Despite new online media channels, email marketing remains one of the most valuable online marketing tools available. Avoid wasted effort by following these tips to ensure delivery.
Avoid getting branded as SPAM
Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) have several ways of identifying spammy behaviour such as the use of suspect keywords, high bounce rates and domain authenticity. Avoid that bad reputation by keeping your emails authentic, getting permission and making sure your email marketing lists are live and up to date. Avoid Spam trigger words like “Free” “Sale” and “Special Offer”. Include your address and phone number at the bottom of your emails.
The basic rule is that you need “opt in” permission. For existing customers there is some flexibility provided you offered an opt out at the time the customers email address was obtained.
Use no more than 35 characters in your marketing emails. Be intriguing and try to specify a benefit within the subject. Avoid explanation marks and capital letters. Test alternative subject lines by segmenting some of your email list to see what gets the most open rates.
All of the email marketing packages mentioned below have great templates that you can adapt to the look and feel of your company website and branding. Mail Chimp is about the easiest to use and also has a high threshold of email addresses before charging kicks in. Images are crucial and far more likely to receive a click through than text alone. Keep an eye on your text to image ratio.
Images and the Alt Text function
If the recipient’s email client isn’t automatically loading your images, then only the text of your email will be visible and your newsletter can look a mess. Alleviate this risk by applying an Alt Text when uploading an image to your newsletter. This will specify the text to appear in place of an image that fails to upload.
Increase your chances of delivery by ensuring that the images are not excessively large. If you have a large image, try tinyPNG to reduce its size.
Test and Test Again
Once you are happy with your email send it to yourself and review. You’d be surprised at the errors that will only reveal themselves once the mail has been sent. Try also to send a test to different email clients (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, Hotmail) and see how the email appears in each one. Forward it to a friend for some constructive criticism.
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