Daily if you have a good “alert” system (ex: Google alerts) – this will not make sense for most companies. CNN news alerts are ok though.Once a week.
Weekly ok if you have a strong listener base, and compelling content.Once a month.
Monthly probably best for most small businesses. Overall – you want to retain “mindshare” – so they don’t forget you, but still not too much “in their face”.How long should the text be?Short, with longer description on website. People “scan”, not readKeep it tight, focused on brief — “read here for more” (link to full page) …Tip 1: Archive URL’s on your site, and allow it to be searched later. It’s “spider-food”, and you get recognized as an expert as well.
Tip 2: Also, a link to “send to friend” (‘found this article, thought you’d be interested’)
Tip 3: Use personalization (Dear Bob, Hello Cathy, etc.) – increases opening and reading by 50-60%. Work on the relationship — build trust and credibility. Note: Don’t overuse in the newsletter! Better to be a little conservative, than too friendly.10. Campaigns and newsletters take time. How-to get it done in your workweek.Unless you have a dedicated staff, you must do this yourself. Add this task to your calendar (with a recurring reminder), and consider this your “must-do” work.Tips that work well:Allocate some time your calendar, book it – and execute, don’t delayUse it as a marketing expense, track it in the booksHire a writer (guru.com, elance.com) – and use search for ‘copywriters’ (in your niche)Test with innovative audio and video options, outsource if necessaryMake sure to include testimonials11. Auto-responders.Auto responders are a fantastic and simple way to turn your business on automated 24×7 attendance. Use them, learn them and build your list and responsiveness from this feature alone. Your list will grow, which you will use for future mailings and offers. Auto-responders are software systems that allow for total automation of messaging.Here are another few tips for you to help build your list and credibility:Follow up for an e-Book (example: 3 days after first mailing, send “did you get the email?” In that mailing, provide a link to a free download e-book, offers, etc)Follow up to the subscription – ‘thank you’Training series (“5-day SEO email course”) — see example on http://www.microsaw.com seo email courseCreate free email courses, courses send every 1-2 days for a short period (less than a week).12. Isn’t use of email as a business tool dead?Answer: No it is not. It’s part of our lives, and email is still very effective. It’s accepted, and with filters and advanced software solutions, it is managed.Here are some tips and tools:Many programs use filtering (ISP)Bounces can be recorded: soft, hard (to edit/maintenance your list)SpamAssassinCloudmark Desktop (report spam) – helps the community at largeSpamArrestAmazon does a lot of things with email. They have applied a cool system with personalization. They have supposedly as high as a 14% conversion rate!Tip: Do you need to check your email for SPAM? Try sending your campaign or email to: [email protected]?subject=TEST — you’ll get an email response back with a rating of 0 thru 5.13. Wave of the future – “white-listing”.Email marketing is not going away, as some have alluded to. The key is to stay within the form and function of the email marketing community. Newer options exist for creating “white lists” (universally accepted lists) – a few of these new services are listed here:Sender Certification is an important change which has been used for a while already.Here are a few companies:HabeasSender Score CertifiedHabeas is expensive at $15,000 a year, and only recommended for serious, large email marketing companies. Goodmailsystems (used by AOL and Yahoo) is also another high-end product. Search on Google for ’email sender certification’.Tip: Definitely a “future” thing, and growing in use today. You get a (good) reputation for being an email sender, and can build a strong business around this as well.14. What other technical issues should I review?Check spelling, graphics, relative links, use the free software XENU to get amazingly detailed reports. The Webmaster reports at the bottom of one of their reports provide a lot of good detail, perfect for executive overview.Other tips:Make sure to use http://, not just [http://www..]. in your LINK references. Your link may not work without it.Research shows that Tue, Wed, Thu works well for B2B (but, make sure to test!)Some B2C lists are better on the weekends (personal feeling about this)15. Landing pages.We’ve talked about this topic in several places in the article. It’s so important, we dedicate a special section here.A landing page is a strategically developed (content and visuals) page that you bring your potential customers to. It’s a call-to-action page. Many just bring their prospective customers to a home page where other non-related items may appear, including no specific instructions. You only have a few seconds to get him or her to react.If you are not great at writing, you can hire a copywriter, check elance.com and guru.com, sometimes as low as 30-40 bucks for a pretty good writer.Test, test, test and location, location, location.You must test and track (metrics) your pages and run A/B splits (change a few things like color, title, subhead, etc – and not too much at the same time). You can use a free service Google analytics to get started.More expensive ones are clicktracks, omniture, hitbox, hitlens – and the ultimate wholly grail testing, tuning and tracking system is the taguchi models (multi-variant optimizers).The human eye scans from top left to right in a downstream manner.The call-to-action items (like “sign up for my newsletter”) would get optimal viewing if placed here, in this F-shaped Golden Triangle. Also, as we mentioned – above the fold!Make sure you have some free downloads and give-aways, surfers love quizzes and mini-tests, including email courses, using autoresponders for immediate follow-up and tracking.Your email campaigns should take them to a landing page for more / better conversion.Tip: Add a “Special Message” block on your page and in your email text and allow users to discuss on your forum or in your blog link.