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5. Send your email when it’s most likely to get read If you send your message to businesses on a Friday afternoon, chances are that your recipients won’t check their email until Monday morning. Your message will be buried way down list with a ton of spam ahead of it (assuming recipient’s inbox is sorted by date). The most recent messages will get attention, and your message will likely get overlooked or deleted in rush to start work. The open rate for email is strongest within first two days of delivery. Then it drops off a cliff.
6. Mail on best days Online marketers have discovered over years that B to B emails are read most often when they arrive on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, around noon. Mondays are too busy. And Fridays are too close to golf course.
7. Use right email service Choose a reputable service provider who is respected by major ISPs. They will work on your behalf to keep you off blacklists and deliver your messages on time.
8. Help subscribers change addresses In every email message, tell your subscribers where they need to go to change their address or modify their subscription. You’ll reduce number of bouncebacks you receive each mailing.
9. Use creative copy tactics to circumvent spam filters Spam filters block your e-newsletters and marketing messages in a number of ways, and one of them is looking for words that are found in most spam. These include perfectly legitimate words and phrases, such as “free,” “opportunity,” “multi-level marketing [OK, that one is debatable],” “compare rates” and “free installation.” Most of these words you can get around by employing a thesaurus. Instead of saying “free,” say “complimentary,” or “no charge.” You can also disguise word in some way (free becomes free~, or fr*ee), although you must tell your subscribers what you are doing beforehand.
10. Get your subscribers to whitelist you When your subscribers opt-in to your list, immediately tell them to add your sending email address to their whitelist or “allowed senders” list so your messages are never blocked by subscriber’s spam filters.
11. Use a distinctive, predictable subject line Include a phrase in every subject line that shows at a glance who you are and what your message is about. Subscribers get used to recognizing each message from you. For example, one popular e-newsletter includes phrase “DM News-iMarketing News Daily” in every email subject line.
12. Welcome new subscribers immediately As soon as someone signs up for your e-newsletter or opts-in to your list, send them a welcome email. Immediately establish a connection between their opt-in action and your email that confirms their membership.
13. Make your email welcome message look like your sign-up form Help new subscribers to recognize you in their inboxes by branding your online sign-up page and your welcome email with same colors, images and typography.
14. Send from same domain that signs them up The domain in your welcome message and subsequent messages should match URL of webpage that subscribers used to opt-in to your list, otherwise they may not recognize you as sender and delete your message by mistake.
15. Use same From: address Keep your From: address constant. This helps subscribers who have added your email address to their whitelist or “allowed senders” list.
Alan Sharpe is a B to B direct mail copywriter and publisher of “Alan Sharpe’s B2B Direct Mail Tactics.” Sign up for Sharpe & Direct: The B2B direct mail marketing e-newsletter. Every Monday morning, receive in your inbox a short, helpful article on direct mail lead generation. Sign up today and receive a free copy of his special report, "30 Reasons to Use Direct Mail to Increase Sales and Attract New Customers."