The battle in the inbox is something that we fight on both the personal and the professional side. Personally, we hate getting emails from businesses that are sending irrelevant and over-aggressive emails. It’s also annoying when we don’t have time to read a lot of the emails that we’d like to read, for example from our favorite businesses about some killer promotions! But, that’s the nature of the crazy world we live in – too much information, not enough headspace!
Professionally, we have to figure out ways to make our emails get noticed, get read and acted on. That’s getting harder and harder with the number of businesses sending emails and also sending too many emails. With this increase in marketing emails, many email service providers have introduced services that allow you to remove low-priority, or non-urgent emails into a separate folder in your inbox to review at a later time, or to simply remove them from your inbox altogether without unsubscribing or marking as spam. This helps to streamline the inbox and leave the user with only urgent items to review and act on. Two of these such services are:
You can get the specifics on these two services by clicking the link and watching the videos. Personally, I love these feature and use it all of the time. Professionally, it poses a few challenges.
Challenge #1 – How can you be sure that people actually review these messages?
People have the best intentions when they sign-up for your newsletter, but perhaps they just can’t cope with all of their own ‘best intentions’ so they have to move some emails into a ‘save for later’ folder to review when they have time. The best you can do here is to first, have a killer email program, and second, monitor your email results and see if you are seeing a dip in your open rates. If you are, try to ascertain why and if it could be that people have categorized your emails into these folders and simply aren’t making it there.
Also, ensure that you use best practices when sending emails to make sure that your emails are being noticed when people are reviewing their marketing newsletters.
Challenge #2 – How can you avoid being sent to this folder in the first place?
This is probably the best strategy and it’s to ensure that your emails stay in the ‘urgent’ section. How do you do that when this list is shrinking by the day? The same things you’ve been doing, but perhaps a little more: creating timely, relevant emails and ensuring you have strong calls to action. Many of these tactics will include your standard email marketing strategies:
- Don’t send too many messages.
- Make it as personal and relevant as possible.
- Create time-sensitive (or urgent) messages.
Some other things that will help you stay in front of their noses will be to increase your internal marketing efforts:
- Get your stylists and front desk teams talking about your email program.
- Mention your email only offer on your social pages.
- Create offers that require an email printout.
Anything you can do to encourage your clients to continue reading and interacting with your email program will help you stay in prime position.
Challenge #3 – How can you mitigate the impact this has on your overall communications strategy?
No matter what you do, this is going to impact the effectiveness of your email campaign. This does NOT mean that email will stop being a viable marketing tool. As long as you are conducting a professional and beneficial email program, you will continue to reap the rewards of this powerful marketing tool. What this does do is increase the importance of branching out your efforts. Make sure you get your clients connected to you on Facebook, on Twitter on your blog, on your website, etc. The more places you engage them, the stronger your overall marketing position will be.
In the defense of these new features, there is one nice thing this does for marketing companies: it allows users to ignore your emails without marking you as spam. It never ceases to amaze that email recipients still do not notice the ‘unsubscribe’ link and therefore will simply mark your email as spam, when it wasn’t. This affects your reputation score and impacts the deliverability of your overall email program. Not with these features. It offers email recipients a cop-out without negatively impacting your overall program.
Things are changing, and we need to adapt. Make sure whoever is in charge of your marketing is staying ahead of the curve.