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Tips On Email Marketing Please


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#1 Pete

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:11 AM

I never thought I would be asking this. I have always considered any kind of email marketing as spam, however I want to do this extremely responsibly. I have a very large list of addresses from people who have bought stuff in the past or have contacted me via my site. They will mostly have been notified that their address could be added to a list from which they can opt out.

I'm about to release a new fundraising CD and I feel I would be crazy not to use this resource.

I intend to send no more than one mailout a year.

I am intending to use a reputable mailing site to manage this, ie Mailchimp, which was recommended to me by a large and established music book mail order company.

So here are my questions (please excuse if any are very noobish)
  • Is anyone familiar with mailchimp? Any comments?
    HTML or plain text?
    Embedded images or links?

Plus any general tips please

e.g. good text to help win over anyone who otherwise might just think it's spam and hate me forever?

#2 DJJ

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 11:08 AM

...They will mostly have been notified that their address could be added to a list from which they can opt out.

Here is some legal information about the use of email addresses for marketing purposes from Wikipedia

In 2002 the European Union introduced the Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications. Article 13 of the Directive prohibits the use of email addresses for marketing purposes. The Directive establishes the opt-in regime, where unsolicited emails may be sent only with prior agreement of the recipient.

The directive has since been incorporated into the laws of member states. In the UK it is covered under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003[10] and applies to all organisations that send out marketing by some form of electronic communication.

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 authorizes a US $16,000 penalty per violation for spamming each individual recipient. Therefore, many commercial e-mail marketers within the United States utilize a service or special software to ensure compliance with the Act.

To be safe I use a double opt in system where subscribers have to activate their subscription from an email.

#3 jonbey

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 12:24 PM

Yeah, I was going to mention the double opt in thing.

Now, would it be wrong to send a short mail to your list inviting them to join the mailing list? So you are not selling anything, just letting them know that it exists? Is that allowed?

#4 Pete

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 01:48 PM

Yeah, I was going to mention the double opt in thing.

Now, would it be wrong to send a short mail to your list inviting them to join the mailing list? So you are not selling anything, just letting them know that it exists? Is that allowed?


That sounds good to me.

But getting beyond the legalities which, of course, I want to abide by and am grateful to the replies so far, I'm looking forward to the tips on how to actually do it effectively

#5 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 02:51 PM

Mailchimp rocks. Highly recommend it. It lets you have 2 versions (html and plain), so u don't have to make a choice. Just follow their instructions, start out using one of their templates that you like (you can edit them), and it's all very easy and they automatically follow all laws and rules.

#6 Pete

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 03:05 PM

Mailchimp rocks. Highly recommend it. It lets you have 2 versions (html and plain), so u don't have to make a choice. Just follow their instructions, start out using one of their templates that you like (you can edit them), and it's all very easy and they automatically follow all laws and rules.


Ah well that's good to know, so I'm at least barking up the right tree.

#7 AbleReach

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:51 PM

I intend to send no more than one mailout a year.

You may need more than that to develop a relationship that results in money conversions. Have doubts? Ask your readership to register for a newsletter, and see if you get any bites.

HTML or plain text?
Embedded images or links?

All of the above. MailChimp can do this for you. You don't have to choose.

Sign up for the email newsletters of MailChimp and AWeber. Notice what they do. Read their stuff.

I've been learning about email, too. Here are a few things I've picked up --

25-35% do not have images enabled on html email. Those who do, often have it enabled on a case-by-case basis.

Using images in place of heading text may be simpler than figuring out how to get the text to display as desired with html. If you do that, use an alt that is the same as what the heading says.

Since the advent of tagged email programs like gmail, there is a tendency for archiving emails that can serve as reference material. Think of searched emails as access to a secondary Search engine. Use concrete language that will help the email come up in a search.

Including some sort of reference material in the email will help it get archived. It doesn't have to be unique -- eg "check out our review of the ten most important email marketing studies of the last year" could refer to a blog post written previously.

In the same spirit, archivers may be unlikely to do something at that moment, but may may want to join your FaceBook group or follow you on Twitter. Give them that opportunity, and stay in touch enough to be remembered.

Email doesn't equal spam. Some sorts of email lists have great clickthrus and reader adoption. A study I read a while back said that local events emails do really well. They have to be voluntary and they can't be spammy. Think of the people who get RSS subscriptions by email!

Where there is a subject and readership that merits frequent emails, the more you can send, the better. One tactic I've seen is to offer a multi-part introductory email series, with a tip a day or a tip a week, or a mini-course. They'd get a finite number of informational emails, with the option to choose another conversion - like a taste test before buying the item.

#8 Adrian

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 03:18 PM

Thank guys, not been around for AGES, turn up looking for advice about email managers and find this thread. Given it a bit of a go tonight and looks just right for my needs!

#9 Scratch

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 06:53 AM

I use AWeber, which is pretty good too. When turned double-opt-in OFF on my list, and got something like a 20% higher retention rate.

But my list was properly opted-in first, i.e. people signed up on my website.

In your case, you should require them to confirm.

To get more of them to agree, why not say you'll send them a series of secrets or tips? I do that ("50 Web Design Secrets"), and when I added that it boosted my sign-ups by about 300%. I'm now getting about 1000 sign-ups per month, about to hit 10,000!

#10 glyn

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 07:54 AM

I use mailup because they price based on KB and not the size of the list. Aweber is good too though.

#11 Scratch

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 09:40 AM

AWeber's getting fairly pricey now, though, with over 10k names.

Plus, it's a bit clunky for segmenting.

If you want to send an email to everyone who opened or who clicked on a previous email (or didn't), you have to save the segment. But they're usually one-offs.

And there's no way I can see to do more complex segmenting like, "I want to email everyone who opened this one, but didn't click on this link"



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