By the CEO of iContact Corporation, Ryan P.M. Allis, an email marketing expert
Here is what we feel are the ten most important tips for anyone managing the email marketing process:
1. Only send emails to persons who have requested to receive them.
2. Only include content relevant to the type of content the person has requested.
3. Be consistent with your sending frequency. Pick a schedule, whether it is weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly as long as you are able to keep to that schedule.
4. In most cases, it is best to send B-to-B emails Tuesday through Thursday. We’ve found that the best times of the day to send are just after the start of the day around 9:30am or just after lunch around 1:30pm. It is best to avoid sending business to business emails after 4pm or on weekends.
5. In most cases, it is best to send business to consumer emails either between 5pm and 8pm Tuesday through Thursday or between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon.
6. To improve deliverability add a message at the top of your emails that says something like: “To ensure receipt of our emails, please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your Address Book.”
7. Make the From Name for your messages either your company name or the name of a person at your company. Once you choose a From Name, keep it consistent. During the split second decision subscribers make whether to open your email, the most important factor in their decision is whether the From Name is familiar to them.
8. Be sure to include both a plain text and an HTML version of your newsletter. iContact will automatically detect which subscribers can view the HTML message and which can only see the plain text message. If you don’t include a plain text message, at least 5% of your recipients will see a message with nothing in it.
9. Don’t use all caps or multiple exclamation marks within your subject line or body. Doing this will trigger spam filters. See the piece on ‘how to reduce email marketing bounce rates’ for more on this.
10. Build your list at every opportunity you have. If you have a retail location, add a point-of-sale sign up form. At conferences or events, ask everyone you speak with if you may add them to your list after you exchange business cards. Finally, add your newsletter sign-up form to every page on your web site. If you are an iContact client, you can use the sign-up form generator within iContact to automatically generate the code you need.
Ryan P.M. Allis is the CEO of iContact, developers of an email marketing and blogging application software (www.icontact.com)
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