10 Ways to Improve Your Email Marketing

E-mail marketing is a tricky subject with so many people abusing it these days, but it’s becoming such a vital part of business that it can’t be ignored. Here are ten tips that I personally use in my e-mail marketing campaigns that have measurably improved their success:

  1. Avoid HTML style e-mails and attachments whenever possible. Nothing gets a better response for me than a short, to the point, plain-text message.
  2. Be personable. Approach your audience like you would a new friend. People respond best when they’re treated with respect and kindness.
  3. Don’t send messages to anyone who doesn’t want to receive them. Providing an easy way to unsubscribe from your recurring mailer will save you a lot of heartache and angry customers.
  4. Avoid doubletalk and corporate speak – these are major turnoffs for readers. Most people don’t read their own company memos, let alone random press releases from a stranger.
  5. Don’t write too much. Your audience’s time is valuable and you should respect it. If you can’t make your point in five to ten sentences, take it back to the drawing board and try again.
  6. Automate responses. If you have a way for visitors to sign up for your newsletter, why not send them an automated response? Why not two or four? With the right email program, you can schedule a full sales cycle of introduction, explanation of services, special offer and a follow up and have it run completely unattended!
  7. Include a specific call to action. After you make your case or present your offer, don’t forget to ask for the sale! Something as simple as “visit our website now for 15% off this product” can mean the difference between success or failure.
  8. Avoid unnecessary punctuation and capitalization. YOU DON’T WANT TO END UP IN THE READER’S JUNK MAILBOX!!!
  9. Provide something of value to your audience. Give them a reason to stay on your mailing list other than “buy my product.” Offer helpful advice, discounts, or something of value that they will look forward to.
  10. Personalize your emails whenever possible. I found that an email that starts out with “Dear firstname,” will be on average 15-30% more effective than a generic message.
  11. Back up your emails with a web site. There’s nothing worse than getting your customer fired up from an email without having an outlet to learn more. Always direct your customer back to your web site for more information or to close an immediate sale! (Yes, I know this is #11 in my ten point list, but it was too important to leave out.)