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Published on August 16th, 2005 | by Janine Popick


Getting through the ISP Gates – 10 Things You Should Do

Whether you are new to email marketing or a savvy veteran, whether you send 500 emails a week or 500,000, there are certain policies you should follow to optimize your campaigns. Call them the commandments of email marketing or call them best practices; here are 10 ideas to improve your delivery, open, and response rates.

Things You Should Do:

1. Get Permission -  Get this through an online opt-in process or explicit permission offline. Developing a positive relationship with your recipients is the most important step you can take to help your mailings reach their inboxes, so don’t jeopardize it – and your company’s reputation – with overly aggressive tactics.

2. From Label – Ensure the mailing is clearly labeled as coming FROM the person or company that has a relationship with the recipient. If you use a FROM label that a recipient doesn’t recognize, it may prompt them to unsubscribe, even if they are actually interested in your services.

3. Unsubscribe removals – Give your recipients an easy and obvious way to opt-out or unsubscribe from your mailings and remove them FAST. It’s the law and it reflects favorably upon your company when you act in a responsible manner. You don’t need the negative publicity that accompanies the “spammer” tag.

4. Subject Line content – It has to reflect the content of your email. When recipients think they’re being tricked into opening the email they often become resentful – and unsubscribe in mass numbers.

5. Postal Address – Provide a valid postal address in each email message, as well an easy way for recipients to contact you or the company responsible for sending your email. It’s the law and it provides another avenue of communication with the customer, which is another opportunity to prove your worth.

6. Requested content – Only email your recipients content that is relevant to what they’ve requested. If you start emailing irrelevant offers, they’re more likely to unsubscribe.

7. Mail regularly - Create an ongoing relationship with your list members. They get a lof of email, they need to remember your name.

8. Personal filtering – Ask your recipients to add you to their address books so they recognize your messages when they arrive. In many cases, once you’re entered in an address book, your images will display properly and your emails will be directed straight to the inbox, not into the bulk folder.

9. Use images AND text – If graphics are stripped from your emails due to the recipients’ preferences, at least they are left with text they can read.

10. Spam filters – Run your email through a spam filter before you launch your campaign. If words get caught in the filter, replace them with alternatives that will pass the test before proceeding with your mailing.

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is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse.

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