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9 Tips For Enhancing Email Marketing Effectiveness

Are you using email to promote your business and stay in touch with your customers? If so, are you using email as effectively as you could be? As with processes there is often room for improvement, so I’d like to share with you a few tip for using email for effectively.

1. Personalization. Studies have shown that personalized emails are opened far more than those that are not personalized. Adding the “first name” field to a form is really not going to detract from true prospects completing your form.

2. Add a Sign Up Form to Your Website.
I am amazed at how many companies still do not try to capture their visitors information. It is a huge missing link for many search marketing campaign because knowing how many people came from Google really won’t help if you can’t market to them or follow up and see why they didn’t do business with you.

3. Whitelist instructions. If you are serving a web-based audience, this may not be necessary, but if you are a non profit trying to communicate with it members, then perhaps you will need to help them understand how to ensure that they get your emails.

4. Stop Using Outlook. Yes, people still use Outlook and other personal mail clients to send email, and it is about the worst thing you can do next to not using email at all.

5. Double Opt In.
By asking for your users information twice, it ensures that they know they are giving it up and reduces spam complaints. The more spam complaints you receive, the more you risk getting your domain blacklisted or getting “fired” from your email service provider.

6. Branding.
Sending from a consistent name and using a consistent theme (i.e. logo and imagery in HTML emails) will increase your open rates and reduce your unsubscribe rates.

7. Make it abundantly easy to unsubscribe
. some people may argue with this, but that just means that they don’t know the difference between a double opt-in list and a qualified double opt-in list. I recently had an offer for one of my niche websites that I run. Wanting to have the most accurate numbers, I sent out an email to the list offering them updates and additional information, but I opened the email with a statement that showed them how to unsubscribe if they were no longer interested. About 5% of the list unsubscribed and most said it was because they no longer need the information because they had made a purchase. I now have a stronger list to market to and one that is less likely to hit the “spam complaint” button – even though they all double opt-in, they forget and they will complain.

8. Maintain Consistency. You want to market to your customers and prospects consistently for a few reasons. First, to give them up to date information and keep you on the top of their minds, but also do they don’t forget who you are and hit the “spam complaint” button.

9. Convert Direct Mail to Email.
Do you know how much money you could save by using email marketing as opposed to traditional direct mail? Given that is takes 3-4 print mailings for your prospect to remember you, how much more cost effectively could you reach the same audience. Keep in mind, once you reach your prospects off line, getting them to your website is a separate conversion process, whereas if they get an email from you it’s just a click away and the contact-to-web visit rate is increased significantly.

If you are looking to enhance your business by using email marketing, I would be happy to speak with you. My firm, AKA Internet Marketing, offers full service email marketing consulting and management services and whether you run a local web design company or a Fortune 500 company, I assure you we can help you improve what you are doing in the area of email marketing.

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2 Responses to “9 Tips For Enhancing Email Marketing Effectiveness”

  • Do you find that html emails generally do better than regular ones?
    Do some email spam filters have problems with html emails?

  • oldschool:

    Craig – When you say “do better”, I am not sure if you are referring to delivery or conversions.

    If you are talking about delivery, I believe the most important components of delivery are:

    1. Having relationships with ISP’s which a lot of the email providers do not. That is why we partnered with Constant Contact; they have one of the highest (if not the highest) delivery rates in the industry due to the relationships they have established with ISP’s combined with their standards for their users. This works to resolve spam issues for both HTML and text based emails.

    2. Knowing the “spam value” of your email before you send it. The more responsible email service providers integrate and spam check mechanism in the software that allows you to see how a spam filter might view your email before it is sent, allowing you to make corrections before you send and not after. Again, Constant Contact does a great job with this.

    With regard to effectiveness in terms of call to action, I would say it depends on your market. If you are mailing to pregnant women, or artists, you would fare much better to use HTML emails. If you are sending updates to techies or software developers about vulnerabilities or patches, text email may be your best bet. Also, with the advent of blackberries, PDA’s, and the like, it is optimal to send a text version of your HTML email allowing for maximum deliverability. Not to sound like a broken record, but that is another feature that I love about Constant Contact. The interface allows you to enter both a text and HTML version of what you are sending.

    Great questions – I hope that is helpful.

    Anthony

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