Email Subscribers

In the first episode of the hit TV series “Mad Men,” advertising director Don Draper famously says: “Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of a road that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing is OK. You are OK.” It’s among one of the most famous lines of the whole show. 

In direct and sometimes indirect ways, your email newsletters can be a combination of advertising and marketing for the products and services you offer, and for the company as a whole. In everything you write and even in the font or colors you use, you are communicating about the trustworthiness and integrity of your brand. What you send out can either help you or harm you. 

This article will show you how to make your subscribers feel good about choosing you. Like Don Draper said, when they get your emails, they’ll get the reassurance that in your hands, they are “OK.” 

Always be honest

The stories of brands who have had to wipe the egg from their face are infamous and in the age of email it can be hard to go back on what you’ve said. You may be able to delete a social media post or edit or take down a post on your website. But when you send out an email to your list: everyone has a copy of it. They can post it anywhere or forward it to anyone.

That’s why it’s important to make sure what goes into your newsletters is true, reflects well on your brand and won’t potentially embarrass you. If you aren’t sure about sending something out, seek the advice of a trusted person.

Your word is your bond. Make sure that what you say reassures your readers that they are in good hands.

Land in their inbox, not in the spam folder

There are legitimate email addresses and then there are others Internet Service Providers (ISPs) deem to be spam. Trusted, established email senders should arrive in the inbox where they can be seen and opened, but the journey from inbox to the junk folder is quicker than you may think. 

Let’s say you regularly get new subscribers to the list and within a short period of time your email list has grown. Or let’s say your list hasn’t seen a lot of growth, but you’ve not seen a lot of unsubscribed. 

Is everything A-OK? Not necessarily.

People change their email addresses. Sometimes they get rid of their Hotmail address and start using the email address at their new job. Or maybe they’re trying to dodge a crazy ex. The likelihood that they’ll first unsubscribe from your list is almost nil. It’s likely that if this address remains on the list it will result in a bounce. 

ISPs take into consideration the number of bounces you’re getting. This affects your sender reputation, which is a score all email senders have. A low sender reputation can be very hard to recover from.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that these invalid email addresses are just a tip of the iceberg. There are other bad addresses: catch-all emails, role-based, abuse, and temporary emails. They all contribute to a low sender reputation. 

You can maintain your newsletter’s dependable reputation and continue to arrive in the inbox by using email list validation. You should periodically upload your list to the platform of a reputable email validation service, which will identify these low-quality addresses so you can remove them. Remove them without hesitation, as the chance of anything good happening from them is almost nonexistent. The likelihood that they cause you trouble and worry is very high.

Be consistent

Slow and steady wins the race. Of course, the frequency that you send out newsletters is dependent on your brand and its purpose. However, one of the ways you can make your subscribers feel like they are in good hands with you is by sending out emails “like clockwork.” 

The most successful brands know this. You can usually count on their emails to come out on the same day of the week, or if they are sent less, perhaps at the beginning or end of the month. The point is that it’s timely. The readers begin to expect their emails and even look forward to them. It’s a comforting thing to see an email right when they know it will arrive.

“Inconsistency is a problem,” says content marketer Adithya Sheth of Venngage. “If people forgot about your newsletter and then you send them an email of the ‘hey it’s been a long while’ type, they begin to think of you as flaky. It seems like the decision to be associated with you is questionable. If you can’t get an email newsletter out on time, what else are you skimping at?” Sheth adds. 

This inconsistency of sending can also cause some subscribers to mark you as spam. They forgot signing up since it’s been so long. A number of people marking you as spam will cause your sender reputation to go down. The logic is that if a lot of people think you are spam, then there’s a good chance it’s because you are a spammer. A magazine or newspaper that has delayed issues for one reason or another would not fill their subscribers with assurance. The same could be said of your email list. 

There’s a flipside to this too. I recall one email newsletter I was with that sent an email every single day and on one particular day he sent 3 separate emails. I was already flirting with the idea of unsubscribing due to too much of a good thing and this trio of newsletters arriving within hours of each other sealed it. I got off the list. The author of the newsletter just seemed desperate and almost slightly untrustworthy. In conversation I found out I wasn’t the only one who felt that way.

Remember who and what you trust

When you think of people, things and brands you trust, do you feel you belong in their class? That can sometimes be an uncomfortable question to ask, but is something we should routinely ponder. 

We tend to feel ok with things and people that are a rock. They’re steadfast and don’t blow with the wind. Most of all, you want to surround yourself with them. Like Don Draper said, they make you feel OK. That’s a pretty worthwhile goal.