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This collection of in depth papers will provide you with detailed background on industry trends shaping the world of email communications and how Emailbrain is uniquely positioned to address these challenges.


Email Marketing Tips to Help You Improve Your CampaignIntroductionPermission based email marketing has a higher return on investment than unsolicited email, direct mail or traditional advertising and therefore, has revolutionized the way we do business. Backed by measurable results, studies show that email marketing is the marketing tool of choice for businesses looking to attract, retain and grow loyal customer bases. Businesses all around the world use email marketing to:

  • Boost sales
  • Generate leads
  • Strengthen relationships
  • Increase website traffic
  • Build a Brand

As the popularity of permission based email marketing grows, so does the volume of email in every consumer inbox. Are you doing everything you can to make sure that your emails are the ones that get opened, read and responded to?

You know your business best, but here are several tips to maximize permission-based email marketing success.

  • Email marketing is on the rise. As a fast, easy and affordable way to communicate, nothing else compares.
  • Email has established itself as a normal part of daily life.
  • According to the American Management Association, email has overtaken the telephone as the preferred method of communication among North Americans.
  • While traditional direct mail typically costs between $1 and $2 per piece, email campaigns can cost as little as pennies per piece. (N.B. not every company drops prices with volume increase).
  • Email gets results - fast. You should expect to get 90 percent of your email marketing results with 48 hours.

EmailBrain - You could have the best message in the world, but without the right audience it means nothingYou could have the best message in the world, but without the right audience it means nothing.

  • Start with a permission-based list - build your own.
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  • In exchange for contact information, offer your customers something of value - a newsletter, a free seminar, or more information about your products & services.
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  • When gathering contact information, only gather the demographic information you really need - asking for unnecessary information annoys people and may discourage them from signing up.
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  • Be sure to always include a way for people to unsubscribe in all your email campaigns. Unsolicited email or spam can be damaging to the reputation of your business.
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  • Manage your contact lists so you can respond quickly and efficiently to requests for more information or requests to unsubscribe.
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  • Since email addresses can change frequently, maintain the integrity of your email list by carefully tracking the number of bounce-backs or undeliverable emails after every campaign.
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  • Be sure you have a clear and concise privacy policy that details how you will treat your customers' personal contact information and include a link to your privacy policy in every email you send out.
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  • Respect the terms of your privacy policy and never breach your customers' trust.
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  • An interesting message that offers value to the reader is critical to the success of any email campaign.
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  • See what others are doing. Take a few minutes and sign up for email newsletters from competitors - choose a few on your favorite hobby or interest too.
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  • Once you are receiving online newsletters from other companies, pay attention to what makes you open some and what makes you delete others without reading.
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  • Before you craft the right message, develop a marketing strategy that addresses goals and objectives.
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  • Use email marketing to accomplish what email does best - increase revenue, generate leads, strengthen customer relationships, increase Website traffic and build brand awareness.
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  • Get the length right. A good rule of thumb is the more frequently you send campaigns, the shorter they should be. People will happily open a short "Tip of the Day", but almost no one wants to get something longer than that every single day.
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  • Keep the message personal and casual. Think like a customer and write in a conversational tone - people crave a little humanity behind the corporate mask.
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  • People respond best to messages that are written by one particular individual at a company who they can get to know over time - it's part of building relationships.
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  • Personalize the 'From' part of your email and be clear who the email is from.
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  • Avoid using 'FREE' in your subject line since it has been abused by spam marketers and arouses suspicion.
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  • Be honest in your subject line and reflect what's inside. State a clear benefit that motivates the recipient to open the message. The messages that get opened will be those that seem relevant and offer value.
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  • Choose a subject line that captures immediate interest and makes people want to read more. For example, avoid vague subject lines like "Our September Newsletter." Instead, say something that engages your readers' attention with an interesting topic or headline from the newsletter, such as "Best Practices for Email Marketing" or "Inside: Exclusive Interview with Tiger Woods!"
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  • Use your subject line to encourage forwarding. The Association for Interactive Marketing (AIM) always adds "Pls. Forward" to the ends of their newsletter subject lines and they report it's more than doubled their circulation!
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  • Personalize each message and watch response rates climb. At the very minimum, always include the recipient's name.
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  • Customize your messages to appeal to customer interests and hobbies. Ask your customers what they want to hear about from you - news about product improvements, special offers, new services, etc.
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  • Choose the Right Format
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  • Once you've got a compelling message, you need to present it to your customers in the most effective way possible.
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  • HTML and Rich media messages that include audio, video and animation generate high response rates, however it's still important to always have a plain text version for those recipients that prefer text or can only receive text.
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  • Unless your newsletter is unusually long, recipients will probably try to read it on their screens. Your job is to make this as easy as possible for them.
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  • Always include a table of contents up-front so people can scroll quickly and easily to the section of their choice.
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  • Usability studies show that most people won't look beyond the first screen of information if there's not something immediately interesting to them. Give them a reason to scroll down!
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  • Use bullet points and lots of white space for plain text messages.
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  • Minimize the use of ALL CAPS and italics as they are much harder to read on screen.
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  • To make it easy for readers to scan your message, keep columns of copy narrow.
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  • Test your messages through a number of email accounts to ensure they look good through all mainstream email clients.
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  • Consider writing your message in the same format that it will appear in on your customers' screens so that you can preview exactly what they will see. For text-based emails this means setting your word processor to a 10 point Courier type going 60 characters (five inches) across.
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  • Look for measure results
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  • Gathering results through trackable links and having access to real-time reports will help you understand what works and what doesn't.
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  • Test using different subject lines, copy, offers, creative designs and more. Use real-time results to see which get the best response rates.
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  • When running a series of email campaigns, refine your message as quickly as possible once you understand the results of your first campaign.
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  • To fully understand the strengths and weaknesses of an email campaign, look for an email marketing solution that offers real-time reporting features that address more than just who opened your message.
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  • To save valuable time, choose email marketing software that automatically manages and tracks results so that you don't have to manually sort and calculate through hundreds or thousands of responses.
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  • If you need fast results, choose email marketing software that gets your message out quickly - some can launch in as quickly as one hour!
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  • Above all, take the time to understand email as a marketing medium. Always analyze your results and think about innovative strategies to get new customers and keep existing customers.

EmailBrain - Resources MenuResources Menu.

  • Build and Grow Your Email ListMake your website "sticky". With millions of websites to choose from, the fact that someone found yours is something you shouldn't take for granted. With so much choice, how can you expect them to remember to come back tomorrow, and the next day? If you don't have a sign-up form on your website, you are literally throwing opportunities away. This is the single most important thing you can do to build your list. But don't just put it on your home page - put it on every page, or make it part of your main navigation tool. Do it now - most email marketing companies, Emailbrain included, offer this service for free!
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  • Piggyback online purchases. Every form on your website should ask for permission to send future emails. If someone makes an online purchase, include a check box on the order form to get on your mailing list. If they download something from your site, make the same offer.
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  • Leverage other websites. Find a site whose product or service is complementary to yours and call them up. Ask if they'd add your newsletter to their opt-in form. Trade offers - add an additional check box to your sign up form so people can subscribe to your list and your partner's list at the same time. Instead of advertising your product or service directly, consider placing banner ads (or do a banner exchange) for your newsletter on the sites your target audience is likely to visit.
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  • Team up with other email marketers. You may be just starting to build your list, but there are thousands of marketers who already own a list and are sending email campaigns every day. Advertise your newsletter or website (with its prominent sign-up offer) in their newsletters or promotions (or do a banner exchange).
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  • Use viral marketing. Even if you only send emails to a handful of people, make sure you include a "forward to a friend" link in each one - and equally important, a sign-up link for new readers. You'd be amazed at how often I get an interesting newsletter or promo from a friend, but can't figure out how to start getting my own copy. Don't forget to promote your sign-up offer at the bottom of your everyday email. Even if you're sending email to a friend or co-worker, include a link to your sign-up form to keep up the momentum. Remember, your email may get forwarded, so cover all your bases.
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  • Get listed in ezine directories and search engines. There's a ton of free directories out there that list email newsletters (e.g., http://www.ezine-universe.com, http://www.newsletter-directory.com). Go online and submit your listing to as many as you can - but make sure you read their privacy policy first!

EmailBrain - Quantity: Offline MethodsQuantity: Offline Methods.

  • Make it a part of your brand identity. Every piece of paper that leaves your office should have a link to your website and/or your email subscription information.
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  • Equip your lobby or reception area. Post subscription information at your front desk - a little self-standing sign gets noticed. Place a fishbowl for business cards next to it, or better yet, let people sign up right then and there using a computer that's logged on to the opt-in form on your website.
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  • Equip your trade show booth. Do the same as above in your exhibit's reception area. If you rent a lead retrieval machine from the show vendor, be sure to customize it so you can capture email and permission information.
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  • Piggyback in-store purchases. When you ring up a customer, ask them if they'd like to get on your email list. Be sure to let them know what they'll be getting and when.
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  • Promote after the sale. Let's say your customer didn't want to get on your email list when given the chance at checkout. They still go home with printed packaging of some form, whether it's a shopping bag, gift-wrap or the product packaging itself. Promote your email list there, too, because (1) they might change their mind and (2) if they're giving it to someone else, you've gained another opportunity.
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  • Use direct mail. It doesn't have to be fancy. A simple postcard promoting your offer to a small, rented (permission-based!) list will do. Sometimes all it takes to get people on your list is to let them know about your offer - and that you can send it via email (instead of killing trees).
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  • Use print advertising. Placing an ad is almost as tricky as renting an email list, but realize that we're not talking about placing an ad in Forbes Magazine. Your local newspaper, your neighborhood newsletter, your laundromat's bulletin board... start asking about promoting your offer in everything you read and everywhere you go. Get creative!
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  • Use the telephone. Ask everyone who calls in to your company if they'd like to join your list.
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  • Use a list you already have. You probably have one, you just don't know it! Dig deep into your address book or database to find anyone you ever had a relationship with - anyone who ever bought from you, for example. Send them a one-time mailing (via email or mail, use whatever contact information you have) explaining that you are starting a newsletter or periodic emailing and ask if they'd like to sign up. Assure them that this is a one-time mailing, and then keep mailing only if they give you permission.
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  • Which brings me to the second half of our list building equation...

EmailBrain - Quality: Opt-in Best PracticesQuality: Opt-in Best Practices.

  • You can promote your offer in every corner of the world; but there are a few more things you should do to ensure your email list contains well-targeted, permission-based, low bounce/low unsubscribe names.
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  • Only use an opt-in or double opt-in subscription method - not opt-out. Double opt-in ensures highest quality, since you are guaranteed direct permission from the subscriber and a valid email address.
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  • Offer people relevance and value in exchange for their contact information, e.g., special discounts, monthly tips-n-tricks, white papers, etc. Giving away irrelevant freebies builds your list in the short term, but over the long run, those leads won't pay off.
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  • Qualify without scaring away the really interested people. Ask for more than just name and email - but not too much. Find the right balance, and the people who truly value your offer and want to hear from you will be the ones who end up on your list.
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  • Set expectations up front. Again, we covered this in last month's Splash, but it's worth repeating. Tell people what they'll be getting, and only the interested ones will sign up.
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  • The key to successfully building a high quality, permission-based email list is to realize it's a continual process. Don't expect 10,000 names to appear in your list overnight. But the sooner you start, the sooner you can start building rewarding relationships. Emailbrain offers a free opt-in list builder to help you attract, qualify and store new subscribers while you're sleeping...
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  • Take advantage of it while you focus on carrying out some of the tactics mentioned here. Happy list building!

end faq

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