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Vol. 1 issue #21 Jul 22, 2002


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Avoiding the Delete Button - How To Make Your Email Campaign Pay Off
 2002  Diane Hughes.

Have you noticed?  It's becoming harder and harder to get a good response out of email campaigns.  Why?  The more popular an advertising method becomes, the more overused it gets.  When that happens, customers develop an "immunity."  They are so overwhelmed by the dozens, or even hundreds, of emails that pop into their inboxes that they simply hit the delete button without even giving it a second thought.

So how do we, as Internet marketers, battle their complacency?
There are several ways that have been proven to increase customer response.

I'll assume that you already have a customer-focused, sales-oriented Web site; and that your offer is a solid one that shows value.



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1.  Use Short, Concise Subject Lines - While personalization has been shown to increase response rate, there are several things that have been proven to decrease it.  Long subject lines are one.  Try to keep yours at 40 characters or under.  Why?  Many email programs cut off longer subject lines.  Also, avoid "hyp-ish" subjects.  The more personal you are, the better.
Exclamation points, the word "free" and other trigger words such as "boost" and "skyrocket" are a sure ticket to the delete file.

2.  K.I.S.S. - Remember this acronym?  Keep It Simple Stupid.  It applies to emails, too.  Don't piddle around.  Get your benefits in front of the reader immediately.  Likewise, it is important to note that shorter emails have proven to out perform longer ones. It is doubtful that you'll actually sell anyone from your email ad... rather, aim to peak the reader's interest, and get him/her to click to your site.

3.  Timing Is Everything - Didn't think that mattered?  Oh!  It does!  The day of the week, and the time of the day all play a significant role in how effective your campaign is.  For example: almost everyone is in a rush in the morning hours.  This gives a greater chance that they will delete any email they do not absolutely have to read.  Take note of your target customer's typical schedule, and send your emails during their "off times."

4.  Give A Deadline - One simple instruction to act before a certain date can make or break your success.  Don't neglect this vital element!

5.  Consider HTML - These days, most email programs are HTML compatible.  In fact, over 90% of customers can receive HTML emails.  Color - whether in print or on the Web - always increases readability (if done tastefully).  Consider having your email converted to HTML to make it stand out in the sea of plain
text messages.

6.  Give It A Break - Rather than writing long paragraphs (even a 3 sentence paragraph formatted at 65 characters per line looks long), write in short 1 or 2 sentence blips.  This is easier on the eyes of the reader, and doesn't take nearly as long to digest.

The competition for your customer's attention is growing greater by the day.  Refining your email campaign can help you avoid the delete button, and reap greater profits

Diane Hughes is an accomplished Internet entrepreneur and editor of the popular ProBizTips Newsletter. Subscribe to her newsletter for more tips, tricks, and secrets of the trade -- plus get HUNDREDS of eBooks, software and tools just for subscribing!

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