Elijah James Logan
Email is a wonderful business tool that, if used properly, will enhance
your sales and marketing efforts significantly. Try these methods to
get the most out of email communications:
1. Use permission lists only.
2. If you buy a list, make sure it is qualified – that is, those email
addresses are valid and they belong to people who have opted in to
receive emails on products like yours.
3. Ideally, build your own list.
4. Include an opt-in page on your web site, so people can sign up to
receive email communications from you.
5. As an incentive, offer customers something free in exchange for
signing up – a one time discount code, or a free ebook.
6. Make it easy to opt out or update an email address.
7. Only ask for the information you need – too many questions puts
8. Adopt a formal policy about how the data will be used, and make
sure each subscriber has to read those terms before opting in.
9. Honor those terms, no matter what.
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10. Put a cap on the number of emails you send each subscriber –
once a week is likely to be welcomed, but three times a week may
cause people to opt out.
11. Set up your system to flag addresses after so many failed
delivery attempts; this will make it easier to keep your email list
clean and up to date.
12. Avoid attachments; many people won’t open them.
13. Go for something that will work in the body of an email.
14. Offer plain text as well as HTML to accommodate different
15. Set up a reply email, so your subscribers can reach you when
they want to respond to the email.
16. Consider using a newsletter format for your email
17. Subscribe to a few email newsletters, so you can see how others
are using the medium.
18. Make notes on what type of newsletter formats seem to grab
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19. Ask others for their opinion of which newsletters they like, and
20. Don’t send email communications when there is nothing new to
say. Repetition will only cost you subscribers.
21. Make the content of the email interesting.
22. Avoid the appearance of being spam, by not using all capital
letters in the title for the email, or announcing "Free" in the title
23. Do always make sure the subscriber’s name appears in the "To"
field. It’s more personal.
24. Look into using email programs that automatically include the
subscriber’s name in the body of the email.
25. Keep it short and sweet. Rambling emails, even if they are
newsletters, are likely to be closed and deleted without being read.
26. Always have the email come from the same person at your end.
It helps to create a sense of rapport and stability.
27. Never use a subject or title line that is misleading; always make
it descriptive of what is in the body of the email.
28. On the other hand, keep it snappy. Instead of "Your November
Newsletter", use the title of one of the more important articles in
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29. Make it clear that it is okay to forward the email to others, if the
subscriber likes. This form of viral marketing can grow your
subscriber list over time.
30. Always include links to your product pages in the body of the
31. Also include an easy opt-out link at the bottom of the
32. Be sure to solicit responses and comments. People love to share
33. Formatting is especially important in plain test messages. Keep
the attention going by using bulleted lists instead of lengthy
34. Stay away from using all capital letters or italicizing words, as
they can be harder to view on a computer screen.
35. Watch the use of color in your emails, especially with text;
lighter colors tend to be hard to read, especially on a white
36. Use fonts that are similar to those used in most email clients; it
will make it easier to arrange the text to best advantage, especially
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for plain text emails.
37. Include some incentive to visit your website, such as promoting
a new product or noting a new blog entry.
38. Don’t forget to include a special offer or a discount from time to
39. Always thank the subscribers for their time and support.
40. Before you send the emails to clients, send them to an email
address of your own, with one in HTML and another in plain text.
That way, you know exactly what the subscriber will see.
41. Don’t be afraid to try something different now and then. Vary
texts, layouts, and other elements to see what subscribers respond
42. Keep the text of the email focused; rambling will lose your
audience, just as wandering text on your website will drive visitors
43. Use a reliable program to blast mail to your subscriber list; most
allow you to review a report of successful deliveries once the job is
44. Review the reports regularly, and compare them to spikes in
your web site traffic, and the responses you get about specifics of
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45. Used software to tabulate and categorize the responses. It will
make it much easier to process them and turn them into usable
46. Assess the percentage of response you get. The industry
standard is between five and fifteen percent. If you are getting less
than that, it is time to rethink your approach.
47. If a response serves as the inspiration for an article in the next
newsletter, ask the subscriber if it is okay to mention them by first
name and initial. This is enough to maintain anonymity, while still
recognizing their contribution.
48. Ask subscribers to submit some of their own copy once or twice
a year. You may be surprised with the quality of what you receive.
Reward the best one with a free ebook or other product.
49. Send out special holiday emails along with your regular weekly
50. Listen to the feedback from your subscribers. It will help you
refine the mailings as you go along.