How to Keep Your Prized Marketing Materials out of the Dreaded Junk Folder

Do you feel like you are in a constant battle with your Outlook inbox? Feverishly trying to respond to emails so that the daunting bold number next “Inbox” steadily inches closer to zero. Desperately sifting through emails with a cursory scan to make sure you are not neglecting your key company stakeholders. Praying that maybe, just maybe, you will learn that there is a 26-hour day coming up, giving you a whole extra 120 minutes to sort, file and compartmentalize your inbox.

You are not alone.

The entire world seems to be lost in a sea of emails. In fact, 144 billion emails are exchanged every day worldwide and of those, 68.8% are spam. Moreover, individual email volume rose 5.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 when compared with 2011. So not only are you drowning in the whirlpool of business critical messages, but you are also forced with having to reel in the imperative emails over the “seaweed.”

shutterstock_94977535So as a marketer, how do you ensure that your corporate eNewsletters stay good and far away from the feared “deleted items” folder? By considering the following:

A “stop-you-in-your-work” subject line

Think of all the emails you get every day and how so many of them do not escape the dreaded “delete” button. And the few that do? Often they say something compelling enough in the subject line to pique your interest.

One of the most intriguing emails I received was one that had the following subject line: “Did we break up?” After opening the email, which was from one of my favorite retailers, I learned that the company was concerned because I had not bought anything in awhile; the customer services team was making sure our “relationship” was still in a good place. Picture the thousands upon thousands of customers who must have frantically opened that email, worried—for a split second—that their significant other was having doubts. Creativity at its best.

Think about what grabs your attention—usually numbers, questions and positive words such as “savings,” “free,” or “limited timed offer.” Hone in on a few of your favorites and use it to spawn your own creativity. Remember that a subject line should be innovative, exciting and even controversial.

Are you using practical email subject lines like “The Power of Digital Marketing?” or “Why You Need a Social Media Strategy?” Hold off before blasting to the world… your precious newsletter is most likely still getting trashed.

The time of day you blast

Convinced that your target market is most apt to open your newsletter at 7 in the morning, right as they are eating their breakfast? Don’t make assumptions. Instead, test, test, test.

Prove your instincts right (or wrong) by blasting at a set time for one month and then at another time the following month. After that, track your open rates to see which time did better. This is a surefire way to keep your finger on the pulse when it comes to your target markets’ reading habits.

A recent study by Experian found that open rates and click through rates for newsletters were highest on the weekends, at a time when email volume was the lowest. Specifically, open rates were highest from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Your gut might be telling you to send your blasts first thing in the morning—when that CMO is chomping down on Special K before heading to work—but that’s when everyone else, including your competition, is blasting as well. In fact, 38.7% of email messages are sent from 6 am to noon, followed by the 25.8% of emails that are sent from noon to 6 pm.

The bottom line: Do your research. Find out the habits of your target audience—when they are most likely to be online and unencumbered by email clutter—and tailor your newsletter strategy to them.


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