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How to Navigate Email Marketing’s New Rules, Pitfalls in a Pandemic World

Email marketing has long been an effective way for B2B marketers to reach customers, but COVID-19 made email marketing critical as other channels are no longer effective.

Higher volumes of emails mean greater risks for blacklisting and other pitfalls, especially for the inexperienced as Sky Cassidy, CEO of Mountaintop Data, explains.

CANOGA PARK, Calif.Jan. 17, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — The nature of email marketing has shifted as a result of COVID-19, and it’s critical that marketers stay up to speed. With more people transitioning to remote work, other mediums such as phone and physical mail have been rendered less effective. But the higher volume of marketing emails saturating inboxes also presents a challenge to those who are less experienced with email marketing—how to beat out the competition and make sure their email gets the attention it deserves. “There are multiple forces working simultaneously,” says Sky Cassidy, CEO of MountainTop Data. “On the one hand, people are going to be emailing more. But on the other hand, more email means more friction, which means you’re going to have more issues with email accounts.”

While a recent study revealed that users opened COVID-19 related emails 30 percent more often than other email campaigns, this increase in volume also brought a higher number of complaints.(1) Customers isolated at home due to COVID-19 lockdowns led to an increase in ecommerce and higher volumes of emails. Email providers responded to this increase in volume by changing the rules pertaining to the filtering and spam classification of the emails. More emails were likely to end up in spam folders or undelivered, and senders were more likely to be blacklisted. Consequently, this combination of factors meant customers were less likely to open emails.

While the pandemic played a role on the changes that have occurred with email marketing, Cassidy points out that another cause for confusion was the lack of set rules for email marketing. To counteract this, he suggests B2B marketers use their instincts based on the marketing intelligence they have gathered about their customers. “You must go where your audience is and where they’re most likely to be receptive. In marketing, you’re constantly experimenting,” says Cassidy “For example, you may notice zero responses from physical mailers and then conclude that these particular customers you were trying to reach are not in the office. So, you must find the next most effective way to reach them.”

The most common pitfalls that inexperienced marketers tend to fall victim to nowadays include blacklisting, outdated and incomplete information, damaged reputation due to higher email bounce rates, and wasted time and money. Cassidy also points out another major pitfall he has seen damaging email marketing efforts: using newsletter platforms such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact to send cold emails. While these platforms are very useful, they were not designed for sending cold emails to bulk lists of contacts that have been purchased or haven’t previously engaged with your company. “People don’t realize you can’t just load 20,000 emails you purchased into those platforms and send them, [the newsletter platforms] frown on that,” says Cassidy.
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