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10 Must-Haves to Dress up Your eMail Marketing Campaigns by Janine Popick @janinepopick


10 Must-Haves to Dress up Your eMail Marketing Campaigns by Janine Popick @janinepopick


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10 Must-Haves to Dress up Your eMail Marketing Campaigns

Even the best of us take for granted the simple things you need to include in your email marketing campaigns we send out on a regular basis. So here is a list of things you must have that will help you grow your list, get more opens and clicks for your emails, and have a super successful campaign.

1. Write A Compelling Subject Line

Make sure you take the time to think about what’s going to get your email opened. Look at your past campaigns, see which ones got the highest open rates and try to emulate the type of subject line you used. Try one of our 50 All Time Great Subject Lines and see if one works for your business.

2. Ask to Get Listed in Your Recipient’s Address Book

If the email address that you send your email campaigns from is listed in your recipient’s email address book, your email goes directly into the inbox and your images are automatically displayed. You’ll want to get as many of these as possible. For instance at VerticalResponse you can automatically insert it into your email campaigns and it looks like this:

If you can’t see images add “YourVRFromLabel@mail.vresp.com” to your address book.

3. Include a Forward-to-a-Friend Link

You don’t know what it’s going to take to entice your recipient to forward the email to a friend of theirs so your message gets out to a wider audience. So even if they don’t click on a “forward to a friend” link you include, it may make them remember to simply forward it using their email client.

4. Use Images to Illustrate Your Point

If you’ve got images of your product, go ahead and include them. Like they say, an image is worth a thousand words. Just remember, some email readers strip out images so make sure your copy that you write also tells the story. (editor’s note: here’s one way to avoid blocking using HTMLized images)

5. Prominently Display Your Logo

Nothing works on your recipients like a familiar logo of a company they do business with. Remember to include image “alt tags” that will show the name of your company or product in the event your images don’t display properly.

6. Include Your Postal Address

This is simply the U.S. Federal Law, so be sure to include your postal address in each of your email campaigns. Even if you’re emailing from outside the U.S. many times you don’t know where your recipients are.

7. Display an Unsubscribe Link

Even the best email marketing campaigns get unsubscribes, but bottom line is you don’t want to continue to send emails to recipients that don’t want them. Not only is this included in the federal CAN-SPAM legislation, but it will end up tarnishing your company reputation with negative word-of-mouth.

8. Use Customer Testimonials

Make sure you constantly solicit testimonials from your customers and recipients. Then feature them in your email campaigns. You’ll get two things from them; 1) They’ll likely forward it to all of their friends and 2) Nothing sells better than a customer selling your products or services for you.

9. Insert Lots of Links

If you think you’ve got too many links…add more! You never know what link your readers will be compelled to click, so make sure you’re linking words and images and you’re linking often.

10. Use Your Social Media Links

If you’ve got people following you on Twitter, or people who are Facebook fans, make sure you include these links in your email marketing campaigns. You’ll spread the word to a wider audience from within these campaigns. Check out our free download: Social Media Checklist.

Above and beyond these ten “must-haves” you’ll obviously want the articles in your newsletter or your sales copy to be compelling as well. Use this as a checklist for your next email marketing campaigns!

Takeaway: Don’t forget the basics – sometimes the simplest tricks are the most magical.

About the author:
Janine Popick is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse http://www.verticalresponse.com, a leading provider of self-service email marketing, online surveys, and direct mail services empowering small businesses to create, manage, and analyze their own direct marketing campaigns. Janine is a columnist for Inc.’s Women in Business blog. In her spare time, Janine is VerticalResponse’s Chief Executive Blogger for the VerticalResponse Marketing Blog for Small Businesses http://verticalresponse.blogs.com. Follow her on Twitter @janinepopick http://www.twitter.com/janinepopick.

  • Profile:  Janine Popick is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse (www.verticalresponse.com), a leading provider of self-service email marketing, online surveys, and direct mail services empowering small businesses to create, manage, and analyze their own direct marketing campaigns. Janine is a columnist for Inc.'s Women in Business blog. In her spare time, Janine is VerticalResponse's Chief Executive Blogger for the VerticalResponse Marketing Blog for Small Businesses. Follow her on Twitter @janinepopick.
  • Website:  http://blog.verticalresponse.com/verticalresponse_blog/
  • Twitter:   http://www.twitter.com/janinepopick
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Your thoughts here
  1. Hi Janine – thanks for sharing some of these oh-so vital elements.

    I am however inclined to agree with Jordie on the ‘insert lots of links’ point. I’ve found that by including a handful of links that are relevant and interesting garner better results in terms of click-through’s. It keeps the page uncluttered and as Jordie implies, less distracting. This aside, it’s a very interesting read and certainly a great reference for email marketing newbies.

  2. I’ve always found a forward to a friend link to actually be quite hard to implement when you’re personalising your emails by product/offer. Some folk just do it by asking them to forward the email or some mailto: script, others by using an online form…still it’s complicated stuff!

  3. Janine, nice roundup of some of those basics, indeed they are often the most magical :D

    I would raise some caution with #9 “Inserts lots of links” though. In most cases more = more, but there is also such a thing as “attention overload”. Meaning that if you draw attention to many items in an email, it gets diffused and you are actually drawing no attention at all.

    Removing links and clutter can actually increase clickthrough behaviour. I would advise to link images though, like a logo or a header. You would be surprised how many people click on these just to get to your homepage quickly.

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