Monday, September 5, 2011

7 Tips for Better Email Marketing

In this fast paced world of ours, everyone is trying to gain a foothold on your business via e-mail. It is becoming more and more difficult to ensure that the e-mail from you is read and not tossed directly into the SPAM file or simply deleted. With the advent of social media sites, e-mails have become more prevalent and the practices have become trickier to get business owners to open them and read them. Here are a few tips that may help you improve your open rates in your email marketing program:

1. Subject Line - Imagination is the key here in getting someone to open your email based on the subject line. Often people make the subject so long that you get bored just reading it or it is too dull and lacks appeal. The trick is to use something unique that will stand out in a crowded inbox. The best approach is to be creative while maintaining relevancy to the content of your email.

2. Who It is From -For those with a name brand like Apple, you should use Apple in the From line rather than a person's name that may be unknown to the email recipient. This is one of the most important aspects of getting your email opened. If someone doesn't know the person that is sending the email, the chances of it being opened are much lower. Try something unusual or use your company name (unless your name is Steve Jobs - I imagine his emails get opened very frequently).

3. Less is Better -Don't overflow with words that lose the recipient. Say it and get it over with. Less is always better. You can send another message later with more information. Remember the KISS approach (Keep It Simple, Stupid).

4. Images Turned Off -Often someone will not turn on images unless you have tweaked their interest. Therefore, make sure that the message will still be delivered without the images being turned on. This is usually a step in the review process if you use an email management system such as MailChimp. Don't skip this step - make sure it works.

5. Provide the Ability to Control Frequency of Messages -If you grab the interest of a recipient, don't spoil things by inundating them with messages every hour or every day. Give them a break and control the frequency and the types of messages so that they do not get upset and run to your competitor instead. This also lowers the risk of email recipients labeling your email as spam and reporting it as such. Send emails out just frequently enough that potential customers keep your name and products in mind; but don't flood them with too many emails. Balance.

6. Personalization -Many times the personalization of the subject or even the body of the message generate more interest from the recipient.

7. Develop a Mobile Version - With the frequent use of Smartphones, you need to ensure that your message is viewable on a mobile device. Make sure folks can view your email properly from their smartphone or other portable Internet accessible devices.

Email marketing has had ups and downs over the past few years. However, it's an accepted method of marketing and will remain in use for many years to come. Hopefully these tips will help your email campaigns work their way through obstacles and help you get your emails opened and read.

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