Email Campaign Best Practices

Modified on Thu, 30 May at 1:41 PM

Getting consumers to open and read your emails can be tricky due to the nature of the business. There are many things working against you including:

  • Consumers may not recognize the name of your company if you are doing 3rd party collections.
  • Your clients or certain laws may require you to have specific verbiage, but those disclosures may have words which are picked up by spam filters.
  • The email addresses provided to you by your client may be old or invalid.
  • Your agency or domain name may have a negative "Internet Reputation" that can trigger spam filters.

Below are some best practices to help you build your email reputation and become successful using email campaigns.

  • Preview of the Email. The subject of the email should be clear and concise. According to Chat GPT, the following words should not be included in the subject of an email
  • Urgent or Immediate
  • Final Notice of Last Chance
  • Pay Up or Demand for Payment
  • Legal Action or Legal Notice

  • An email is NOT a letter
    Remember that an email is not a letter. Many of the formats that we commonly use on letters do not apply to emails and will make them look very strange. Do not include the users mailing address or other non relevant information in an email. On the same token, do not include your own mailing address at the top of the email. It is much better to use a logo. If you want to include your mailing address, it makes much more sense at the bottom. Format your email in a way that it will look good from any size browser window or phone. Keep your alignments simple. Aligning left or center will generally render well. Do not try to align content to the right side unless absolutely necessary. This can cause it to look very strange in certain sized windows.

  • Review and refresh your content regularly, such as email subject lines.  Spam filters are vigilant about detecting repetitive content. To avoid this, vary your email subject lines and phrases. This not only helps to maintain consumer interest but also keeps your emails from being flagged as spam.

  • Only send to accounts/emails in which you have consent to send. A client sending your agency accounts with email addresses is not necessarily consent. Be sure you work with your clients and compliance team to ensure consent exists prior to sending.
  • Do not send to work email addressesWhile it is not possible to know if every single email address is a personal or work email address, you should have controls in place regardless. Whitelisting and blacklisting are two options built into the system that will allow you to control this if you are not able to filter them out using your collection software.
  • The From Address and Domain should be a clear indicator of your who your areUse an email address that represents the company domain. The Name part of the email address should also be used to indicate your company name. Sending from a domain that is not your primary company domain should be avoided. The email and your company website should be the same. Using a different email address may confuse the user or look like phishing.
  • Use short, but direct subject lines. The subject line should be clear as to what you are reaching out to the consumer for. When applicable, add the name of the Original Creditor so that the consumer will recognize the name as a business that they are associated with.
  • Have clear links to the payment portal and to the contact us page. You want to ensure the consumer can easily get in contact with you and does not have to navigate to an entirely new site just to find what they want.
  • Always include the Unsubscribe option in any mass email.

  • When using images, always include an 'alt' tag.
    The alt tag supplies some text that will be visible to the user when the image is not shown. All images should include alt tags.

  • Do not use UPPERCASE words unless needed.
    Use normal casing for your emails. Large amounts of uppercase can trigger spam filters. Uppercase letters are also more difficult to read. If you want to draw attention to some text using upper case for a word is acceptable but should be avoided for full sentences or sections. Instead of using uppercase, make use of font options such as bolder, larger, or more colorful fonts. You can also underline words.

  • Make sure the first text of your email allows the user to determine the purpose of the emails
    Many browsers will show a preview of your email which will only include the text in your email. Be sure the first text that appears is a good indicator of the email content. This will ensure the preview helps the user know what the email is about.
  • Start smallThis is important to help build your email reputation. If you are just starting sending email campaigns you will want to start small so that you can build a reputation. Email services that go from sending none to thousands of emails at once risk being flagged as possible spam.
  • Send frequently. Consistent sending is key to maintaining an email reputation. You should send campaigns on a regular basis and send similar volumes of mail. While you do not need to send every day, if you send too infrequently, you will not be able to build a reputation.

  • Consider the time of day and day of week that you are sendingYou may get better return rates at different times.
  • Personalize each email. Use the consumers name and other information within the email. Do not send generic emails. Use information that the consumer will recognize such as the original creditor. If using the account number, you may want to use the masked version which will only display the last four digits or characters.
  • Make it appealing. Use colors, and images to make your emails easy to read and friendly looking.
  • Avoid using attachments unless absolutely necessaryAttachments from unknown senders may look like spam to the consumer. Consumers don't take the time to open attachments and would rather just read the email. We recommend limiting attachments to communications that:
    • MUST send an attachment with the email; such as documents for signature or forms to be completed.
    • Use the "No attachment" (PDF is available online) option. 
  • Create unique communications for specific campaigns. Consider the following:
    • create an email template to address each variable.
    • filter the list of Consumers and use templates specifically designed for that purpose.
  • Review all data before sending. Confirm all data is correct and there are no gaps in data. i.e. current balance, account numbers, etc.

  • Use an email testing site to ensure proper authentication and check for spam content. Running a test email through the following sites prior to sending can help identify issues within your authentication or content prior to reaching consumer spam filters. The following sites can help identify issues:
  • Inform agents to direct consumers to the portal for 24/7 account information, making payments, and viewing account history. 

  • Ensure that the subject line accurately reflects the content of the email to maintain trust with your recipients. A strong Call To Action subject can help increase consumer engagement.

  • Remember to keep your subject lines concise (ideally under 60 characters).
  • Consider removing email address that do not engage with campaigns. For example, do not send more than 4 emails to the same email address with no engagement. (Opens, clicks, etc.)

  • Disclosing dollar amounts in the subject line of an email should be avoided due to privacy concerns, and regulatory risks. 

  • Do not use the same subject line for multiple templates. This is a common trigger for spam filters.

  • Create templates specifically around generating engagement. For example, Payment Confirmation Receipts, Payment Reminders, Paid in Full Letters, etc. Ask the consumer to review the email to increase open rates.

  • Web links in the message body should be visible and easy to understand. Recipients should know what to expect when they click a link.

  • Avoid excessively long headers in your email messages. For additional information on email headers, check out the link below.
  • Keep the content of your emails clear and concise. Do not mix different types of content within one email.

  • Avoid using common spam phrases when configuring your email campaigns to ensure your messages get to your consumers In-box. For a list of common spam phrases to avoid, check out the links below.

Concepts2Code utilizes services that can analyze emails using spam detection services. If you would like us to review a template that you have created to see if it sets off any known spam filters, please contact our support. We will be happy to meet with you and review what you have created.

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