Yesterday, we announced that Tamebay had teamed up with iContact to give one of our readers the chance to win an iPad 2 just for sending an email. Full details of the competition and how to enter are available here. To improve your chances of winning we have invited John Hayes, iContact’s EMEA Business Development Executive, to share some top tips for creating compelling email marketing campaigns.
The iContact “Lucky” Seven Email Marketing Tips
1) Subject lines that scream “Open Me!”
Make no mistake, your subject line will be the number one factor in deciding whether you win or lose this competition. It is a one-time only opportunity to grab the judges’ attention and make them want to open your email. Your subject line should scream benefits and build desire. Creating a sense of urgency with a time limited offer is also a great idea. If you struggle to fit everything into a tweet, you’ll find this particularly challenging. An email subject line shouldn’t be any longer than 70 characters.
2) Friend or Foe?
Your email should always come from an entity your subscribers recognise. Ideally this should be your company name. Unless you are personally well known to your customers, avoid sending from your own name. This looks unprofessional and when displayed with a commercial offer might appear spammy to the recipient. You can easily set the sender’s name in the campaign section of the iContact App.
3) Quality over Quantity
The money is undoubtedly in your list but it is the quality that counts, not just the size. iContact has a zero tolerance approach to spam and as such your list should only contain contacts who have opted in to receive your emails. Contact lists stuffed with generic sales@ or info@ addresses will damage your reputation and may hamper the chances of your emails reaching your subscribers inbox. For advice on building a clean list visit here (https://www.icontact.com/guide/contacts/).
4) Real Text – A Design Classic
Keep your design clean and simple. Most email clients (such as Outlook) will not automatically display graphics, so a large graphic at the top of an email will appear as an ugly empty box. With this in mind your email should make sense with only the text showing. iContact offers a number free customizable design templates. Don’t worry if your design skills are lacking, we encourage creative use of these templates and competition entrants who use them will NOT be disadvantaged.
5) Get Social
iContact provides social media tools designed to help you extend the reach of your campaigns and build a better list. Drag and drop Facebook and Twitter buttons allow your subscribers to easily re-publish your emails via their social networks and enabling your campaigns to go viral.
6) If you’ve got nothing to say –
– don’t say it. Keep your emails relevant and to the point. Try not to include too much detail as this will confuse the message. Have fun, but remember unless you run a dog grooming salon, nobody wants to read about your dog (seriously I’ve seen this). Remember, the purpose of your email campaign or newsletter is to keep subscribers informed about your businesses and ultimately drive repeat business.
7) Measure twice, cut once
I’ve been involved with email marketing, in one shape or another for more than 10-years now, and still get nervous before I hit the send button. Check everything twice before you send. If at all possible send the campaign to a colleague or a friend to double check spelling, formatting, links, etc. Remember, once it’s gone, it’s gone and you won’t get a second chance to impress