Email Deliverability: How to Land in the Inbox, Not Spam

How to Improve my Email Deliverability? it’s a very common question from many growth marketers. Let’s find answers.

In 2022, nearly 56.5% of all emails were spam, according to DataProt. The amount of spam in email traffic varies from country to country.

India has one of the highest spam rates in the world. According to a report by DataProt, India had a spam rate of 85% in 2022. This means that for every 100 emails sent in India, 85 were spam. In the United States, the spam rate is 84%.

A spam folder representaion

So, there are high chances that your cold email may end up in a spam folder. The good news is that you can easily prevent this if you know why this happens.

In this blog, we will explore why emails end up in spam, outline steps to ensure your emails land in the inbox, and guide you on how to react when your emails unfortunately land in spam.

Why Do Emails End Up in Spam?

Let’s break down the top five reasons:

  • The email appears as spam: This could be due to the visuals or technical elements, like including too many links or irrelevant attachments in the text.
  • Bad list hygiene: This happens when your list contains contacts who didn’t subscribe willingly or have opted out but are still included.
  • Bad sender reputation: This is influenced by your domain and IP reputation.
  • Individual spam filters set by the subscriber: Your email may be caught by spam filters set by your subscribers.
  • A mistake on the email service side: This happens when an email service mistakenly marks your email as spam.

1. Your Email Appears Like Spam

Spam filters will likely flag your email if it closely resembles a typical spam email. The content, including too many links, using shortened links, or attaching irrelevant files, can cause this.

Scammers commonly use these tactics, which spam filters recognize. In our next post, we’ll discuss more about what typical spam emails look like and how to avoid resembling them.

2. Bad List Hygiene

Good list hygiene means having a list with subscribers who are genuinely interested and have consented to receive your emails. On the flip side, bad list hygiene involves keeping subscribers who have clicked the “unsubscribe” link or adding contacts who didn’t willingly subscribe. This practice often leads to your emails being marked as spam, thus damaging your sender reputation.

3. Bad Sender Reputation

Your sender reputation depends on your sender domain and your IP reputation.

For example, if you consistently send relevant and engaging emails to your subscribers, your sender reputation will likely be positive. On the other hand, if you engage in spammy practices such as sending unsolicited emails or frequently being reported as spam, your reputation will suffer.

How to improve Sender Reputation, read more about startegies and tools here.

4. Individual Spam Filters Set by the Subscriber

Ultimately, the recipient of your email has control over whether your emails land in their inbox or spam folder. They can set their own filters which determine which emails should be considered spam. Unfortunately, even if you’ve done everything right, you may still end up in spam because of these personal filters.

5. Email Service Errors

Sometimes, an error on the email service side can result in marking your emails as spam. This is particularly common when your recipient uses their own email server. Even big email services like Gmail and Yahoo occasionally label legitimate emails as spam.

Now that we have examined the most prevalent reasons why emails land in spam, you are one step closer to mastering email deliverability.

5 Must Need Checklists to Pass Spam Filters

  • Design Your Emails Correctly
    • To avoid triggering spam filters, follow good email design principles. Keep text and images separate, use standardized fonts, and avoid excessive use of capital letters, exclamation marks, or phrases typically associated with spam.
  • Use Honest and Clear Subject Lines
    • Ensure that your subject lines accurately reflect the content of your email. Misleading subject lines can trigger spam filters and frustrate recipients.
  • Obtain Consent Before Emailing
    • Only send emails to contacts who have explicitly consented to receive them. This can be done through a checkbox on a registration form or a pop-up on your website.
  • Implement a Double Opt-In Process (Email confirmation)
    • Implement a two-step verification process where users must confirm their subscription to your mailing list. This ensures that your list only contains valid and interested contacts.
  • Include an Opt-Out Link (Unsubscribe button)
    • Include an easily accessible opt-out link, which is a legal requirement. This can prevent recipients from marking your emails as spam.

5 More Checklists to Pass Spam Filters

1. Maintain Your Email List

Regularly remove inactive contacts from your list. Poor list hygiene can harm your deliverability and IP reputation.

There are a number of ways to maintain your email list. You can use a tool like Mailchimp or Constant Contact to automatically remove inactive contacts from your list.

You can use Listclean or emaillistvalidation to improve the accuracy of your email list by identifying and removing invalid or inactive email addresses.

2. Use a Private Domain for Sending Emails

Enhance your credibility and reduce the likelihood of your emails being flagged as spam by sending emails from your own domain rather than public domains (like

  • It looks more professional. When you use your own domain, it looks like you are a legitimate business or organization. This can help to improve your credibility with potential customers or clients.
  • It is less likely to be flagged as spam. Spam filters are more likely to flag emails from public domains as spam. This is because public domains are often used by spammers.
  • It gives you more control. When you use your own domain, you have more control over your email marketing campaigns. You can choose the type of content you send, the frequency of your emails, and the target audience for your campaigns.

3. Set Up DKIM and SPF

These measures verify that an email claiming to originate from a specific domain is indeed authorized by the domain owner, thereby preventing spoofing.

  • DKIM, which stands for DomainKeys Identified Mail, involves adding a digital signature to an email message. The signature is generated using a private key held by the domain owner. Upon receiving the email, the recipient’s mail server can utilize the public key (published in the domain’s DNS records) to verify the signature and confirm the email’s authenticity.
  • SPF, or Sender Policy Framework, enables the specification of authorized mail servers for sending email on behalf of a particular domain. This information is published in the domain’s DNS records. When a recipient’s mail server receives an email, it checks the DNS records to determine if the sending mail server is authorized. Unauthorized servers may lead to email rejection or spam labeling.

4. Protect Your IP Reputation

Your IP reputation reflects the trustworthiness of your IP address as perceived by email servers and internet service providers (ISPs). It considers factors such as spam complaints, email bounce rates, and the quality of your email list.

Maintaining a good IP reputation is crucial for optimal email deliverability, ensuring that your emails reach recipients’ inboxes instead of being flagged as spam.

By following the previous “5 Must Need Checklists”, you can safeguard your IP reputation and achieve high engagement rates.

5. ESP Matching

Implement ESP matching, a technique used to identify the Email Service Provider (ESP) used by your recipients and send emails from the same ESP.

For instance, if you send an email from to, utilizing the same ESP can reduce the chances of your email ending up in the spam folder. Unfortunately very few platforms available in the market offer ESP matching capabilities (Considering affordability).

How to Deal with IP Address and Domain Blacklisting

If your IP address or domain appears on a blacklist, it can significantly impact your email deliverability as email servers may be less inclined to accept emails from you. It is crucial to regularly check for blacklisting and take prompt action if you find yourself listed.

There are two types of blacklists:

  • Blacklists based on the sender’s domain.
  • Blacklists based on the sender’s IP address.

If either the domain or IP address is blacklisted, your mailings might encounter spam filters or, in the worst-case scenario, won’t be delivered at all.

Several factors can lead to your IP address or domain appearing on a blacklist.

For example, your server may have been compromised and exploited for spam sending. Alternatively, you might be dispatching excessive emails, or a significant number of recipients could be marking your email as spam.

If you discover that your IP address or domain is listed on a blacklist, it is essential to take steps to have it removed.

Identifying Your Blacklist: Using Tools to Determine Your Email Status

Firstly, you need to identify the specific blacklist that includes your information. Use tools, such as MxToolbox,, DNS Checker, Sitechecker, Site24x7, and BlacklistMaster, can help you determine whether a blacklist has your IP address or domain.

To use these tools, input your IP address or domain name into the search field and select “Blacklist Check”.

Requesting Removal: Contacting the Blacklist Operator

Having identified the blacklist that has your data, you must then reach out to the blacklist operator and request the removal of your IP address or domain. Remember, each blacklist has its unique removal process for IP addresses and domains. Thus, you must follow the instructions provided by the specific blacklist operator.

Next, get in touch with the support team of the site hosting the blacklist with your data. Give a detailed account of the circumstances that led to the problem and explain the actions you’ve taken to rectify it. As soon as they verify that you’ve solved the problem, they will remove you from the list.

Keep in mind that removing your IP address or domain from a blacklist might take some time. During this period, you can still improve your email deliverability by adhering to email marketing best practices.

Some more tips:

  • Sending email from a dedicated IP address
  • Sending email to a warm list of subscribers
  • Using a reputable email service provider
  • Do not buy or rent recipient lists
  • Don’t link to disreputable websites
  • Drop shortened links
  • Reduce email size: Some email services, such as Gmail, truncate emails that are over 102KB in size.

Let’s Summarise Our Email Deliverability Tips

Even in 2023 Email Marketing is the cheapest & popular marketing method.

By following all these best practices, you can improve your email deliverability and avoid being blacklisted in the future.

Now, If you believe there’s a mistake, for example, your reputation is low even though you’ve adhered to all the best practices, you can contact the email service directly through their sender contact form and ask for advice.

Contacting Email Provider Support

Provide your information, specify the issue, and wait for a response from the support team. It’s crucial to be polite, clear, and concise when explaining your problem.

Keep in mind that the support team may not respond immediately, so continue aiming for the inbox by following best practices, experimenting with sending tactics, and monitoring deliverability.

Google contact form to fix sender reputation

Outlook contact form to fix sender reputation

Our primary goal is to see your emails landing in the right folder. Don’t lose hope, stay dedicated, and keep refining your strategies. Good luck!

How To Improve Email Domain Reputation in 2023

What is domain reputation and how does it impact deliverability?

An email domain is the part of an email address that comes after the @ symbol. For example, when you send personal emails via Gmail, your domain is If you’re a business, your company likely has a designated domain that often matches the website address.

When talking about email marketing, an interesting analogy often crops up; consider your sender reputation like a credit score. A low credit score might lead to difficulties in securing loans or mortgages. And if you do secure one, you might end up with high interest rates due to the associated ‘risk’.

In a similar vein, a low sender reputation could mean a substantial chunk of your emails land straight in the spam folder, regardless of their content. Email service providers use this method to determine how recipients interact with your emails. Do they move them out of spam or let them stay there? A particularly bad reputation might even hinder your emails from reaching the inbox entirely.

Just like it takes time and good financial practices to improve a poor credit score, it requires consistent, quality email marketing practices to improve a low sender reputation.

However, maintaining a good sender reputation is tricky because each email service provider has its algorithms to assess and calculate your sender reputation. That’s why it’s crucial to take care of your sender reputation, to avoid putting yourself at a disadvantage.

Securing New Domains for Cold Email Outreach

The first rule of thumb in cold email outreach is to use dedicated domains, separate from your main business domain. For instance, if your primary domain is, avoid using it for cold outreach. This tactic safeguards your business domain and email reputation from the risk of being marked as spam.

Your outreach domains should be similar to your main one to maintain the brand association.

Main domain:
Outreach domain: or

Remember, keep the domain names consistent, recognizable, and avoid using dashes; they’re commonly associated with phishing attempts, leading to potential deliverability issues.

Domain Warm-up Process

Once you secure your outreach domains, you’ll need to warm them up. Domain warming essentially means gradually increasing your email activity over a certain period to build a reputation with email service providers. It’s a precaution against appearing like spam, which often involves a sudden spike in email activity.

Consider this, a new domain, especially if it’s under a month old, raises suspicion among email service providers. To bypass this suspicion, allow your new domain to sit idle for a short while or warm it up very slowly over 30 days. Recommendations from many ESPs even suggest waiting at least 12 weeks before going full speed into outreach.

Some Tools for Email Warm Up

As a dedicated growth marketer juggling multiple channels, it may feel like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. This is precisely where email warming tools come into play. These services automate the time-consuming task of warming up emails, ensuring you establish and maintain credibility with email service providers.

While you focus on your broader strategy and the day-to-day tasks of running your campaigns, these tools work quietly in the background, building your sender reputation, and maximizing the effectiveness of your email outreach.

When choosing an email warming tool, consider these key features:

  • Appropriate pace: Fast warm-up is desirable, but too fast might raise suspicions.
  • Extensive network: A bigger network assists in building a good sender reputation.
  • Advanced automation: Automated warming simplifies the process, saving you time.
  • Detailed reporting: Tools should provide in-depth insight into your reputation and the warm-up progression.
  • Value for money: Choose a high-quality tool that’s affordable and offers a free trial. Avoid overspending.

Here are some of my favourites.

    • This is my favourite because they provide a a true free plan. In their free plan, we can send 3000 emails and provide support. I believe no other platform does this.For my personal blog, I am using Quickmail.
    • I prefer this because it’s affordable , $15 is what they charge you and you may Get 15% lifetime discount on all their plans with the code WELCOME15.
    • Provide features like: Auto-Remove from Spam, Spam score monitoring, Auto-Reply to emails, Fully custom warm-up.
    • They claim that they provide a Smart warming algorithm, Multiple ESP warm up (Google, Outlook, etc.), Live blacklists and DNS check ups
    • $25 /email account/ month (Little expensive)

Staying Active: The Human Touch

During the warm-up period, your focus should be on proving your ‘humanity’ to the email service provider. You need to establish that your email address isn’t being used for mass spamming, but for regular, human-like activities.

These activities include sending emails to friends, signing up for social media accounts, subscribing to newsletters, and so on. The idea is to keep the email traffic flowing in both directions – incoming and outgoing. These actions show your provider that your emails are desirable, leading to interactions and replies, which is entirely opposite to spam emails.

Cycling the Crops: Knowing When to Pivot

Just like a farmer rotates crops to maintain the soil’s productivity, email marketers need to ‘cycle the crops’ – the domains. One domain might work great for a month, two, or even three, but eventually, deliverability might start dropping due to various reasons.

How can you tell? Keep a keen eye on your open rates. A significant drop in open rates is usually an indication that it’s time to switch up the email domain you’re sending from. When this happens, it’s advisable to let the original domain ‘rest’ for about three to four weeks. During this resting period, the domain reputation often resets, allowing you to get back on track.


Contrary to what you might think, domain reputation damage isn’t permanent. If you find yourself in a difficult spot, remember that patience and appropriate rest can heal most wounds. With the right practices and careful nurturing, your email outreach can thrive, delivering your emails right where they need to be – in the inboxes of your potential clients.

Stay tuned for more insights from us, and happy emailing!

Google Ads: What You Should Know as a Growth Marketer?

Let’s not waste time by giving an intro. If you don’t know what it is and are looking for something from scratch, do a Google search on “What are Google Ads?” and come back.

This is the part -1 of the series.


Proceed with caution when someone (it can be a YouTube video or Instagram Ad) guarantees specific results with Google Ads. If they’re promising to double your traffic, be sceptical. If they’re promising this overnight, it’s time to block that person.

Understanding Google Ads Varieties

Google offers different types of Ads, each designed for various marketing goals. Understanding these can help you make informed decisions about your advertising strategy.

  • Search ads: These ads appear at the top of Google search results pages when someone searches for a keyword that is relevant to your business. Search ads are a great way to reach people who are actively looking for what you have to offer.
  • Display ads: These ads appear on websites that are part of the Google Display Network. Display ads can be images, videos, or text ads. They can be used to reach a wider audience than search ads, but they may not be as targeted.
  • Video ads: These ads appear on YouTube and other video-sharing websites. Video ads can be a great way to reach people who are interested in watching videos about your products or services.
  • Shopping ads: These ads appear when someone searches for a product that you sell. Shopping ads show the price of your product, as well as your product image and rating. They are a great way to reach people who are ready to buy.

The Influence of Google Ads: Data Insights

Despite the belief that paid results are not clicked on, data suggests otherwise. In fact, 67% of searches with high commercial intent lead users to click on a paid ad. When users are in the research phase, they tend to choose organic search results. However, when they’re ready to make a purchase, they opt for ads.

A study by HubSpot found that paid search ads can generate a return on investment (ROI) of up to 200%. This means that for every $1 you spend on paid search ads, you can expect to generate $2 in revenue.

The Trio Behind Google Ads

Google Ads operates with three key players:

  • Googler (users): This is the person who is searching for something on Google. When they type in a keyword, Google will show them a list of results, including both organic results and paid ads.
  • Advertiser (businesses): This is the business that is paying for their ad to appear in the search results. They can choose to bid on specific keywords, and they will only be charged when someone clicks on their ad.
  • Google Machine (the system): This is the system that powers Google Ads. It takes into account a number of factors, including the keyword bids, the quality of the ad, and the relevance of the ad to the search query, to determine which ads will appear and where they will appear.

What is Google Ads bidding?

Imagine you have a lemonade stand. You want to sell as much lemonade as possible, so you decide to set up a lemonade stand near a busy street. You know that people who are driving by are more likely to stop and buy lemonade, so you decide to bid on the right to have your lemonade stand in that spot. The higher you bid, the more likely you are to get the spot.

Google Ads works in a similar way. When you create a Google Ads campaign, you’re bidding on the right to have your ad show up when someone searches for a keyword that you’re interested in. The higher you bid, the more likely your ad is to show up.

There are a few different ways to bid in Google Ads. You can set a maximum bid, which is the highest amount you’re willing to pay for each click. You can also set a daily budget, which is the maximum amount you’re willing to spend on your campaign each day.

Google Ads will use your bids and budget to determine when and where your ads show up. If you’re bidding high enough, your ad may (stress here, MAY or May Not) show up at the top of the search results page. Or, if you’re bidding on a specific keyword, your ad may show up when someone searches for that keyword.

How does Google Ads Bidding Works

Google Ad Ranks

Google Ad Rank is a number that determines where your ad shows up on Google Search. It is calculated using your bid amount, the quality of your ad, and the competitiveness of the auction. The higher your Ad Rank, the higher up your ad will show.

Imagine you and your friends are playing a game of musical chairs. The first person to sit down in a chair wins. The chairs are like ad positions, and the person with the highest Ad Rank is the first person to sit down in a chair.

Your bid amount is like how fast you run to the chairs. The higher your bid amount, the faster you run.

The quality of your ad is like how well you can sit in a chair. The better your ad, the better you can sit in a chair.

The competitiveness of the auction is like how many other people are playing the game. The more people playing, the harder it is to win.

Big Question: How you determine Quality of your Ad?

Quality Score

Google won’t tell you your Ad rank, but Google tell you the Quality Score. Quality score is a measure of how relevant and well-written your ads and landing pages are.

It is calculated based on three factors:

  • Click-through rate (CTR): This is the percentage of people who see your ad and click on it.
  • Ad relevance: This is a measure of how closely your ad matches the search terms that people are using.
  • Landing page experience: This is a measure of how good the experience is for people who click on your ad and land on your website.

Relevance Matters: Organic vs. Paid Search

Whether it’s organic search results or paid ads, relevance is highly valued by Google. If your paid ad is more relevant to the search, it will rank higher, resulting in a top spot and lower cost per click. Google employs this strategy to build user trust.

Relevancy is the first key to Quality Ads.

In conclusion, Google Ads bidding works by determining the position of your ad on Google Search based on factors such as your bid amount, the quality of your ad, and the competitiveness of the auction. Your Ad Rank, which is calculated using these factors, determines where your ad will appear.

Can Google Ads be Profitable

To answer this question, you need to answer few other questions.

Before you decide to invest in Google Ads, ask yourself:

Can you afford the initial costs?

You’ll want to allocate at least $1,000 – $1,500 per month as a minimum starting point, although I recommend a minimum budget of $2,000. If you can comfortably meet this expense, go ahead!

Identifying Your Business Objectives

Before initiating a Google Ads campaign, it’s essential to pinpoint your business goals. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I know my close rates?
  • Do I understand how many leads I need to make a sale?
  • Do I know how many leads I need each month to turn a profit?

By determining your specific objectives, you can better assess the potential success of a long-term Google Ads campaign.

Assessing Your Website’s Quality and Responsiveness

Your website needs to be fast, mobile-responsive, informative, and user-friendly. Ask yourself if you’re ready to handle a surge in traffic.

  • Can you respond to customer calls promptly?
  • Is your sales team trained and ready to handle inquiries?
  • Is your inventory sufficiently stocked for an increase in orders?

Defining Your Audience

Understanding the size and location of your audience is also crucial. If you operate in a rural area with a small local population, Google Ads might not be the best choice for your business due to the limited audience size.

If you have proper answers for all these question, well, Google Ads will work for you. However, to make your Google Ads campaign profitable, it’s crucial to be prepared for competition unless you have a monopoly in the market.

Success in Google Ads requires a proactive approach to outperform competitors and stand out in the crowded digital landscape.

Gearing Up for Competition: Core Metrics of Google Ads

Before launching our campaigns, let’s explore the core concepts of Google Ads. (Ensure your ad spend is competitive enough to get the necessary clicks; otherwise, Google Ads may not yield the expected benefits.)

Understanding Conversions

In the context of Google Ads, conversions refer to the actions you want your website visitors to take.

  • Fill out a form
  • Make a purchase
  • Download a document
  • Sign up for a newsletter
  • A Call

Google depends heavily on conversions to determine what’s working, and everything revolves around this metric.

If you don’t define what a conversion is for your business, Google can’t optimise your campaign for conversions, leading to ineffective ad spending.

Therefore, you need to track every potential conversion action on your site, irrespective of its significance. These actions serve as predictive indicators of intent.

Remember, the goal is conversions. The focus should be on generating revenue, directly tied to conversion actions.

The Role of Keywords

Keywords are vital in Google Ads. They’re like labels that users use to search for answers and solutions. As advertisers, we use keywords to organise, categorise, and design our ads. We include keywords in our landing pages and use them to signal to Google when we want our ads to show up in the SERPs.

Bear in mind, the words you use to describe your product or service may not be the same as the words your potential clients use.

Therefore, use tools like Answer the Public, Keyword Planner, Spyfu, or Ahref free keyword generator to find out what customers are searching for in relation to your industry.

Keywords and the Sales Funnel

The Google Ads sales funnel is a model that helps businesses understand how potential customers move through the buying process.
It is divided into three stages:

  • Top of the funnel – Discovery: This is the stage where potential customers are searching for information about your industry, or they may be comparing different products or services.
    • Here, the goal is to introduce your brand and generate interest. In Google Ads, this can be achieved through targeted display ads or video ads that reach a wide audience. The purpose is to attract users and make them aware of your offering, planting the seed for future consideration.
  • Middle of the funnel – Intent: This is the stage where potential customers are starting to consider your business as a possible solution.
    • At this stage, the goal is to nurture these prospects and provide them with valuable content that addresses their needs and concerns. In Google Ads, this can be done through targeted search ads that appear when users search for relevant keywords related to your offering. The aim is to capture their attention, provide useful information, and establish your brand as a reliable solution.
  • Bottom of the funnel – Action: This is the stage where potential customers are ready to buy. They may be filling out a contact form, making a purchase, or scheduling a consultation.
    • The goal is to provide them with a compelling offer or incentive to convert. In Google Ads, this can be achieved through highly targeted search ads, remarketing campaigns, or shopping ads that display specific products or promotions. The aim is to prompt users to click, make a purchase, sign up for a service, or take any desired action that leads to a conversion.

Not All Keywords Are Equal: Craft an Offer

Everything you present to your visitor should be an offer. So, you should select your keywords accordingly.

  •  The search terms you bid on should allow you to present an offer
    • For example, if you’re a clothing retailer, bidding on search terms like “women’s dresses on sale” or “discounted men’s shirts” allows you to present offers that cater to specific customer interests or needs
  •  The ad copy you use is an offer
    • For example, an ad for a fitness center might include copy like “Get in shape with our state-of-the-art facilities and expert trainers. Sign up now for a free trial!” This ad copy presents an offer of a free trial, enticing users to take action and engage with the fitness center.
  •  Your landing page should include a very clear and compelling offer
    • For instance, if you’re running an ad for a software product, your landing page could highlight a limited-time offer such as “Get 50% off your first year subscription. Sign up today!” This offer creates a sense of urgency and provides an incentive for visitors to complete a purchase or sign up.

Another thing to keep in mind is don’t stuff your AdWords with “You”.

Too often, we see advertisers essentially introduce themselves in their ad copy and landing pages, rather than inform the user what they will do for them. 

  • What should the visitor do? 
  • What’s the offer? 
  • And why is it valuable?

Your credentials mean nothing without a clear understanding of how you will directly change the customer’s life.

Crafting Your Offer

  1. Make sure your offer matches the search
  2. Always be closing
  3. Value based: cheaper isn’t always better

4. Every step of your conversion process is an offer (moving them toward the next step)

  • Awareness: “Discover the truth about the environmental impact of your cleaning products with our informative articles and videos.”
  • Interest: “Dive deeper into the world of eco-friendly cleaning with our comprehensive guide: ‘Green Cleaning: How Eco-Friendly Products Stack Up Against the Rest.'”
  • Consideration: “Ready to make the switch? Enjoy a 10% discount on your first order of our eco-friendly cleaning products. Use the code ‘GREENHOME’ at checkout.”
  • Conversion: “You’re just one click away from a cleaner, greener home! Add our Eco-Friendly All-Purpose Cleaner to your cart today.”
  • Retention: “Welcome to our Green Home Club! As a member, you’ll enjoy monthly discounts, exclusive content, and early access to our new products. Join today and start saving!”

5. Your core offer isn’t always the right offer (ascension)

  • This refers to the idea that the product or service you’re best known for (your “core” offer) isn’t necessarily what will attract every customer. Sometimes, a customer might be more interested in a related product or an upgraded version of your product.
    • For example, if you sell eco-friendly cleaning products, your core offer might be an all-purpose cleaner. However, a customer might be more interested in a specialized kitchen cleaner or a bundle of multiple products. This is where the concept of “ascension” comes in – you start with your core offer, then you offer more advanced or premium products as the customer becomes more engaged.

Features vs. benefits (features tell, benefits sell)

  • This is a common principle in marketing and sales. Features are factual statements about a product while benefits explain how the product solves a problem.
  • While it’s important to include features in your ads, it’s the benefits that really convince customers to make a purchase. In other words, don’t just tell customers what your product is or does – tell them why it matters to them.
    • For example, instead of saying “Our eco-friendly cleaning products are made without harmful chemicals,” you could say “Experience a cleaner, safer home with our eco-friendly products – no harmful chemicals, just powerful cleaning power.”

This is the first part of this series on Google Ads. To Read further click here.

Understanding Customer Psychology For Email Marketing

The Product Is the Ultimate Salesperson

Let’s say you’re about to start an email marketing campaign. Always remember, it’s your product that should do the talking. What really matters in marketing emails is your product and the image you build around it.

Here’s another key point – email marketing is the cheapest form of advertising, and advertising is all about making sales.

It is essential to acknowledge that advertising’s core purpose is to drive sales. Think of it as amplified salesmanship, where you converse with thousands instead of one. Some people spend up to $10 for each word in an ad. So, each ad should be like a super salesperson. Hence, every ad should be a super-salesman.

If a salesman’s mistake can cost a little, an advertiser’s or email marketers mistake can cost a thousand times more. So, be careful and precise. Bad salesmanship may hurt a small part of your business, but bad advertising affects all of your business.

An image representing Different Marketing Channels including email marketing
Different Marketing Channels

Beyond Literary Skills: The Subtle Art of Selling

People often mistake email marketing or copywriting for fancy writing. But fancy writing isn’t really helpful here. Like a good salesperson, an ad needs to explain things briefly, clearly, and convincingly.

Here’s a simple way to decide on your advertising.

Ask yourself – “Will this help sell my product?” “Will this help me if I were talking to a buyer?” Honest answers to these questions can help you avoid many mistakes. But if you’re just trying to show off or do things to impress yourself, you’re probably not going to get people to spend money.

Fancy slogans or clever phrases might not work either. If you can’t imagine these impressing a customer in person, don’t rely on them to sell in print or emails.

Imagine this – “Buy my product. Give me your business. Give me your money.” Do you think that will work?

The best ads or cold emails don’t ask people to buy anything. They don’t even mention the price. They don’t say where you can buy the product. Good emails focus on how the product can help the customer. They provide useful information and highlight the benefits.

Does this all sound too cliched gyan? Let’s dig deeper then.

Some Scenarios: Build Trust

Yes, you’ve heard it all before, these are some randome advices all marketing gurus preach. Okay, let me share some examples to give you a better insight.

Imagine a manufacturer of brooms in India who deploys a force of around 2,000 salespersons door-to-door. Success seems improbable, but their approach surprises. Instead of asking for a purchase, they offer a broom, saying, “We’ve brought this for you. Please choose one from these samples.” The excitement of receiving something sparks interest, and in the process, the householder spots several brooms they wish to have. This unexpected service compels them to place an order.

How Sellers Utilizes a Mobile Business Model

Let’s take another example from India, a company distributing chai and other supplies via carts across numerous cities. A representative drops off a small pack of chai, saying, “Give our chai a try. I’ll return in a few days to see how you liked it.” When he returns, he doesn’t ask for an order. Instead, he offers a useful kitchen tool, not for free, but as a bonus that can be paid for by purchasing more chai. Service always takes the front seat.

I heard a story that a European manufacturer of electric sewing machine motors struggled with advertising. Following expert advice, they ceased direct sales attempts and offered to send a motor to tailors in Savile Row (London) via any dealer for a week’s trial. Along with the motor, a guide would demonstrate its operation. Their ad simply said, “Let us assist you for a week, without any cost or obligation.” This irresistible offer led to sales in nearly nine out of ten trials. (Maybe this won’t work in India, considering Indian civic sense and ethics 😉 )

As someone who has worked in email marketing, I can tell you that the real test of a marketer lies in selling products through cold emails. It’s a skill one must master for success because for any startup, cold emails remain the most affordable and accessible method of marketing.

However, before diving into “the techniques of email marketing”How to Draft Cold Emails”, it’s crucial to understand the psychology behind marketing. The successful marketer needs a firm grasp of human psychology. The more insights you have into this, the better your results.

Marketing and Psychology: A Powerful Combo

You need to understand that different triggers create different responses, and this knowledge is essential for effective email marketing and overall marketing success.

Like in Physics, certain effects lead to certain reactions, and use those reactions to increase results and avoid mistakes.

Just like human nature remains consistent, the basics of psychology never change. They are as valid today as they were during the times of Caesar.

For example, we’ve learned that curiosity is a powerful motivator. We make use of it whenever possible.

Consider the scenario of popcorn in a cinema, a staple in India and around the world. Initially, popcorn was just another snack.

But what made it so popular?

The curiosity sparked by seeing kernels transform into fluffy, crunchy snacks right in front of your eyes, hearing the loud “pop” sound, and the captivating aroma filling the air. “Kernels bursting into larger than life sizes,” “Sounds like tiny fireworks,” “Each kernel undergoing a mini explosion.” This sense of wonder played a significant role in making popcorn the go-to movie snack. Now it became a habit and standard at movie halls.

Stay Curious and Build Loyal Customer Base

So your headlines, should bring some curiosity. But in my experience, most services highlights the affordabaility in the headline.

Understand that low price isn’t always the best way to appeal to customers. Americans, for instance, are big spenders. They like good deals, but they don’t necessarily go for the cheapest. They take pride in affording the best. On the other hand, in India, terms like “Free,” “Cheapest,” and “Most Affordable” work better. Here, the decision-making process often begins with the price. So, tailor your approach to suit your target demographic.

The Effectiveness of “Pay After a Week” Strategy

Now, consider this. Many businesses have advertised, “Try it for a week. If you don’t like it, we’ll return your money.” Then came an innovative idea – sending products without asking for any money upfront, and saying, “Pay in a week if you like it.” This proved to be far more appealing. (Demography matters here)

As one marketing expert explained it,

“Two men came to me, each offering a horse. They both made the same claims. They were good, gentle horses, safe even for a child to drive. One man said, ‘Try the horse for a week. If my claims are not true, you can have your money back.’ The other man said, ‘Try the horse for a week,’ but he added, ‘Come and pay me then.’ Naturally, I chose the second man’s horse.

The power of perception plays a significant role in decision-making. Imagine you have five products that are identical in every way. Now, if you ask five people to choose one, they might each pick a different one. But, here’s a twist: if you highlight certain features or qualities in one product, everyone’s attention is drawn to it.

And what happens then? All five people are likely to choose that one product. It’s all about how you present it. This is a key strategy to remember when drafting marketing emails. You have to highlight the right features to make your product stand out. There is a great deal in mental impression.

Specificity: A Key to Impressiveness

Let’s move on to the next crucial aspect – being precise and explicit.

There’s a stark contrast in the impact of two statements taking up the same space, where one is clear-cut and the other is vague. If there’s a point to be made, ensure it lands with maximum impact.

A retailer might mention, “We’ve cut down our prices,” yet it might not stir much interest. However, when they say, “We’ve slashed our prices by 25%,” the announcement hits home.

Consider a marketer selling affordable women’s wear through mail order. For years, his tagline was, “Lowest prices in India.” Competitors soon followed suit. Then he started promising to beat any other seller’s price. His competition copied this strategy too. Over time, these claims became generic, losing their allure. But with some wise guidance, he switched his approach, stating, “We only make a net profit of 3%.” This concrete statement made an impact. Given their scale of operations, it was clear their prices were rock bottom. No one could expect a business to run on less than a 3% profit. The following year, their sales surged dramatically.

The most talked-about gadget of the year

Consider the marketing of smartphones. “Fast performance,” “Long battery life” “50 MP Camera” Each brand had the same chance to win over customers. Then a new brand came along. They were up against brands that everyone already liked. They did something different though. They said, “Look at our Glyph interface, It’s unlike anything we’ve seen before (a supporting image)” “We believe in windows, look at our transparent design” “Faster than ever before. Our phone is the first in India to feature the SD 778G+ processor and cleaner Android software.” This straight-to-the-point strategy got them a lot of success quickly in this tough market.

Xiaomi’s 12 Lite is a better phone than the newly launched brand in terms of features and price. However, the new brand has been able to gain a foothold in the Indian market due to its strong marketing campaigns.

The Challenge of Changing Habits

I read somewhere we humans are slaves of our habits.

Shifting people’s habits is a tough task, and it can cost a lot. Before you jump into such an endeavour, give it a serious thought.

Consider this: to promote shaving soap among the traditionally bearded farmers of Punjab, you’d first have to change their long-standing tradition of sporting beards. The costs associated with such an effort could be sky-high. Yet, there are countless marketers who try to pull off similarly ambitious tasks. They plunge in without adequate research, tracking results haphazardly without truly understanding them.

However, let’s not conclude that altering habits and penetrating markets is an impossible task.

How Nestle got Japan to drink Coffee

I recall an intriguing tale from the book ‘Culture Code’ by Clotaire Rapaille, it talks about how Nestlé successfully made a nation of tea drinkers fall in love with coffee.

In the 1970s, they were struggling to sell instant coffee in Japan, a country with a deep-rooted tea-drinking culture.

So, what do you do when your target market doesn’t have a cultural imprint of your product? You create one.

To crack this nut, Nestlé hired a French marketing consultant named Clotaire Rapaille.

Rapaille conducted in-depth three-hour sessions with ordinary Japanese folks to try and understand their cultural relationship with coffee.

Nestlé decided to change their approach. Instead of persuading Japan to embrace coffee, they began to produce coffee-flavored (caffeine-free) desserts for children.

Kids universally adore candies and desserts, and Japanese children were no exception – there was no cultural barrier in this regard. Fast-forward fifty years, and Japan now spends $22 billion on instant coffee, more than any other country.

Let’s Wrap It: Email marketing & Psychology

From the outside, advertising might seem straightforward. Many individuals assert their expertise in it, leading to a lot of advertising work being awarded based on personal preference.

But the real experts understand that the complexities involved in advertising are as substantial as those in constructing a skyscraper. A lot of these challenges lie in laying a robust foundation.

The psychology behind marketing is full of insights, and its a foundation. Some marketers have a natural understanding of these principles. Others learn them through experience. However, the most efficient way to learn is from others. When you observe a successful strategy, make a note of it, and when the right opportunity comes, put it into action.

These insights form the bedrock you need to establish before launching your email marketing campaign. Read more insights on Buying Behaviours and Psychology in decision making here.