Email Marketing in the Middle East that actually gets you ROI

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Email marketing is one of the highest ROI-generating channels among all other channels in digital marketing. However, one must be able to tap this channel well to be able to utilize it to the fullest.

Email marketing is the third most popular distribution channel. Email users amount to 3.9 billion, this number is set to grow to at least 4.4 billion by 2023, half of the world’s population. For every $1 spent on email marketing, you are set to get an average return of $42. 9 out of 10 marketers on the planet currently use some form of email marketing. Email marketing is not something to be taken lightly.

Source: Statista

Let us discuss ROI-boosting tactics, for email marketing which is already a high-revenue-generating channel. Considering that many Dubai users travel abroad after subscribing to the mailing list, user-reported spam is a major concern.

1. Get your campaigns in the inbox i.e. fix your basics first
In email marketing, you need to get your campaign in the inbox first. According to a survey, 55% of the world’s emails are spam. You need to stand out among these emails with relevancy. You need to reach the inbox of your mailing list first. Nowadays spam filters, especially Gmail spam filters, learn and evolve. Gone are the days when spam filters would be only rule-based.

2. Maintain a clean mailing list
Your mailing list must be clean. There should be no spam trap IDs, the users in your mailing list must be active on your E-commerce store/retail store and they should also have a strong affinity to open emails irrespective of the brand from which the emails are sent! This will ensure that spam filters are getting positive feedback from your email campaigns. Identifying which users would respond to your emails is the key.

3. Monitor your Infrastructure 
Additionally, ensure that your foundation is laid right: constantly monitor the reputation of your infrastructure. You must send your promotional emails and transactional emails from different IP pools. When it comes to  Gmail, proactively monitor the postmaster metrics: there should be no delivery errors, authentication should be 100% and your IPs must not be orange/red.

4. Authentication
Authentication also plays a key role. Since the inception of spam, spam vs anti-spam has been a cat-and-mouse game. To evade spam anti-spam communities have been consistently building authentication techniques thus ensuring that the end-users don’t receive tampered content or any content from compromised IP pools. It’s very crucial for your email servers to have all the authentication methods in place for better deliverability.

There are 3 major authentication techniques that are widely used in the market. These are:

Back in the day, there was only a fixed pool of IPs sending spam, hence the spam filters were rule-based which made sure that the emails from a certain pool of IPs were not accepted by the recipient servers. Then spammers started using relay servers so that the sender IP changed to a different range and the emails could be accepted.
As a counter,anti-spam guys introduced SPF which made sure that the envelope domains were authenticated with an SPF TXT record, allowing them to send emails only from a defined pool of IPs present in the TXT record. In such cases, if a relay is introduced, SPF fails.
However, this record isn’t taking any action…the emails would be delivered still and the user would have information if the SPF is failing/passing

This was introduced so that an intruder can’t tamper with the email messages in the pipeline. The email along with the private key of the DKIM record is encoded at the delivery server. Private key+email forms a digital signature that is decoded at the recipient server with a public key which is published in the DNS. The decoded email is matched with the incoming email and if the decoded email doesn’t match the received email, DKIM fails. Even this record doesn’t take any’s only informative.

This record was introduced to take the necessary actions if DKIM or SPF fails resulting in three use cases :
– Take no action/quarantine the emails/reject the emails.
– This record isn’t a mandate but is useful for BFSI brands wherein they would want both SPF and DKIM to pass.
– The prerequisite is :
>DKIM should pass on the sender domain
>SPF should pass on envelope domain

4. Clean Content
Last but not the least, make sure your email template hasn’t landed in spam earlier or rendered a lot of spam complaints as Gmail assigns a negative signature to such templates and despite changing the sender domain and other headers, your campaigns would still land in spam.

Here are the basic do’s and don’ts that are followed while making the content, for better deliverability

– Don’t use domains blacklisted by google.
– Don’t use Malfunctional HTML tags.
– Don’t use any blacklisted email, contact no.
– The content shouldn’t have javascript. Only the javascript for Gmail annotations is supported.
– Don’t send cached content. Gmail caches the contents which are marked as spam with a signature.
– Alt, Title & Map tags should be removed. Alt & Title tags often have generic keywords like Facebook, Instagram, etc. which may bring down the overall score of your template. MAP tag is an old hack to enable clicks within certain parts of an image and generally causes emails to land in spam for Gmail users.

5. Reduce the hops to the Landing Page
The end user’s journey to the landing page must be a seamless experience. We have witnessed many cases wherein there’s a drop in traffic owing to the wait time to load the landing page. This results in a direct loss in revenue. This wait time could mainly be encountered when there are several hops before loading the landing page. The hops are mainly owing to a third party tracking application or third party applications which help in deep linking. To avert such hops, you would want direct integration with your link tracking server so that the extra hop is reduced.

 6. Subject Line & Character length
With the ever-increasing number of emails being sent, the subject line & character length for emails is more vital than ever. We need to focus on catching the user’s eye and being more appealing than the numerous emails they get a day.
Less than 50% of emails these days are under 300 characters. So in order to captivate your email list and ensure an effective open rate, we need to keep our emails short and sweet. The same goes for the subject line. And if you are sending a longer email, you need to make sure it is packed full of valuable content that can catch the user’s eye.

Email marketing is one of the most prevalent forms of communication and tools for marketing in the UAE. Over 50% of the region uses emails. Despite, the great numbers, Email marketing is still a challenge for many companies. Some of the biggest hurdles faced are;

– Lack of quality data, integration, etc
– Poor coordination between other departments, channels, etc
– Insufficient staffing
– Limitations of the current email service provider
– Bad strategy or leadership
– Poorly defined email channel goals, KPIs, etc
– Inadequate tools for the email creation process
– Low visibility into email performance, deliverability, etc

We can help you overcome the hurdles and implement a smooth email marketing campaign flow that delivers. Get in touch with us for a free demo!