Are there Email Marketing Myths on the Internet?

Are there Email Marketing Myths on the Internet?

Have you seen this photo by Peter Steiner published by “The New Yorker in 1993”?   Over 25 years later, it’s still true.  When you’re reading websites on the Internet you really don’t know who is on the other side of the keyboard.  Consequently, some of the articles, on any subject including Email Marketing, may be more fiction than fact.   Fiction can turn into fact if it is said enough times.  Here are 9 Email Marketing facts that are really email marketing fiction (myths) because they’ve been said enough times.


Don’t Say That!

I’m sure you heard it said, avoid spammy words in your email Subject Lines. The list includes but not limited to “Save”, “Huge”, “Discounts”, “Free” and “Cash”. Spammy words were always believed to be a no-no.  Today, ESP’s (Email Service Providers) and ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) along with Spam filters have matured.  These words are no longer flagged as SPAM, instead, inbox success is a combination of online factors, such as sender reputation and email authenticity. The bottom line, Feel free to advertise your Huge Savings with a Free catalog without being blocked.  (To read more please read Never Say Never to Free Email Advice. )

Set The Alarm Clock to Send Those Emails Out by Dawn!

The best time to mail is Monday morning before dawn, or it Wednesday after 12:00? Are these myths?

Analog Alarm Clock

This may be true if your readers expect to receive a message from you once a week on a particular day around a certain time, making it essential to get your email out before the window closes.  However, send out your campaigns based on:

your knowledge of your audience.  Your audience may include night owls who will read your email at midnight to the snowed-in technical writer who would enjoy your email on a Sunday afternoon.  In fact, you should test for the best times, just as you test for anything else when you’re planning your email marketing strategy

Dundee Internet, for example, gives you the ability to send different versions of a message to a random subset of your mailing list, scheduled to be delivered at different times. You can test items such as the Subject, images, template, and format. All factors that may or may not hinder your email’s reception.

Your best time of day may also depend on your industry, audience, and message content: remember you want to send the right message at the right time. (See Never on a Monday for more information)

Is 100 Messages A Day Too Much?

Too much mail

How many emails do you consider too many?   Once a day, a week a month?  Frequency depends on the services and products you’re selling, the discounts you offer and of course your customer base.  Like everything else email, there are no standards set for how often to email someone.   A good solution: give your subscriber a choice, by allowing them to select the number of emails they would like to receive from you in a day, week or month.  Dundee Internet does this with profile pages:

With Dundee Internet (Lyris) ListManager member profile forms, list members have control of their inbox as far as your email campaigns are concerned. They can easily set the number of emails they would like to receive, change their email address or other demographic information all in one place.

HTML with lots of images solicits the best opens

It’s been said that HTML is the better way to format emails. But is HTML emails really the preferred format?  If you test that theory on your email subscribers, you may find the email you send with the least number of images is the most preferred.

And some prefer plain text. Plain text is so much easier for the marketer. There are no concerns with colors, pictures, and layouts. Sometimes the message is just too important to leave it up to an image. Read about the pros and cons of HTML and plain text.

ListManager hosted by Dundee has always created a plain text version of the created HTML email so that the recipient receives the correct formatted email that their device accepts.  For tracking purposes, such as clicks and opens, our customers can use the built-in editor, to add those links.

Delete that list member after 6 months of inactivity

Life ebbs and flows, just as your email list does. What was once new and enticing to your customers many soon become an old hat, your subscriber becomes disinterested and your messages remain unread: the member is inactive. How do you keep your subscribers engaged and active before they decide to click that unsubscribe button? The best way, create a re-engagement campaign to target those disinterested members.  

There are five top ways to bring those subscribers back and it all starts with you. You can review this at Bringing Them Back for More or Are Your Subscribers Too Overwhelmed To Read Your Email?

Keep that Subject SHORT and totally always interesting

Subject Lines are a major part of your delivery rates, opens, and click-throughs. A good Subject Line should be an integral part of your email campaign strategy driving your subscriber to take action. Whether your goal is to distribute coupons or share a written article. The bottom line; a Subject Line should describe the subject of the newsletter or promotion, nothing different from the expectations you set by your Welcome or Hello letter when your subscribers first opted-in. Consider these points regardless of your campaign intent: Subject Line Science

My Open Rate is the only thing that matters

How do you measure success as an email marketer?  Do you savor the click-through-rates of your subscribers, the one metric frequently used as a performance benchmark? Or, on the other hand, do you value the open rates of your emails to gauge your success?  Are there other reports that are more significant; reports that will consider all the important statistics needed by the email marketer?  Or are you limited by a few choices between one analytical reporting tool or another?  With email marketing, someone always seems to have a better tool to analyze email-marketing campaigns and then another tool comes along.  How many reporting tools should you use and what are the results really telling you?

Who opened your email is an important metric. However, email reporting tools are not 100% accurate and for that reason, you should always look at the bigger picture.  There’s a lot of analyzing going on; Best days to email, message size, color preferences, subject lines, which From address to use and so forth.  For example, competitors in the same industry releasing a similar email campaign will get different results, as there are many variations and factors beyond control: i.e. when a major ISP goes offline. Your open rates are not the only thing that matters. Read more

Am I required by law to get consent before adding an address to my list?

There are many strategies to collect names:  and wouldn’t it make life simple just to be able to add email addresses to your list, regardless of how you obtained them.  However, possession of an email address does not give you the owner’s unequivocal permission to send an email to it.  Ideally, you want your list members to be opted-in to your list.  An opt-in subscriber wants your email: they told you so by an action of some type, giving you permission to send an email to them.

Interested in how to collect more email addresses? Read Confirmed opted-in email addresses; more valuable than the “likes” on your FB page

And the Can-Spam Act does not require permission, but they do have rules to follow.

My Deliverability issues are caused by the ISP’s that accept the mail

It is true when you send to your list, emails may be blocked by your subscriber’s email provider. Even if delivered, the messages may not pass the recipient’s filter settings in their email client. Both indicate that you do not have total control over your deliverability, so what can you do?

Deliverability depends on your email practices. As a legitimate email marketer, you want to disassociate yourself with any inkling of being a SPAMMER. Follow the CAN-SPAM ACT and check local State Laws. Listen to your ESP, they should know the Best Email Practices. Your ESP can also help you with your online email reputation and assist you when someone complains. Read about Better Deliverability

The conclusion: There’s a ton of Email Marketing information on the Internet, fact, fiction or just myths. The information may be correct for one type of service, brand or experience because one size does not fit all. Research which bests works for you, perform your own testing and keep to your marketing strategy. If you need assistance contact We’re always open.