38 posts categorized "Getting started" Feed

3 Startup Mistakes to Avoid in Email Marketing

A new business is born every 5 seconds in the U.S. according to the Startup Ecosytem Report 2012 by Startup Genome. Of them, 45% last only 6 months before closing their doors, and only 1 in 12 businesses succeed and stay in the market.

Why is this figure so high? 20% of startups fail because of poorly thought out, or lack of, marketing activities. As email marketing is a simple and cost effective method providing high ROI, startup marketers often say ‘YES’ to email marketing, although often they also make mistakes. So, what are they and how can they be avoided?

1. Waiting too long for campaigns

The best thing about startups is that they have the possibility to begin marketing activities with the very first client. Building an email database can take some time, especially if you are an unknown newcomer.

If there are only a few subscribers within the first weeks or months, you may think that sending email campaigns is not worth it. But the thing is that subscribers may soon forget you if you don’t remind them about yourself often enough. Enter into email marketing with well thought out and regular campaigns - even for small audiences. After all, they are your first customers and the basis of your business.

Take advantage of the bundles of startup tool-kits with particularly favorable offers provided by business incubators. Several ESPs also offer free mailing for startups. For example, Mailchimp is known by its freemium approach to startups and the Forever Free plan as long as you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers. Mailigen recently launched its Epic Free email marketing account that allows you to grow your database up to 5,000 subscribers and use free mailing forever.

2. Forgetting about the first engagement

If you have planned email campaigns on a regular basis within your marketing strategy, new subscribers will simply join your list and start receiving regular news and offers. They can sign up the next day or after a month, depending on your campaign schedule.

However, a problem may occur similar to the one mentioned above, that is, even if subscribers remember you, they may misperceive your message because they have not been properly introduced to your company. Get started with a series of autoresponders that engages in your brand little by little, for example, a thank you email right after signing up or a reminding email about the end of the trial period.

3. Leaving email marketing in solitude

If you are a startup marketer, email marketing most likely is not the only marketing method you have started to undertake. Email marketing is a long-term solution for building trusted relationships with your audience, and it fits perfectly into the marketing mix of other strategies.

One of the most popular and must-have marketing methods used by startups is social networking. Promote actively both sign up forms and sent campaigns via social media. In addition, take advantage of mobile marketing. Start email and SMS list building at once in order to kickstart your new business with complete integrated marketing.


When done well, email marketing brings one of the highest ROI within other marketing strategies. Go ahead with a smart start. Prepare autoresponders and the first campaign before you even start to promote subscription and link it with other marketing tools in a common strategy. Wishing you a great start with the new business!

This is a guest post by Liga Bizune, Public Relations Manager of Mailigen.

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3 Steps to Regular Email Newsletters

In this blog post, Mathew Patterson offers these 3 tips to help you send out newsletters on a regular schedule:

  1. Create a publishing calendar
    Pick a realistic frequency, whether that's weekly, monthly or whatever, and add recurring tasks to the calendar.

    Don't forget to add in special notes for emails close to major events like Easter, Christmas or relevant times like school holidays as appropriate for each client.

  2. Appoint an owner for the newsletter
    Make sure a single person knows that it is their job to make sure each issue goes out on time. They can solicit content and help from others, but it is their job to get everything ready to go.

    It's just too easy to think 'someone else will do it' when a group of people are all responsible.

  3. Keep an ideas file
    Keep an ideas file in a shared location, where you can record ideas and information.

    When the newsletter owner comes to put together an issue, they can go through the file and slot items in. Other content sources could include blog posts, customer feedback and industry news that occurs between issues.

By creating some lightweight structure, you can remove a lot of the barriers to regular email newsletters, and create consistent, effective publishing.

Source: Campaign Monitor

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6 Email Marketing Myths Debunked by Loren McDonald

In this article, Loren McDonald debunks 6 email marketing myths:

  • Myth #1: The CAN-SPAM Act doesn't require permission
    "CAN-SPAM is just a start. Permission, in fact, is the foundation of customer relevance and trust."
  • Myth #2: Open rates are a good measure of email success
    "In the early days of email, the open rate was a valued metric because it captured who opened and, by inference, who then viewed or read the email. Today, the preview pane and image blocking have turned the open metric into a tired, inaccurate and irrelevant metric that no longer measures what it was originally intended to."
  • Myth #3: Email is cheap, so send again. And again.
    "Consumers and the ISPs control the ecosystem. Yes, increased frequency can often deliver short-term results. But it also increases list churn through higher spam complaints and unsubscribes and, subsequently, higher acquisition costs to replace the lost customers and revenue."
  • Myth #4: "I don't control my delivery rates"
    "There is, however, no magic pixie dust to sprinkle on the email list to get high delivery rates. It simply requires following well-publicized best practices."
  • Myth #5: Larger lists are better
    "Yes, growing your email database is important because you'll typically lose about one-third of your list annually through normal churn. Additionally, various studies suggest that one- to two-thirds or more of your list members are actually inactive (no opens or clicks for some extended time frame)."
  • Myth #6: Moving beyond "batch and blast" is really difficult
    "No, it isn't. Advances in email marketing software now make sophisticated techniques such as lifecycle, trigger- and behavior-based email programs possible for marketers at all tiers."

Read the full article here.

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Warning Signs That Your Small Business Client is Spamming

In their latest whitepaper "Warning Signs That Your Client is Spamming", MailChimp lists the most common reasons they end up having to shut down an agency’s client for too many spam complaints:

  • Old lists – If your client has been collecting email addresses on their website for years, and this is their first email campaign to the list, there will be people who don’t remember the client (“Who the heck are you, and how’d you get my email address!?!?”) These people will report you for spamming.
  • Spam traps – Some ISPs take very old email addresses that they assume aren’t being used anymore, and they post them to public websites. Then they wait for spam-bots to scrape them, and spam them. As soon as they get spam to one of these “spam trap” addresses, they block the spammer. This is why you never send to a list more than a year or two old. It’s also why you should never buy an email list, and why you should never scrape emails off of websites. The effect of hitting a spam trap is devastating and fast.
  • Tradeshow lists – When people attend a tradeshow, they usually buy their tickets online. They submit their email address. The tradeshow host then gives their email address to the companies who exhibit at the show. Companies can theoretically use this list to find prospects who plan to attend the show, and reach out to them. That’s fine, so long as the communication is one-to-one. But if they send an email campaign to the entire list, it’s spam, and they will get reported for it.
  • Outlook address book dumps – This one’s extremely common with small businesses who don’t have big fancy customer databases. They just manage everything in their Microsoft Outlook Address Book. The problem is their address book doesn’t let them export a list of “only my customers” or “only people who opted-in for email marketing.” It exports everybody, including “grandma, that dude I met at a tradeshow 5 years ago, my ISP tech support that I emailed 2 years ago, and my ex-wife.” These people will report you for spam. But it’s not limited to small businesses. You may tell your client, “Okay, we’re prepping the big email campaign now. I’m going to need your customer email list.” Your client will then ask their entire company sales team, to “Give me your lists of customers by close of business, so we can get our exciting email newsletter out!” Guess what that sales team is going to do. They’re going to dump their entire address book out and send it over. They’re not going to spend the time to sort out opt-ins vs. non-opt-ins.
  • Salesforce dumps – This is very similar to the “Address Book Dump” above, but at least you have some sort of classification (theoretically) of email lists. Be on the lookout for clients who dump all their different lists into one big one. Ask them if they combined their prospects list, leads Warning list, qualified leads list, customer list, and subscriber lists, then tell them how dangerous that is.
  • Purchased lists – It’s a real no-brainer that purchasing 30 million emails from some seedy offshore company is a stupid idea. The thing is, most clients buy lists from local networking organizations, or tradeshows, or publications they advertise in. They sound innocent, and totally legit. And sometimes, the intent of the list seller is to let you send one-to-one communications (not spam). But the reality is that most people buy those lists to send unsolicited bulk email. So ask your client if the list was purchased. If it was purchased, then whoever sold them the list needs to send the bulk email. Or, the client needs to send totally different emails, one at a time. Unacceptable responses to this include, “But this list is all legit” and “But this list is all opt-in” and “But this list was very, very expensive” and “But this list came from a very reputable industry source that everybody knows.”
  • Organization lists – Your client may be a member of a realtors’ organization, or a local business group. Organizations will often give you their membership directory whenever you join. This is for one-to-one networking. Not mass-subscribing them all to email marketing. The most vicious spam complaints can come from these lists, because very often your client’s competitors will be members of the same organization.
  • Chambers of Commerce lists – When you see a small/new company that has an inexplicably large email list, it’s probably from their local chamber. Again, the lists they give out are for one-to-one networking with other business owners. Not mass email marketing.
  • Lists from their previous ESP – If you’re helping a client switch from one email service provider to another, make sure they’re exporting the latest clean version of their subscriber list. Some clients will mistakenly export their entire list of subscribers (even those who previously unsubscribed, or bounced).

Download the whitepaper here.

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10 Email Marketing Mistakes

Loren McDonald lists 10 email marketing mistakes in his Email Insider column:

  1. Making it difficult to unsubscribe.
  2. No "welcome" message and/or waiting weeks to send the first message.
  3. Overmailing.
  4. Using a large single image as the core of your email.
  5. Not using alt tags.
  6. Relying on graphical links.
  7. Not having a preference center.
  8. Not designing for the preview pane.
  9. Using a person's name in the "from" line.
  10. Hiding email registration.

Read the full article here.

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Five Factors to Consider When Growing Your List

1. Make your sign-up form easy to find
Make sure you have forms (as opposed to buttons) published in hard-to-miss locations on your pages, and on as many pages where the form is relevant. Remember that nearly every page on your site has the potential to be a landing page, particularly in the case of visitors arriving from search engines.

2. Provide a convincing incentive for subscribers to sign up
This is a great place to split-test copy and design. Testing will tell you what works best for you and your visitors.

3. Don't ask for too much information
It's tempting to ask for more information that might teach you slightly more about your subscribers, but the more information you ask for, the more hesitant many people will be to give up private information and to invest time into filling out your form.

Keep it simple. Ask for what you need to email your subscribers with your goals for personalization and segmentation in mind. Usually, "Name" and "Email" are all you need.

4. Use a thank-you page that does its job
The job of a good thank-you page, usually, is to transition subscribers from a Web site experience to an inbox experience.

Set expectations with subscribers about what they should expect to receive, including what your emails will look like in their inbox, and what they should do with it. This is especially important when using a confirmed opt-in process.

5. Understand why subscribers are leaving
Many email marketing software products provide an option for subscribers to leave feedback on their way out. Take to heart the concerns of these people and learn from them. Maybe you're not targeting correctly, or maybe you send messages too frequently.

Source: MarketingProfs

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Email is Not A Viable Acquisition Tool in the Way Direct Mail is

In this article, Chris Marriott says that email is not a viable acquisition tool in the way direct mail is for a couple of reasons:

  • anti-spam legislation
  • it's not as easy to get your email address as it is your postal address.
  • even if a business has your email address, you can opt-out of that first prospecting email and be free forever from further offers.

According to Chris:

"email is the most cost-effective retention, cross-sell and loyalty tactic in the universe, but it is not a viable acquisition tool in the way that direct mail is."

So how do you generate demand through digital channels, and at the same time incorporate the targeting of direct mail?

"The real workhorse of demand generation on the web is targeted display advertising. For the time being, this is the digital successor to targeted direct mail. And in today's world there are many different approaches being applied to targeted display ads -- behavioral and contextual being the two with the most promise. In both instances, marketers deliver ads based on knowledge gleaned from either the actions of the user -- a visit to one website can be the basis for serving ads to that person on another site -- or the content consumed at that particular moment -- an article on the latest tech gadgets brings up an ad for a new smart phone."

There's lots more to say about the many improvements in display ad targeting, but the point I'm making is that the next time you hear someone at your company suggest replacing direct mail demand generation with an email program, make sure he or she understands that targeted display advertising is the better road to travel for demand generation on the web.

Once your display ads have hooked that new customer, and you get him or her into your email database, then enjoy the universe-dominating cost-effectiveness of email for retention, loyalty and cross-sell. And if you work with a digital agency that is proficient in both email and targeted display advertising, you're already off to a great start in "going green!"

Read the full article on iMedia Connection.

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How To Make Your Email Marketing Campaign Stand Out From the Rest

1) Simplicity.
It's the old KISS metaphor (Keep It Simple, Stupid). Email has an attention-capturing window of opportunity that is greatly diminishing. Some say three seconds, some five, but either way, it isn't a lot of time. Nielson Norman Group produced a newsletter usability report in June of 2006 ("Email Newsletter Usability") which indicated an average newsletter has the reader for up to 40-50 seconds, while a marketing or promotional email retains the reader for less than 5 seconds.

The fact is we read less, scan more, and make decisions based on where we are drawn into the message--some through a contextual hero image, some through flow of images, typography and layout, and some by modularity. You should understand the basic principles: a simple call to action, buttons, text links and image roll-overs make quick comprehension easier. If it doesn't pass the scan test, then it won't be compelling.

I recommend you test your design on an internal focus group. Flash the email in front of them for five seconds and have them tell you what it said and what the call to action was. If they can't tell you, then you should consider revising.

2) Color.
Go back to the principles of design and use contrasting colors, but do so for the right reasons: to draw the eye, reinforce a value statement, and amplify the call to action. In addition, you have another consideration - how your colors appear within the email inbox interface. Do your light blue borders get muted out in AOLs predominately blue interface? Cool design can get blurred when there is an animated image of an eBay IT campaign flashing at the bottom. Is there a competition of cohesive?

3) Proportion.
While the email industry has migrated to a concept of design in which the top 200-300 pixels are a virtual banner, too many designs have disproportionate layouts (almost like an hourglass).  Your email should flow smoothly and be evenly distributed if your intent is for the reader to flow through content.  Eye tracking studies show how most users scan e-mail and apply those logics (if you want more information on this, check out http://www.eyetools.com.)  If the intent is to design a singular message, then design it to a five-second preview. That way the eye is conditioned to the flow and not tempted to roam. 

4) Message focus.
Email is direct response, not a website. Infuse what you know about good media and banner design into your creative by minimizing your real estate. This will cause you to be more concise in your messaging and creative treatments. Just because you have a never-ending scroll doesn't mean you need to use it all. Use imagery to quickly communicate a message, not merely for beautification. While I love the retail industry, the cataloger view of delivering email messages (with the large postcard-like image) has shown diminishing response. Catalogers are continually amazed when simple SALE messages, without that large postcard image, result in a boost in sales. Never forget that because this is a sales message, a response is required.

Source: Topica's Online Marketers Newsletter

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How To Write a Powerful Call-to-Action

In this article Constant Contact's Amy Black provides these tips on how to get your readers to take action when they receive your emails:

Know exactly what you want them to do. If you don’t know what you want the reader to do, they certainly won’t know. Do you want them to:

  • Buy something? 
  • Sign up for a service?
  • Read an article or get more information?
  • Visit your website or store?
  • Make an appointment?
Make your call-to-action:
  • Visible – If your CTA is buried in the middle of a lot of copy or only found at the very bottom of your email, your reader may not see it. Your best bet is to include your CTA in a number of places in your email—right up top, somewhere in the middle, and at the end.
  • Clear – If your reader is unclear about what you are asking them to do, they aren’t going to do it. Have a friend or colleague read over the offer to make sure it’s easy to understand.
  • Compelling – Put the benefits right up front and show and tell why this is an offer they can’t refuse! Also, use action-oriented phrases like "buy now" and "call today."
  • Urgent – Give your readers a certain time period in which they have to respond. Setting a deadline is a proven way to boost response.
  • Repeat the offer on the webpage you link to. This tip is mostly for people who want a reader to purchase, or sign up for, something. For starters, link directly to the page where the reader can take the action you’ve asked them to take. When they get to the page, make it easy for them to remember what you are asking them to do by repeating your call to action.

Source: Constant Contact

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10 B2B Email Marketing Best Practices

A B2B email campaign is very different from a B2C campaign. According to Simms Jenkins there are three major differences:

  1. Your tone should be much like it would be in a face-to-face meeting with your prospects: direct, professional and in a manner that makes your audience want to do business with you. Don't waste your time building up to the pitch -- state why you are sending this message and what's in it for the recipient.
  2. The message should clearly articulate the purpose and value to the subscribers while making it easy for them to identify and act on any call to action. Don't bog them down with too many cross promotional messages or secondary marketing messages. Allow them to scan the email and find out what's in it for them.
  3. Your main measurement analysis should not be based on opens and clicks but on how many leads are generated. Careful attention should be paid to forwards and any additional email subscriptions generated from the campaign. A high open and clickthrough rate but lack of leads could mean you put up too many barriers to capture the lead. Ensure your landing page and relevant gateway pages (for example, the white paper sign-up page) are easy to find and utilize. This may take some coordination that goes outside the realm of a typical email manager.

Simms lists these 10 best practices in B2B email marketing:

  • Know your audience: If you are mailing to IT network administrators, an image-heavy newsletter probably will not be well received. Instead, send a text-only message. Follow the cues of what your audience is like and don't take a one-size-fits-all approach.
  • Mobile email triage is real: An increasing number of business executives use their mobile devices/PDAs to perform email triage. This means that if you have a weak message or lack something compelling or of immediate value to your email, you may have the busy exec delete your email while in a meeting. On the flip side, a unique email with a relevant purpose may get saved for the executive to read in the office.
  • Make it easy for the mobile audience: Click here to read on your mobile phone is becoming more commonplace on B2B emails and may help you escape mobile email rendering snafus.
  • From & Subject lines: Emails from a CEO to a fellow executive tend to resonate. Ensure your From line is from someone who matters. Combine this with a short Subject line that can break through the clutter while demonstrating a reason for the user to read this email.
  • Short and sweet: Whether read on an iPhone or laptop, make your message count. That means make sure it gets read. Long emails without clear calls to action will get skimmed and deleted. Make your value proposition above the fold and obvious to the people that will browse over your email looking for a reason to read (or delete).
  • Don't oversell: Too many promises, customer raves or pricing information may overwhelm your audience and diminish your opportunity to have people click on a link where they can find the details of the service or product being offered.
  • Respect the audience's time: Frequency is a significant issue for all mailings, but if a business subscriber doesn't respond to the first two messages, it doesn't mean you should send to him even more frequently.
  • Test: I received seven different emails from a lead generation company in the span of five minutes this morning. The emails actually contained decent messaging and links to at least one relevant case study. They had me until hello occurred seven times. Someone was asleep at the wheel when the campaigns were segmented and set. Do your due diligence before an email is sent as these campaigns did more damage than good.
  • Offer something unique: A white paper can often work, but they are everywhere, aren't they? Provide access and perks that are gold to the C-suite audience. For example, one client attempting to register business executives for an annual event tested pricing breaks versus admission to a VIP event. Remember, the B2B audience usually isn't spending its own money so you can guess which offer performed better.
  • Remarket: Create a follow-up campaigns based on how each user responded (or didn't) to the initial campaign. Using your metrics can guide you to a better and more relevant strategy.

Source: iMedia Connection

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How To Combat "Inbox Triage"

What do you think your subscribers are doing with your e-mail right this minute?

Most likely, they aren't sitting at a desk scrolling patiently through their inboxes, looking for your message.

Instead, they're doing what David Daniels, Jupiter Research VP, calls "inbox triage" -- wading through their increasingly cluttered inboxes quickly to remove the junk (permission e-mail as well as spam) before they start reading and responding.

They're multitasking like crazy, too: watching TV, talking on the phone, instant-messaging, listening to their iPods, downloading, taking a break from an online game, or even all of these at once.

They're also getting sidetracked by their e-mail clients, which keep squeezing the inbox into a smaller space to make room for RSS feeds, social-networking tabs, instant messaging clients, calendars, contact lists, notepads, and display ads.

Here's a snapshot of your subscribers' inbox behavior, according to Daniels' research:

  • The average person gets 274 personal e-mail messages a week and 304 work e-mails.
  • 74 percent have at least two e-mail accounts (either personal and work, or shared and personal, or public and private accounts)
  • The average reader takes two to five seconds to decide whether to read or delete an e-mail.

Studies of how people manage their cluttered inboxes vary, but the results are the same: They hit the "report as spam" button when they don't recognize the sender, often without opening the e-mail.

Continue reading here to find out what you should do to get your messages recognized and read.

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Every Email You Send Should Be Relevant, Valuable, Welcomed and Wanted

As we move closer to a time when consumer spam complaints will weigh heaviest on a marketers' deliverability and ROI, successful firms will increase their focus on making sure that every e-mail they send is relevant, valuable, welcomed and wanted by its recipients.

To survive and thrive in the next phase of e-mail marketing, keep these two core principles in mind:

  • How you give notice trumps how you get permission. Getting consumers' permission is meaningless unless you are clear about what they are agreeing to when they sign up. At a recent industry conference, AOL's postmaster, Charles Stiles, told attendees, “I don't care if they triple opted-in and gave you their credit card number.” He drew chuckles, but made his point loud and clear: Opt-in is meaningless if consumers subsequently click the “Report Spam” button.
  • Relevancy rules. There are no “throw away” communications in the e-mail world, where consumers provide immediate and constant feedback about what they think of your programs to their ISPs. Before clicking send, always ask yourself, “Is the individual recipient I'm sending this to going to find it valuable?” And while you're at it, “Would I be happy to receive this message.”

Source: DMNews

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Your 10-Point Quality-Control Checklist

It's every email sender's nightmare to launch a bug-filled campaign where everyone will see your mistakes. But, if you exercise strict quality control all along the production line, you'll reduce your potential exposure and send campaigns with confidence, even the last-minute ones.

Stefan Pollard shares this 10-Point Checklist:

  1. I am sending to the correct list.
  2. I proofread all the text in Notepad before having it coded for my HTML messages.
  3. I verified that the offer or other purpose for sending the message is the correct one.
  4. I included an unsubscribe link and street address as required by CAN-SPAM. (Or, I included all the elements my country's commercial-email regulations require.)
  5. These identifying elements are present and accounted for:
    • The subject line is filled in with text that accurately represents the email message content. --
    • The "from" line shows my company or brand name, not an email address. 
    • Any dates, especially copyright, reflect the correct year. 
    • My company contact information, including name, street address, telephone numbers, Web site and email address for questions or concerns.
  6. I clicked every link and link-connected image to make they all work and checked to make sure each image has an alt tag describing the content.
  7. I previewed the message in my preview pane and with images disabled, in different browsers and on different computer platforms.
  8. I proofread my text message and included the link to my message on the Web.
  9. I had one other person look it over before I hit "send."
  10. I tested my body copy and HTML coding with a delivery monitoring tool to make sure it doesn't trigger spam filters.

Source: EmailLabs

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Mobile RSS Reader with Pre-Loaded Email Marketing Blogs

eROI wanted to give marketers a new mobile tool to help them stay connected to the sites and blogs that they should be reading on the go. Therefore they brought together a collection of some of the top sites in a handy mobile RSS reader app. You can even add your own content from a library of sites and blogs as well as add any RSS feeds you might find useful. Get it here!

Thanks Dylan! We love you! :-)

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Things to Check Before You Launch Your Email Campaign

I just added the following checklist to the Email Marketer's Club Wiki. It contains the things you should check before you send out your email campaigns. I'm sure I've missed stuff, so feel free to help build a thorough checklist here.

The list

  • Are you sending it to the correct list? Particularly important if you're an agency sending on behalf of multiple clients. Or, if you just want to send to your test list, make sure that it's selected here (and not your "real" list).
  • Do you have permission to send emails to the people on your list?

  • Does your brand appear in the “from” line?
  • Is the subject benefit-oriented instead of "selling"? Make the first 45 characters or so count. Ask yourself, "What will make a reader immediately open this message?" Rewrite the subject line at least 10 to 20 different ways to come up with the best approach. Test subject lines.
  • Are you sending the email at a time when the recipient is most likely to read it?

Top of Email or Preview Pane
  • Did you includes a link to view the email online?
  • Are you featuring your brand or logo prominently?
  • Does the email include the newsletter title or strong headline?

Body Content
  • Is it personalized with the recipient’s name? Do all the merge fields work properly?
  • Did you include an opening paragraph that pulls readers in?
  • Does the copy read like it comes from a person?
  • Does the email includes benefit-oriented information that is also engaging?
  • Are you making it clear to the reader what you want him to do? Make the call-to-action link prominent, not only on top of the message, but in several additional places in the email as well.
  • Do you have multiple calls to action? Both as text links and images? 
  • Can the email be easily skimmed? Did you use short paragraphs and bullet points?
  • Is it a manageable length to read online?
  • Did you not include too many topics in the email? Maybe it would be better to split the content over two emails?
  • Did you check the copy one last time for spelling mistakes?

  • Are you using images sparingly? (only when they advance the goals of the email)
  • Are your all your images loading and do they load quickly?
  • Do all the links work? Don't forget to check the links in the text version!
  • Are all the images linked?
  • Did you check what the email looks like in different email clients such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Thunderbird, Entourage, Lotus Notes...
  • Are you using the correct email template for the campaign?
  • Did you remember to create a plain-text version of the email?

  • Do you have a working unsubscribe link?
  • Did you include your physical (USPS) address?
  • Are you protecting your content with a copyright notice?

Landing page
  • Is the landing page live?
  • Is the content and the design on the landing page consistent?
  • Is the content not too long?
  • Is the call to action obvious?
  • Is the landing page copy not too long?
  • Is the registration form not too long? Ask only for the basic information you need. Long forms have a higher exit rate. You can always ask more questions later.

  • Are you asking recipient to whitelist the “from” address so future e-mails get delivered to their inbox?
  • Are you including a viral call to action, encouraging the reader to share your email with friends or colleagues?
  • Did you include a subscription mechanism for people it is forwarded to?
  • Are you sending the email in multi-part MIME format?
  • Did you incorporate tracking and reporting?

Do you think something's missing? Add it to the checklist here.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

4 Tips to Improve Your Email Marketing Campaigns in 2008

The Messaging Times offers 3 great tips to improve your email marketing campaigns in 2008. Here they are:

  1. Create a calendar for your email marketing campaigns so that you have a visual representation of your recipients, content and frequency (Who, What, When). Paste it on the wall in front of your desk or save it as your computer’s background image.
  2. Design an email marketing checklist and use it every time you send a campaign. It’s even more important to use a checklist after you’ve been doing it for a long time. Attention to detail is the cornerstone of successful email marketing.
  3. Test your campaigns against as many email clients as you can prior to sending (include testing on your email marketing calendar). You can either establish accounts yourself with Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, etc. or you can use an email design testing service and have them test your message for you.

I'd like to add a fourth one:

4. Create an editorial calendar that contains an overview of the content for each email that you will send this quarter/year. That way you will not be searching for content at the very last minute.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

The Big Book of Email Marketing

Yesterday I came across "The Big Book of Email Marketing", a series of pdfs published by an organization called IPT.

Topics that are covered are:

  • The Basics of Campaign Planning
  • Intelligent Data Management for Email Marketing
  • Writing and Creating Emails that Get Results
  • Understanding the Art of Email Broadcasting
  • Measuring Email Marketing Effectiveness

Download it here.

Check out also the document called "Questions to ask an email managed solutions provider".

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Are Multiple People in Your Organization Sending Emails to Your List?

When multiple persons in your organization are sending marketing emails to your list, make sure that there is at least one person in the organization that keeps an eye on how frequent you email your contacts. Or at least agree on a maximum number of emails that you want your contacts to receive from you in a given time period. Then set up a calendar and mark who is sending what to which target group and on which date.

You don't need any fancy systems to keep track of this. Excel can do the job just fine.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Campaign Monitor Offers 30 Outlook 2007-proof Email Templates

Getting your email to look great in all the major email clients can be a challenge at times, so the nice folks at Campaign Monitor decided to do the hard work for us with these 30 free email templates. They've tested them in all the major email clients, so you just need to add your own content and you're all set. Download them here.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!