These non-technical changes can improve your email

4 min read

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Email marketing can be quite technical. HTML coding and multi-part MIME message messages and cross browser compatibility are just a few of the many technicalities involved in email marketing. Non-techie marketers will be unable to improve their email performance if they don't have the technical skills.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the technical details that we forget that email is marketing at its core. The most important aspects in marketing do not have anything to do with technology.

With that in mind, here are the first three surefire, non-technical methods to increase the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts.

Your target market must know who you are. We all know how important it is to be 100% clear about who we are targeting. The problem with email is that anyone can get on your mailing list. It's what I call "list creep", but it doesn't necessarily mean that you have creeps on your mailing lists. This simply means that subscribers start to spread beyond the boundaries of your ideal target market.

Let's take, for example, a lead generation tool called "4 Easiest Methods to Identify Best Colors for Your Office". It's designed to reach small business owners who are looking to redecorate their offices. A doctor at a large trauma center downloads the report to ensure he uses colors that are soothing for his patients. Sam, who runs the handyman service in the area, downloads the report to help his client transform their fourth bedroom into an office. The school guidance counselor was concerned that kids might be anxious if they have a blue office, so she downloaded the report. You now have at least three subscribers that don't fit your target market school email lists.

School Email Lists

Although it may not seem like a big problem on the surface - sending emails is free so they aren't really paying anything extra to be on your list – there could be consequences in the long-term.

We've shown you how your readers filter your message based on their level of knowledge. The term "office" was used to refer to a doctor's office, while the phrase "home office" was used by the handyman. It's an everyday occurrence. Your follow-up messages and newsletters will also be read through the same filters.

These "creepy subscribers", will continue to read your messages using their filters. They will eventually stop understanding the messages. Soon, they will realize that your message wasn't intended for them.

If they are lucky, they will stop opening your messages. Your open rate will decrease and your statistics will go haywire. You'll believe your message isn't working and your marketing efforts are failing because your numbers fall. You'll adjust your message to make sure it is relevant. Split tests will be conducted. It will take time, effort, and money to improve your email marketing.

If you are unlucky, they will get tired of your messages and report you as spammer. You now have to deal with the delivery issue and ISP relationships (which is another topic).

What you may not realize is that your marketing was perfect for those who mattered. Your target market was open to your messages at the standard rate they were used to. They were clicking, opening and interacting just like they had always done.

Now you don't know where your email marketing efforts are at.

This situation can be avoided by simply being clear in our marketing messages about who we are serving. Instead of focusing our efforts on growing more names and building a larger list, we should be focusing on growing targeted lists with relevant names.

While I don't advocate denying anyone access to your report, it is something that I do. It's important to know who your target audience is in all of your follow-up efforts. We assume that the recipients of our emails marketing messages are people who have been on our lists for years and who are familiar with our company. They also tend to assume that they know what we do. Our lists are constantly growing. Each day we are adding and losing subscribers. There is a good chance that someone is reading our email and doesn't know who we are or what it does.

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