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New Angle Media Offers Businesses Do's, Don'ts for
E-Mail Marketing Campaigns
Despite Popularity, Best Practices Still Unknown to Many E-mail Users
October 20th, 2008 - Phoenix
E-mail is a primary communication tool for work and personal use, and not surprisingly, a primary marketing tool. Yet misinformation about e-mail best practices and effective tactics still exists, which often leads to ineffective spending and drives away the customer.
“The last thing a business wants is to be flagged as a spammer,” said Ryan Belfore, partner and creative director of New Angle Media, an interactive marketing agency based in Phoenix. “It’s much easier to acquire that title than people think. There are many guidelines that need to be followed – not to mention creative strategies that are essential to drive any type of loyal readership.”
“E-mails are mostly flagged as “SPAM” or “junk” for two reasons: the reader believes he/she has not opted-in to receive e-mails from the sender, or the reader has no interest in the e-mails, according to the “E-Mail Benchmark Guide 2008” by MarketingSherpa and Q Interactive.
Belfore offers businesses 10 tips for avoiding the SPAM label and developing e-mail marketing campaigns that deliver results:
Use a “grabber” subject line. Write a brief and impactful subject line, ideally six words or less. Many e-mail providers will shorten the subject line around 50 characters. You want your subject to inform and engage readers. E-mail subject lines can be tested prior to launching a campaign, which can dramatically increase click-through rates.
Get Personal. Don’t be generic. A personal touch allows you to connect with your readers, increasing the chance they will want to receive future communications. Consider highlighting a recent accomplishment or personal experience that would appeal specifically to the reader. Readers care about themselves more than you. Create content they can relate to or use for their own benefit.
Design within the “fold.” E-mail providers like Microsoft Outlook use preview windows to display messages. Make sure your e-mail width is narrow and the most important information is displayed at the top in order to be viewed within the preview window. Important links should also appear at the top, and if the e-mail runs long you may want to duplicate links at the bottom to minimize excessive scrolling.
Get Creative. With the onslaught of e-mails we receive on a daily basis, plain and redundant templates receive little attention. Design to stimulate the reader and consider other interactive techniques like games, video teasers and animation.
Allow users to subscribe. The most qualified lead is the one who tells you that he/she wants to continue to be contacted. Allow your readers multiple ways to “opt-in” to receive more communication by e-mail or phone.
Allow users to unsubscribe. You must allow users to unsubscribe from e-mails so you aren’t considered a spammer. If you don’t remove requested e-mail addresses, users may flag you as SPAM. If enough users report you, you can be blacklisted and cut off from certain e-mail clients completely.
Get to know your reader. Investigate the likes, dislikes and insights of your audience. You can learn vital information about the type of communication readers want to receive and the manner in which they want to receive it. If you have a loyal list of readers compiled, consider giving them a questionnaire or survey, and implement the results into your communication practices. You may be surprised what your audience really wants.
Link your users wisely. If the purpose of your e-mail is to direct readers to your Web site, use up to three different links. Each reader responds differently to certain stimuli, so the more you account for differences in user behavior the more likely you will be to receive results. Important links should be scattered throughout the e-mail as text and images, visible in the preview window. Stay away from non-descriptive links like “Click Here” and use links like “Visit Our Web Site.”
Manage your database wisely. E-mail databases require constant upkeep from removing unsubscribers to filtering bounces to updating changed addresses. Make sure your list is as current as possible before sending out any communications. This will help prevent you from being flagged as a spammer and ensure that clients who want to receive e-mails actually do.
Track your progress. Monitor open and click-through rates. This will tell you how many people are reading your e-mails and interacting with the content. Depending upon the results, you can modify your campaign to attract more readers.
New Angle Media is Sender Score Certified™. This is the most-widely accepted e-mail accreditation program for legitimate e-mail senders, which requires a very high quality e-mail program. Sender Score companies receive increased delivery rates to more than 600 million e-mail boxes, among other sought-after benefits.More information on effective e-mail campaigns