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Old 16th May 2006, 12:26 PM   #1
Matt McGee
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Default 12 Rules of Email Marketing

I shared a list on my blog today with that title -- 12 Rules of Email Marketing. I'm wondering if anyone has feedback pro or con on the list, and perhaps some additional things that should've been mentioned. ??

Here's the 12 as I wrote them:

1. Do not spam. Understand the CAN-Spam Act and follow it. Build a mailing list via permission only.

2. Make sure you actually have permission! A customer who gives you her email address for a non-mailing list reason isnít giving you permission to put her name on your subscriber list. In other words, getting an order from Sally in Topeka creates a business relationship between you and Sally, but it doesnít necessarily mean Sally wants to be on your mailing list, too.

If placing an order on your site includes automatic addition to your mailing list, state that clearly before the customer places her order ó as early in the order process as possible.

3. Make it easy to unsubscribe. Itís a mailing list, not prison.

4. Donít buy lists/databases of email addresses. Many of the email addresses in those databases belong to people who didnít know that they were giving permission to have their address sold when they downloaded some software, or completed some survey, etc. Whatever you spend on these lists and databases, you wonít be getting much value because response rates will be next to zero.

5. If you send out an HTML email, be sure to also offer a text version. Many of us prefer plain text emails. Plus, HTML emails are more likely to be tagged as spam by filtering software.

6. Personalize the messages you send out as much as possible. You should be using list management software that allows you, at minimum, to address each recipient by name. If you can go further and target emails to certain types of recipients ó past purchasers of a certain product, for example ó do that, too. The personal touch in an email is very effective.

7. Write a great email subject. If youíre offering a sale or coupon, put the word ďsaleĒ or ďcouponĒ in the subject of the email. A boring or nondescript subject line will lead to a lot of unread emails.

8. Mind your Ps and Qs. Read and re-read your email several times before you send it ó make sure your spelling and grammar is perfect. Donít just rely on spellcheck software, have several people read the email before it goes out. Poor spelling and/or grammar makes you look bad.

9. Give recipients a reason to read your email. Donít just send out an email because itís been a while. If you have nothing to say, then keep quiet.

10. Give recipients a reason to act. Discounts, contests, special promotions exclusive to your subscribers are a great use of your list. A 2005 survey of moms revealed that 87% who join mailing lists do so in order to get a price discount or coupon. 87%!!! And 70% said they also want to know about sales. Only 6% wanted to learn about the company.

When offering discounts or coupons, or when announcing sales, be sure the email includes a link so readers can take immediate action.

11. Invite the recipient to share the email with a friend. Better yet, invite them to share the coupon or discount code with a friend, too! Word of mouth is one of the most effective forms of marketing there is. Use it to your advantage.

12. Include basic contact information. The sale or contest youíre offering may not appeal to all subscribers, but the email you send may still be a reminder that the reader needs to visit your web site for some other product or contact you via email with some other question. Include all of your customer service information in every email ó your web address, email address, phone and fax numbers.

Matt McGee (AKA "Pleeker")
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Old 2nd February 2010, 08:11 AM   #2
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This is a great list! I wish I had written it.

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Old 3rd February 2010, 12:11 AM   #3
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I think starting with something interesting and startling help a lot in this regard. It will definitely seize the attention and one more thing, do not send mail in bulk because in majority of cases, they go directly in the span folder and will be deleted automatically. Try to use less images and make sure the design is good enough.

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Old 2nd March 2010, 07:13 AM   #4

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it is a pretty old thread but I agree give them a good reason to read is important.

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Old 2nd March 2010, 06:12 PM   #5
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Great list! I wish I knew how you came up with it!

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Old 3rd March 2010, 06:47 AM   #6

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Good rules thanks

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Old 16th November 2010, 06:37 PM   #7

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nice thank you

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Old 19th November 2010, 05:26 PM   #8

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Great List

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Old 2nd December 2010, 04:26 AM   #9
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Well it appears i may be doing everything wrong in this area

It's mentioned in a previous post limit the use of pictures, that's going to bite since pictures are the difference in my niche industry. Does including pictures automatically send it to a spam folder? Is there a way to determine if an email sent is viewed has spam?

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Old 2nd December 2010, 07:19 AM   #10
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Hi Lou,

I see you still haven't update your website since the last time we talked.

With respect to using e-mail, my experience has shown that sending out regular text messages get past spam filters a lot easier as opposed to HTML messages. Besides, HTML messages come across as screaming 'SALE'. A text message is a lot more like regular e-mail that most people are used to receiving.

I also agree that (specially in your business) you need pictures. A properly organized e-mail campaign will have content on your website with the photos and details you need. Probably a lot more than you would put in an e-mail.

Then, you use text based e-mail to link back to your site. That way people receiving your e-mail simply click thru to view that page.

I will say it now... some will argue that every time you have to add a click (like a link instead of putting the images in an HTML message) you may have some readers 'drop off'. BUT... I would rather have my message GET to the people... as opposed to using HTML messages and have a huge loss to spam filters.

In addition to that, you can set up messages to track without doing the fancy HTML message that gets nailed in spam filters.

By the way, I had another look at your site. You don't seem to have an opt-in e-mail list. How are you harvesting e-mail accounts?? If you are just gathering them, you should reconsider your tactics because you could be crossing the lines of spam with respect to the CAN-SPAM act.

Hope this helps! Good luck! Let me know if I can help you with this!

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