I recently attended a Lyris and AMA Marketing webinar featuring Andrea Scarnecchia. After recently taking over most of the email marketing here at Windward for 2011, it has definitely tested my patience and time management skills. Here are my top five takeaways from the webinar and personal experience.
1. Contact List maintenance and organization is key to a long life for email marketers. Figuring out a way to simply update, segment, and integrated all of your contact lists, will greatly reduce the amount of time you spend banging your head on the desk.
2. Learn the basics of HTML. Without this knowledge it is hard to design the template to accommodate different email services. Gmail renders HTML differently than MS Outlook does, knowing the HTML and can help make your emails look great in all inboxes. Another good tip is to add title tags to all of your main pictures. Since most people that open your email blast do not download the pictures, you need to get your point across without them. The title tags put text on the blank picture so you can still explain the point of the picture.
3. Have a compelling subject line. Make sure to keep them short and sweet, under 50 characters is the most effective. Make sure your companies name shows up in the from line so you do not need to have it in the subject line. Watch for words that trigger spam filters and excessive punctuation, especially the word free and to many !!!!. Here is an example of the last subject line I used.
From: Windward Reports <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: A New Approach to Dynamic Charting
4. Stay relevant and segment email lists. Andrea Scarnecchia noted that 75% of people say that biggest reason to opt-out of email marketing is lack of relevance. This sounds fairly obvious but is still a big mistake made by a lot of companies. An easy way to fix this is to segment your contact list, either by leads, prospects, customers, or specific types of users. In the case of Windward it would be Business Users, Tech Users, VAR, and OEMs. Segmenting lists does require a lot more preparation, but the benefit to the increased number of opens and clicks will make it worth the effort.
5. Stay updated on laws and email best practices. Anti-Spam laws are always changing, go to ftc.gov to see an updated version of the CAN-SPAM Act.
Intern lesson of the day:
Make sure to get a desk by a window
Don’t forget to Comment, let me know what you think and if you have any other email marketing recommendations.