An eMail broadcast is an activity where you send an eMail message to a list of contacts. While the eMail marketing service provider you choose (Aweber.com, GetResponse.com, MailChimp.com, etc.) may have different requirements to send eMail broadcasts, in principle, the steps are very similar. So, before you start blasing your eMail lists, here are a few things to consider and check off your list.
1. ____ WHAT are you sending? What is its PURPOSE for the eMail blast? Define the details.
a. ____ Are you sending a newsletter? Many eMail broadcasting systems come with templates. Experiment until you have created the ideal look for your newsletter. Save the template as a DRAFT so you can use in future eMails. By changing the date, issuing a new number, revising any content, you’re ready to send out your next newsletter with the same look and feel as the previous one.
b. ____ Are you promoting a special offer? Are you promoting a product/service? This could be a brief eMail with a simple message and a link to a website with more details. Use a powerful topic to grab the reader’s attention and use it to inspire readers to click on the link, learn more, and ideally BUY!
c. ____ Do you have a training announcement? Do you conduct tele-seminars or webinars? Maybe you have a live workshop to announce. If you have a web page that shares details (time, date, topics, training, etc.), include that information in your eMail so prospective customers can read it quickly and make a decision to register for your event.
d. ____ What will it cost? Email marketing is significantly cheaper and faster than traditional mail. When compared to standard eMail, direct eMail marketing produces a higher response rate and higher average order value for most businesses.
2. ____ WHEN do you need to send it?
a. ____ Within the next 24 hours? Immediately? This is doable, but don’t rush the process. Rushing leads to mistakes and you can’t afford them.
b. ____ This week? Planning ahead for your eMail broadcasts is the best measure. Allow a few days to create it, review and test it prior to launching it.
c. ____ Weekly? Effective eMail marketing can boost profits by 40%. It’s smart, easy to use, can expand your reach, and engages prospects and customers immediately.
3. ____ What MISTAKES should you avoid?
a. ____ Misspellings in the subject or body of your eMail …
b. ____ Incorrect dates/times included …
c. ____ Poor alignment of issues with your text or images …
d. ____ Embedded images/graphics can’t be viewed by most …
e. ____ Links that don’t work properly …
f. ____ Subject line is incorrect …
g. ____ Greeting reads reads as, “Dear $!FIRSTNAME!$” versus “Dear Bart”
h. ____ Unwanted text or coding that appears at the bottom of the eMail message …
4. ____ What FORMAT are you sending it in?
a. ____ Text? This is a clean format for eMails. Without images or formatting to worry about, you need only edit thoroughly.
b. ____ HTML? While this is an attractive way to send an eMail, when sending HTML eMails in color, these messages can’t always by viewed by the myriad of computers, mobile devices and digital readers.
5. ____ Prepare Your eMail
a. ____ Write a brief, concise message on one page if possible. Paragraphs should consist of 2-3 sentences max. Sentences should consist of 5-10 words max. Write the text in short bullet format especially if you have more than three points to make. Add clickable links in your email to make it easy for your list to learn more about your products/ services or take advantage of your offers.
b. ____ Proof It. Read it before you test it. No one person should proof his/her own work so ask for assistance with proofing. Every time you send an eMail, you have to prove your value. Make sure you aren’t wasting your subscribers’ time with cookie-cutter messages and automated greetings. Your eMail is one way of talking to your customer directly so be yourself. Make It personal.
c. ____ Test your eMail by sending it to yourself, first. No matter how many times you have to test-send it to yourself, do it! You want the assurance that all the elements of your eMail look good and everything is working the way you expect it to. Check for:
i. ____ Subject line reads well and there are no misspellings.
ii. ____ Salutation (Dear ____,) reads correctly with your name, and not the [short code] for $FIRSTNAME$ is in its place.
iii. ____ The body of your eMail message makes the point. You’ve used sensory and emotional words to attract attention and your subject line pops.
iv. ____ Do your (optional) images display correctly? Images should be uploaded to a server whether it’s yours or a media library the eMail broadcasting service company provides for you inside your account to ensure readability.
v. ____ Do your links take you directly to intended websites?
vi. ____ Do the website links all function properly?
6. ____ Send Your eMail To Your List
a. ____ WHO are you sending your eMail to? Make sure your lists are clean and all subscribers have properly opted in. Typically, you can choose between customers, affiliates, specific subscribers, autoresponders, unconfirmed, unsubscribed, etc. Your biggest mistake will be not knowing who your audience is.
b. ____ MAKE SURE you don’t send your eMail to the WRONG list! If you don’t do this right, you could find yourself faced with a decrease in your open and click rates and an increase in your SPAM and unsubscribe rates. You don’t want to hear, “I never signed up to receive information about XYZ. Unsubscribe me, immediately!” Most will say they get too much eMail, which is even more reason for your eMail to stand out in their inboxes.
c. ____ When you send your eMail, watch for it to arrive in your own inbox. It would be helpful if you had a couple of eMail addresses to test when sending eMail to your lists. It’s one thing to test-send the eMail to your address. It’s worth it to find out how it appears on other eMail platforms such as gMail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.
7. ____ Check Your Statistics
a. ____ Open Rate – How many people actually opened your eMail? It can be useful to know what the open and click through rates are when sending broadcasts. If you have less than a 5% open rate, that’s a red flag. Email metrics can determine the effectiveness of your communications and identify areas to improve efficiency.
b. ____ Bounce Rate – This is the percentage of visitors on a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. Other reasons eMails bounce back is because they were undeliverable due to an incorrect address? Audit your lists so you’re always operating with accurate information.
c. ____ Unsubscribe – How many people chose to opt out of your list after receiving your eMail? You can delete these people for future eMail broadcasts or you can maintain them on your list in the event they choose to sign up at a later date.
d. ____ Sales – Email marketing is the most effective online marketing tool and the top factor in influencing sales and repeat business. With 44% of eMail recipients making at least one purchase based on promotional eMails and 4.3 billion eMail accounts, how many sales could you make from an eMail broadcast?