Email is one of the earliest channels of internet marketing. For more than a decade, marketers have been using it to promote their products and services online. It is not surprising that in such a long time many myths and misconceptions about the essence of email marketing have appeared. In this article we will look at the main ones and explain why they are wrong at the root.

It's time to end the myths.
It's time to end the myths.
1. Using trigger words - direct path to the Spam folder
Many email marketers have been taught to run away from word-triggers like the plague. Therefore, they deliberately do not use such words as “free”, “price”, “save”, “bargain”, etc. in their letters (especially in the subject line). This is not surprising, since it was these phrases that were characteristic of the first generation of spammers, who filled up mailboxes with “junk” messages. Unfortunately, spammers still exist, but since then spam filters have become more advanced. Along with the content of the subject line, they take into account a number of factors before categorizing a letter as spam.

Last year, HubSpot marketers decided to conduct A / B testing to find out if the word “free” would really reduce the level of email delivery. To do this, they sent their subscribers two different versions of letters. In the first version, the word “free” was used in the subject line (“Free Manual”), as well as in the text of the letter - as many as 3 times. In the second variant the word “free” was not used at all. The subject line contained the phrase “SEO Guidelines” instead of “Free Guidelines”.

As a result, the first option went through 7 spam filters out of 9, and the second through 8 spam filters out of 9. At the same time, both options scored the same number of points on the Return Path spam scale - 1.3 (problems with the delivery of letters arise when this indicator is higher than 5 points).

Conclusion: if you have a good reputation among your subscribers and follow the basic rules for sending emails, you can not worry about the fact that your letters will be in the Spam folder because of the word “free” and other triggers.

However, too much to get involved in them, too, is not worth it. In all you need to know when to stop. Learn the full list of trigger words so as not to abuse them in your letters.

Do not be afraid: your letter will not be marked as spam because of a few word-triggers
Do not be afraid: your letter will not be marked as spam because of a few word-triggers
2. Your subscribers always welcome your emails.
You generate a list of your email-recipients in a legal way, that is, by subscribing to the newsletter. Does this mean that your subscribers are eagerly awaiting your letters? Unfortunately, this is not always the case. After subscribing to the newsletter, the situation may turn out in an unexpected way:

The person subscribed to your newsletter, believing that it will be interesting, but she did not meet his expectations. Therefore, after receiving a few e-mails from you, he feels frustrated, but he does not dare / forgets to unsubscribe.
Your subscriber reads your messages for a specific time, but ultimately stops doing so. Maybe he changed his job, place of residence or email-address, or he simply does not have free time. Whatever the reason, he does not bother to unsubscribe from your newsletter.
In both cases, your list of subscribers includes people who at some point wanted to read your content, but then decided that they no longer needed it, and did not inform you about it.

Therefore, you should monitor not only the number of formal replies, but also the degree of involvement of your subscribers to see if they want to receive messages from you. Periodically conduct campaigns to re-engage your subscribers. Try to re-interest those people who are already not showing any activity. If you failed to do this, then simply delete these contacts from your list of subscribers, so that only those people who are really interested in your content remain in it.

Not all your subscribers will have such a reaction when receiving your emails.
Not all your subscribers will have such a reaction when receiving your emails.
3. Unsubscribe from your newsletter is a serious concern.
If someone unsubscribes from your newsletter, it means that he no longer wants to receive email messages from you. It's just awful, huh? Do not rush to conclusions. Even in this situation there are pluses.

The fact is that replies from your mailing list naturally clean your mailing list. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, there may be many people on your list of subscribers who do not want to receive letters from you. They just do not bother to open your next letter and follow the link "Unsubscribe".

If the level of replies from your letters does not exceed 1%, you can not worry. Think of it as a natural way of clearing your list of subscribers. Let people unsubscribe from youinstead of marking your letters as spam in a burst of irritation. If you notice that every third person is unsubscribing from your letters, this is already an alarming signal. This suggests that it is time for you to reconsider your email-marketing strategy.4. Email messages are not effective in generating leadsNo, no, and again, no. Email is a great lead generation tool. And there are several reasons for this: By agreeing to receive your emails, subscribers show a high degree of loyalty. They are interested in your products / services and topics that you will disclose, and are very easily converted into customers. Especially if your mailing list contains a competent call to action. An example of a successful call to action. An example of a successful call to action. Emails can be sent to friends and shared. And this means that they can get people who are not yet on your list of subscribers. And finally, the last. You can offer your subscribers a bonus for their help in attracting new customers, as the company ReferralCandy did: In every way encourage your subscribers to share your letters. Encourage your subscribers to share your letters in every way5. Your e-mails should have a fancy design. At first glance, it seems that e-mails containing pictures and other graphic elements are much more efficient than ordinary text messages that look like two drops of water. After all, they look original and more convenient for perception. Well, you can not argue with that. However, traditional text messages have a number of advantages: Text letters are not associated with advertising and imposing goods and services. Normal text letters that you receive from your friends and colleagues are devoid of any distracting bells and whistles. You only report what you want to say without beating around the bush. However, keep in mind that it all depends on your audience. It may turn out that she prefers messages with an attractive and original design. So be sure to conduct A / B tests to determine the needs of your subscribers. Text messages are delivered to their recipients in full. If your letters contain a bunch of visual elements, such as pictures or videos, they will face more obstacles than regular HTML letters with logo in the title and a small image of the product you are promoting. First, some of your subscribers may block images by default. Therefore, your letters will look, to put it mildly, strange, if their meaning is fully based on the pictures you use. And secondly, many subscribers will read your letters from mobile devices. Will they wait for your giant emails to download, which may take a few minutes? Suppose they decided to wait. But this raises another question: will your letters look as attractive on mobile devices as they do on ordinary computers? Even if you consider yourself a cool and creative designer, do not rush to demonstrate all your skills in emails. Start with a laconic design and gradually test more advanced features to find out how they affect your conversion level. Overly creative design of email messages is not always the best solution. Overly creative design of email messages is not always the best solution. If you follow all the precautions, your message does not exactly fall into the "Spam" And here and no. If you follow them, it only says that you are a bona fide marketer. However, this does not guarantee that all your emails will fall into your inbox. If you want to increase the likelihood that your letters will be noticed by subscribers, you should take care of your email reputation. And for this, try not to fall into spam traps. Spam traps are special email addresses that use the anti-spam service to identify malicious spammers. These addresses are usually obtained in dubious ways, for example, by automatically collecting email addresses or buying them. Some Internet service providers may use old and unused addresses as spam traps. If you send a message to one of these addresses, you will receive a so-called “returned letter” notifying you that this mailbox is inactive. If you ignore this message and continue to send letters to this address, you can get into the black list of anti-spam services, from which it will be very difficult to get out later. How can you not fall into various spam traps? Here are a few recommendations: Always confirm your subscription to the newsletter. If your new subscriber did not confirm that he is really interested in your mailing, you should not include it in your subscribers database. Avoid dishonest methods for generating email addresses. You should not use automatic email collection programs or buy email addresses on questionable sites. After all, there is noguarantees that you are offered real postal addresses, and not regular spam traps. You should not send letters to recipients who you have not been in contact with for a very long time. Again, perhaps, their addresses have long ceased to be active and turned into spam traps. You should not send letters to subscribers who do not show any activity. If your subscribers do not open and, accordingly, do not read your letters, it means that your content does not interest them anymore. You should not be obtrusive, otherwise you will get a reputation as a spammer. Constantly update your list of subscribers. If you received a returned letter, then immediately remove this address from your list. If you do not do this right away, you will continue to send letters to non-existent addresses and will inevitably fall into the spam trap. Constantly monitor the degree of involvement of your subscribers. If some of them have not opened your letters for several months, then it is also time to remove them from your subscription base.7. The email viewing level is an important marketing metric. The email viewing level shows how many subscribers have opened your email. In fact, this metric is considered unreliable for a number of reasons: In Outlook, images are blocked by default. And this means that you will not be able to find out the exact level of views, since the letter is considered scanned only when the image contained in the letter is loaded. If all images are blocked, then, naturally, the letter will not be considered as scanned. The function of blocking images is becoming more common in other mail services. Therefore, it may seem to you that many subscribers show no interest in your letters, although in reality this is not so. In a similar way, images are blocked on many mobile devices, since text messages load much faster. Again, the indicator of the level of views, in this case, will be biased. To assess the effectiveness of your email messages, do not focus on the level of views of your letters, but on the level of clicking on the links (calls to action) contained in them. Isn’t this factor the most important for you? Does the viewing level of your letters leave much to be desired? In many cases, it is not your fault. The level of viewing of your letters leaves much to be desired? In many cases, it is not your fault. The email viewing level is a useless marketing metric “Are you kidding me? - you ask. After all, you just said that viewing level is not an important marketing indicator ... ”So it is, we said that this metric is not important. However, we did not say that it is completely useless. In fact, the viewing level is a rather useful comparative metric. For example, if you want to find out which subject line will lead to a higher viewing level, you can send the first option to half of your subscribers, and the second option to the remaining subscribers. Then compare which one is more effective. In general, you can do such simplified A / B testing. Trust, but verify So, we looked at some of the myths that are common in email marketing and tried to prove to you that they have nothing to do with reality. Email marketing is a complex and multifaceted field and is probably surrounded by many other misconceptions. So try to think critically if you do not want to become their victim. Do not believe the words, even if these are the words of a reputable expert. Try to find evidence (research results, cases). This is the only way to distinguish real facts from myths and prejudices.