Thursday, 14 May 2009

How to Create an Effective E-Mail Campaign

Creating a good e-mail marketing campaign is becoming more difficult. SPAM is now easy to filter out and report. Using an opt-in list is about the only way to get your emails delivered and opened. Carefully crafting your email campaign in the beginning will ensure more successful results for you in the end. Here are a few items to consider when forming your next campaign.

What is the Purpose of Your Campaign? Now you may be thinking, duh! I want customers but you would not believe how many campaigns cannot define this into an effective tool to get customers to buy their product or visit their site. Create a clear purpose and guide your readers to be enticed to complete this task. Visit, buy, read, refer, ask them to do something for you.

We Want You! A Clear Call to Action. This memorable Army recruiting campaign was the most effective call to action. I communicated emotions such as desire, loyalty, patriotism and commitment. Your email has to do the same using a limited amount of words and few if any graphics. Here's an example of a call to action: "Click here to download your free Special Report" You have to be sure your email can pass the SPAM filters, sometimes using the word free can cause an email to be trashed and never even seen by your readers. Be creative, use words like "complimentary" "one the house" "at no cost to you". You will find a lot more success getting around those CAN-SPAM filters.

Make It Personal. Be sure to use your full name in the From field, not your company's name, it will come across as more personal and they are likely to remember your name better than your company. Don't forget to include your reader's name in the subject line. You will find that if you make it more personal you will get a better "open rate." Personalization will also reduce the probability of the e-mail being mistaken as SPAM and the reader will assume they have signed up for the newsletter.

Is the Subject Interesting? Come on now, you are not creating this email in a vacuum. You receive emails everyday from other marketers and from other opt-in lists you've joined. Check out their subject lines. Some cause you to open the email some some just scream Delete Me, I'm Boring! Use some imagination and get a creative title that is in its self a call to action saying "Open me, you won't be sorry." And remember, not exceed 40 characters when developing your subject line

Who Are You? Where Did You Come From? It is always a good idea to remind your readers where and when they opted-in, right at the top of your e-mail. Don't expect your subscribers to remember where and when they opted-in to receive information from you if you're not in frequent contact with them. If they can't recall when they opted-in to your list and you fail remind them - don't be surprised if they scream "SPAM"!

Readers Are Not Your Hostages. Be sure to provide an unsubscribe link. Wouldn't you rather have a customer that is happy and knows they can quite anytime they want than to have them curse each time you show up in their email box. Just do it, it's the right thing to do.

3…2…1…Launch! Now you have spent a good deal of time creating this great email. Now don't blow the launch by not testing every little thing that could go wrong. 1) Test all the links 2) spell check the entire e-mail 3) SPAM check 3) Check the mail merge codes such as $firstname$ vs. {FIRSTNAME} (especially if you're sending out the same e-mail using different autoresponder software). Many great e-mails have fallen down on the job when they are poorly proofed before sending.

Be Easy To Read. Use Ariel, Courier or Times New Roman and you will get a better readership. Also perform a carriage return at the end of each line at 60 characters to avoid problems showing up in different email programs.

Read Those Tracks! If you are using (as you should) and opt-in list then you are probably using an autoresponder tool, like Aweber. Be sure to use these tools to your advantage and track your email links to see what readers open and what they ignore. This tracking information is a great reference for your future email campains.

KISS Me! Keep It Simple and Short! Get right to the point and do it without putting a lot of garbage content in your message. Your readers will appreciate it and you will increase your open rate on future emails you send to these same readers.

If you are not a great writer but you still want to stay in touch and give something to your subscribers for free consider sending them educational material they can use. We've got a great tool for giving your subscribers this kind of information at

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