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10 Tips for Successful E-mail Marketing

Are you harnessing of the power of e-mail marketing? Despite the proliferation of social media, e-mail is still one of the most effective ways to connect with customers and build trust. Try these 10 steps to make e-mail marketing work for you.

  1. Collect e-mail addresses. Make it easy for customers to opt-in to your e-mails. A brick-and-mortar business can have sign-up forms at checkout or mail them with invoices. Put a form on your website that makes signup easy. Offer a discount, free information or other incentive to encourage signups.
  2. Tell customers what to expect. Post your privacy policy on your website. When customers subscribe, e-mail a welcome telling them how often they will hear from you (monthly? weekly?) and how to unsubscribe.
  3. Craft compelling subject lines. The subject line gets customers to open the e-mail…or not. The best subject lines are short, to the point and clearly convey the benefit to the recipient. Avoid exclamation points and all-capital letters—these amateur moves will get your message marked as junk mail.
  4. Make it attractive. The design of your e-mails should be consistent with your company’s website and your other marketing materials. Use your logo, color, photos and graphics to enhance visual appeal.
  5. Proofread. E-mail marketing messages riddled with spelling and grammar errors reflect poorly on your business. Carefully proofread e-mails, paying special attention to figures, discounts and prices. If proofreading isn’t your strong suit, enlist someone else.
  6. Be responsive. Your e-mail marketing campaign may prompt queries or questions from customers. People expect prompt responses to e-mails, so answer right away or your e-mails could do more harm than good.
  7. Create an e-newsletter. A monthly e-newsletter including useful tips, news about your business, stories about customers, and special offers from your business is a great way to connect with customers.
  8. Get help. Many Web hosting companies offer e-mail marketing packages. If you use the same company that hosts your website, it’s easy to have your e-mails share the look and feel of your site. Or, try Constant Contact, a popular service that provides templates and other tools to simplify e-mail marketing.
  9. Analyze results. Look for an e-mail marketing service that provides analytics tools. Use analytics to assess the effectiveness of your e-mail marketing campaigns and adjust them for better results.
  10. Keep it legal. Many legal regulations govern e-mail marketing. For example, you must include an opt-out link and a physical business address in each e-mail; process unsubscribe requests within 10 days; and avoid deceptive subject lines. A good e-mail marketing service will help you follow the rules of the CAN-SPAM Act, but the final responsibility is yours.

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Before launching her business, she was Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Follow Rieva at and read more of her insights on sign up for her free TrendCast reports.

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