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John Larkin FIPP - Photographer - DWPi
"Just seen the newsletter and it looks stunning, thanks for all your patience and skill."

1-2-1 HTML Email Marketing

Email has always been a tried and tested way of driving traffic to your website yet email marketing is fraught with obstacles. Given the tsunami of thoughtless email that hits our inboxes on a daily basis, how can you be certain of ensuring that your email gets through and gets read?

1. Only ever email people you know

It sounds obvious but if you don't really know the person you're emailing - why bother? A highly reliable yardstick is to ask yourself if you know the forename of the person you're emailing. If you don't even know their forename then it's a pretty good chance that what you're sending out is spam.

Don't be tempted to buy a list from someone else - chances are that this list is being sold to lots of businesses and the addresses on that list are being hammered. Your email marketing will be so much more effective if the recipient already knows you.

If you haven't yet built-up a sizeable email distribution list then consider putting some really great content on your website and encouraging visitors to sign-up for email updates.

2. Send out clean HTML

Email clients such as Outlook rewrite the HTML into a native format upon receipt so you need to be 100% confident that the email you send out will still be brand compliant and look great when rewritten. The only way to ensure this is to be certain that the creator of the HTML is an expert HTML & CSS developer able to correctly code your HTML email.

3. Personalise the content

Do so much more than simply send out a dumb blanket email, the only personalisation of which is the salutation, openings with "Hi [forename]..."

Your email inbox is a very personal space indeed, when it gets abused we take it personally; we all receive way too much email so when you push your commercial message into someone's inbox you'd better make sure that its content is not only relevant and informative but highly personal.

Let's assume you're a photographer and you send a monthly HTML newsletter to your clients to show them your latest work; you have a varied client base so why send estate agents links to studio photography or send a medical supplies company links to wedding photography? The true power of 1-2-1 email comes from quality, not quantity; the power comes from sending the right message to the right recipient at the right time and being able to truly personalise the content so that it's highly relevant.

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Sub@omic is an independent web consultancy developing cognitive designer websites, based in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, UK