7 Back-to-School Basics for Email Marketers
In the spirit of the season, a recent press release from hosted email marketing solutions provider GraphicMail offered a list of back-to-school email marketing basics to help you pass the grade this year. They incldue the following:
1. Ask people to be your friends. Create a customized subscription (opt-in) form and link to it from various pages on your site. At a minimum it should contain your logo and fit with the look and feel of your brand. After all, kids can be a discerning bunch. Also, link your subscription form to your Facebook account so your reach can extend beyond your website.
2. Ask your friends about themselves. Ask people their first names, maybe their telephone numbers, where they’re from and what they’re interested in. You can collect all this information in your subscription form. The more you know about your subscribers, the more you can target them with relevant messages.
3. Be polite and friendly. This means linking to a thank-you landing page or setting up an autoresponder with a welcome email or confirmed opt-in link. Do the same with a final goodbye autoresponder if they unsubscribe.
4. Do your research. Get the message right with relevant content. Make sure your content covers everything the teacher (in this case, your subscribers) asked for.
5. Make it clear and readable. If the teacher can’t read your handwriting or your argument doesn’t flow, it makes a big difference. So depending on the subject of your mailing, the layout will need to vary. Two-column emails, for example, allow you to push your message and have promotions or features down the side, while a single-column email works best for a simple message.
6. Test formatting across multiple email clients. There are dozens of email clients (e.g., Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007, Lotus, Entourage, Applemail, Thunderbird, etc.) and webmail services (e.g., AOL, Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.), and each renders emails slightly different.
7. Test delivery across multiple email clients. Text in the body of an email and bad subject lines — i.e., words like "test" and "sales"; CAPITAL letters; and even exclamation points — can cause mail servers to block emails. Test to ensure your email isn't getting caught in a spam filter.
Related story: How to Get Your Customers to Appreciate You