Apr 27 2011
Email marketing is fraught with difficulties as senders too often fail to adhere to the basic guidelines of email marketing with focus on the recipient. The following is a list of tips that should help you first reach the consumer and then build a relationship with them.
- First of all, you need to ensure that you comply with association guidelines as well as simply keeping your recipients happy. The Direct Marketing Association’s Commitment To Consumer Choice Mission Statement requires you to notify consumers of the opportunity to modify or eliminate future mail solicitations. The CCC program is designed to build consumer trust and in complying with the DMA’s guidelines, you are building trust with your own potential customers.
- In order to gain this trust from your recipients, it is also advisable to send all emails from an IP address that is dedicated to that purpose. This builds a good reputation with ISPs and therefore increases the likelihood of your email campaigns reaching the inbox.
- Your reputation with consumers will be improved if you can provide genuine office details and contact information on all email marketing material. Some people may prefer to opt out over the telephone and in doing this, you are providing a genuine customer service.
- Provide recipients with a choice. Ask them how they would like to receive communication – would they prefer it in HTML format, text only or via a link? Understand that different countries have different preferences; in the US it is normal practice to send a link to view content whereas that is extremely rare in the UK.
- Consider the graphic design of your email campaign and avoid using too many images or you risk sending your material straight to the spam filter. If your whole creative is made up of images, they will often not display in the preview box and your message will not be read. Break up your images with text to evade this issue.
- To encourage consumers to actually commit to opening your content, you need to ensure your unique selling point and call-to-action is above the fold i.e. doesn’t need a click through or scroll down to view it.
- Subject lines need careful consideration. Avoid anything relating to money i.e. free, cost, cash, $$$, reward, offer, cheap, save, debt, credit, money, finance. All of these sorts of terms are likely to land you in the spam folder.
- Finally, although this might sound counterproductive, make it easy for recipients to unsubscribe from your emails. There should be opt out buttons at the top and bottom of every email you send and the opt-out process should be quick and easy. Remember that a smaller, more responsive list of email data is more productive anyway.
Emily Goodyear is PR & Marketing Executive for Email Marketing Specialists WRM-Media. She also writes the company blog at http://wrmmedia.wordpress.com/ looking at the latest industry trends. Follow her on twitter @Emily_Goodyear or @wrmmedia