Compared to Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, email marketing may seem antiquated but it’s one of the most effective marketing channels. To use email as a viable marketing strategy, you need to take a number of steps.
1. MIND YOUR AUDIENCE
The first step to email marketing is building up an audience. Remember to ask for emails. Add a newsletter sign up in a prominent spot on your blog. With most marketing strategies, the beginning stages are the most difficult and that’s true for email marketing. Resist the urge to purchase email lists. Once you have a list, it’s important to regularly update it to suppress unsubscribed email addresses and remove email addresses that have bounced.
2. DESIGN FOR EMAIL
Email design has it’s own rules. While web standards have been evolving and standardizing over the last several years, email has largely remained stagnate since the 90s. Additionally, email renders differently in different email readers. An email that looks great on Gmail might completely fall apart in Outlook. Also, almost half of emails are now read on mobile devices so it’s important to consider smaller screen sizes when designing your layout.
3. TIMING IS IMPORTANT
There’s a fine line between helpful and annoying. It’s important to find the right balance with your audience. Keep an eye on your email open rates to gauge how well your emails are doing and if you should recalibrate when you send emails.
4. OBEY THE RULES OF THE ROAD
In the US, CAN-SPAM laws govern the things you can and can’t do with email. You can’t be deceptive or misleading in your emails and you have tell recipients where you’re located and how they can unsubscribe from future emails. If you’re emails are marked as spam too frequently, you run the risk of being blacklisted, which will result in your emails being undeliverable by email service providers. Also, emails found in violation of CAN-SPAM rules can be subject to $16,000 in penalties.
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