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Monday, October 23, 2017
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Email Marketing Best Practices - Hints on better sending with bulk email software

15 Email-Marketing Best Practices

You feel you are not reaching enough recipients? Your e-mail messages are often marked as spam by mistake? Used wisely and consistently those practices, there’s no doubt you’ll see an increased response from your subscribers -- whether it be for more feedback, more product/seminar registrations, or even more orders.

1. Avoiding the Spam Filters

To make sure your emails don't get flagged as spam -- and deleted before they even get to your subscribers -- avoid using words such as 'Free', '$$$', 'Save', 'Discount', Guarantee', 'Credit card', 'Sex' etc in both the subject line and the content of your email.
Red text
Get the red out. Red is a loud color and can be hard to read. It is also a spam tactic that may trip an email filter.

2. Maximizing Click-Thru Rates

Numerous research papers tell us that the majority of Internet users respond better to a plain, bold, blue text link -- such as this -- as opposed to a banner or button. So, if you're going to include links in your emails, make sure they are bold, blue and underlined. This will mean that more subscribers click through, meaning more conversions/sales for you.

3. The Power of Personalization

The power of personalization can and should be used in your emails. In-fact, by simply starting your email with "Hi [subscriber_name]" instead of the boring "Hi there", you can increase both your reading and click-thru rates by up to 650%. Why? Put simply, it's because your subscribers feel like they already have a relationship with you as you've addressed them by their first name.

4. One-Click Unsubscription

If you want to grow your mailing list, then there are 2 things that you absolutely must have: a double opt-in process, and a quick way to unsubscribe. The unsubscribe link should take the recipient directly to a page where they are then removed -- courteously -- from your mailing list.

5. Signup Confirmation

Don't get accused of spamming -- always, and I mean always use a double opt-in confirmation process. Double opt-in means that after your visitor initially enters their email address to subscribe to your list, you should then send them a "confirmation" email.

6. Tuesday / Wednesday = Increased Response

Studies conducted by online research analysts have shown that the best days to perform a mail-out to your list are Tuesday and Wednesday, as this is when people are more receptive to communication. This means that they are more likely to read your content and click on links, meaning more sales.

7. Repeat Email Communication

An auto responder is an email that is scheduled to be sent at a certain time interval after someone subscribes to your mailing list. Auto responders are a great way to automatically follow up with your subscribers or provide them with more information on your products/services.

For example, if you provide a free newsletter, you could setup 3 auto responders for new subscribers: the first is sent 1 hour after they subscribe. It contains a thank you message and a link to get 10% off your newly released eBook.

The second is sent 24 hours after they subscribe, telling them about your community message boards, and the third is sent 72 hours after they subscribe, in which you can offer them a special deal on becoming a paid member of your site.

Auto responders help your subscribers build trust in both your company and your brand, and this can help make it easier when trying to close sales in the future.

8. Consistency is the Key

If you're running a newsletter or frequent email publication, make sure you keep the look and feel consistent from issue to issue. By keeping the look and feel consistent, you help to maintain and strengthen your brand and your image to your subscribers, which again will make it easier to close sales when you need to.

Create a template for your newsletter and whenever you need to create a new issue, use that template as the basis for each issue.

9. On Time, Every Time

When sending a regular email to your subscribers, always make sure that it's sent on the same day, at the same time.

10. The Half-a-Second Subject Line

When your email arrives in your subscriber’s inbox, you generally have about half a second to catch their attention with the subject line of your email. After this, they will either delete your email or ignore it. In your subject line, try and specify a benefit that the subscriber can expect by reading your email. For example, instead of using 'OurSite Newsletter Issue #1', use 'OurSite Newsletter: 10 Tips for Financial Freedom'.

11. The Free Bonus Hook-In

Free is overused these days, especially on the Internet. However, if you're looking to grow your subscriber list, then create or source a product of value to your visitors (such as an eBook or discount coupon) and offer it to them for free when they signup for your newsletter.

To make sure they don't simply type any email address into your subscription form, setup an auto responder to send them the free bonus 1 hour after they subscribe to your newsletter.

12. The Preview Pane

Popular email clients such as MS Outlook show a preview of an email when it's selected in your inbox. Always have some interesting content at the very top of your email, as this is the part that will show in the preview window of your subscribers email program. If it's interesting enough, then your subscriber will open your email and continue on reading.

13. Link-Click Testing

When creating marketing emails, try using different text for both content and links. Also try re-positioning images such as logos and buttons. After sending about 3 different emails, compare the click-thru stats and see which one worked best. Now, when you need
to send marketing emails in the future, you know that you will be sending the right mix of content and images that will attract the most click-thrus, and ultimately the most sales.

14. Email-Based Learning

Add value to your website, build trust in your visitors, establish your credibility and collect more subscriptions to your mailing list by setting up an email-based learning course. To do this, simply create a series of auto responders (for example, 5 containing unique content. Then, schedule the first one to be sent after 24 hours, the second after 48 hours, etc.

15. Always Sign on the Dotted Line

Your physical address is required by law. Always include your reply email address and your Web site URL, if you have one. Depending on your business, you may decide to include your phone number as well.
Always include a signature at the bottom of your emails, as it's one of the easiest ways to attract more traffic to your website. This signature should include your personal details, your company details, and an unsubscribe link. You can use your signature to link back to your website, and even to other products. Here's a sample signature:

Regards,

Joe  Macaroni.
President - Company ABC.
Visit our website at http://www.companyabc.com
Unsubscribe from this newsletter at http://www.companyabc.com/unsubscribe...

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With the popularity of the Internet, email has become the marketing tool of choice for getting the message out to current and prospective customers. To increase your delivery rates and speed, follow these advices:

Don’t perform virus checking on each one of the 100s mails you are sending

While you should always scan outgoing personal mail for viruses, doing the same on a bulk mailing is a very bad idea. If you are importing a saved .eml file you should scan that file before importing it, but once you launch your mailing there’s no point in checking every single message that’s leaving from your PC! That would slow down things and even prevent many messages from being delivered. Disable your antivirus while sending (or configure it so that it does not check outgoing mail) and re-enable it when you’re finished.

You are not spamming, so don’t be filtered out as spam

Nowadays most mail servers have built-in antispam filters; they are quite smart, but sometimes they fail and delete (or mark as spam and redirect to some “spam” folder) perfectly legal messages; this is a common problem with Hotmail and other very popular free mail services. If you feel a lot of your messages are filtered out and not delivered, here are some basic rules to avoid being named a spammer by mistake:

1. Always include plain text: “personal” e-mail messages, even if written using HTML format, always include a plain text part. If a plain text part is missing, most antispam filters become suspicious.

2. Write, don’t paint: most of your message must be text; avoid including large images. Once again, antispam filters become suspicious when the image / text ratio is too high.

3. Don’t over-attach: attachments should only be used in small, personal lists; if you are publishing a newsletter, upload files on your website and use links instead (your subscribers will be happier too).

4. Don’t say bad words: avoid those words that are constantly flooding your mailbox.

5. Better use Smtp: While Direct Send mode is very useful in many situations, unfortunately nowadays a lot of mail server refuse direct delivery in order to prevent spam. You should better use Smtp when you are mailing a large amount of recipients.

Choose a good SMTP service for your newsletter

A good Smtp service is the key for your speed. While most of ISPs include a free bundled Smtp service as part of their offers, this may not be the right solution when sending large amount of mails. Standard Smtp services may not allow for multiple connections, or limit bandwidth, or even limit the number of messages that can be sent in a given time. “Direct Send” mode is a good alternative option, but unfortunately some servers do not allow direct delivery. If you really need speed consider subscribing a dedicated Smtp service: using multiple simultaneous connections and a fast server can really speed up your mailings, ensure a higher rate of messages are delivered, and definitely save you a lot of time and efforts.

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