Adventures in Mobile Marketing

Questions From the Mail Bag

I’ve gotten a few email-marketing related questions recently and thought I’d share it with the wider audience, in a way to just say, no you’re not alone, other people struggle!

Anna,
We have a list of 2,000 email addresses that we’d love to start sending regular newsletters and promotional emails. How do we get started?
Small Biz Owner

Hi Small Biz!
There are a bunch of email service providers oriented towards smaller businesses, and that lend them a whole lot of features that small businesses wouldn’t normally be able to afford. So check out Emma Marketing, MailChimp, and Constant Contact. I recommend you stay with their template as testing and re-designing involve a very comprehensive testing suite that you probably won’t be able to setup and execute, but their templates have already passed the test.

One important thing is to setup a campaign calendar and make sure not to bombard your list right away. You will also experience unsubscriptions, so make sure that you’re ready for that. In your first communication, be sure to identify your company and where you received the email address from- as your audience has never received promotional email from your co. before. Other than that- good luck!

Anna,
We send attached PDF newsletters to our audience because they have concerns about security. Is this the right thing to do? How do other community organizations send their newsletters on a shoestring?
Anna’s gym

The security issues with HTML are largely false. If you’re not putting viruses in your emails, then it’s not happening- what is concerning is that you are requiring your audience a one-click step away from viewing the newsletter!

Studies have shown you get less opens and reads when you introduce a clicking step, so you’ll lose part of your audience by putting all of the content in a third party app. The solution, yes, is to create your newsletter in a newsletter template and offer your audience both HTML and text, a format that any email service provider understands. The “text-only” version is detected by the email account if it cannot render HTML (very rare). You can also include a link to the PDF version as you do now, so that members in the audience that prefer Adobe Acrobat Viewer can still see it in that. To create an HTML template, I’d leverage the already created templates at your email provider, or reference the many articles out there on HTML writing for email- it’s a different beast entirely, very scaled down. It’s challenge, but you’ll be rewarded by the increased readership and engagement.

HTML newsletter template resources:
Free Email Newsletter Templates from MailChimp
HTML Email Guide
Principles of Beautiful HTML Emails
30 Free HTML Newsletters

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Written on Tuesday, 15. July 2008 at 11:10 In the category design, letters. Follow the comments via RSS here: RSS-Feed. Read the Comments. Trackbacks- Trackback on this post. Share on FriendFeed

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3 Comments »

  1. Anna –

    I’d encourage “Small Biz Owner” to think about what I call the Email Shelf Life Continuum – http://blog.bronto.com/2008/04/29/email-address-shelf-life/. How long has it been since permission was “borrowed” (http://www.email-marketing-reports.com/iland/2008/03/we-dont-get-permission-we-borrow-it.html) by the subscriber?

    Just a thought.

    dj at bronto

    Comment: DJ Waldow – 16. July 2008 @ 8:37 pm

  2. Good point DJ- In my experience consumers really only remember opting into a site perhaps 1 or 2 months after doing the act, so you may want to double-opt-them in.

    Comment: banane – 17. July 2008 @ 4:02 pm

  3. the second link in your post seems to be down

    Comment: TravelWallets – 16. January 2010 @ 2:49 pm

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