Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Email Marketing Best Practices

Email Marketing is when you use electronic mail as your means of communicating messages directly to an audience. It presents more opportunities for your business and drives a better return on investment than other forms of outbound marketing.

Here are some "best practices" to follow for you to create an effective email marketing campaign...

Know your Target Audience
Targeting a specific audience allows you to focus your campaigns on a specific group of people that is more likely to read your message and respond as intended. In addition, sending a message to the audience not within the target is likely to increase the number of recipients that mark your message as Spam or choose to unsubscribe. In that case, you will not be able to reach those recipients later when you send a message intended for them.

Communicate on all Devices
Email is the #1 app on mobile devices, and more than 50% of email opens are on mobile devices. So, your email messages and email marketing service must be able to deliver your messages in a mobile-friendly format. Some email service providers can accommodate presenting your message in the best format for the reader's device.

Write a Great Subject Line
Your email subject line is often the first piece of information about your message that the reader will see. A successful campaign starts with a subject line that grabs the attention of your reader. As per Convince & Convert, 35% of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone.

Use a From Name & Email Address They Will Know
In addition to the subject line, the from name and email address of the sender are among the first information from your message that the reader will see. As per Convince & Convert, 43% of email recipients click the Spam button based on the email from name or email address.

Include a "Call to Action"
A "Call to Action" is the part of the message that requests the reader to take an immediate action, such as to sign up for a demo, call you for specials or direct the reader to your website. If your call to action is not clear, you may not get a good result from your campaign.

Limit Photos and Images
Some email hosting companies will mark in-coming messages as Spam when there is a high ratio of images to text. That is because some senders mask their inappropriate content by including it the image since Spam filters cannot "read" the content in the image. Additionally, the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 requires that each commercial email message have at least 1 written sentence.

Track Campaign Performance
Using an email marketing software product (e.g. MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc.) provides one key advantage over using your own email service provider. That is, you can monitor the performance of your campaign. These software tools allow you to track how many people opened your email campaigns and see exactly what they clicked. Then, you can make decisions about how to proceed with contacting your readers who have or have not opened or clicked on your email campaign.

Be Careful when Buying a List of Email Addresses
You need to be very careful when buying or renting lists of email addresses. Sometimes they are of sufficient low quality that a large number of the unsolicited messages you send will be marked as Spam. When that happens, some email providers will close or lock your account to prevent you from continuing to send Spam messages.

Where to Get Email Addresses
The best list of email addresses will be from the people you know, or have already started a professional relationship. Go through your own email address list of friends, family and business associates. Include the contacts you have from LinkedIn and other social media sites. Also, use the names and email addresses from business cards you collected.

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