Email marketing best practices

If you are an internet user, whether it's for entertainment, business or communication, it's very likely that you have an email address. Or two. Hell, I personally maintain five email addresses. An email address is a necessity in this modern and technology-driven age. When was the last time you dropped a letter in the mailbox? I bet you can't even remember. It is a new world now. People using email outnumber those who use traditional mail by a wide margin. This margin will only get wider in the coming months and years.

Now that you know the huge scope and the growing influence of email, let us proceed now to the business side of things. By “business side of things”, we mean how are we going to use the power or the email message as a marketing tool? How can we harness it to convince people to buy our products or make use of our services?

Email marketing is not a simple thing at all. When a thing is not simple, then it's something that isn't easy to do. Staring at email marketing from afar, it looks like it's a walk in the park. It even sounds so easy to the ears. Unlike search engine optimization and social media marketing that both sound so techie, so seemingly impossible to do. But when you hear the phrase “email marketing”, your response will be:”Uummm, I can do that. I'll just write an email about some product then send it to thousands of people. Voila. Mission accomplished.” If only things were that easy. If you do this, it will be like writing a letter and dropping it to thousands of mailboxes, all the while hoping that someone will actually read it and follow your call to action.

Anyway, let's cut to the chase, shall we.  As promised by the title of this piece, here are 5 very practical but definitely crucial tips on conducting an email marketing campaign.

1)      Don't spam. Ever. Seriously. Spamming will get you nowhere. It will probably earn you a few thousand bucks on your first tries but that's about it. Everyone hates spammers. Spammers are the internet’s version of criminals. Spammers are crooks. Don't be one.

2)      Watch very closely your click-through rates. Take notes of those email structures, fonts, link colors, etc. that work. Do blue links get more clicks than red links? Yes. Note it down. So that the next time you write another email for your list, make sure all the links are in blue.

3)      Start acting like a person. Personalize the emails you send. Make the recipient feel  that he's getting an email from a person not a machine. For a good start, begin using the names of your recipients when addressing them on the beginning of the message. “Hi John” will be  much more appreciated than a stone cold “Hi Sir” or “Hi Ma'am”.

4)      Make it as easy as possible for people to join your mailing list. Number one, make it free. Unless you are Lady Gaga, charging people for subscribing to you will be suicide. And number two, make the subscription process a breeze. Online users are very lazy people. They don't have time to go through three forms just to subscribe to a mailing list. Unless you offer them a million dollars to do so.

5)      If it's very easy to subscribe to your mailing list, make it a lot easier to unsubscribe.  Isn't that counter-productive, you might ask. It is if your content sucks. But if your content is awesome and the emails you send out are super awesome, will anybody unsubscribe? No. The unsubscribe button is there, not to encourage your readers to unsubscribe but make them feel that you care about them. That you respect them. That if they don't find value in your content, they can always stop receiving it. It's about being honest to yourself and your subscribers. And in the internet, being honest will bring you places. Riches even.

That's it folks and much luck to ya all.