Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Ten Most-Ignored Email Best Practices

Here are the 10 most frequently ignored best practices. Percentages refer to the percentage of senders who used a best practice in their email messages.

1. Provide a subscription-administration center in each message.
How many use it: 17.7%

Why it’s important: The admin center (our shorthand name for it) keeps you connected to your subscribers and helps distinguish you from unsolicited email. It should include the email address they used to subscribe, an unsubscribe link, a link to your privacy policy and preference page and your contact information: street address, phone number and email address.

2. Provide a site search function.
How many use it: 17.7%

Why it’s important: Allows users to search for products, past article, company information, etc., without having to first click to the site then initiate the search.

3. Provide a forward-to-a-friend link.
How many use it: 25.1%

Why it’s important: Giving subscribers a link to send your emails on to their friends is a more proactive stance than just including a line somewhere in the message asking them to pass on your messages. The link sends the request through your server, which can also allow you to track who’s forwarding your message, how often and what actions result. It also ensures the forwarded message will render properly, which may not happen when a recipient simply forwards through their email client.

4. Provide a subscription link.
How many use it: 27.1%

Why it’s important: Offering a subscription function in your newsletter allows readers who received it from a friend to sign up without having to search your site for instructions.

5. Add-to-safe-senders-list request.
How many use it: 35%

Why it’s important: Most email clients won’t block email from a sender listed on the recipient’s personal whitelist and image rendering is also less likely to be blocked (also a safe-sender list, approved-sender list, etc.)


6. Link to a Web version.
How many use it: 37.4%

Why it’s important: Many email clients either block images or don’t render HTML messages properly, especially if they read email in a preview pane. Providing this link allows readers to view your message in their Web browser instead.

7. Provide a telephone contact number.
How many use it: 40.4%

Why it’s important: Email is fast, but a phone call is faster. Many respondents want to get in touch with you directly, especially buyers, clients, or salespeople, may want to get in touch with you directly. This way you spare them the extra step of going to your Web site and hunting down your contact information.

8. Display the recipient’s email address.
How many use it: 43.8%

Why it’s important: Showing the recipient’s address helps boost the email’s credibility and helps readers who may be receiving duplicate copies under several different email addresses unsubscribe from the correct address.

9. Provide navigation links within the email and to the Web site.
How many use it: 48.3%

Why it’s important: Navigation links near the top of newsletters with multiple departments or articles help readers find information quickly and efficiently. Multiple site links help your readers move directly to the areas on your Web site they need or want, which adds
value and strengthens your relationship with them.

10. Provide an email address for feedback or sender contact.
How many use it: 53.2%

Why it’s important: The email contact address gives subscribers a way to reach you to ask questions, send comments or alert you to a problem, such as an unsubscribe link that doesn’t work. More senders provide a contact email address than a telephone number, but even more should add this feature to build their credibility and relationship with recipients.

From EmailLabs Via Benoit Octave

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1 comment:

Gerard said...

Email campaigns are used to make the company visible to potential clients. I liked the tips that you gave since they make the email interactive. It's not just about making the company visible, it should be able to allow clients to contact the company through links.

Our company used email marketing with the help of web development (Toronto) experts. They helped in organizing the information and a web designer (Toronto) included links to reach our company site. So far, our campaign was able to increase our client share. I'm looking forward to using your tips to improve our campaign. Thanks!