The Dos and Don’ts of Email Marketing
The first people to use email marketing didn’t have any worries or concerns when the internet first began to shift from a primarily information-based medium to a primarily commerce-based medium.
At the time, email marketing was so new and so fresh that the people behind the emails didn’t have to worry about such things as spam filters, de-sensitized readers, CAN-SPAM compliancy or finding catchy headlines that stand out amidst a barrage of emails being sent and received each and every day.
Nowadays, those things (and many more) easily and routinely thwart would-be email marketers. Whether you are trying to promote your offline business or your internet-based business, or if you are one of the tens of thousands who are trying their hand at affiliate marketing, there are some simple steps you can use in your email marketing practices that will help you be more effective with your email marketing efforts.
Of course, more effective will also lead to higher profits for you!
Here are the basic “dos and don’ts” when it comes to successful email marketing:
o Understand and comply with CAN-SPAM regulations
Ensuring that you meet these requirements will not only help you ensure greater email deliverability and higher rates of customer satisfaction and retention, it could keep you out of jail.
Simply require your email prospects to “double-opt-in” to your list by using a reputable service and include an unsubscribe link, along with your physical mailing address at the bottom of every email you send.
While this may reduce, to some extent, the size of your email list, it will greatly enhance the overall quality if it, not to mention keeping you on the right side of the law.
o Treat your list members with respect
It is very important that you treat the people on your email list with the respect that they deserve. They are, after all, your customers. Treat them the way you would expect to be treated and you will build a happy and loyal client list.
When you ask for their email information in return for something you’re going to provide for them, be sure that you deliver exactly what you promised. In fact, try and over-deliver to gain even greater loyalty.
If you are marketing affiliate products to your list, be very sure that the products you are recommending are reputable and above-board. There’s nothing that will kill your reputation faster than recommending an un-tested product or service to your list. And with your reputation you will lose future profits as well!
o Send an appropriate number of emails your list
Sending emails every day might be okay for some people, some of the time, but in most cases you don’t want to send too many emails to your list. Depending on the specific type of business you’re in, you will generally want to limit your communication to once per week – sometimes even once per month!
There are, of course, exceptions to every rule and in some cases you will want to send messages to your list more than once per week. For instance, if you are promoting a tele-class that happens to fall on a Thursday, you might send email reminders on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday to ensure that people show up for your call.
o Send unsolicited SPAM email
This may seem obvious, but all too often I hear about new email marketers who purchase, rent or otherwise “obtain” a list of people they think may be qualified prospects. They email the list and are immediately inundated with SPAM complaints to their inbox. Who knows how many complainants simply hit the “mark as SPAM” button in their email program to automatically notify their internet provider of your invasion.
If there is one way to have a short-lived email marketing career, this is it!
o Send pure pitch with no substance
People are smart and can spot a “pitch” from a mile away. If there is no real content in your emails, why would someone continue to read them once they’ve decided that they’re not interested?
By providing real value, you can create a habitual response to your emails so that your list members anxiously open any new mail from you, knowing that they are going to get something of value to them, even if they choose not to buy anything.
(It is important to note that it is okay to “sell” by email, just be sure that you are providing value at the same time.)
o Avoid removing people from your list
No one likes it when someone opts out of their email list. It can feel personal even though it probably isn’t. But that is no reason to disrespect the wishes of your (former) subscriber.
It is best to use a reputable email service provider that allows users to automatically unsubscribe from your list, without you having to do anything. These systems also prevent you from mistakenly emailing people who have expressly asked you not to.
Contrary to some people’s opinions out there, email marketing is not dead. Not by a long shot, in fact. But you do have to know at least a little bit about what you’re doing in order to become successful at in the long run.
Remember that short-term cash over long-term sustained profits is never a wise business decision. By adhering to these simple dos and don’ts you can build a profitable email marketing list, regardless of whether you own a traditional or online business, or simply affiliate marketing other people’s products.