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7 Tips to better email marketing

by Tim Rimington | July 27, 2010

After the telephone, I can't think of a better way to connect and communicate with customers than an email newsletter. If you've taken the time to learn about your subscribers, and provide them with regular and informative information, you'll be rewarded with loyalty and a constant, steady flow of traffic to your website.

This artcile discusses how to create special interest groups and then target those groups with information of particular interest to the subscribers within. The success of your email campaigns rely heavily on the 'Open' rates of your emails. These 7 tips to better email marketing will show you how to get and maintain respectable Open rates, campaign after campaign.

1. Your Newsletter's Subject Line

To ensure that you get a high rate of people opening and actually reading your newsletter, your subject line should be catchy. Resist the temptation to name your product or service in the subject line itself because the reader may ignore the email assuming it's just another marketing email.

Construct email subject lines that create curiosity. This should force the reader to open the email and read it! Avoid terms such as 'Free Report', 'Free Offer' and so on, as many email servers and client software consider these words as spam and may block your emails.

2. Keep Your Newsletters Topic-Specific

Your newsletters should be written in a brief way and the flow of information should grab attention and compel the reader to follow through to the very end. Newsletters should be interesting and contain information relevant to the subscriber group to which it is sent. So keep things short and plan ahead if you have a lengthy topic to discuss and share with your subscribers.

3. Be Truthful and Minimise "Fluff"

We've all seen them. The emails making outrageous claims about quick money making or e-books promissing to deliver to you and your family financial freedom if you click here - NOW! The days of effective charlitan emails are long behind us so leave out the fluff and amazing claims and stick to the real deal.

4. Personalise Your Newsletter

As with most styles of writing keep your newsletters to a format that reads well. Get a second opinion and not just from a close friend or adoring family member - you want honest feedback! Your email should also be appealing to the minds of your readers. If your newsletter is configured to insert a subscriber's first name, then this personalises the newsletter beautifully.

5. Send Newsletters with Regular Intervals and Maximise Open Rates by Sending on "Power Days"

The frequency at which you send your campaigns can make or break your campaigns (and can even lead to subscribers opting-out altogether!). You need to decide early on of the interval to which you want to contact your lists. If you mail once every Quarter then chances are that your subscribers may forget who yoiu are. If you're mailing on a daily basis then subscribers will most likely become frustrated and will almost certainly unsubscribe and opt out of your list. There are always exceptions to a rule, so give careful consideration as to why customers subscribe to your newsletters and then decide on how often they need to be hearing from you. Weekly or fortnightly is a good balance for most businesses.

The best time and days to send a campaign varies depending on your subscribers. However, this is a good and varied guide to get you pointed in the right direction:

- Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays between 10am - 2pm are widely accepted as the best times to send

- Monday is regarded as poor, as is late Friday or the weekend. This is because most of us clear our Inbox of SPAM received over the weekend when we arrive at our desk on Monday morning. Your newsletter will most likely be flushed out with other "non-essential" email.

- Don't be afraid of asking your customers when they'd prefer to receive your newsletters.

- Mix up your campaign times and days but stick to the "power duo" of Tuesday and Thursday where possible.

6. Don't Always Promote Something - Remember the "Value-Add"

Even though your customers most likely subscribed to your newsletters from an offer to "Receive special offers and product specials", don't always bombard them with such offers but, instead, provide insighful information they wouldn't find anywhere else. Your subscribers are more likely to remain subscribed if you send them information of regualr benefit to them. Consider pacing your product offers and perhaps make offers once a month, with newsletters including helpful info explaining how to get the most from a product or service. You can see how we try to achieve that ourselves with the following newsletters about creating subscriber groups and creating email subscription forms on your web pages.

7. Monitor Campaign Results and Learn What They're Telling You

Those pretty statistics aren't there for showing off to colleagues. You should carefully monitor each campaign and learn from good results as well as the bad. If you're sending campaigns after 5.30pm and getting poor open rates, then send your next campaign at a different time, say, 10.30am. If that doesn't work, change days. If your staggered times aren't having an impact then look at the newsletters themsleves - are they going to their right target market or are you shooting off a wide shotgun blast in the hope of hitting as many subscribers as possible? Remember, create special interest subscriber groups and give subscribers the option of opting in to - out of - special interest groups.


SiteSuite offers Email Newsletter Marketing tools which can be integrated into your SiteSuite CMS or provided as a stand alone application.

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