Thursday, April 26, 2007

3 simple tips to improve your e-mail deliverability

If you're not currently marketing your business with e-mail, you're missing out...

Contrary to the belief that spam has ruined its effectiveness, e-mail marketing is absolutely still one of the most profitable Internet marketing tools at your disposal.

According to DoubleClick's 2005 consumer e-mail study, one third of consumers have made an immediate purchase as the result of an e-mail, and 33% have clicked through to get more information, then returned later to purchase online.

Obviously, there's no question that e-mail marketing is effective when your e-mails are delivered. But what if your e-mail is being accidentally filtered as "spam"?

According to Jupiter Research, 4 out of 10 Internet marketers report that e-mail deliverability is their greatest challenge. It's also been estimated that as much as 20 percent of permission-based e-mail messages are mistakenly blocked.

The good news is that there are proven methods for instantly improving your e-mail deliverability:

  • Make sure your "from address" is familiar: Use your name or your company name in the "from" line, which tells recipients that you sent the e-mail... and use it consistently so that your subscribers always recognize your messages in their inboxes. Not only will your clickthrough rate increase when you do this, your spam complaints will be reduced too.

  • Personalize your subject line: This is one of the oldest tricks in the direct marketing book -- and it still works! Nothing grabs your subscribers' attention more than seeing their own name. It's also a great way to build trust... and relationships with your list (especially when your e-mail from line is easily recognizable as being from someone they've grown to know and trust).

  • Test your e-mail promotions before rolling them out on a large scale: A sure-fire way to know whether your e-mails are getting delivered is to test them yourself. First, set up several "test" e-mail accounts with all the major e-mail providers (such as Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail). Set each account with a different spam filter level -- covering all available.

    Once you've mailed your promotion to your test-list, check each of your accounts to see which ones are being delivered. It's that simple. Of course, if you find that the majority of your e-mails aren't getting delivered, you'll need to fix the problem before sending your message to your customers and subscribers!

These three tips can drastically increase your e-mail deliverability rate... so don't wait to make these simple changes to your e-mail marketing campaigns!

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