7considerationsEmail marketing allows an efficient and effective sales approach. In practice, however, it also needs to overcome some challenges so that campaigns achieve the desired goals.

  1. Be sure to make the registration process as simple as possible and place the registration form prominently on your website. Furthermore, initially ask only for the email address and the name, as you can easily get more information later on.
  2. If possible, send newsletters and mailings only to people who gave you their unequivocal consent (opt-in), although in Asia and the U.S. the opt-out process is frequent enough. The legally safest option is of course the so-called 'double opt-in” method, where the subscription is only activated after clicking on a confirmation link in an email, verifying that the owner of the email address has actually logged-in to the newsletter.
  3. Indicate on the registration form that the recipient can unsubscribe at any time and that the data will not be disclosed to third parties. Put a link to your privacy policy to build trust, too.
  4. Communicate the benefits to potential users and explain why they should sign up for the newsletter. Your subscribers could benefit, for instance, in the form of exclusive offers, coupons, valuable specialized information or sweepstakes from your mailings.
  5. For legal reasons, it is necessary that all marketing emails provide an opportunity to deregister. For the recipient, it is easiest if he can remove his email address from the mailing list by clicking on a link ("one-click unsubscribe"). Recipients complaining about the emails should be immediately deleted automatically or manually from the circulation list.
  6. Make sure that your email is displayed correctly by the common email programs and webmail services. Verify that in Outlook, Lotus Notes, Web.de, GMX and Co. or use the so-called "Rendering Preview" feature of your email marketing software to ensure proper representation of your email campaign.
  7. Use "simple" HTML code to prevent display problems and, for instance, avoid Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), since CSS isn’t supported properly by many email programs. Also Flash or forms are often not supported by email programs, or just incorrectly.
  8. Regarding the design you should limit the message to just a few font types and a size of at least 10p, because the email may otherwise seem confusing and dubious.
  9. Make sure that at the beginning of the email the online version is linked: You know the sentence: "If this email is not displayed correctly, please click here." After clicking on this link the email is shown in the Web browser to the recipient.
  10. Before sending out you should test how your email is displayed without images, because images are loaded in many email programs only after an acknowledgment from the recipient. Check if the core message of the email is communicated without graphics and that important topics such as pricing are not only added as a graphic but also as text if possible.
  11. When designing the message, please consider mobile devices like iPhones and Blackberrys, which are used to read emails more and more frequently, and check if the email is displayed correctly on these devices.
  12. Is the text in the email short and concise? Is the content presented clearly? Use headings and outline key words in bold to highlight them visually. Extensive updates can be more structured with a table of contents.
  13. Does the email contain a complete imprint with the necessary information required (name of company, address, email address, phone number, address of the authorized representative, registration number ...)?
  14. Is the theme of the subject line relevant for the recipient? Ask yourself why the recipient should open the email immediately. The subject line should be kept as short as possible and the key words should be at the beginning, as many email programs (especially for mobile devices) initially represent only about the first 50 characters of an email.
  15. Avoid spam terms. Fully capitalized words, multiple exclamation marks, or very sensational phrases can lead to the email being rejected by spam filters.
  16. Address the recipient of the email at a personal level as the own name is usually an eye catcher and draws the attention of the recipient to your message.
  17. With a segmentation (splitting the manifold into several smaller target groups), or the dynamic adaptation of content, the relevancy of your campaigns can be increased.
  18. Work with a reputable and reliable company for the sending of your email campaigns. Is your service provider committing its customers to comply with an "Anti-Spam Policy"? Otherwise, there is a risk that the IP address of the service provider is blocked and your emails are landing in the spam filter.
  19. Choose the optimal time for delivery. Test different days and hours for the sending out - perhaps during the evening is more effective than in the morning, or vice versa?
  20. Use a meaningful return address. Most users sort their messages based on the sender addresses and delete emails from senders they do not know. For this reason, you shouldn’t change, if possible, the sender's name and return address.
  21. Sort your returns: Are email addresses that are no longer accessible (so called "bounces") automatically deleted from the mailing list? A multiple sending to inactive addresses can result in future email campaigns to be blocked by spam filters. Furthermore, block unwanted receivers: Enter in such restricted lists the recipients who have been complaining about the dispatch of the emails and all others that shouldn’t be contacted again.
  22. Send with a static IP, since dynamic IP addresses are classified by many filtering mechanisms as spam criterion.
  23. Analyze the success of your email campaigns. The following data provides valuable information: open rate, click rate, development of the subscriber number, unsubscribe rate, bounce rate (number of returns / undeliverable emails), and conversion rate. Further, you should also analyze how often the various links were clicked in an email. The findings can be incorporated into the design of future campaigns to optimize the continuous measures.
  24. Test different email options. Sending sample mails to some of the subscribers gives you the opportunity to test and optimize your email campaign prior to the actual dispatch. This way you can find out, for example, which version of a subject line generates the highest open rate or which product image is clicked most.
  25. Assess the open and click rate per email provider. With these values, you can determine whether and which providers possibly blocked your newsletter with spam filters. If for example, a significant drop of the opening rate can be determined at GMX, it may be due to delivery problems with this email provider.

By Daniela La Marca