Sunday, January 24, 2010

Golden Rules of Email Marketing


Who to email
-> Ask people who contact you on the phone if they would like to be added to your mailing list.

-> Look outside your own business and set up cluster email marketing campaigns with your region’s tourism partners.

-> You are by law only allowed to send broadcasted (as opposed to individual) emails to people who implicitly agreed to receive your newsletter or other form of email marketing. If you do not do so, people can mark your email address as spam and you risk not being able to send any future email campaigns to any recipient. This is because your email address could be blocked by Internet Service Providers (ISP) who thinks you are spamming. The Do's & Dont's below explains which email addresses are ok to use and which aren’t:
  • Owner opted in from your site (newsletter subscription).
  • Owner purchased from you within 2 years
  • Owner handed you their business card knowing you would contact them.
  • Owner completed an offline form and indicated they wanted to be emailed.
  • You obtained the email addresses from a third party (incl. purchased a list).
  • You copied their address from the Internet.
  • You haven’t been in contact over two years.
What to write
-> Put yourself in the shoes of your target client: only send relevant information that will teach them something new:
  • Give your newsletter a personality and a unique voice.
  • Let your reader feel there is a human behind the email.
  • Provide educational content, testimonials, and stories. Research proved they are very successful in newsletters.
  • Use colours, brand your newsletter with your logo.
  • Don’t write the newsletter like an ad for your business.
  • Don’t write the newsletter just for the sake of sending something out.
  • Don’t write a novel. 3 to 4 short paragraphs are a better option.
-> HTML format with photos and embedded hyperlinks is generally preferred to plain, email-like, text format. However, your target market might be more responsive to plain-text email. If you are unsure do a test over a few months and decide based on the opening and response rate (provided you are using a dedicated email marketing program).

-> Think of your newsletter as a webpage:
Title = subject line:
Favour creative subject lines (e.g. Latest Technologies in Web Designs) over dull and sedative titles (e.g. June newsletter – Affordable LOGO Designing ).

Use headings to keep the reader focused.

Use them to direct your readers to your website or another website where they will be able to learn something new.

Bold your keyphrases, use bullet points, and don’t forget the call-to-action and the deadline.

Use images showcasing your products, experiences and guests participating.

Use keyword-rich vocabulary.
-> Keep in mind that customers are bombarded with email marketing messages numerous times a day.

-> Your newsletter design should convey professionalism and be consistent.

-> Invite staff to participate and write the content of the newsletter.

-> Always include an “unsubscribe” or opt-out link.

-> Forwarding to friends is useful and encourages new subscribers.

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