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Run A Better E-Mail Campaign October 17, 2010 (0 comments)


Emeryville, CA--Your own inbox is full to bursting, so why should customers’ be any different? Especially since you’re not the only business clamoring for their attention. Even a high-end business risks losing customer interest in its e-marketing if the messages are either too frequent or too unfocused.

Below is a brief excerpt from a whitepaper detailing the most essential points to ensure an outstanding and profitable email marketing campaign. The whitepaper was written by Lyris HQ of Emeryville, CA, a company that provides products for digital marketing. To download the full whitepaper and read in detail, click here.

Excerpted from Lyris’s 25 Essentials for Exceptional Email Campaigns:

1.  Permission is not optional.Unsolicited email and stealth methods of collecting email addresses hurt your brand. Use a two-stage opt-in process.

2.  Don’t get on an ISP’s bad sideby sending too many emails or generating a high number of spam complaints, otherwise you’ll end up in the cyber-version of the closet floor. Honor “unsubscribe” requests right away and monitor spam complaints.

3.  Clean your lists.Cull undeliverables continually and review click-throughs every six months to see who isn’t engaging. Provide a compelling offer to re-engage, or see if a smaller frequency would make a difference.

4.  Be prepared for churn.Even with the most engaging content, 30% of email addresses churn every year. You need both a subscriber retention strategy and acquisition strategy.

5.  Quality, not quantity,should be the goal of your email list. (Editor’s note: This is especially true for a high-end business.)

6.  Opt-in is a statement of trust from your subscribers.Honor their trust by asking only for the information you really, truly need. The more data you request, the more you risk scaring prospects away.

7.  Respecting subscriber privacyis both smart business and good legal advice. Include a short statement about your privacy with the opt-in, linking to your full policy online. If you change your strategy, subscribers should be offered to opt-in again.

8.  Give subscribers control.Let them tell you whether they want more or less information, more or less often, and in what format, then comply. Happy recipients are less likely to unsubscribe.

9.  Design for the inbox.Put your company name in the “from” line, use 50 characters or less in the subject line, and put the most important content of the email first. Open with text, not an image, in case the reader has images disabled.

ChCheck your mechanics regularly. Don’t risk an important message because the response links, images, or unsubscribe functions don’t work. (Editor’s note: Again, a high-end business especially needs to safeguard its image of quality by ensuring top-notch functionality.)

      Test the look of your HTML email on different clients.Send to a sample address on Google, AOL, Yahoo, Earthlink, Outlook preview pane, etc., to spot poor renderings or other formatting gaffes.

      Test for spam filters.Your email campaign does no good if it’s not getting through.

      Give subscribers tools they need to forward,contact you, or manage their subscriptions right in the email. Don’t make them hunt for it.

      Test something every time.Try different subject lines, offers, deployment dates, etc., for different batches of your list, see which gets the best response. Make sure your message is valuable enough to warrant the recipient’s time.

      Segment your list.Don’t send everything to everybody just because it’s free. Just as you did with snail mail, identify who’s interested in what, or how often the recipient opens or shops you, and segment accordingly.

      Personalize.This is more than addressing an email “Dear Mary,” it’s also knowing Mary’s likes, dislikes, and previous buying history.

      Be prepared for mobile media.An HTML message may not translate to a mobile device; offer customers the option of a mobile version instead.

      Integrate email into your overall marketing;it’s not your only marketing.

      Needs change, so make sure your content stays relevant.Survey subscribers occasionally and regularly analyze response results from your tests of different offers, subject lines, etc., to make sure you’re still delivering what they want.

      Measure behavior, not metrics.The number of clicks is less important than the number of clicks that are followed by further action, such as a purchase or download.

      Use technology to your advantage.Instead of “load and send,” technology now allows segmented sends based on response behavior, response, etc. Find a system that offers this and use it.

     Use your Web analytics to enhance your email campaigns and vice versa. The two are tied together. For example, the most-viewed parts of your web site can provide clues to desirable content in an email.

     Good email campaigns need resources. Email may be cheaper than snail mail, but postage is about all you save. New spam and privacy laws and ISP relationships have changed that landscape. Allocate the necessary resources to do it correctly. 

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