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Christopher Knight

Email Newsletters: Whose Brand Are You Building Anyway?
By Christopher Knight

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This year, it's time to raise our standards and stop promoting our email service provider when we send out email newsletters, solo-mailings, customized emails, or any prospect/client email communications.

Sloppy Email Brand Trend:

One sloppy email publishing trend that I've noticed that is not acceptable any more is the use of including the email list hosting service providers' domain name in a click through tracking link when displaying the full URL. Example of bad URL used in a recent sales email I received:
To get Bob's amazing new whatchamacallit, just click here:
Example of good URL that should have been used:
To get Bob's amazing new whatchamacallit, just click here:
It *IS* ok to use your ESP's (Email Service Provider) URL when you do anchored text links, but it is a branding mistake to promote the URL of your provider when showing the full URL in your TEXT or HTML email newsletter or solo-mailing. When I ran an email service provider, we were always very pleased with how many of our clients would help us build our brand by including our URL in their emails. It was a critical part of our business and we even gave it an economic value so that those who wanted to private label us out of their emails would have to pay more. Ask yourself, "Who's brand are you trying to build anyway?

Why This Issue Is Important

Branding as a concept is critical in order to improve confidence. Confidence leads to trust, sales, referrals and more business coming your way. When you promote your ESP's brand in your emails, you destroy confidence or at least weaken it enough to introduce doubt or the possibility that you are not a professional. Look at this another way: If you bought the door to your business from "Anderson Doors", would you still leave the big Anderson door stickers on the door after it is installed? No!... unless you liked confusing customers or didn't mind the fact that you are promoting the folks who you bought the door from.

Email Branding Solution:

Find a way to have YOUR brand name in the domain name of ANY visible URL included in your next email communications. It is possible and there are plenty of ways to accomplish this by working with your ESP (who are usually very aware that savvy clients want them to be private labeled instead of visible), working with your network admin people to do some easy DNS rewrites, Webserver re-writes, or host the tracking scripts locally on your domain instead of having your ESP manage your analytics.

This Ezine-Tip was submitted By Christopher Knight -- Email List Marketing Expert, author and entrepreneur. Get your weekly dose of Email newsletter publishing, marketing, promotion, management, email-etiquette, email usability and deliverability tips by joining the free Ezine-Tips newsletter:

Ezine-Tips for January 24, 2006

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