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DIY Email Marketing - 5 Things You Must Do

DIY Email Marketing - 5 Things You Must Do

Posted 27/03/2009 by Gareth Cutter

Like any other channel you choose to build from scratch, a 'do-it-yourself' approach to email marketing is liable to backfire if you don't make the proper checks before hand, as a recent privacy blunder (from a data security specialist of all things) has proven.

In this particular instance, an over-eager and careless member of staff on the business development team sent an email to nearly 300 people who were assessing the firm's security application - by pasting all their email addresses into the 'To:' field, inadvertently revealing all the other prospect's email addresses.

This massive breach of trust and confidence could end up costing the firm a significant amount of money, but it is one of several errors that are incredibly easy to avoid simply through knowing where to look. If you are thinking of trying email marketing for yourself but are adamant about going it alone - please, please, please make sure you do all of the following:

  1. Always send a test email - HTML emails format differently in different email clients; sending a test email the multiple accounts will help you spot unattractive errors and give you a chance to correct them. Also, seeing the email in a fresh context (the inbox) will help you to spot typos and inconsistencies you may have missed during the compositional stage
  2. Link to a web-version of the email - a handy way of solving email client formatting issues and driving people directly to your website; if not all subscribers can see your email marketing in all its HTML glory, the effort is wasted
  3. Check that all the links work - this includes the 'unsubscribe' and 'forward to a friend' features; the value (and in the case of unsubscribers, legality) of your emails depend on this. Broken links lose customers
  4. Never use the To: or CC: fields - unless you want to advertise to subscribers just who else is on the mailing list, though it's unlikely the subscribers will be keen. Make sure addresses go in the BCC: field to ensure privacy
  5. Check your personal details - when the email arrives in your inbox, does it say who it's actually from, or is it just a generic info@company x address? Put a friendly face on and go with a name and email address they will come to associate with your solution

In short: treat email marketing as seriously as you would any other marketing channel. Just because it's fast and cost-effective, doesn't mean it's disposable; a breach of trust in your email marketing is a very serious issue and one that could cost you much in the long run. Observe the following rules however, and your DIY email marketing will become a trusted, business generating channel without any problems.

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