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Christopher Knight

MarketingSherpa Releases Dirty Dozen Email Newsletter Mistakes Nearly Everyone Makes 1-6
By Christopher Knight

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In an effort to promote their upcoming 3rd annual Em@il Summit '08 in Miami (that I'll be attending as well), the experts over at MarketingSherpa have released their dirty dozen mistakes that they believe nearly everyone makes. Here are their first (6) of their "Dirty Dozen" along with my comments:

Mistake #1. Blatant Lack of Permission

I'm glad they brought this point front and center because most enterprise-level marketing executives are in the complete clue-missing department when it comes to this issue. If you don't have permission to contact someone, it's called SPAM. If you email them anyway in a promotional email marketing or newsletter way, you are a spammer and are headed for trouble. There are two types of email relationships: Transactional and Promotional. Transactional means you are engaged in business already with the email member. Promotional means that the person is a prospect. ALL promotional emails must be subscribed to using double opt-in (otherwise known as opt in with confirmation). This is a non-negotiable thing if you want to be a whitehat marketer. Lastly, NEVER BUY EMAIL LISTS.

Mistake #2. Utterly Deficient Segmentation

For direct email marketing campaigns, it's assumed you're doing email segmentation to narrow your message to your transactional email members who can benefit most from it. What about ezines/email newsletters? Should you segment your list? HECK YES. I'm doing it myself separating members/clients from prospects thus producing two identical ezines each time, each with a different call to action. This allows me to track conversion from prospect to member/client. You should consider it as well. In exchange for taking extra time to segment your email newsletter messages to different segments of your list, you'll enjoy higher open rates, greater click throughs, and lower list attrition from my experience.

Mistake #3. Lame 'Welcome' Messages

I know why this happens: Most marketers who are trying to get an ezine off the ground are not fully clued in on the importance of the welcome message. It sets the tone and delivers a promise that your future emails better live up to. MarketingSherpa recommended adding a coupon and other incentives in the welcome message to immediately increase member engagement. Great idea!

Mistake #4. Frequency Decisions Made for the Wrong Reason

Most email newsletter frequency decisions are made for marketing convenience before member consideration. Folks, quarterly is not enough if your goal is to be as effective as possible...and you risk losing momentum or worse, your members forget who you are and why or if they really subscribed to your emails. I've always believed that email newsletter publishers should DOUBLE their deliveries and cut their content in half. No one has time to read 4-15 features or articles per reduce the content volume and increase your frequency.

Mistake #5. Institution-to-One Messaging

Every email communication is read by one human at a time. Make sure your message is 1:1 rather than talking to your list as if they were a group.

Mistake #6. No Real Interactivity

I often judge how well I'm doing with Ezine-Tips with two metrics: How much did page views spike the day of a mailing and how many replies to the from: field of the email did I receive? In another newsletter I produce, I judge interactivity by how many blog comments are left or how many leads did it generate. Never neglect the email replies (or the challenge/response responsibilities you have) from every mailing. NEVER use noreply@ for your FROM: field. That's crazy. Want to read the full report? Dirty Dozen Want to read the next (6)? Read Dirty Dozen mistakes 7-12 here.

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 February 11, 2008

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