Sending automated email campaigns is just the beginning. Ultimately, you want your emails to actually make it to potential customers’ inboxes. I wrote this post in collaboration with our support team and our Head of Integration & Delivery Capabilities because we realized that many of our users still need help to properly tune their email campaign settings.
Your step-by-step guide on email marketing sequence in RGMCLIX by The RGM Group publisher of Canadian Jeweller Magazine will smoothly get out of your outbox and actually reach your prospects.
For simplicity, let’s break down the entire campaign setup process into 4 levels.
So we have:
• email configuration
• prospect base
• email copy
• send settings
• email configuration
Step 1: Create email addresses on a separate domain
Why do we recommend this? In short, by using an address on your primary domain, you are jeopardizing the reputation of your business’s website and any email addresses set up on that domain.
Since you’re experimenting a lot with email marketing, the safer solution is to set up a new domain with a name similar to your main domain.
It is critical that email addresses from the newly provisioned domain should not be used for outbound activity immediately! New domains take time to build a solid reputation (at least 3 weeks), and email addresses need to be properly warmed up.
Step 2: Set up your SPF and DKIM records
The process for setting up these two sets of data is slightly different for different email service providers.
Step 3: Set up your sender and personal information
As a sender, it’s critical that you use real, personal information. Don’t provide false identities for cold email campaigns. Who you are as the sender can also affect email deliverability.
#1) Set up a From line that suits the purpose of your email campaign.
#2) Add the email address to your alternate email address on LinkedIn. This allows your potential customers to verify your identity as a sender (especially if they use plugins like Gmail and Rapportive).
#3) Another thing you can do when using Gmail is to fill in the details in your Google Account and add your photo.
Step 4: Warm up outgoing email addresses
You really don’t want to skip this one! Especially if the domain you are using for outbound traffic is brand new. Before you start automating your email campaigns, you need to establish a good reputation for your domain and manually use that email address for a while.
Step 5: Collect quality emails
While you take care of email configuration, domain reputation, and warming up your email address, you can start gathering leads.
Remember, the quality of your lead base has a major impact on your deliverability.
#1) Know who your potential customers really are. If you send emails to people who are not interested in your offer, they can mark your mail as spam. That doesn’t mean your offer is bad. It may not match the prospect you want to connect with.
According to Validity (formerly ReturnPath), even if only 0.1% of recipients manually mark your mail as spam in their inbox, your emails will no longer be delivered and you may end up on spam lists. For every 1000 messages sent, that’s only 1 angry prospect(!). Now you should understand why we always write about quality over quantity, personalization and discreet goals.
#2) Make sure the data collected from you is valid, especially the email address – this leads us to the next step.
Step 6: Make sure the prospect’s address is valid
RGMCLIX has an email address verification service that is recommended before sending out your campaign. If an email is sent to an address that doesn’t exist, it will be rejected. If your email provider notices that many emails you send are bouncing, they may stop sending your emails without notice, or they may block you from sending messages.
According to Validity (formerly ReturnPath), if only 2-10% of your emails bounce, your emails may no longer be delivered, in other words, if 2-10 out of 100 emails bounce. If your prospect base contains some unverified, poor-quality data, some of your emails may be sent to so-called spam traps, which are actually valid email addresses that once belonged to people, but now It’s not that you get taken over by an anti-spam company. Of course, if your email gets there, the company has reason to believe you’re a spammer, which in turn can damage your reputation as a sender.
Step 7: Break down your prospect list into smaller campaigns
This is very important. First, you don’t need to buy or collect a lead pool of thousands of records to launch an email campaign.
It’s a good idea to start small with a list of a maximum of 20 contacts for each company you want to do business with. This approach allows you to create better email copy and actually build some valuable business relationships instead of shooting generic flyers at hundreds of companies you don’t know about.
Create small, targeted campaigns
In fact, we found that the most successful cold email campaigns run through RGMCLIX had no more than 1500-2000 leads. Large campaigns with tens of thousands of potential customers get blocked and show low open and response rates.
The smaller your lead list in a given campaign, the better your chances of diversifying your email copy and preferences. I’d say a campaign with 100-200 leads is great for testing because it allows you to maintain a good level of customization and personalization.
And one more thing. Let’s say one of your cold email experiments turns out to be spam. Do you want to send disappointment to thousands of potential customers or 200 real leads? I’d go with the latter option since it’s easier to fix the error.
On the contrary, if such a small campaign works well, you can add some new leads to it, but don’t try to reach more than 2000 leads per campaign.