Some general email tips
Don’t use fancy text or different colours – it’s a message you’re creating, not a work of art
- Don't rely on spell check, read your email through to sense check it too
Don’t write too much upper case - it's like you’re SHOUTING, and noone wants to be shouted at too much
Keep '!'s to a minimum!!
Make it useful
You have to deliver something useful to start building a relationship with your contacts. If all you do is email your contact list with 'buy buy buy' messages you'll soon have lots of unsubscribes.
How to address an email
Use whatever's appropriate to the content of the email and the relationship you have with the recipients. A simple hello will do, or use the person’s name. Avoid the temptation to be too informal on business emails if you don't know the person.
Use a powerful email subject line
The subject line is usually the first thing people consider when deciding whether to open your email or not (the second is who it's from) so make it compelling. The simpler you make it, the more likely your email will be opened, especially if it's sitting in a busy inbox. Avoid subject lines like ‘hello’, ‘check this out’ or even ‘happy new year’ - they're bland and many email filters will block them as spam.
The best time or the best day to send marketing emails
The jury's out on this one. Your customers may have a preference but we think there's no such thing as a 'typical' working week, so what works well one week may not work the next. Having said that, if your customers have a very regular pattern for their busy and quiet times you'll get to know when they're free to catch up on their emails.
Use an email marketing tool
There are a few of these around (eg mailchimp, dotmailer, infusionsoft, constant contact) and they're a great tool for keeping in regular contact with your customers. You create your emails, and using your customer contact data (either stored within their system or uploaded from your database) they'll take care of sending it.
The beauty of these services is the delivery management and reporting they provide. Most will allow you to have more than one contact list and to segment the data so you can send a specific campaign to only a subset of a list if you want to. You can schedule your emails to go out on a specific day and at a specific time. And as a minimum, you'll know exactly who's read your email, how many times it's been read, which email addresses it hasn't been able to deliver to, and how many people have clicked on the links within your email.
What to check when selecting an email management supplier
These really are 'must haves', whatever the volume and frequency of your campaigns
What their approach to spam emails is. The stricter they are, the better their rating, which means less chance of your emails being blocked by ISPs.
Do they offer ready made templates for html emails or will you need to pay someone to design one for you
Do they have options for html, plain text, and online versions of your email
Do they have an opt-out feature for the recipients of your email (must be used on every marketing email you send)
- Can you link your campaign to your social media profiles