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TIPS, HINTS & ADVICE ON EMAIL MARKETING


Please note: because of my commitments to the websites associated with my books, I no longer have time to add new articles to this page. That should not stop you reading them. This is for two key reasons:

1 Because they are mainly about the basics of digital marketing, they still have relevance today, and

2 They represent the history of online marketing - if such a short period can be described as 'history'.

If you want to fully understand the subject well enough to earn a living in the discipline - or just pass an assignment - read them and learn.



Too many folk think of email as a medium for direct marketing - but it serves other marketing objectives as well. And this article - How to Write a Confirmation E-Mail - picks the bones out of a bad one and advises how to do it properly.

Another on the same subject - Email As Experience: Punch Up Your Transactional Messages - gives some good tips on the development of such emails.

This one - Killer Transactional Emails - is not about direct marketing emails, but many forget that not all emails are sent as a promotion. Make sure you read the CDbaby example.

Personality goes a long way. This article offers advice on how to make emails work better by adding personality to the content. I think the same can be applied to some websites.

Limited period offers have been around for ever in retail circles - and B2B come to think of it - but this article suggest how email can be used to practice the concept - Mr. Bluelight And Deal-a-Day Emails. Continuing the theme of using email to drive customers to bricks and mortar stores [why do so few practice it?], this article - 7 Tactics for Driving Traffic To Stores With Email - offers some tips.

The title of this one - How [and Why] to Centralize Your Email Marketing - tells you what it's about. As with many business and marketing issues, the 'why' is rather obvious - but still ignored by too many folk.

The email folk who know what they are doing test everything, and this one - Choosing The Best Day Of The Week To Email - shows that you don't just send them out at any old time. This one - The Most Popular Email Days of the Year For Retailers - looks at which days of the year are the best for sending them out. Note, however, the second refers only to B2C - I doubt that most [all?] of these days have little relevance in a B2B environment.

The 'from' line is important - so here are some tips - E-Mail Sender Lines: Do's and Don'ts.

I first came across the term 'lagniappe' when I visited New Orleans - where it is pronounced lan-yap [you need the N'Orleans accent to say it properly - and apparently Mark Twain said that it's "a word worth travelling to New Orleans to get"]. I have long promoted this concept of giving a customer something that is over and above what they agreed to pay for. This article - Lagniappe and its follow-up Lagniappe Examples - concentrate on email marketing, but lagniappe should apply to all aspects of business.

In my book Internet Marketing - and elsewhere - I make the point that email marketing best practices come from the offline forerunner of direct marketing, the author of this article - Revive the Lost Art of Direct Response Copywriting Online - agrees with me.

Without addresses to send them to marketing emails are useless. Here's some tips on how to build quality lists - How to Improve Your Process for Acquiring E-mail Subscribers.

I suppose you could file this one under 'what to do when something has gone wrong' and you are looking to get back a lost customer, see 8 Steps to Designing a Reactivation Campaign.

There's plenty written about accessing websites on mobile devices that have small screens - well what about reading emails. Best practices for mobile email design looks at the main issues.

I've listed this one here even though some would argue it is data-base marketing. Whatever - it is sound advice - The Welcome Email : Your Chance To Make A Positive First Impression.

I've put this one under 'tips & hints' as you should be able to use the stats as such. It's header says it is 'the first centralized online repository of statistics and research specific to the email marketing industry' - EmailStatCenter.com

Finding yourelf on a spam list is to be avoided, this article - Why I Love Spam Complaints (And You Should, Too) - includes hints to stop the receiver hitting the 'report as spam' button. More on the same subject, this time with tips from the ISPs - When 'Best' Practices Become ISP Law

It is a popular misconception that emails must be short. Certainly it is true of some, but not all, this article - When To Write Long Emails - gives some examples of when a long email is appropriate. On the same subject, this article - Who Says People Don't Respond to Long E-mail Copy? - is a good example of practitioners being waaayyyyyy ahead of academic research into [most aspects of] online marketing.

I have included this one - Email On A Budget - because I think it is typical of the situation marketers of small organizations face. Note however, it doesn't mention anything about developing the content - that isn't what an ESP does [though they might offer the service for an increased fee].

Some might consider this a bit basic - but it does give a clear outline of some significant problems - Email Secrets of a Top Converting Website - including a couple of illustrations.

This one - Who Hijacked My Email Program? - is perhaps a little strategic, but it does address a basic issue faced by marketers in many aspects of the discipline.

Here's a good on 'sender' details - Sender-Line Branding Tactics In Retail Emails.

This one - E-mail Secrets of a Top Converting WebSite - is not only a good case study, but its author is one of the best around.

Using a third party to supply email addresses can be fraught with problems, and this article - E-mail List Rentals: Red Flags and Results - explains just one of them [the integrity of the email service provider].

I'm pretty sure that all of the points raised in - Stop the Madness - More Email Practices That Deserve To Die - are covered elsewhere on this page, but it is a good list anyway.

For many users, the lazy way to 'unsubscribe' is to hit the 'report as spam' button. The potential consequences for the email marketer of this - and how to avoid it - are covered in The New to Way to Unsubscribe: Feedback Loops.

There's some good stuff about measuring email marketing success in this one - Subject Line Testing: What Metric Should You Use To Measure Success? - but it might leave you with more questions than answers.

The main reason I give students for my arguement that marketing is an art [rather than a science] is that there is never a single right answer to 'how to market product x'. This article - Subject-Line Absolutes: Are There Any? - supports my theory in that it makes the point that there is no right subject line for emails.

As the use of mobile phones to access the Internet increases, so more people look at their emails on a tiny screen, here's some tips on how to tackle the problems - 11 Tips to Align PC and Mobile Email Design.

Arguably this is a re-hash of established good practice - but it is still a timely reminder - Six Key Email Marketing Trends You Cannot Ignore.

Although on the face of it, this article - The Sensual Shopper: Appealing to the Senses Via Email - is about email, it is equally useful for website developers.

Perhaps the most-asked question in email seminars is 'what open rate should I expect?'. I usually say the variables are too many to give an answer, but this research - E-Mail Marketing Open and Click-Through Rates - offers up some guide lines.

This one - Cross-Promotions: Do's and Don'ts is about using mailing lists from one brand to promote another brand in the organization's portfolio.

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