Email Expert Laura Atkins on How to Make Sure Your Emails Hit the Inbox

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Posted: August 8, 2013 | Email Marketing

This week Marketo released The Definitive Guide to Engaging Email Marketing. We wanted to include insights and best practices from some of the leading minds in email marketing. We asked our top influencers the following 4 questions:

1. What is your advice for creating engaging email marketing campaigns and content?

The biggest thing about creating engaging email marketing campaigns and content is to know your audience and tailor your content to that audience. Some audiences do well with playful emails, other audiences expect more information dense emails and less whimsy. Finding out what works best for your audience, whether through preference centers,  through A/B testing, or other methods is a long term investment in email delivery and profits.

2. What’s your reaction to the following statement? Email is not dead; it’s evolving.

Anyone who tells you email is dead is trying to provoke a reaction. Email, as with most technologies, is constantly evolving. No one can expect it to be the same year after year. Technology evolves, filters evolve, mail programs evolve with hardware and networking improvements. Marketing is just a layer on top of the technology.

3. Looking into your crystal ball, what does email marketing look like 5-10 years from now?

My specialty is email delivery, and email filtering, so I’m going to talk about delivery more than marketing. Filtering improvements are going to give recipients more and more control over their inbox. In fact, I don’t think there will be one inbox view, each individual user will have their own inbox. Google is leading the innovation with priority mail and the new tabbed inbox. Less and less emphasis is going to be placed on IP reputation to get to the inbox. More emphasis is going to be placed on content in the email. Mail providers and mail clients are going to have more sophisticated filters that measure user interactions with mail and user preferences for content and delivery mail individually into the inbox. This is why it’s so important to figure out how to tailor content to the audience.

I see content and domain based filtering coming to the forefront of delivery. An IP reputation isn’t going to do anything more than get an email in the front door, inbox delivery will depend on the individual recipient reaction to previous mail from that sender.

4. Discuss an email marketing topic that you are most passionate about, something you talk to clients about most often.

When looking at email delivery, the recipient is in charge. It’s their mailbox, in effect, marketers are coming into their living rooms to try and sell to them. Marketers that abuse this privilege will find themselves in the bulk folder or, even worse, blocked at the front door (the ISP). Email is a relatively new technology, only being widely available for 15 years or so. It is the first technology where the recipient could actually control the marketing coming into their mailbox. Because of this control, and this ownership, marketers cannot treat email as any other marketing channel. This means marketers must look more at meeting the individual needs of the recipient and less at sending out as much mail as possible.

Want to learn more about email marketing, deliverability, and more? Download Marketo’s brand new 150+ page Definitive Guide to Engaging Email Marketing.

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Laura Tessmer Atkins is a founding partner of the anti-spam consultancy and software firm Word to the Wise. Her expertise comes from her more than 13 years of experience in helping to address Internet abuse issues, improve email deliverability and spread a broader understanding of email marketing best practices.

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How to make sure your #emailmarketing hits the inbox. #dg2eem.

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