1. Start with the end. What do you want the recipients of your e-mail to feel, think or do? If this is a one-off effort it will need to work differently than if its part of a newsletter, club or continuity program. Clarity on the front end will make measurement and analysis much easier on the back end
2. Create a distinctive look or feel. Experiment with subject lines and with Personal URL’s in the subject line. Use the same template or color palette and be sure it instantly cues brand recognition.
3. Build a Consistent Delivery Schedule. Train your customers to expect certain messages at certain times (Tuesday = Bargain day). Consider a value-oriented TO address to re-inforce the content or the value implicit in a consistent series of offers.
4. Segment and Target Customers. Test the criteria that suit your marketing objective. Communicate the criteria in the subject line. Be sure the value-add is apparent in the subject line.
5. Send Less Better. Rather than do one blast of a million names, do 5 blasts of 200,000 names. Make each segment a different offer or relate the offer to something you know about the behavior of customers in that segment. Focus on behavior. It’s the only reliable predictor of future action.
6. Work on the List. Every list is flawed. Names carefully opted-in by brand loyalists will perform much better than random names gathered by lead generation sites or list compilers. Use list cleaning, merge/purge and integrity tools. Negotiate a “net name” deal.
7. RFM Rules. Peg e-mail blasts to frequency of action. People who take a desired action are much more likely to do it again and much sooner than someone who opted-in but rarely responds.
8. Tighten the Content Short directive copy works best. Many e-mails are read without fully opening the browser frame or on mobile devices. Load the core idea and the offer into the opening paragraph.
9. Limit Response Options. Customers or prospects should be given a limited number of response choices. The more choices you offer, the less response you get.
10. Be CAN SPAM compliant. Every legit e-mail has to show who it came from, including a postal address, and offer an opt-out mechanism. There is absolutely nothing worse that being a spammer.