Best practices for Email Marketing

Written by Stefanos Cunning


Continued from page 1

Email formats

Text

Text email must be in ASCII format, and preferably 65 characters per line. This means no bold, no underline, etc. For formatting itís very restrictive, but with some imagination you can create a layout thatís easy to scan and read.

URLs within a text email must be on their own line for them to work properly as a hotlink. Donít forget to includerepparttar full URL with "http", e.g.: http://www.abccompany.com/landing_page to make sure all email programs will display your URLs as a clickable hotlink.

What you need to know about HTML

Depending on your audience, 50-90% of subscribers today can read HTML. Consumers are more likely than business customers to be able to read html, due to corporate measures to lower bandwidth requirements and exposure to viruses.

HTML can increase response rates by up to 50%. HTML for Business-to-Business has gone in and out of favour, but is generally now preferred. The only way to know is to either offer your subscribers a choice of formats or test it.

Key issues:

Not everyone can read HTML, so if you are sending HTML you also want to create a text message. Most email marketing software programs can send a multi-part message with a bit of code that Ďsniffsí what email program they are using and deliversrepparttar 109555 appropriate version, either text or HTML.

Message size should be kept low, preferably under 35k to ensure quick loading speed. Graphics are actually stored onrepparttar 109556 marketerís server, sorepparttar 109557 delivered message only includesrepparttar 109558 HTML code. But extensive use of colour, formatting and graphics all add code which increase message size. Some corporations will block messages over a certain size.

In some situations, customers prefer text, even if they can read html. Itís nice to offerrepparttar 109559 choice if possible.

Creative Elements of a Promotional Email Campaign

The following elements are all part ofrepparttar 109560 designrepparttar 109561 email for your campaign and should be considered during planning and creative production.

Subject line

Your subject line not only drives or depresses response rates, but can be used to setrepparttar 109562 tone of your email to solicit a desired action. For example, a simple relationship-building message from an online retailer saying thank you to customers beforerepparttar 109563 holiday buying season hadrepparttar 109564 same content, but 2 subject lines. They each generated similar clickthrough numbers, but look atrepparttar 109565 difference in conversion rate:

"Thanks, June" - virtually no sales

"June, weíre open if you are" - doublerepparttar 109566 sales

Why? The first created a passive environment whererepparttar 109567 recipient didnít need to do anything, whereasrepparttar 109568 second implied an invitation to visitrepparttar 109569 store, encouraging "the shopper within" to come and browse.

Sender address

The actual email address from which your campaign is sent. If you are using a third party email marketing service provider (also called an ASP-application service provider) and have not set up a sub domain for them to use, you will see their domain name.

For example, if you are using an agency or service provider,repparttar 109570 Sender and From address displays as:

ABC Company [ABCCompany@agency.provider.com]

If your budget permits, set up your own domain to enforcerepparttar 109571 brand andrepparttar 109572 trust it generates, eg:

ABC Company [info@abc.com]

"From" display address

In your email program, this is whomrepparttar 109573 recipient seesrepparttar 109574 email is from. You can select to display a formal name, eg. ABC Company Inc. Or justrepparttar 109575 email address. Best to use a name that is trustworthy and relevant torepparttar 109576 recipient, such as your company name, which continues your brand enforcement: e.g. ABC Spring Deals. Or test using a real personís name. Be careful withrepparttar 109577 From name, so you arenít confused with spammers.

"Reply" address - similar to your from address above. Itís best to have an internal address to send replies to. For tracking purposes you might want to set up a separate address, but haverepparttar 109578 response go to your Customer Service department.

Communicatingrepparttar 109579 offer

With print you can spend some time in your letter talking about features and benefits before getting torepparttar 109580 pitch. For e-mail promotions you need to have your main feature/benefit points, offer and call-to-action, and URL withinrepparttar 109581 first 10 lines or 2 paragraphs of your email. You want clickable links to appear aboverepparttar 109582 fold - i.e. inrepparttar 109583 preview pane - of your recipientís email program. This means you only have a couple seconds with email to grabrepparttar 109584 readerís attention.

Subscribe/Unsubscribe information

All emails need to include unsubscribe information. This is standard practice, which customers expect from a reputable company. It reminds them that you respect their privacy and reinforces their feeling of control overrepparttar 109585 email they receive. As marketers we want that reinforcement to be sure they read our mail!

Customers should be able to unsubscribe easily and on their own, but remember there will always be some who reply torepparttar 109586 email instead, so make sure you have someone in place to handle replies.

Long or short copy?

There is debate among email marketers, many claiming short is best, but both have proven effective, depending onrepparttar 109587 audience andrepparttar 109588 offer. My own tests have shown that longer copy can generate higher average sales, but also lower response rates.

If longer copy is needed to sellrepparttar 109589 product, then use it. The more you can completerepparttar 109590 selling process inrepparttar 109591 email,repparttar 109592 better your conversion rate. The advantage of email is that you can test your copy before rolling out to your whole list.

Links to your landing page

For promotional email, include one link aboverepparttar 109593 "fold"; 50% of responders click on this first link. Be sure to repeatrepparttar 109594 link atrepparttar 109595 end of your message, 25% of responders click onrepparttar 109596 last link. The rest click onrepparttar 109597 middle links.

Landing page

You should build a separate landing page whenever possible to guide your user through whatever action you want them to take. There is nothing worse than have a call to action in your email and then providing a link to your website home page.

Why? Itís confusing torepparttar 109598 user; they had one message inrepparttar 109599 email, then on your home page are suddenly confronted with a different message. They will get distracted from what you wanted them to do.

If you are selling one product, haverepparttar 109600 links in your email take them to a page with only that product. Continuerepparttar 109601 same design and copy tone from your email to your landing page. Repeat key elements ofrepparttar 109602 offer, but donít make them wade throughrepparttar 109603 whole spiel again. Think of email to web as one seamless process.

For more information please see http://www.unilabplus.com



Director of Unilabplus Ltd, a London-based online business management software house.


Break The Habit - Just Say 'No' To eMail

Written by Lois M. Jeary


Continued from page 1

It uses an rss (rich site summary or really simple syndication) feed to deliver your content right torepparttar desk of your subscriber. To make it even easier, they have created their own free cross-browser, cross-platform viewer called QuikView to make viewing channels a snap regardless of your, or their, operating system. QuikView is also a remarkable little bookmark server and you can import all your favorite links to it. When your readers sign up for QuikView they also become members and will receive their own private messaging service too.

Quikonnex provides a safe, clean, spam free environment for your content and your readers automatically receiverepparttar 109554 new information you post. Quikonnex isrepparttar 109555 perfect solution for anyone who wants to stay in contact with a large number of people. It can be easily tied in with your website if you have one or stand on it's own if you don't.

You better believe that rss is leadingrepparttar 109556 way. Microsoft is going to be implementing it in their next release. Even AOL's new version 10 has something inrepparttar 109557 works. Everyone is fed up with email.

We're starting to see another rash of virus mania hitrepparttar 109558 net. Do you really want to keep risking your business? Viruses, trojans and hackers (the bad ones) are going to continue to wreak havoc.

The solution is simple. Breakrepparttar 109559 email habit - just say 'no' to email. And replace it with something that works - Quikonnex.

Lois Jeary publishes KIT (Keeping In Touch) through her Home4Success channel which features straight forward articles, helpful hints and suggestions, interaction with subscribers and more. Easy to subscribe: http://home4success.com/go/to.cgi?l=quik. She's a 'recovering email publisher' who saw the light and kicked the email habit. http://quikonnex.com/channel/page/home4success/109


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