Targeted email campaigns and content marketing are very popular right now, and for good reason: Useful, valuable, and actionable content tailored to specific consumers drives results for businesses.
But, have you considered your work doesn’t necessarily end after you click “Send”?
Once you send an email, a variety of things can happen on the other end. No matter how well crafted the content of your email, the reality is there’s no guarantee the recipient will open it.
Fortunately, there are solutions available that track what happens to sent emails. Utilizing such a solution will assist you in measuring the success of your email approach. Let’s look at some of the email analytics these solutions measure and what you can do about them.
Delivered, But Not Opened
The email you sent may not have come back undelivered, but this does not automatically mean your email reached the recipient’s inbox. It’s possible your email was delivered, but sent straight to the junk folder, or it could simply be left in the recipient’s inbox, ignored.
If this happens, go back and review the messages you sent that were never opened. What might you have done to make the subject line or first line of text stronger and more relevant? Compare the unopened emails to the messages with a high open rate, and use this analysis to improve future email campaigns.
In addition, be sure to use the recipient’s first name at the beginning of the subject line (ex: Matt, We just got a new shipment of F-150s you may like) – so it’s important to make sure your list, query, or other data source contains first names.
Also, it might be a good idea to follow up with these customers on the phone or text. This will show you are serious about doing business with them while providing a personal touch that is absent in so many of today’s business transactions.
There’s always the chance that an email recipient will request you stop sending emails.
Do not send another email to this address, ever. By law, you must respect the wishes of the consumer by ceasing all future email correspondence. Sending just a single email to someone who opted out can result in a hefty fine.
Marked as SPAM
If too many of your emails get marked as SPAM by recipients, it can lead to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) blacklisting you or your company.
Major ISPs constantly monitor what you send. They look for characteristics and trends that match SPAM criteria. To decrease the chance of an ISP flagging you, send mass emails no more than once or twice a month, and be sure to target your mass emails, making the marketing message relevant to the recipient.
Additionally, keep clients who’ve received a mass email within the past 90 days off the distribution list of the next mass email. Neglecting to take these precautions will lead to ISPs blacklisting you with the dubious title of “frequent SPAM sender.”
You can also consider sending certain emails through an OEM program or a third-party marketing solution to safeguard against blacklisting.
For best practices, when a consumer marks an email as SPAM, treat this situation as if the individual opted out – avoid sending further emails to them.
Keep in mind an email may not even reach the recipient due to a bad address or domain name. If an address is bad, the ISP won’t deliver your message and will inform you it was undeliverable.
If your emails are getting bounced, check to make sure you entered the email address correctly. Maintain up-to-date notes for situations like this to constantly improve the quality of your consumer data.
In a perfect world, consumers would open every email you send. But, since we know this isn’t the case, you must be prepared to take the proper steps when an email isn’t opened.
You don’t want your dealership known for aimlessly sending emails that are destined for the trash bin. Sending emails featuring useful, relevant, and actionable content, plus analyzing the results and sticking to best practices, goes a long way in helping you maintain credibility and a great reputation.
Author: Matt Clark
Matt Clark joined the Reynolds Consulting Services team at Reynolds and Reynolds in 2004. He is accomplished in e-commerce, internet, CRM, sales process, and digital marketing consulting. He has over 14 years of automotive retail experience, including positions such as general sales manager, BDC manager, internet manager, and sales professional.