Get Email Marketing Right

    March 29, 2007

If you’re doing email marketing, you really need to get it right. You need to start off on the right foot: around 80% of recipients will mark an email as spam based on subject line and sender alone, according to a survey conducted by the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. Trevor Hughes, executive director of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition, told ClickZ:

We found that four out of five folks are deleting or reporting messages as spam before even opening them. Consumers are tyrannical; they are brutal editors of their inbox. If your from and subject line is not showing who you are and the message is legit, you will never even be previewed.

Dave Lewis, co-chair of the receiver relations committee for the ESPC and Market Development Vice President for StrongMail, offers advice on how to overcome that tendency: “If you’ve got a brand that the consumer knows, you’d best make sure that the brand is highly visible in the send address and subject line so you don’t end up in the spam button.”

Another interesting finding of the study:

The ESPC originally assumed that large numbers of recipients were using the “report as spam” button to unsubscribe to legitimate marketers. However, that was the case for only 20 percent of messages studied, said Hughes. Regardless, he believes the survey is a call for greater tools to be made to consumers.

Those tools included “report as fraud” (80% of those surveyed were interested) and “unsubscribe” (90%) buttons in email clients in addition to the “report as spam” button. The survey also found that 80% of users trust unsubscribe links, even when the sender isn’t familiar to them. Hm…

See also the ESPC’s press release, with more details of the study.