1. Create a contact list from options. “People used to buy lists and send spam messages to them. That’s a huge no-no,” says Sherman Standberry of LYFE Marketing. “Get opt-ins from your website so your list is made up of contacts who actually want your emails.” Healthy lists generate higher ROI.
2. Don’t just talk about yourself. “Companies often treat email as just another advertising medium,” says Ken Mahar of Email Broadcast. “But that’s like a TV channel that’s 100% commercials. It will be deleted, blocked and unsubscribed from because it’s not telling them what they want to hear.” There can be a commercial message inside, but it needs to entertain, educate and inspire, he says.
3. Monitor deliverability. Bad lists and lack of added value will cripple your deliverability. “Your domain can trigger a spam alert, so your message is sent straight to Junk folders. If your open rate is low, that could be the reason,” Standberry says. “Then email providers may blacklist you because they don’t trust your domain.”
4. Plan ahead. “Companies say, ‘Oh no, we have to have something brilliant go out tomorrow!’ It doesn’t work that way,” Mahar says. “At Email Broadcast, we brainstorm 100 ideas for every campaign before we put it together and then we schedule it all out.”
5. Create a checklist. “Even veteran pilots have checklists,” says Mahar. “There are so many ways to screw up an email. And don’t check the box until it’s actually done.”