Work with a quality e-list broker who provides information such as prior usage and how the individuals opted in. Expect that most good lists only will be available on a cost-per-thousand basis.
8. Don't keep your list size up by making it hard to opt out
Some marketers ask you to reply to a message and include "remove me" or "unsubscribe" in the subject line. The theory behind this is that more people will stay on the list. But this practice reduces the effectiveness of the list. Communicate with recipients who welcome your message and you will have better results.
9. Don't sell, sell, sell
E-commerce marketers want to monetize their efforts by selling goods and services. It's tempting to fill every inch of your e-mails with product offerings.
The best e-mail programs have a balance between selling and content. The content can provide behind-the-scenes information about products, tell a story about your company, or provide tips and hints on how customers use a product. Value-added content will keep your recipients interested. A great example of this is the Lands' End newsletter. The lead article is always a long-form article that sometimes sells, but often presents a story about what's happening in Dodgeville, WI, or a customer testimonial about a product. The copy is impeccable, and I suspect their open rates are much higher than average.
10. Don't think online only
The beauty of e-mail is that it's a great way to promote your offer and drive traffic right to your content. However, customers or prospects may not want to order online. Don't think only in one dimension. Provide ways for recipients to contact you offline by including your toll-free number both in e-mails and on your site. Some marketers have measured the impact of including their 800 number in e-mails and found up to 20 percent of sales came in through the call center.