The R’s of e-mail marketing success

Teaching the masses the three R’s — reading, ‘riting
and ‘rithmetic — transformed America into a world economic power.
Similarly, educating marketers on the “R’s of e-mail” can transform
so-so programs into ones that deliver the biggest R of all: ROI.

Here are eight R’s for e-mail marketing success.

Requested

A
successful e-mail program starts with a list of subscribers who ask to
hear from you. Make sure you send e-mails that are requested by
recipients: always get explicit permission, use a double opt-in process
and resist such tactics as pre-checking boxes on registration forms.

Relationship

E-mail
marketing is about building long-term relationships. With each e-mail
you send, you either build trust or destroy it. Greet new users with a
welcome e-mail that sets expectations around frequency and content,
encourages feedback and invites them to manage your relationship
through preference centers.

Reputation

ISPs
use your reputation to determine where to deliver your message: the
inbox, the bulk folder or a black hole. Authenticate your e-mails and
maintain a solid sender reputation through consistent list hygiene and
minimizing spam complaints.

Received

It’s
obvious that if your e-mail is not received in the inbox, it has little
chance of being read. Monitor your deliverability rates and watch for
red flags such as a dirty list, funky HTML coding and spammy content.

Rendering

Design
your e-mail so it renders correctly, and avoid the double whammy effect
of subscribers using preview panes and blocking images. Convey your
message with text and don’t depend solely on large, pretty images that
many recipients won’t actually see.

Relevance

Give
recipients a reason to read your e-mails by sending well-designed,
well-written and relevant content that meets their needs. Learn what
they want, and segment lists based on behavior such as clicked links,
purchases, RFM or actions they’ve taken on the site.

Reporting

Process
metrics, like open, click-through and bounce rates provide insight into
your e-mail program but are of little value to your CEO. Measure
performance against your company’s business goals, such as revenue,
leads and brand impact, then report how e-mail contributes to the
success of the marketing mix.

Resources

Many
companies lack budget and resources such as dedicated e-mail marketing
specialists who understand e-mail and privacy laws, implement best
practices and drive sophisticated programs using dynamic content and
Web analytics-driven segmentation. Build the right team or leverage
outside experts to consistently deliver phenomenal e-mail ROI.

Put the R’s of e-mail marketing to work, and make your e-mail marketing program more strategic, results-oriented and effective.