Sacramento, CA (PRWEB) October 13, 2009
StreamSend a leading email marketing solutions provider, today released guidelines for businesses looking to use email to find and reach new customers. Tested with thousands of clients, these best practices have proven effective at maximizing email's value in driving new business.
"Email marketing is a cost efficient, effective way to identify and reach prospects - if you follow practical guidelines," says Dan Forootan, president of StreamSend Email Marketing. "The following ten steps can help business avoid the spam filters and internet service provider blacklists and tap into the power of email to create new, profitable customer relationships."
1.Buying Lists: Just Say No
Don't use purchased lists, opt in or not. These subscribers have not requested information from your company and are more likely to mark the message as spam without even opening the email. Chances are also good that the list will contain invalid or spam trap email addresses causing problems with inbox delivery. Your bid for new customers can end up compromising the delivery of emails you want to get to your legitimate subscribers.
2. Sign-Ups: Make it Easy
First, get interested parties to sign up for your messages. Make it easy, starting with a clear link to the subscribe form on your website. That link should appear in every mailing, so that forwarded messages still make it easy to subscribe. Writing blog posts or articles (online or print) that include a link to your subscribe form can also be effective in driving traffic. Offline, let people sign up at brick and mortar locations and display the URL to the subscribe form on all printed material.
3. Don't Rush It
Rushing your new business efforts and adding addresses by the bushel from a poorly managed or purchased list will often drag down your deliverability with a high number of invalid email addresses and unwanted spam complaints. That hurts your ability to reach your smaller, engaged audience. Slowly build your core audience by sending prospective list members to a 'subscribe form' that highlights list member benefits.
4. Start a Conversation
The more relevant and targeted your emails, the happier your subscribers, and the more likely they are to refer your communications to new prospects. Find out what emails and content subscribers would like to receive. One great way to start that conversation is by using your campaign landing pages to grow your subscribers. Instead of linking your ads and emails to your homepage, contact page, etc., create a custom landing page with a form that entices prospects to share information.
5. Provide an Incentive
Offer an incentive to bring in new subscribers, i.e., sign up for the newsletter and receive a 10% off coupon. Include the incentive in your initial welcome email to new subscribers. But probably the best incentive is to make good on your promise of supplying relevant, interesting content that subscribers will share. Keep reinforcing that value to recipients in all messages.
6. Share It
Put a "Forward to a Friend" link in your emails, or share it among other interested communities via social networks or blogs, and include a link to the sign-up form or your website where they can sign up to receive future emails. Some of the best customers come through referrals.
7. Keep It Clean
Keep your list clean and current to maintain delivery rates to existing and new customers. Limit sending emails to subscribers out of contact for over 6 months as they are more likely to have forgotten signing up or may have closed that email account. But if you do, sprinkle their addresses among more recent addresses so if you get a few spam complaints it is less likely to cause you problems.
8. Addresses to Avoid
Many email lists contain inappropriate email addresses. Departmental and group addresses, like sales@, webmaster@ or postmaster@, or all@, everyone@, etc., are major offenders. Often pulled directly from websites, these are addresses to avoid and should be set to non-active status.
9. Make the Connection
If you are sending to email addresses you received from a trade show or other event, start the relationship off right by referencing that connection in the email so the subscriber knows why you are contacting them.
10. Give Them an Out
Make sure the unsubscribe link is easy to see, and that it works. If a subscriber is not interested in receiving your emails anymore, you are much better off having them unsubscribe rather than marking the message as spam, cutting off that channel to new business.
StreamSend offers an easy-to-use, affordable and reliable email marketing software solution designed to help businesses make the most of their time and money when sending an email newsletter or other email campaigns. StreamSend offers a number of industry-leading standard pricing plans and also has strong private-label and affiliate programs. Started as part of EZ Publishing, a web hosting and design company founded in 1998, StreamSend is now the company's flagship product.