These are the ten most important tips for anyone using email marketing to keep in touch with their customers or propects (or both)
- DON’T SPAM: Only send emails to persons who have requested to receive them. And be able to show they actually did request to join (people forget sometimes)
- STICK TO THE POINT: Within reason the email content should be relevant to the type of content the person has requested.
- BE REGULAR: Pick a schedule, whether it is weekly, biweekly, or monthly and as often as you can stick to that schedule. If you can schedule out your emails weeks in advance then that’s even better.
- SEND DURING THE BEST TIME: You may need to test this for yourself but I have seen that the best to send business to business emails is Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. After 9:30am or just after lunch around 1:30pm. Avoid Fridays, late night mail outs and weekends. Even if you have a list that has people from many time zones try to stick to this as much as you can.
- SEND NON BUSINESS EMAILS DURING NON BUSINESS HOURS. As an extension to the above try sending non business (ie consumer ) emails weekends and after 5pm (though not too late at night)
- ASK PEOPLE TO WHITELIST YOU: If you simply add a message at the top of your emails that says something like: “To ensure receipt of our emails, please add email@example.com to your Address Book.” fewer of your emails will get filtered as spam. Additionally use a proper email address, There is nothing wrong with gmail or hotmail for personal mail. But not for business. Get an email that is firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s more professional.
- SEND IT FROM A KNOWN IDENTITY: Make the From Name for your messages either your company name or the name of a person the recipient will recognise. Or both, If people don’t know who an email is from it is likely to be deleted straight away.
- USE THE CORRECT FORMAT: Nearly everyone uses HTML email these days. But 5% or people still don’t. So cater for that 5% . Most professional email marketing programs will let you send the message as HTML and Text format and the recipient will only see the correct one.
- AVOID LOOKING LIKE THE SPAM: Many online autoreponder and email marketing services will evaluate how much your email looks like spam. Some simple tips are to avoid using all capital subject lines, words like free, and so on. Just look at the spam you get daily. Avoid subject lines like the ones they use! Just write it like a genuine email – which it should be anyway.
- ALWAYS BUILD YOUR LIST WITH QUALITY PROSPECTS: Build your list at every opportunity you have. A big list of interested people is insurance against any marketing or financial woes to come. For example make your opt in form interesting to the type of people to want to join – maybe though offers or incentives. But make it so that the people who would respond to this offer are likely to also have a need for your products or services. A big list of freeloaders is a waste of time.
Now whilst you can manage small list of a few hundreds from the contact section of OUTLOOK there comes a time when you need a dedicated autoresponder service. This is especially true when you factor in most hosting companies restrict outgoing email rates to a max of 250 – 400 per hour!
After this point its time to look at a dedicated solution like one of the many online providers.
I have personally used EmailAces in the past. AWeber always seems to get good write ups as well. Google is your friend here!
In a future post I’ll have a look at these services in more detail. I can set them up for you so if you need to know now, have a look here at my Search Engine Marketing page and then drop me an email
Web Design Specialist