FF -- Dr Ralph Wilson is an expert on email marketing.
Why use email?
It has the highest ROI of any advertising approach. It helps build relationships with customers. You can continue marketing over customer lifetime.
But...take permission seriously. See Seth Godin's Permission Marketing.
- Use double-opt-in.
- Renting lists cost 4c to 40c a name. Work through a list broker to get the best lists.
- Use Server Side Includes (SSI's).
* Get sign-ups using co-registration through Co-reg complete.
* Beware of commercial co-reg. Pick your own co-reg partners.
* Keep your list clean. If you get too many bounces, you'll get blocked by ISP's.
Three basic types of email sending methods
Desktop, CGI software, or ASP hosted apps with monthly fees.
ASP is preferred because they handle worldwide deliverability issues.
PiperSoftware, ReturnPath.boz, eDelierability.com, DeliveryMonitor (recommended).
ASP's email delivery services are:
Got Campaigner and Campaigner Pro help you track the best customers and segment based on customer behavior.
Constant Contact is the biggest
iContact has a nice interface
Lyris is a great app.
AWeber is popular with direct marketers.
1ShoppingCart handled ad tracking, autoresponders, listerv's and costs $30-$80 a month.
Check out AutoResponse Plus 3 ($197) for autoresponding.
Gammadyne Mailer ($147) connects with many databases and the emails are sent through your ISP.
- Text is slightly less subject to get filtered out as spam, and some government and corporations prefer text. But HTML emails have double or triple click-thrus, and the click-thrus can be tracked.
- Send it out as multi-part MIME. Don't send bare HTML.
- Watch the graphics and type size if you use HTML.
- Make sure your type size is large enough for smaller monitors and older eyes.
- Keep the length shorter, tight, focusd and brief. Unless it's for technical information in which case you can make it longer.
* Personalized subject lines (Dear Andrew) can increase email opening and reading 50%. It helps build relationships with subscribers. Don't over do it. Just mention name once.
* Hire a copywriter.
- Send it out regularly. Quarterly is not often enough. Monthly is minimum. Weekly is possibly too much.
- Repurpose the emails by archiving back issues, and syndicating out to other sites.
- Send on Tue/Wed/Thu for B2B. Test for your recipients to see when the highest open rates are.
- Autoresponders send emails out in sequence. They're great for following up with people, and for training. Use AutoResponse Plus or Aweber.
70-80% of email is now spam. Spam filters types
1. Keyword triggers - Spamassassin
2. Reported spam - Cloudmark Desktop
3. Challenge-response - SpamArrest
4. Sender Certification - Habeas, Sender Score Certified
Deliverability and reputation
- Reputation with ISP and subscriber
- Use a reputable email service provider
- Unsubscribe your bounces
- Use Multi-part MIME instead of bare HTML
- Minimize graphics
- Avoid spam trigger words (most ISP's don't look at the content as much as the reputation)
- Ask subscribers to whitelist you (e.g. AOL, MSN, Gmail)
- Study delivery reports. See where you're having problems and try to correct the situation.
- Monitor blacklists to see if you appear on them. Use BlackListMonitor.com, MX Toolbox. Ask to be removed from blacklists.
- Employ SPF and DomainKeys. There's a way on your domain to tell ISP to see what emails are authorized to send out emails.
- Reply to challenge-response emails
- Sign up for the feedback loops available from some of the major ISP's. ie. AOL will tell you when someone reports your email as being flagged as spamming.
- Reputation service provider. Use Goodmail, Haveas, Sender Score Certified (ReturnPath). Puts you on white lists that ISP's check. But very pricey.
- Offer text alternative
- Send only relevant/useful/high-value emails. List fatigue occurs as the the open rates decline as users become disinterested.
- Control frequency. Set a frequency and then don't exceed it.
- Try to woo back inactive subscribers. Special offers.
- Send emails in short spurts
- Keep your send and return address consistent