In the beginning of a startup’s life-cycle the most important asset is time, and thus time management and time optimization become key. For the internet entrepreneur, nothing has optimized life more in the past 20 years than email, which allows instant communication between two individuals, whether close friends or a prospective client/partner; just like my grammar teacher taught me (unsuccessfully, I might add) that having perfect cursive handwriting was the key to communicating, so, too is it necessary to understand what drives email, and why some emails get read, and why some don’t.
The first barrier to entry for an entrepreneur to get his email read, whether sending a pitch deck to a prospective investor, or sending an email blast out to users from a mailing list, is whether you go to Spam, or whether you go to Inbox. To master this, enterprise email management platform Sendgrid has a great blog post, entitled 10 tips to keep email out of the SPAM folder, which includes avoiding “spam trigger words,” including a text version of your email (for transactional and marketing emails), and avoiding large attachments in your emails. Many early entrepreneurs make the mistake of using the same domain/IP to send professional emails as they do for sending transactional emails, which means the reputation of one set of emails affects the other. A rookie mistake.
If you’re not sure whether your domain is currently blacklisted by any spam blacklists, there’s a great list of lookup tools here.
Once you’ve got the proper format, syntax, and reputation for your domain, it becomes a question of getting your emails opened. Each email client has different rules for what emails rise up to the top – Gmail, for example, has a “priority inbox,” which measures engagement between the user and the sender in previous emails. One great tip is to make sure to get email recipients to add you into their contact list – this tells Gmail that the recipient wants to receive emails from you, and you won’t be tossed into spam down the road.
For more information on how to get your email’s opened in Gmail, check out Sendgrid’s blog post “Get Delivered @Gmail – 5 Tips to Get You to the Inbox”
Knowing when it’s time to switch from managing your email infrastructure to handing it over to a third party can be a very tricky scenario. If you wait too long, you may be blacklisted for improper protocol, and if your email traffic rises too quickly, you might “overheat” and trigger unwanted attention from email clients.
If you’re working on getting your company from 80% efficiency to 100%, it is just as important to make sure your email marketing is doing its job (and will keep doing it down the road) as it is to do Search Engine Optimization, Social Media management, and A/B testing. Sendgrid’s developer evangelists will be in Paris on June 11th – a great opportunity to get your questions asked, and get on the right foot with a company that can help you scale up your email marketing