E-mail tune-up projects for the summer slump

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Summer is the perfect time to consider some "never-seem-to-get-that" e-mail projects. Even if you are getting good response there are inevitably components that have fallen into disrepair.

Review your welcome message. Does it follow best practices? More fundamental, is it even working?

Test your unsubscribe function. Few things will get you into hot water faster, both with deliverability and the law, than a dysfunctional unsubscribe. At a minimum, make sure it works. Then, consider if you could make it even easier for folks to opt-out.

Overhaul your metrics reports. Are you getting the best information? Do you completely understand how each metric is calculated? For example, what does "delivered" mean? Is your click-through rate calculated off of sent, delivered or opened? Consider if additional data could help you better analyze your program.

Clean out the inactive subscribers. What percentage of your list has not clicked on anything in six months or more? Of those, how many haven't even opened in that time frame? A pattern of inactivity suggests these addresses may be doing more harm than good.

Invigorate your e-mail capture strategy. Is your e-mail sign up prominent on your Web site? Over time, changes to your site can result in this vital feature getting buried. Check all your forms work and that the whole process is clear and customer-friendly.

Double-check your authentication records. Check on your SenderID and Sender Policy Framework records. If you make changes to your program these records can get out of whack without anyone noticing. Consider if you have implemented all the authentication standards that you should. DomainKeys Identified Mail is gaining traction, so adding this now may save headaches later.

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