Copyright © 2008 Kerry Johnson
When using an email marketing campaign to prospects or customers, there are plenty of issues to consider. The primary consideration is how many emails actually make it to the inbox. One poll conducted by a software company revealed that 58% of email marketers indicated that they had no idea what were their delivery rates. And of the responders that indicated they knew 23% were using a tracking tool to monitor and verify delivery rates. The remainder we basing there delivery rates on guessing, prospect/customer feedback or testing with their own email address.
There are other issues that afflict email marketers such as anti-spam compliance, single and double opt-in methods, text vs. html formats, frequency of sending emails, blacklisting/whitelisting, maintaining relationships with ISP and content.
To increase your success as an email marketer and not get tagged as a spammer, here are 10 things to remember:
1) Enhance the start of the relationship by focusing special attention at the beginning because email performance usually declines two months after responders opt-in. Engage your new subscribers immediately in an organized program that include a welcome letter, a copy of the latest newsletter or promotion and emails offering a set of best-newsletter articles or an email-exclusive offer for new subscribers. It is important to manage the subscriber's expectation from the start by adequately explaining the email program's value proposition, frequency, type of content and privacy policies.
2) Segmentation and personalization are probably the most underutilized keys to email marketing. Your email is competing with many others in your subscriber's inbox. Personalized subject lines, offers, articles, products showcased and follow up emails based on recipient activity, are clear winners. It is critical that you begin this process even if it is only personalizing the content of the subject line.
3) Many email marketers spend plenty of time building relationships with ISPs, and putting things in place so their emails get to the inbox however in vain, because most final gateway such as Hotmail, Yahoo, Outlook, Gmail, etc have filters stopping unknown senders. To stop this, it is important to get your recipient to add you to their safe list.
4) Get and confirm permission from your subscribers is the pinnacle to a successful email marketing campaign. Capturing the opt-in and confirming it with a follow-up email is the best practice and one which the email industry is adopting.
5) As the inbox gets more crowded with spam, your users are looking for relevant content. The age of email blasting is over. Send valuable, informational content. Avoid promotional words and phases, multiple exclamation points, all capitol letters and text often used by spammers. Nothing can trigger subscriber dissatisfaction like continued emails that do not meet subscriber's expectations in terms of content and frequency.
6) It is your responsibility as an email marketer for handling unsubscribe requests promptly. You should also set a process to enable your subscribers to update their preferences and email address without having to jump through a series of hoops.
7) Always test your email marketing campaign. A strategy that worked six months ago, may not work today. You must continuously tweak your format, design, copy style, calls to action, subject lines segmentation content, days/times sent, etc. Start with simple A/B split tests and repeat a few times to verify your results.
Focus on what really matters when setting up your email campaign. When you use these best practices within your email marketing program, both you and your subscribers will win.
Kerry Johnson is webmaster of Work Online Ideas. Sign up for his free home business newsletter and receive free affiliate marketing and home business related ebooks.
Copyright © 2008 Kerry Johnson