Earlier this month we announced our exclusive competition to win an iPad 2 in partnership with iContact, the email and social media marketing company for small and medium-sized businesses.
Throughout September we’ll be running a four-step program to help you create “winning” email marketing campaigns. Step 1 was to open an iContact account and today we’ll be talking about uploading your list. If you’ve not already opened a free iContact account you’ll need to do this first but it’ll only take a couple of minutes.
Quality and Opt In Lists
The success of any email marketing campaign relies 100% on the quality of your list.
iContact operates a zero-tolerance approach towards Spam and as such your list should only contain contacts who have opted-in to receive email marketing messages from you.
Opt-in emails may have been collected via a newsletter sign-up form on your website, a check box on your checkout page or at the point of sale in a bricks and mortar environment (for example a gold fish bowl on the bar or reception desk of a restaurant). Your subscribers must know what they are registering for and be allowed to opt-out at any time. Every email sent via the iContact system allows for recipients to unsubscribe quickly and easily.
Do not add old emails contacts to your list. If you suddenly start emailing a customer who has not heard from you in years, you are likely to receive spam complaints and this could compromise your reputation with the email service provider (ESP) or your ISP’s. If switching between ESP’s (particularly if there has been a break since your last marketing message was sent), it is good practice to allow the subscriber to reconfirm their subscription.
Tools for uploading your list
iContact provides a selection of tools and integrations for building and maintaining your list including customizable HTML forms, WordPress and Drupal plugins as well as iPhone and Android Apps which can help you manage your lists and campaigns on the move. It is also possible to upload via a spreadsheet or entering details one by one.
For more information about building and maintaining a successful list check out iContact’s Email Marketing Best Practices.
Once you’ve uploaded your email list come back next Friday to find out how to create a winning email creative.