1. Don't Buy Lists, Build Them
Buying mailing lists is a risky business. Every sales person will assure you that what they are selling you has come from clean, recent and reputable sources - they rarely do. Even if you do manage to get a list that doesn't black list your server at best you are just spamming a large number of strangers - (risking your company reputation). Instead you should decide your dream customers (not ALL segments); research properly what they genuinely find interesting or of value (don't guess) and build your list by attracting them with compelling subjects.
2. Personalise it
Make sure you are using some kind of database merge field so the Ezine begins with Dear Thomas (or whatever personal salutation) Avoid the impersonal i.e. Dear Subscriber. or Reader Also make sure you include your name.
3. Make it Useful
Don’t just tell your reader about your great services or products – or even a special offer. Try to think of some truly useful tip. E.g. If you were selling Cameras – Three Top Tips for taking a photo in snow
4. Subject Title
Make sure the title of your email is clear who you are and, if regular, what edition or date your Ezine is, and if your software allows it peronalise it – e.g. Stephen's Computer Tips from Easykey – Dec 2013
5. Don’t write too much
Whet the appetite with a potpourri of short introductory paragraphs with read more… links to each of the full articles on your website.
6. Lots of Links
Remember to include lots of links to other relevant articles on your website.
7. Quality Images and Layout
Use quality images – (not too many) – one great image can speak a thousand words. Make sure they are web-ready and never re-size or squash them!
Always send a test to your own email and test the layout in Outlook. Ensure it is no wider than 600 pixels (otherwise most of your content will be invisible unless the reader knows they need to scroll sideways!)
If you are going to use a coloured background make sure that this sits within the body of your ezine (e.g. table background colour) so if somebody replies to your email they get a nice clean white background to write on.
8. Contact Information
Don’t forget to add your phone number, email address, and website address to the foot of you Ezine. Also if you are a limited company – you should include the name of your company and the fact it is Limited and registered in England – with your company number. As well as instilling confidence it is legal requirement
9. Subscription and Unsubscription
Make it really easy for people to subscribe - in 'hotspots' on your website. You must allow your readers to be able to remove themselves from the mailing list. This is another legal requirement (Subscription and Unsubscription can be automated with a link at the foot of your email - (see EasyMailer)
10. Not too often
Do not mail people too often as you are in danger of annoying them and they will soon unsubscribe. Once every 4 to 6 weeks is usually about right.
OK I said ten tips - here is a bonus eleventh!
11. Call to Action
Consider including an invitation to ask your reader to do something. For example:
- Please reply to this email if you want to know more about…
- Do you know someone who might find this Ezine useful? Why not tell them to go to www.easykey.com/subs to subscribe
- Click Here to view today’s offers on our website
- Click Here to Enter our Online Competition and you could win a bottle of Champagne
You get the idea - Have fun