Digital Marketing, Email, Marketing

Five Tips to Make Sure Your Subscribers Hear, “You’ve Got Mail”

Maybe I am just sentimental, but I am a sucker for a good romance movie. One of my particular favorites is You’ve Got Mail, a charming story of rival bookstore owners who fall in love through an exchange of anonymous emails. With every chime of “You’ve got mail,” from their AOL email inboxes, the couple became further excited and engaged in the digital relationship.

Fast forward twenty years and things have changed. No longer can you anonymously email whoever you’d like. Between you and the recipient, there are spam filters and a herd of competing emails begging for a response. Even if your email makes it through and is opened, reader engagement is not guaranteed. Surprisingly, however, those who know how to use email effectively yield excellent results. According to the DMA (Data and Marketing Association), a business can earn $44 for ever $1 spent on email marketing. With open and click-through rates averaging at 21.80% and 2.78%, email marketing is a channel to add to your expertise.

To help your marketing emails break through spam filters, reach recipient emails with a resounding “You’ve got mail,” and inspire engagement, here are five tips to implement on your next email campaign.

1. Maintain a healthy list of subscribers

The first key to successful email marketing is emailing those who have requested your content and promotions. While some people may send broadcast emails, such a practice can lead to your email IP address being blacklisted by email providers and will likely yield little reader engagement. Instead, send your emails to subscribers and regularly check the health of the list. At ANS, we quarterly review engagement and conduct hygiene practices to remove subscribers no longer engaging in our content. While this decreases the size of our list, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Research shows that smaller, clean lists have higher open and click-through rates.

2. Personalize emails based on customer segments

While hammer pants were cool once, we’ve long past the days of “one size fits all.” Individuals on your email list will have different interests, needs, and place in the purchase cycle. Determining which customers best fit a particular promotion or offer will not only increase the likelihood of conversion, but it will save your valuable marketing dollars on uninterested recipients.

3. Use a subject line that piques curiosity

Have you labored for hours perfecting your email copy, only to find after sending, that hardly anyone opened your masterpiece? You’re not alone. The gatekeeper to someone opening your email is the subject line. After your name, it is the first thing a reader will see. Consider what would interest you more—an email that comes with the subject line, “Globex Corporation: Monthly Newsletter,” or, “This month’s accomplishments we’re happiest about of (unlike the ending of Avengers).” Making this first impression one that excites and piques curiosity is an imperative contributor to open rates and overall email success.

4. Avoid words that trigger spam filters

One could assume phrases like, “Get rich quick,” would likely result in your email being blocked or diverted to a spam folder, but the list of words to avoid is more extensive than one might expect. Even simple words like “hello,” “home,” and “friend” can become problematic. As a company that focuses on data and marketing solutions, we have to be aware of words that can cause deliverability issues with our emails as well. You’d be surprised how hard it is to talk about marketing, without overusing the word marketing (a spam word to avoid.) To help you out, here’s Hubspot’s thorough list of word to avoid.

5. Don’t ignore grammar and formatting

Just today I had countless emails in my spam folder with subject lines such as, “OMG [brawn], you QUALIFIED for a LOW rate.” As you can imagine, this unprofessional and disjointed formatting did not inspire any confidence in me as a receiver, and fortunately, my spam filter caught it too. Clean and professional grammar, capitalization, and formatting are crucial for email deliverability. Take the time to proofread and review for grammatical errors and avoid the overuse of capitalization and exclamation points. Additionally, do not ignore the balance between text and image. MailChimp, the world’s largest email automation platform, suggests an 80 percent text to 20 percent image ratio for best results.

While we no longer live in a time where “cold-calling” emails make it into the inboxes of readers, email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to sell product and grow a business. If your current email marketing is no love story and lacks deliverability and engagement, ANS can help. We know what it takes to transform an email campaign from a spam filter massacre to a growth-promoting investment. For more information about how we can transform your email marketing, send us an email at

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