You have probably heard the saying as a marketer, that the money is in the list…

checklist…which is true but only if you know how to build a relationship with your following.

Also of paramount importance are the following – 10 Email Marketing Tips…

In my opinion if you want to market yourself successfully on Facebook you MUST also get your fans onto your own email list. Your list is an asset Facebook cannot ever take away from you!

In a world where your readers are bombarded by spam, phishing, and never-ending hype, it’s critical that you follow this advice.

Here’s a simple checklist that can increase your deliverability, your opens, and your click thru rates:

1. Format your emails cleanly

Give your emails a rectangular look — set the column width so it can easily be read with any browser or mobile device.  For more information on mobile, check out our previous post called “Skinny people make more money online, fat people get ignored.” 

2. Don’t use ‘sloppy HTML’

Sloppy HTML is the result of designing your email in Microsoft Word, then copying and pasting it into your email editor.  In case your email platform hasn’t sufficiently warned you against it, sloppy HTML not only makes your email look bad, it gravely compromises your deliverability rates. 

HTMLsampleLarge

  • Alternatives.  Try using a free online email tool like TextFixer.  TextFixer quickly and easily converts a text email into HTML, and gives you the code to paste into your email platform.  
    http://www.textfixer.com/html/
  • OR… If you want to get artistic, but aren’t ready to invest in costly design tools, play around with a free editor like Kompozer.   Kompozer is a WYSIWYG HTML and CSS editor for Windows, Mac, and several variants of Linux. 
    It has a minimal learning curve, lets you preview how your emails will look in a browser, and produces clean HTML code. 
  • Oh … and I forgot to mention the tool is 100% FREE (and yes, people love the word free).
  • http://kompozer.net/   
Email mistakes not only cost you time and money, they can undermine your campaign, frustrate your readers, and send you right back to the drawing board.  The good news is:  They’re easily avoidable.

Hereʻs how to avoid these costly mistakes:

  1. Perform the checkpoints below — every time you send. 
  2.  And above all else: Before sending a message to your list, you MUST first send it to yourself.

3. Always test your email message

  1. Compose your email, complete with links & any images.  
  2. Conduct a basic spell check & Run the email through your spam scorer.
  3. Test by addressing and sending the email to yourself.
  4. Open and view your email in TWO different browsers (Firefox, Safari, IE, Opera…)  and check each for proper format, margins, image display…
  5. Click on EVERY link in your email.  Do not assume that because one link works, they all work.  Make sure every link in your email goes to its intended destination.

Remember, when you send readers links that don’t work, it not only makes you look unprofessional. It can cause confusion and mistrust in their minds.

4. Use Link text that communicates your call to action or conveys a direct benefit

  • Find Out More Here <—-
  • Listen To The Interview Here <~~~
  • Reserve your place <~~~

Make it flow as part of the email so it leads onto the next paragraph naturally or completes the previous one.

5. Make sure your first link is above the fold.

(ie. Don’t make people scroll down to find it.) Everyone reads their email differently. Some people like to click right away (because like me they have no patience for long, winded emails).

For that reason… You’ll want to place your first link somewhere between line 4 and line 10 of your email. Some people will scan through your email, and quickly scroll to the end.  Don’t make them scroll back up to find the links.  Instead, include a link as a ‘P.S.’ at the bottom of your email message.

 Overall best practice is to include 3 links in your email – one at the beginning, one in the middle and one at the end.

6. Include an image in your email.

Picture    Display of an image has been shown to keep the reader’s interest and increase click through rates.

    If you are sending people to a video, use a small player image with a visible PLAY button.

7. Spam

Spam is a reality, and an ongoing challenge for everyone.  Do everything you can to comply with Legitimate Sender guidelines. 

  • spam filtering tipsMake the subject line relevant to the email’s content  
  • Provide a working opt-out option+ Include a valid physical postal address  
  • Don’t use G A P P Y text and E.X.T.R.A. punctuation  
  • Check the official page from SpamAssassin —
  • Avoid using words like RE: in your subject line – this is against the regulations
  • Don’t use a free email client as your send from address! E.g. Gmail, Hotmail Etc

Remember…

 Spam filters check to see if your message and subject line are interrelated. 

If you use ‘Cooking and Apple Pie’ in your subject line, use it in the body of your email as well, along with other related words like ‘kitchen’ ‘dining’ ‘dessert’.  This helps the spam filters see the subject line as relevant to the contents.  

+You’ll find timely tips about high-quality HTML (as we mentioned above), Headers, Font, and surefire phrases to avoid like ‘eliminate debt’ ‘free iPod’,  and lots more!

  • http://wiki.apache.org/spamassassin/AvoidingFpsForSenders

8. Resend to the “Unopens” AKA More Traffic and More Sales!

Don’t send your message just once and walk away…. Use an email system like  iContact that allows you to resend to the “Unopeneds” (i.e. everyone who didn’t open the email you last sent) 

Resending to “unopeneds” 24-hours later, or at a different time of day, can get you an additional 10-30% response rate. 

More opens means more clicks on your links, more clicks on your links means more people landing on your website and if you’re doing your marketing right that translates into more sales…    

9. Use your email stats to monitor changes in open rates

Your open rates are a reflection of your relationship with your list.  If open rates start to fall, quickly take measures to determine “why”:

 1.   Begin by gathering your stats and making comparisons

Statistics1

  • Look at timeframes where your open rates were high.
  • What were you sending in those timeframes?  
  • If open rates and click throughs were consistently high, what content were you sending?
  • If you used a different “send from:” email address, were results better? 
  • Survey your list (reward them for taking the survey) and ask them what they want to know more about.

2.   And what about now? 

Statistics2

  • Have open/click through rates fallen? 
  • What are you doing differently? 
  • Have you been sending MORE emails?  FEWER emails? 
  • Have you been sending emails of a different nature?  

3.   Analyze the positive and negative stats side-by-side and map out what got the best results. 

4.   If you’re not doing anything differently, and your rates have plummeted then it could be a server issue with your host or email provider.

  • Spam filters use server IP addresses to filter incoming emails, and another email marketer at your server IP could have contaminated the waters with spam…
  • Contact your host or email service with the details of when and how your open rates changed, and start shouting… sorry, I mean ask them for a solution.

10. Find the best time of day and sending pattern for your list

Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Send your emails at different times and different days of the week and compare which stats are getting the best results.  Or take the time to “ask” your readers what days/times they want to hear from you….The outcome will vary depending on the location and lifestyle of your subscribers.

Most marketers agree that establishing a “pattern” is best — for example M-W-F 7:00am might be the time your list comes to expect and count on your delivery.  If you’re sending worthwhile content, you’ll be surprised to find that once you’ve set an established pattern, your readers will EXPECT to hear from you on that day & time.

To your success,

Robert Grant