The 7.5 rules of e-mail marketing

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Lisa Cramer
Lisa Cramer

Get a plan. One e-mail blast will not generate quality leads or drive customer loyalty. Draft a plan to continuously engage prospects and customers not just with e-mail but e-mail newsletters and personalized postcards containing personalized URLs. Send to prospects and follow up within three to four weeks with those who did not respond to your first message. Engage customers with a periodic e-mail newsletter to nurture the relationship, seek their input, and drive up-sell opportunities.

Get delivered. Keep your e-mail file size small — around 40K is recommended. Avoid spam-trigger words like “sale”, “free” and “offer”. Limit use of images, which can raise your spam score. Include a physical address and an “unsubscribe” link. It's crucial to remain Can-Spam Act compliant and avoid blacklisting risks.

Get help. The e-mail marketing landscape is littered with failed in-house initiatives. Invest in help from a trusted advisor with the tools and track record to help ensure your success not just with e-mail marketing, but direct mail and event strategies.

Get read. Keep your message and design simple. Recipients will not scroll through lengthy adjective-laden paragraphs. Give them one compelling thought with a link to read more. Too many images can distract from your message. Keep them to a minimum — a logo or one relevant image. Strive for one screen, no scrolling, with important links at the top.

Get it together. Integrate your online and offline campaigns to leverage branding as well as to track offline campaign results. Make sure each channel adheres to your positioning and branding so recipients understand what you are all about and that you really want their business.

Get feedback. Encourage recipients to respond via links, surveys, and forms. Encourage click-throughs, especially newsletter signups and forwarding to friends.

Get results. Track deliveries, bounces, opens, click-throughs, forwards, and act on those results. Move hot leads directly to Sales. Nurture the not-yet-hot leads as well as your valued customers with personalized direct mail letters and postcards as well as invitations to events.

Get delivered. This one is so important it deserves repeating. Nothing happens unless your messages get through to your targets. Reread Rules two and three to drive results and return on your e-mail marketing investment.


Lisa Cramer is president of LeadLife Solutions. You can reach her at lcramer@leadlife.com.

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