You can strum that harp all you like. You’re not kidding anyone. If you’re committing one of the seven deadly sins of email, you won’t be seeing the pearly-white gates of email heaven anytime soon. Instead, you’ll end up in the dreaded spam box, or worse, with a long list of unsubscribes.

But don’t fear. Redemption is still possible. We’re here to help you dodge the fire and brimstone and end up with divine opening rates.

1. Negligence

You can’t just email people out of the blue and expect them to remember you. Keep in touch regularly and they might even tell you when they change their email address.

2. Arrogance

It’s all “me, me, me” with some people. You don’t have to leap out of cakes covered in balloons to delight and surprise. Sending readers something of value instead of a message begging for business would set you apart from most companies. Use surveys to learn more about what your audience wants to make sure your future communications are relevant to them.

3. Lazy creative

Text-only newsletters are so 2001. Use HTML to build creative that engages readers and gets your message across quickly. Keep in mind, though, that some email clients, like Outlook, block images by default. If you fill the top half of your email with a big logo, users will see only a blank box when they open it. Be creative, but be strategic as well.

4. Not empowering customers

Enable customers to change their email preferences, such as how often they want to hear from you, what about, and in what format. You’ll make it easy to honour your obligations under the Data Protection Act. As a bonus, giving customers control spares you the work of maintaining their preferences and makes them more likely to stick with you.

5. Isolating email

No email is an island. Make sure users clicking from your email to your booking or order form are automatically recognised. Customers often enter dummy data to speed through lengthy forms so keep them short and combine what users enter with the data you already hold.

6. Excessive bouncing

Make sure you’re not a casualty in the war against spam. Partner with agencies that understand how the ISPs’ filters work and how to avoid them misclassifying your messages as unsolicited commercial email. Track your delivered messages to identify any problems and talk to service providers if they are blocking your messages.

7. Failing to test

There’s no turning back once an email is sent, so always perform rigorous testing through a range of ISPs and email clients to ensure the email arrives and looks as expected before a launch.

If you’d like to talk about how StoneShot’s technology and consultancy services can make your campaign more effective, email us at engage@stoneshot.com