Best Practices for E-mail Marketing Success

1. Don’t spam: Not only will you damage the reputation of your company, but also you may be breaking laws against spamming. Make sure that the list you send to is comprised of stakeholders in your company and make sure they have the option to “opt-out” or “unsubscribe” to your e-mails. Know the laws affecting e-mail marketing and comply.

2. e-mail-marketing-messages-practices-internetSanitize your mailing lists: Updating your mailing lists to replace out-of-date, incorrect, duplicate or unsolicited e-mail addresses can lead to better results in reaching the right people. Continue to add quality addresses to your e-mail list to reach more people.

3. Test for delivery and formatting: Different e-mail providers may display e-mails with html, graphics and formatting in different ways. Test for this by sending your e-mail to several test accounts with major providers such as Hotmail, AOL, Gmail, Earthlink, and Yahoo! to test for bad links and formatting and delivery issues.

4. Respect recipients privacy: If someone opts-out or chooses to unsubscribe, do not re-add them to your list. Respect the people you send to and keep your reputation in tact. They can always come back to you later if they choose to do so.

5. Give recipients what they want and nothing they don’t: Don’t waste recipients’ time with fluff. Give them the information that will be of interest to them and leave out the extras.

6. Make it fun: You have a purpose as a marketer and that can sometimes leave you very focused and narrow-minded. This is good on some level, but for e-mail marketing to be effective, you need to entertain as well as inform. Say what you need to say in a way that entices your reader.

7. Personalize for greater relevance: It is possible with top-quality e-mail services to personalize at different levels. E-mails can include specific names, buying history, content and format for individual recipients.

8. Use good design and proper format: Use a design that is both aesthetically appealing and easy to navigate. Difficult design and structure can frustrate users and lead to higher rates of deletion and loss of subscribers. Make it a priority to make your newsletter as interesting and user-friendly as possible. Check your e-mail over meticulously for grammar and spelling errors as well as validity of content before distributing your e-mails.

9. Design e-mails for the inbox: Put your company name in the “from” line for easy recognition. Use the subject line as an opportunity for a concise attention grabber. Design the top of your e-mail to be “preview pane” and “images disabled” friendly. Use teaser text and html colors and layout rather than images so that readers get a preview even if images are disabled. Put your call-to-action, your sales pitch or your main point at the top of the e-mail. You have only a few seconds to make your point. Make the most of them.

10. Deliver what your recipients want continuously: Keep your e-mails consistently fresh and interesting. Create an e-mail that your recipients expect to be interesting, new and relevant to them so that they continue to open your e-mails time after time. Analyze the data that you receive; such as whether certain e-mails were opened and which links were clicked. This lets you know what works and what doesn’t. Also: survey your recipients on occasion to discover their needs and interests. This makes it easy to tailor your e-mails to your audience.

By following these ten e-mail marketing tips, you will certainly see an increase in the success of your efforts. No matter what your e-mail marketing goals are, your e-mails can be tailored and your skills can be honed to reach your target market and succeed at e-mail marketing.

Direct Mail Marketing vs. E-Mail Marketing

When attempting to promote products for your company, you, as a marketer, must decide which marketing strategy would be the best bet for your budget.  Especially in the current struggling economy, marketers need to figure out what will be the most successful and cost-effective option.

direct mail marketing postcards and flyersSending out direct mail could be a very expensive option, especially in comparison to e-mail marketing.  All of the printing costs and shipping costs add up.  The question you must ask yourself is “Is it worth it?”  Does the return on investment outweigh the initial costs?  Also, the waste generated from direct mail does not make it the most environmentally-friendly option.  Although you can have your direct mail pieces printed on recycled paper with eco-friendly UV inks or renewable soy-based inks, there is no guarantee that the recipient will actually recycle the mail when they are finished.  There are benefits to direct  mail marketing campaigns.  They are able to gather a higher number of leads, compared to other marketing techniques.  They add a personal touch to your marketing campaign, and the recipients are much more likely to see a flyer or postcard, compared to an e-mail that can be deleted without even opening it.  A custom design CD/DVD mailer could attract more attention and the recipient might spend a longer amount of time looking at it.

e-mail marketingE-mail marketing strategies are considerably cheaper than direct mail marketing campaigns, but they may not have as high of a return.  In fact, most e-mail service providers filter out junk or spam mail from being sent to the user’s inbox, and sometimes legitimate e-mail marketing subscriptions accidentally get flagged as spam mail.  There is a very small chance that the recipient will actually open and read the e-mail, even if they subscribed to the e-mail advertisements.  But if it does work, it can get out to a large number of people at little or no cost.

Both direct mail marketing strategies and e-mail marketing strategies have their advantages and disadvantages.  A campaign that has a mix of the two strategies could be very successful.  Direct mail pieces that are sent out should at least have a website on them that recipients could easily visit.  If there is no way that consumers could respond from the ease of their own home, without having to mail something back out, the response rate may not be very high.  This, in turn with e-mail marketing could increase your rate of response and online sales.