10 Tips for Efficient Email Marketing

Email marketing can be an effective online marketing technique if you go about it correctly, and avoid all possibility of spamming. In fact, a recent study conducted by the DMA or Direct Marketing Association shows that in 2008 alone, the ROI of Emails amounted to $45.06 for every dollar spent. That's a huge figure considering it is so easy to do.

However, you can only do this if you know how to get that email into the Inbox of your potential clients instead of getting it into their spam or junk folder. So, how can you achieve that and attain these high levels of income? Here are some of the things that can be done to improve the likelihood of your email marketing campaigns being as successful as possible.

1. Avoid Long Words
Avoid fancy titles and long words in your email. Many people often make such elementary errors such as using words like "breakthrough", "phenomenon", etc. Spam filters will immediately think your email is spam if you use such words. Unless you have really developed a product that is a true breakthrough, then steer clear of this type of language. Make your email simple, straight-forward and yet convincing.

2. Keep Clear of Cash
Avoid mentioning about cash in your email. Any excessive discussion about money will almost certainly result in the bulk of your mailing ending up in spam folder - and not many people bother to check their spam folder. However, this could be a problem if your topic is all about money, and in such cases you should figure out a way of presenting the topic discreetly, or of at least getting your email into the Inbox and opened. You know those "get rich" type of emails? Those are mostly sent to the spam folder, so make sure you avoid any word or phrase that could be construed in that way.

3. Mortgage Brokers have a Problem
If you are in the mortgage business you are going to have problems, because mortgage brokers have abused the email system so much in recent years that the word is synonymous with spamming. You may be a legitimate mortgage company but spam filters will frequently block mortgage pitches whether they are real or scam. If you want to use email marketing for your mortgage business, make sure you make your email subtle, such as subtly directing to people to your website for more information.

4. Don't be too Urgent
Avoid the word "urgent" in your email. You've probably heard or read spam emails saying that "it's urgent" and "don't miss the opportunity of a lifetime". However, most spam filters are set to trap that kind of language. Never use the word "urgent", even if it relevant to what you have to say. Spam filters do not analyze your email for its meaning as search engine algorithms do, but simply look for certain words that have been pre-programmed into the software.

5. No Guarantees or Money Back
You should also avoid a few more phrases in email marketing, such as "money-back guarantee", or the "check is in the mail", because so many scam emails using the same phrases are being sent every day, and nobody will believe you anyway. Email marketing involves a high level of avoidance of certain words and phrases.

6. Offer Nothing Free!
Other terms to avoid include phrases such as "why pay more", anything with Free" in it, and the dollar or pound sign is a definite no-no. Try to phrase your title, and the rest of your email, in such a way as not to focus on the financial benefits or gains, and not to use specifically emotive words or superlatives. Hence, the exclamation mark is a certain way to get your email directed to the spam folder.

Email marketing is totally different from most other forms of marketing. Keep clear of hype and minimize upper case letters. You can Capitalize the First Letter of Each Main Word in your Subject Line where appropriate, but no more than that.

8. Use Opt-in Forms and First Names
In order to get your emails read, try using the first name of the person you are mailing. You can avoid being accused of spamming (but not the spam software) by using a double opt-in system with your opt-in forms if you are using them. By doing that you will also collect the first name of your prospects, and your autoresponder can then use that in the subject line. Using a person's name is a powerful way of attracting their attention and getting your mail opened.

9. Avoid Images
Avoid images in your emails, because these can take an age to load, and after doing all the hard work and getting your email delivered and opened, you don't want it closed again just as quickly. HTML images are frequently split into pieces to help them load quicker and if you don't get your HTML right, a spam filter will often redirect your mail to where you don't want it to go.

10 Offer Text
HTML might seem great to you, and look very attractive in your email system, using your browse and screen resolution. However, it can look completely different on somebody else's computer, so never use HTML unless you also offer your mailing in an alternative text format. Many people, even some of the top online marketers, use only text, both in their own email marketing campaigns, and to receive mail.

If you apply these 10 tips, you will have a better chance of getting your email past the spam filters, and also having it opened. After that it is up to you, but you must grab the reader's attention immediately they open your mail, and keep them reading. However, that is another topic.

Naz Daud is the founder of CityLocal.
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