Aug 13, 2010

Email back to basics...

Email marketing has been a mainstay for many of you for a while now. Don't lose sight of the basics! It's easy to drift out of bounds. Always keep in mind refining each of these critical elements:

Recognizability - Does your “from” line includes your company name to tell the receiver the message is not spam? If not, you’re spam on toast.

Content - A constant sales pitch is the worst sort of “me-me-me-ism.” What’s in it for the reader? Include relevant, usable information and suddenly you’re a resource, not a pushy salesperson.

Subject line - Short, straightforward and clear. No need for sassy puns or clever twists. You have about 45 characters to get your point across, so … just the facts, ma’am.

Email list - Your list is golden if everyone on it expects to hear from you and is looking forward to your next email. Make sure all the people on it have opted in and know what they’ll be getting from you. Don’t promise tips and send ads.

Timing - Are you delivering your message at the optimal time and day? In general, midweek and either early morning or later in the afternoon are best. Mid-day is peak email time, so try to avoid being buried in an overflowing inbox.

Links - Give readers a choice of links and topics to follow onto your site and you give them more opportunities to act.

Purpose - Is it clear why you’re sending the email? Successful mailings focus on a single topic and provide clear instructions so readers can easily take the next step.

The ideal time to put these best practices into play is when you send out your first newsletter. And sometimes we need to take a look back after email success, and make sure our basics are still in order.