange was insistent on continuing to protect its existence in the same way he’d done before. Iron Man challenges this thinking, arguing that things change so should we. Email marketing will never merit the belief that one has figured it all out. Email marketing and the keys necessary for success are ever-changing, and so should our approach. I recently redesigned our in-house email templates. After creating a first email that sailed through spam filters, I was frustrated when it failed just weeks later. The landscape seemed to change by the time I finished the final template. Despite wishing to use the templates, I adjusted them according to what had changed.
At ANS, we understand the battle of email marketing. If email marketing has you wishing the email Avengers would save your campaign, we can help. Contact us today to begin conquering spam filters and seeing the email success you want.
Blog post written by Brawn Baker, Digital Media Marketer at ANS