10 Tips for Better Marketing Emails—Part 2: Dont’s

Email as Part of Marketing MixSometimes, improving your marketing means adding to what you’re doing—improving and honing your craft.  In my last post, I discussed five positive ways to upgrade your promotional emails.  Below are five constructive ways to renovate your email media by stopping some common unhealthy practices.

DON’T scan printed materials—especially partial scans—and send them via email.  
I’ve seen this from two different auction companies in the past month.  Not only is the presentation unprofessional, it’s actually more time-consuming to notify prospects this way.  Don’t be afraid, though, to have your graphic designer take certain value-added images (aerials, captioned photos, etc.) and convert them natively to JPG format to use in your email template.

DON’T bury the lead.  
With only a few seconds at best to grab the recipient’s attention, it’s critical to put the most important information in the top few lines of text and/or top 200-300 pixels of an email.  Remember that this priority space is not about what’s important to you but, instead, what’s important to the reader.  Those are typically two different things.  Leave your logo and contact information for the bottom of the email; the recipient already saw the email was from you before they opened it.

DON’T forget about the text version of emails.  
While many users get their email with HTML-enabled applications, many are using their mobile devices or browser-based inboxes. Most email services will create text versions from your HTML emails, but it’s wise to check the text versions for irregularities from the automatic conversion.

DON’T use images more than 800 pixels wide in your emails.  
The vast majority of email programs aren’t going to show images wider than 800 pixels.  Even if they do, larger images take longer to download.  Download speed is critical, especially for mobile email users.  Programs for resizing photographs to this size are free or inexpensive.  The person who designs your other media can probably reduce your images in a matter of seconds; so, you might want to ask them for web-size versions of the images they used in your print campaign.

DON’T acquire and/or use email addresses illegally.  
If someone doesn’t give you their email address, it’s most likely a prosecutable offense to send them bulk emails.  Great places to garner email addresses legally: business card bowls or drawings, subscription boxes on your website, links in email signatures, and bidder registration forms.  If I’ve been corresponding with someone, I often just ask, “Would you like to get my articles delivered to your email inbox?” Usually, they respond with a “yes.”  When they don’t, I know I would’ve been wasting my emails on them, anyway.

Email should be an important component in every marketing campaign you create.  Because the medium is free or very inexpensive, the temptation is not to place as much effort into it as with more tangible and public media.  Beware of that pitfall.  Surpass your competition’s emails by doing the small things right.

For most of my life, I measured my standing with God by the things I didn’t do at least as much as by the things I did do.  The problem is that both were worthless measurements, because the focus of both centered around “do.”

As I’ve been traveling through the book of Romans with God chasers in my church, it’s becoming apparent that none of us—especially me—could rescue ourselves or even keep our fates afloat by our accomplishment or restraint.  God exchanged our despondency for his hope, our nothing for his everything, our filth for his perfection.  And when he did, that was all him.  No us.

It’s hubris to think anything I could now do would earn his gifts.  But that common arrogance is embedded in my heart and needs to be regularly rooted out of my perspective.

You and I are loved and forgiven.  While that should direct our gratefulness and worship, as well as our obedience and evangelism, the prize of that unconditional acceptance shouldn’t ever become part of our to-do list.


[footer]Stock image used by permission through purchase from iStockPhoto.com.[/footer]

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