If a portion or the entirety of your email marketing strategy is an auto responder campaign, there are some specific concerns and tactics that you may want to keep in mind regarding ensuring that your auto reply consistently make it into the inbox of your recipients. While, at base, auto replies are no different than any other email marketing program, the frequency and volume that you are sending can lead to spam folder or junk folder delivery if you are not careful and monitor performance regularly.
Auto Reply Spam Concern 1: Use Anti Spam Best Practices, Of Course!
The first step to getting auto replies into the inbox is to follow all of the steps outlined in the previous portions of this section in order to ensure that you have built the most inbox-friendly email that you can. Avoid fonts, words, and coding practices that set off spam triggers. Don't send emails that are simply one big image. Try to get white listed or get your users to white list you. Make sure that your email contact list is a quality list. Make sure that your sender reputation and domain reputation are closely protected and managed. Because auto reply is just like any other email, you'll want to be sure that you follow all of the best practices described above.
Auto Reply Spam Concern 2: Why Are Auto Reply More Likely to Send You to Spam?
If auto reply is just like any other type of email marketing, why are they more likely to send you to the spam or junk folder? Why there is auto reply spam? The answer is simple: volume. With a more traditional email marketing or newsletter program, you're sending out an email possibly weekly. Even if you are sending much more frequently than that, you are monitoring your content and user response closely. With an auto reply, you are sending emails daily. You're also often sending them to large numbers of recipients. Because the numbers are higher, the chances for an increase in spam complaints or the other user-generated triggers can also increase no matter how well you've built your email list and your email templates. It simply becomes a numbers game and a higher volume of email can translate into a higher number of unsubscribe requests or spam complaints, both of which impact your sender reputation score. But what can you do to minimize this? There are a few tricks.
Auto Reply Spam Concern 3: Monitor Auto Reply Data and Change Underperforming Individual Emails
The first and most effective change that can improve the inbox deliverability of your auto responder emails is to proactively identify any emails in the sequence that are triggering a high number of spam complaints or unsubscribe requests. If your auto responder program is new, then it may take a number of weeks or even months to have enough data to be able to see which specific sends trigger a high number of unsubscribe requests or spam complaints. Once you have identified individual emails via your reporting interface that have high unsubscribe or spam issues, you can then replace those with emails and content that are more appealing to your user base. It's true that it will be likely that your spam or unsubscribe email problem spots will most likely be the emails that are the most targeted to attempt to convert a sale or revenue-generating event. You'll need to also take a look at how effective those emails are at generating revenue and make an informed business decision about the value of the sales generated versus the long-term viability of emailing your subscribers reliably. If the email in question that's causing the high spam or unsubscribe complaints generates a significant amount of revenue, it may be worth it to take the gamble on the poor user response from an email list management standpoint. If, however, the email in question is not generating revenue, protecting the long term value of your email list, which is a company asset, should take priority.
In general, it's always a good idea to review your overall auto responder performance and make adjustments to individual emails in the sequence that do not perform as well as other emails in the sequence.
Auto Reply Spam Concern 4: Don't Bunch or Group Your Auto Reply Too Closely Together
For many who are new to sending auto reply emails, the temptation is always to send them on consecutive days, one right after another. The logic is that you want to maximize exposure shortly after a person has signed up for your email list and is motivated about receiving your emails and offers. However, the flip side of this is that, many times, too much email at the beginning of an auto responder campaign can annoy subscribers and cause them to disengage with your email program, often by clicking the "spam" button in the email inbox. Fortunately, you can most likely accomplish both the goal of providing enough enticing email to your users while also protecting against spam complaints. Simply spacing your emails out two-to-three days apart will ensure that enough email lands in your new subscriber's inbox while he or she is most engaged but will also mean that you are avoiding the early flood of emails that can often lead to spikes in spam complaints.
Auto Reply Spam Concern 5: Prioritize Your Best Content First
It's a basic auto responder best practice to send your most compelling emails first. The first emails that you send will get the highest open rate and will determine whether your users or subscribers stay engaged with you for subsequent email sends. When it comes to making sure that your auto reply finds their way to the inbox, it becomes even more important. Users will decide within the first three emails, and often with the very first email, whether you are a legitimate email sender or whether they have made a mistake in subscribing to your email program. Much like on a first date, you need to make sure that you're putting your absolute best foot forward in terms of valuable content and compelling offers in the first three emails. Your email also needs to be professional looking and professionally written (good grammar, no SMS abbreviations!). Finally, make sure that what your users are receiving in their emails is what they signed up for. This is always true in any email send. However, if what your subscribers signed up for is a ten email series on how to apply different makeup looks and the first email that they receive has no tips and only a discount offer on makeup products, you can expect a spam complaint problem to ensue. Deliver what you said that you would deliver, and deliver it with high quality. This is especially true in the first several emails.
Auto reply can achieve high email deliverability standards by combing general email deliverability best practices and carefully monitored auto responder data to ensure that you remove or alter any individual emails in the sequence that cause spam or unsubscribe request peaks.
No matter what email marketing or bulk email strategy you are taking, the first step to ensure a successful email campaign is to choose a reliable bulk email sender. Comm100 , who provides this comprehensive ebook on email marketing best practices, offers you powerful email marketing software, which is both a great long-term and short-term solution to improving your email marketing program to a new level.
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