Three ways to be noticed in a cluttered inbox

On any given day, if you’re an average internet user, you’re now more than likely to receive five or more solicited marketing messages a day. Five is of course the minimum; many of us, myself included, often get many more. Whether it’s Amazon stalking my movements through their site, stuff from my favourite eBay sellers, another cheap television deal from Misco, or news that London Underground is broken (again) from TfL, the information doesn’t stop coming.

What do you now have to do to make sure that your marketing message isn’t lost in the ever-mounting virtual inbox?

There are, of course, the obvious technical tips: ensuring that your message doesn’t upset spam filters, making sure that your lists, especially the opt in and outs work, and ensuring that your e-mails are set up to make links and calls to action obvious. But there are other tricks to ensure that your marketing stands head and shoulders above the clutter.

Make sure you’re consistent

A consistent look and feel across newsletters will make a huge difference. By keeping the design and tone consistent, you help to build, maintain and strengthen your brand. This builds trust with your subscribers, which will encourage them to take your recommendations and make it far easier to close sales when they follow your links.

It’s not just the look and feel: timing is everything. Once you’re into the swing of sending out marketing mail, make sure that you’re sending your mail out at the same time each day and at the same interval. So if your newsletter goes out on a Tuesday at 2pm then it’s a fair assumption that many of your subscribers will come to expect your message to arrive every Tuesday afternoon. Many may even subconsciously clear some space to read your content and will generally be more receptive if they’re expecting your message to arrive.

And while we’re talking about timing…

Studies have consistently shown that people are more receptive to marketing by e-mail on Tuesdays and Wednesdays: they’re more likely to read your mail, click your links and follow through to buying or subscribing to your service. There’s good reasoning behind this: catching people just after they’ve finished recovering from a hectic weekend and before they’ve begun to get bogged down with end of the week work-rushes and weekend plans, they’re more likely to concentrate on your message. If you send your e-mail between lunchtime and 3pm you’ll get noticed more by people trying to defocus from work while they have their lunch.

But they’re not just subscribers…

They’re people, they’re your customers – so tell them that you love them. Personalisation is key: it might cost a little more to code, but think about it: if you’re in a crowded room and someone calls you by name, you’re so much more likely to turn around than if they just say ‘hello’, no matter how familiar the voice might be. Research into e-mail marketing has shown that you can increase both your open, read and click-thru rates by up to 650% simply by personalising your marketing by adding your subscribers name.

These are just three simple ways of increasing the visibility of your messages. In my next blog I’ll be looking at more complex ways of maintaining subscriber loyalty, the importance of ‘above the fold’ content, and how you can turn your marketing into genuinely appreciated sources of learning.


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