Filtering emails is now a common practice among marketers. With thousands of emails flooding our inboxes daily, it’s no wonder businesses are turning to email marketing filters to keep organised. But what sort of email filters are out there, and how can you ensure your email meets the needs of the receiver? We chatted with Alex Blyth, managing director at MECLABS, to find out more.
What Is An Email Filter?
Put simply, an email filter is a tool that helps manage the incoming emails that enter your inbox.
Email filtering is largely used by businesses to stay on top of marketing emails and remove any that they consider to be irrelevant or unimportant. To do this, they can set criteria that determines what kind of email they want to see.
An email filter, also known as a spam filter, is essentially a form of artificial intelligence (AI) designed to learn from experience and improve performance over time. Email filters learn from your behaviour and track the success of your campaigns to figure out what type of content you want to see and how you want to see it delivered.
What Features Should My Email Filter Have?
The following are some of the essential features you should look for in an email filter:
- Keyword searching – You can put in up to five keywords for search, and the filter will return only emails that contain your keywords.
- Relevance scoring – This is a measure of how important or relevant the email is likely to be to your audience. The score will range from one to 10, with one being the lowest and 10 being the highest score. Higher scores indicate higher relevance.
- Action tracking – Once you’ve clicked on a link or shared a piece of content, the email filter will keep a record of your activity and notify you when you’ve performed a certain action. This could be anything from opening an email to sharing it with a friend.
- Automation – You can set up the email filter to send you a daily digest of the important emails that arrive, so you never have to worry about missing an important message again.
- Unsubscribe – Your customers should always have the option of opting out of receiving marketing emails from you or your business. If you use email marketing to generate leads, you don’t want to lose potential customers because they no longer want to receive your emails. Ensure that your unsubscribe link is easy to find and use.
- Comprehensiveness – Apart from all of the essential features mentioned above, you should also look for an email filter that covers as much ground as possible, keeping track of as many types of email as possible (i.e. text, social, apps, website, etc.). The more comprehensive the filter, the better. This ensures you’ll never miss an important message even if you receive a lot of emails.
- Accessibility – As a business owner or marketer, it’s important to find a spam filter that is accessible and easy to use even if you’re not tech-savvy. The more accessible the filter, the more likely you are to successfully use it and navigate its settings.
- Reporting – You should look for an email filter that is capable of recording key performance metrics, such as the number of spam emails successfully blocked, filtered, or unsubscribed from.
Many email filters come with detailed documentation and tutorials that walk you through every step of configuring the product. Make sure you take the time to read these documents thoroughly so you have the correct understanding of how the product works. Most email filters require you to enter a detailed settings page where you can specify what kind of content you want to see and how you want to see it delivered.
Which Email Clients Should I Use?
It is now fairly common for businesses to use two or more email clients. Some prefer using Gmail, while others use Outlook.com or a similar product from Microsoft.
The decision you make here will depend on your own personal preferences as much as the needs of your business. If you use Gmail, you’ll have access to all of the essential Gmail features from within the app. If you are a power user who needs a little more from Outlook.com, you can download the Outlook App to enjoy the same feature set.
As for choosing between mobile and desktop delivery, if you run a digital marketing agency, you’ll most likely be dealing with clients in multiple locations, so having a mobile-friendly email might be a requirement. Otherwise, if you only have a small number of clients and they’re all desk-based, the desktop version might suffice.
How Can I Test the Quality of My Email?
When it comes to email marketing, there are a number of ways that you can test the quality of your incoming messages. You could opt to use a tool that randomly selects emails from your sending history and delivers them to you, or you could try using a different email account to send a small sample of your emails. Testing the quality of your emails is a great way to make sure that you are delivering the right message to the right person at the right time.
As your business grows, the amount of incoming email will likely increase. To ensure that you don’t end up wasting time on trivial matters, you can set up automated filters to flag emails that are not relevant to you. Take the time to read these flagged emails and delete them if they’re not important. Otherwise, they’ll just continue to pile up in your mailbox.