Conquering the E-Mail Test (1,116 words)
• Keep your line length at fewer than 80 characters. Systems automatically insert hard returns after 80 characters, even if you didn't. Keep the line length to fewer than 60 characters if the message is likely to be forwarded. Forwarded messages are indented by a tab character, which is usually eight characters.
• Develop a good signature file. Your signature file should include your name and title, company name, tagline, address, phone, fax and your URL. You should also include a provocative message or some kind of teaser to get prospects interested in your product or service. Always end with an action directive—tell them what you want them to do and how they should do it NOW. Use a separate URL if you can.
• Develop landing pages for your e-mails. The landing page should thank people for visiting and then aggressively ask for the inquiry or order. Make sure to repeat the offer on the landing page.
• Use personalization wisely. Repeat the name twice within the first five lines. Restate the name in the closing paragraph. Design your e-mail around what you know—personalization is more than "Dear John." Don't abuse your relationship; customers are wary of people who know too much about them online unless they've given them the information.
Before and After
• When you're first developing your campaign, make sure to look at your results at several intervals: four hours, eight hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours (peak time), 72 hours, 120 hours, 192 hours, 360 hours and 720 hours.
• When you evaluate e-mail performance, make sure to evaluate the back end carefully. It's important to look at page views, click-throughs, conversion to contact, conversion to inquiry, conversion to repeat, conversion to audit/quote, conversion to sale, downloads, repeat visits and depth of visit. You should also be sure to measure things like average user session, user waves, action rate, unsubscribe rate, pass along rate and others.