Improve Inbox Placement to Guarantee Better Email ROI

“The dirty little secret of email marketing is that 15 percent of your email never makes it to the inbox,” explained Jessica Best, digital marketing evangelist for emfluence, during Content Marketing World on Sept. 10 in Cleveland.

That statistic, sourced from Return Path, was just one of many sobering details shared during Best’s session, titled “I want my $28! Rocking’ Email Marketing ROI.” Aside from being clever, the session title played off the Direct Marketing Association data that for every $1 invested, email marketing earns $28 in return on average.

Best shared a fairly simple formula: deliverability = technology + YOU. This means that your email platform (i.e., the technology in the equation) should do the following things for you:

  • throttle sending;
  • provide built-in CAN-SPAM-compliant procedures;
  • automate the opt-out process; and
  • include feedback loop subscription and complaint handling.

When this technology is in place, the marketer is able to create quality content that subscribers want to receive, and marketers maintain a clean, permission-based email list.

Here are four quick tips to ensure your email copy and design backs up your good content:

  1. Balance text and images. Have a limit of 500 characters of text for every image.
  2. Watch your language. Make sure spelling and grammar are clean, and avoid the overuse of words that can trigger spam traps.
  3. Don’t overuse symbols and all caps. This can be off-putting to the email recipient, and again, can trigger spam traps.
  4. Use clean, email-friendly HTML code and design. Check your code to be sure you don’t have extraneous styling, particularly from Microsoft Word, sneaking its way into your HTML. Always use the “paste from Word” function to deal with this.

Melissa Ward is the senior content/managing editor for Target Marketing. Melissa can be reached at

Melissa Ward is the managing editor for Target Marketing, and she has opinions! More importantly, she's a nerd for great copy and design, a disciple of authenticity, and really loves it when marketers get it right.
Publish date: September 28, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT