You’re all fired up for your email campaign. You’ve spent hours crafting the perfect message to your prospects or clients, only to receive notice that your campaign has been suspended. Like a bad breakup, you wonder what you did wrong, then you start feeling a little resentful. After all, you poured your heart and soul into this effort, only to be rejected.
The good news is, it’s likely that it’s really not you — it’s them. First, though, we’ll delve into the basics of email campaigns.
The Basics of Email Campaigns
Email marketing campaigns are a mainstay of inbound marketing. They allow you to create and send tailor-made messages to your prospects.
The proper way to conduct an email campaign starts with your list of opt-in contacts. These are people that have agreed to receive marketing emails from you. Never should you purchase email lists. Not only is it unethical, but it’s a good way for your email to be flagged as spam.
Once you have your list in place, you can segment your contacts by region, age, company size, location in the sales funnel, etc.
Next, you’ll craft your message, possibly with automated emails to follow, depending on whether or not the viewer opens the email or fills out a form linked to the email.
Make sure your analytics are in place so that you can monitor the effectiveness of your campaign.
Got the basics? Good. Let’s move on to talk about some lingo you’ll need to understand, as well as some common reasons why your email campaign might be suspended.
Why Your Campaign Was Suspended
After sending your email, you’ll check your analytics for open rates, click rates, and bounce rates. Open rates and click rates are fairly self-explanatory. The bounce rate tells you how many emails were not delivered. Now, there are two types of bounces — a soft bounce, and a hard bounce.
A soft bounce can occur when the recipient has a mailbox that’s full (unlikely, but it can happen), when the server is down, or when your email is considered too spammy (you have a lot of graphics, or you’re using lingo and wording that is considered spammy). When a soft bounce occurs, you can leave the email address in your contact list and try again another 2-3 times.
A hard bounce is a permanent delivery failure. This can happen because the email address is no longer in existence, or even because you typed in “gmaik” instead of “gmail.”
So what do these bounces have to do with your campaign suspension?
Ideally, your combined soft and hard bounce rate should be well under 3%. If you have a bounce rate of say, 10%, meaning you sent 500 emails and 50 of them were undeliverable, your campaign might be suspended because it is considered a high spam risk.
So what can you do to make sure that your bounce rate remains healthy?
- Check your email list for common spelling errors
- Include one graphic, two at the most, in your emails
- Deliver gated content, such as ebooks, to inboxes, instead of as an instant download (this helps to avoid the dreaded fake address)
- Segment your contacts to ensure the right content is getting to the right people
Following these few tips will help you to avoid those embarrassing midnight calls with you asking what went wrong and how you can fix this broken relationship. In the end, you’ll have a healthy and robust email campaign that delivers valuable content to the people who want it and drives results for you.