Top 10 E-Mail Marketing Mistakes To Avoid

Do you know there’s a lot of money to be made if you could properly prepared and correctly executed your email marketing campaign to your subscribers?

It doesn’t matter how good your intentions are and it doesn’t matter how butt-kicking good your offer is. If you blow the basic rules of e-mail marketing, you’re headed for disaster.

Here’s I provide a checklist of what NOT to do when you’re depending on e-mail to boost your revenue:

1. Failing To Obey The CAN-SPAM Act

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) was passed into law by the United States Congress to establish rules for companies that use e-mail for marketing or other commercial purposes.

The law affects any U.S.-based company or person that sends e-mail containing advertising that promotes a product or service.

Transactional e-mail, which is e-mail that is used solely to update a customer with information that is relative to his or her account or order, is generally exempt from most provisions of the Act except that it may not use “false or misleading routing information.”

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is charged with the responsibility of enforcing the CAN-SPAM Act and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is authorized to pursue criminal actions against violators of the Act.

2. Failing To Test Your e-mail Message Before You Send It

e-mail can be displayed differently in different browsers and e-mail clients. That’s why it’s important to send a few test messages and to then read those test messages using the most commonly used browsers and e-mail clients in order to make sure that what readers see is what you intended them to see.

3. Failing To Use A SPAM Checker Before You Send Your e-mail

With so many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Internet users running SPAM-blocking software, it has never been more important to see how your e-mail stacks up against the electronic gate guardians that are going to try and stop your reader from receiving it.

4. Forgetting About The “Preview Pane”

Most people have their e-mail clients set up so that all new e-mail messages are displayed in a preview pain. Depending upon their preferences, that preview pane may just display the “To”, “From” and “Subject” headers, or it may display all of those as well as the first few sentences of the body of the e-mail.

5. Failing to Use Enough White Space

If you make your e-mail message too long, or you try to cram too many words into a paragraph, your readers’ eyes are going to instantly glaze over and they are going to hit the delete key.

Keep your e-mail messages short and get right to the point. Keep your paragraphs short as well.

6. Failure To Test All Imbedded Links

What a waste of time and effort it is to send out an e-mail campaign only to discover that the link to your web site or order page was malformed and it doesn’t work. Test, test and then test again before you mail.

7. Locking Prospects Into One Contact Method

Giving prospects only one way to respond to you will cost you sales. Just because you think that e-mail is the best way to communicate doesn’t mean that your prospect does. Some people are willing to read e-mail and click on a link to visit a web site, but they’re not going to buy unless they can call on the phone or mail in a check.

8. Ignoring Your Bounce Rate

If you’re sending e-mail, you can bet some of it is bouncing. You need to be aware of not only how many messages are bouncing, but why they are bouncing. Finding out how much e-mail is bouncing and why can be as simple as checking your mail server logs. Most hosting accounts provide them as well as a tool to view them.

9. Taking Down Your Landing Page Or Other E-mail-Connected Items Too Soon

It can sometimes take a few weeks for someone to get around to reading your e-mail for any number of reasons including illness or vacation. If you take your landing page down too soon or you delete any supporting graphics that the e-mail needs, you’ll lose sales. Don’t be in too much of a rush to end the campaign.

10. Not Taking Time To Proofread

Nothing makes you look more unprofessional than sending out an e-mail that’s full of spelling and grammar mistakes. Don’t depend on your spell checker alone. Print the message out and read it carefully, one word at a time. Then give it to at least two more people and have them do the same thing.

Basically, this are the 10 most mistake usually people made it while sending their email marketing promotion out to their list and been wondering why there is no effect at all and if you could avoid this 10 mistake I am sure you could make a sure fire on your email marketing success.

Email Marketing Strategy – CAN-SPAM Part I

In December of 2003, Congress established the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM). This law identifies practices all commercial emailers must follow, spells out penalties for spammers, and gives consumers the right to ask emailers to stop spamming them. There’s also a bill being considered in Congress that would extend this law to include text messaging on cell phones.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. You may not give false or misleading header information. Your email’s “To:” and “From:” lines must be accurate and must identify who is sending the email.

2. You may not use deceptive subject lines. The subject line of the email must not mislead readers about the contents of the email. Deceptive emails are also subject to further Federal Trade Commission regulations prohibiting false or misleading advertising.

3. You must give readers an opt-out method. You must give either an email- or Internet-based opt-out method, and it must remain open for 30 days following the email. Once you get an opt-out request, you must stop emailing that address within 10 days. You may not sell or transfer opt-out email addresses to any other entity.

4. You must identify your email as an advertisement or solicitation. This notice must be clear and conspicuous, and you must let readers know they can opt out of receiving further commercial emails from you.

5. You must include a valid physical postal address. This needs to appear in every email advertisement, solicitation, or newsletter.

Note that CAN-SPAM does not regulate “transactional” or “relationship” business emails – defined as those emails that facilitate an agreed-upon business transaction or update a customer in an existing business relationship, other than stating such emails may not contain false or misleading routing information.

Your reputation is also – maybe more – important.

One or two recipients clicking the “junk mail” icon might not be a big deal, but if it happens consistently over time, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will notice. According to an article by Constant Contact, a well-known electronic delivery service, most ISPs consider several pieces of information before they identify you as a spammer:

1. The number of complaints made against your IP address. ISPs will look at the number of times people hit “spam” or “junk” in response to your emails, and too many is not good.

2. The consistency of sent emails. Most spammers send emails erratically, frequently switching from one IP address to another to avoid being detected, so spiky email behavior sets up a red flag.

3. High bounce rates. Sending a large number of emails to defunct or unknown email addresses will hurt your reputation.

4. Spam trap hits. Spammers will send web crawlers out to harvest email addresses from websites, so the ISPs will set up phony “trap” sites with email addresses that aren’t publicly available. If an IP address sends an email to the trap address, they’ve just been outed as a spammer.

Now that you know what the law says and what the internet service providers look for, what happens if you’re reported? How do you develop an email marketing strategy that will keep your reputation clear and get you the results you want? Read my next article, Email Marketing Strategy Part II, to find out!

How to Set-up a Good Email Campaign

Everybody is sending emails these days, and it has become the most quick and efficient method of communication in the world. Most people are doing it just to stay in touch with family and friends; others, however, are emailing in order to support a business or project, online or not. If you fall into the latter group, then you want to make sure that you are running your email campaign properly; unfortunately, a lot of business owners haven’t been able to to do just that. A sloppy email marketing strategy will undermine, not advance, a business’s online and offline activity, and therefore must be avoided at all cost. The tricks of the trade, fortunately, are not very difficult to learn, and crafting an intelligent, professional email marketing strategy is something within the grasp of both business owners large and small.

The start of any good email marketing plan consists of research: you need to discover not only the email marketing software that could facilitate your endeavor, but also where you’ll garner your contacts list from and-most importantly-how and with what you will put together your content. Each of these three objectives deserves the most earnest effort in order to establish a good foundation for your email campaign.

As far as software is concerned, make sure you are able to track your campaign’s efficiency. This means using web bugs and checking click-through rates, and depending on what sort of a SEO strategy your business has (if it has one at all), testing responsiveness to certain keywords. Each niche has its own peculiarities, so make sure to consult with an expert in your particular field.

Regarding contacts lists, it is important to have some scruples and stay within the law. After all, unsolicited mail is the definition of spam, and there are penalties for acquiring personal data from unauthorized sources; consult the CAN-SPAM Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 2003 for further information. The limitations are, on the other hand, fairly lax-as they are with the entire internet realm-and with a good eye toward the right audience, it isn’t too hard to find an interest in your emails. The key here, of course, is your ability to locate and identify your target audience.

Lastly, in terms of the content of your email campaign, make sure to take stock of your own writing skills, and if they are not of a higher degree, make sure to contract the able of hand of someone who is a good writer. Few things will turn off an educated audience-and that is what you must always assume your audience is-like poor penmanship. Once you’ve got that base covered, you have to consider what exactly the topic is and how best to represent it. Here SEO strategies again can play a big part, and if your business is not yet putting together a SEO plan, then it’s time to seriously consider doing so…the alternative is being left behind by the competition. Also, remember to catch the consumer or subscriber’s eye in the email subject line as well as the first sentence of the email. These two parts of the email are the hook with which you must catch willing clients, customers, members, or readers.

From here, you may proceed knowing that you have properly founded your emailing methodology. What follows should be perseverance, adaptation to the market, and sufficient savvy to correlate your sales results and marketing strategy.

Business Marketing Online – What the Economic Storm-of-the-Century Means to Your Small Business

Whether the Congressional economic recovery package that actually succeeds in bailing out the financial markets and freeing up the credit markets or not, small businesses will be dramatically impacted over the next couple years. The initial response will be met with a sigh of relief, followed by fits and spurts of issues as the reality of the package trickles down to the masses. Foundational cracks exist in the nation’s confidence in the economy.

Suzie Orman appeared on Oprah and recommended everyone cutback. If everyone cuts back, the pool of available customers will shrink dramatically for every size business. Talk of the economy “in the tank” is all over the news, focusing the nation on scarcity. The belief in scarcity is a self-actualizing idea. If enough people believe the economy is about to crash and enough people stop buying, it could happen. The psychological impact of events determine how heavily the economy is impacted regardless of intervention by Congress, the President or the Federal Reserve.

Small businesses need to act now. This will be a test of survival of the fittest. Small business fitness is determined by how effectively and efficiently a company attracts and converts contacts into customers who buy, return and refer. Even Google who does a lot right is making an expensive mistake when it comes to leveraging online marketing tools available. In fact, they are making an email marketing mistake that could cost them $36 billion over the next six years if they don’t make a change.

The lowly little email is sucking massive profits out of the Google Goliath. Google will be fine — their business model can survive because they use other marketing strategies ingeniously. Make no mistake, they are still leaving massive money on the table.

Small businesses who don’t learn from the mistake may not survive the current economic challenge. If you depend on your business to support your family, ignore the Google mistake at the peril of your own economic future. Getting email marketing right is so critical it can make or break businesses, fortunes and even determine the destiny of a nation.

For the micro-investment of $19 a month, your business can board the economic freedom train with a professional . Email marketing done right puts your business on the right track. There is no more effective medium to communicate with contacts, develop relationships and convert them into customers one-on-one on a mass scale. Email is so powerful it can mean the difference between small businesses that survive and those who succumb to competition and economic storms.

Here are 3 keys to effective email marketing:

1) Build a targeted list of contacts. Use valuable information your target consumer “must” have. Only provide premium quality information.

2) Use a professional autoresponder email system. Do not use free or low cost scripts. Do not email from your own server. These are certain paths to land in your contact’s Spam folder or even worse turned away at the ISP (Internet Service Provider) gate without ever making it to the contact at all.

3) Follow-up with your contacts. Lack of follow-up with contacts and customers is the number two (2) reason businesses fail. Number one (1) is failure to market or advertise your business, product or service.