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Email Marketing Best Practices for the New and Changing Landscape

The way people receive and view emails has changed dramatically over the years. Technology is driving both the email delivery and user behavior in ways that make email communications as viable if not more so than it has been in the past.

People generally have more email accounts, not just 1 or 2, but 3 or 4; there are more than half a million wireless email users; consumers are checking email while doing other things, like watching TV, listening to music, etc; and email marketing remains one of the best marketing tactics in terms of value and ROI – there is an estimated $44 return on every $1 invested. These and many other reasons make email marketing a no-brainer, all the more reason to employ some rules and best practices so that your efforts are executed and delivered to go as far as possible. Here are some considerations, old and new, to help you leverage opportunities that email marketing can offer your business.

Newer Considerations:

There are many other places on the web (also accessed through mobile devices) where your brand lives. This means that you need to maintain consistency throughout all touch points (web, social, email, mobile, etc.) - consistency in message and images.

    Develop content designed to promote sharing
    Optimize for small screens – mobile and other devices
    Ensure landing pages are linked and provide a seamless experience from point of origin through to destination
    Ensure brand integrity across all channels – consistent CTAs, images, messages, social, etc.

Tried and True Considerations:

  •     Permission
    : Make sure your email list is made up of people who have opted in - via newsletter sign up or other methods
  •     Frequency
    : Send out your eNewsletter consistently – same time weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.
  •     Content
    : Provide value instead of sales pitch – make the majority of the content valuable/resourceful and sell/promote sparingly using things like calls to action or company news and information and case studies
  •     Links
    : Your eNewsletters should contain links your website, blog, social media, etc. Cross market all of your web points if applicable
  •     Subject
    : The Subject line should be short, concise and avoid using words that will trigger SPAM filters like “free,” “last chance,” “act now,” etc.
  •     Design

    : Look & feel was, is and will always be important. Keep it clean and consistent and representative to your brand. Differentiate for audience segments when necessary

We will have more blog entries on usability and design of email marketing in the future, drilling into more specific tactics. Until then, please feel free to submit comments and questions.

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