eMarketing & Commerce (eM+C)

You will be automatically redirected to emarketingandcommerce in 20 seconds.
Skip this advertisement.

Follow us on

Simple Dos and Don’ts of Email Marketing

November 27, 2012 By Chuck Fandos
Get the Flash Player to see this rotator.

Email is everywhere. It fills our inboxes at home and at work, and follows us on our mobile devices. Let's face it: Email is still the easiest, cheapest way of reaching out to your customers, particularly en masse. We all have growing contact lists of customers and prospects, and we send them all kinds of promotional emails. At most, we hope for a direct response and maybe even an order. At the very least, we hope they'll remember us the next time they make a purchase decision.

The reality is that the vast majority of emails never even get opened and ever stricter spam filters are blocking more and more of them from even reaching their destination. So it's not unreasonable to ask the question, are email marketing campaigns still worth it? Absolutely!

Email is a key part of your ongoing dialog with customers and prospects. Regular and well-conceived email campaigns can be essential to keeping your business top of mind. I emphasize the words "regular" and "well-conceived." Too many ill-targeted emails can actually do more harm than good.

So how do you better leverage email marketing to stay top of mind without crossing the boundaries of acceptability? Here are some simple dos and don'ts to optimize your results:

  • Do define the goal or purpose of your email. Whether it's a one-off email or a blast to thousands of contacts, you always need to offer something of perceived value to your target audience. You need to have a clear idea of who this is going to, what it is you want to offer them and how you want them to respond. This can be special deals, new products, seasonal themes or customer appreciation events.
  • Do craft a simple message. Don't overcommunicate; say what you have to say in the most direct and succinct way possible. Tell your subscribers in a few simple sentences what it is that you have to offer, how it will make their life better/easier and how they can respond. Don't try to communicate convoluted, vague or complex messages. If they have to think about what you're trying to say, you've already lost them. Keep the tone friendly and approachable, the subject lines catchy, and the call to action prominently positioned within the email.
  • Do create a visual feast. A picture is worth a thousand words. An eye-catching image or design will always be more likely to engage your audience than just words. A simple design with simple imagery is best. Don't clutter your email with too many images. It all has to work together at a glance. Also, remember that many email clients block images, so your text needs to be able to stand on its own.
  • Do steer clear of spam elements. Terms like "free," "buy now," "bonus," "guarantee," "risk free" and "discount" will alert spam filters. These filters typically tally the amount of spam-like words used in an email and create a flag after a certain threshold is exceeded. So keep spam-type terminology to a minimum. Avoid attachments as these are also more likely to alert spam filters. Check CAN-SPAM guidelines and stick to them.
  • Do test. Testing before you send a mass email is critical. Test all your links, landing pages, etc. Make sure everything works properly. Test the look of your email for consistency on various email clients and mobile devices. Test two to three different subject lines on a small sampling of recipients to see which one is most successful. This small additional testing step can make a big difference in a broad-based campaign.
  • Do think about timing. Timing can be everything. Generally a good rule of thumb is to send your emails on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., or between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. Emails sent on weekends or after hours are more likely to be deleted. 
  • Do reward social media sharing and forwards. If your subscribers are forwarding your emails to friends, they're doing you a huge favor. Make your emails easy to "Forward to a Friend" and share on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. It's good to recognize sharing and forwards with some sort of acknowledgement. You can take this concept a step further and actively promote rewards for sharing or forwards. This can be a great way to leverage your target audience.
  • Don't write off unsubscribes. Always make it easy for your audience to unsubscribe. It's the right thing to do. Think of unsubscribes as a form of engagement. Use them as a resource. Thank them for their time. Ask them how you might improve your content or approach to avoid future unsubscribes. Offer them a special deal for their insights. Think about creative ways to convert them.
  • Don't forget to repeat. There's a fine line between sending enough emails to stay top of mind and sending too many emails and crossing the annoyance barrier. Keep a decent interval between your email communications. Don't send exactly the same content. Change it up, keep it fresh and keep it relevant.
  • Don't ignore results. Review and monitor your metrics. See which campaigns were most successful — i.e., had the most opens, clickthroughs and forwards. Analyze the ones that weren't successful — i.e., those with the most unsubscribes and lowest response rates. This is your target audience telling you what they may or may not want. These are great learnings! Use them carefully to constantly evolve your campaigns.

There are many ways to reach out to your target audience. Email is one such way. It can help build your brand awareness, drive visitors to your website and help fill your sales pipeline. Use it well, use it wisely!

Chuck Fandos is the CEO of GatewayCDI as well as the co-founder and CEO of Facilis Group. Chuck can be reached at cfandos@facilisgroup.com. 





To meet the demands of today's socially connected donors, this new edition explains how to mesh today's online technologies with direct mail to produce optimal fundraising results. The book includes current research on timely topics such as:  online vs. offline behavior online giving statistics demographicsbest practices in integrated fundraising, and more How to Write Successful Fundraising Appeals, 3rd Edition

To meet the demands of today's socially connected donors, this new edition explains how to mesh today's online technologies with direct mail to produce optimal fundraising results. The book includes current research on timely topics such as:
online vs. offline behavior online giving statistics demographicsbest practices in integrated fundraising, and more...



<i>"Despite news to the contrary — especially from the social media space — reports of the death of email are greatly exaggerated. In fact, as your inboxes most likely show, email is growing and becoming even more sophisticated."</i> -- from <i>The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing</i> 

It's true. Email marketing is still going strong, and continues to be one of the most important factors in any marketing campaign. 

From the first six months of 2010 to the first six months of 2011 alone, there was a nearly 21 percent increase in email volume! The average number of emails received per day in the first six months of 2010 was 472, and during the first six months of 2011, the daily average increased to 571. Marketers are having success with their email campaigns and using it more and more.

That being the case, your email marketing campaign needs all the attention it can get, and knowing what works and what doesn't is the best way to start. That's where "The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing" comes in. 

The Guide is brought to you by the email marketing experts at DMIQ and their extensive research into one of the largest email campaign archives in the industry. On top of latest trends, it features 19 best practice chapters from today's email marketing thought leaders. You will learn how to create a relevant email program to nurture leads and drive sales, how to best use call-to-action visuals in your emails, and how to use social email to improve marketing effectiveness.

You’ll also learn:

•	Email Marketing Trends in 2011
•	Best Practices in Writing Subject Lines
•	The Strategy (and Tricks) for Improving Open Rate and Response
•	6 Tests to Improve Email Program Results
•	5 Best Practices for the Gangbusting Email Campaign
•	Best Practices for Improving Email Performance
•	6 Ways to Make Your Emails Mobile-Ready
•	Email Branding — The 16 Most Effective Strategies
•	11 Best Creative Practices for B-to-B Email Marketing
•	The Keys to Developing a Successful E-newsletter
•	How to Determine Your Customers’ Email Content Tolerance
•	How Email Marketers Can Optimize the Social Media Opportunity
•	…Just to name a few!

This comprehensive report also offers three in-depth case studies, so you can see practical examples of how these methods worked for real-life businesses. "The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing" is an essential tool for any business that ever sends an email. 

<b><u>100% Money-Back Guarantee</b></u>

Your order is risk-free. If you are not completely delighted with “The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing,” notify us within 30 days for a complete credit or refund, no questions asked.

<u>About DirectMarketingIQ</u>
The Research Division of the Target Marketing Group, DirectMarketingIQ (www.directmarketingiq.com) is the go-to resource for direct marketers. Publishing books, special reports, case study stockpiles and how-to guides, it opens up a new world for those who seek more information, more ideas and more success stories in order to boost their own marketing efforts. DirectMarketingIQ has unparalleled access to direct marketing data - including the world's most complete library of direct mail as well as a growing library of promotional emails across hundreds of categories - and proudly produces content from the most experienced editors and practitioners in the industry.

Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to read The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing, which is in PDF format. The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing

PDF FORMAT "Despite news to the contrary — especially from the social media space — reports of the death of email are greatly exaggerated. In fact, as your inboxes most likely show, email is growing and becoming even more sophisticated." -- from The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing It's true....




Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments: