8 key points to success with email mailing lists and lead generation campaigns

So you want to start a mailing list – or you have one already but you’ve just been guessing as to what works best.  Here’s eight key points to successful  use of email mailing lists and lead generation through email campaigns

1.  Opt In by Default

Everyone on the list needs to have chosen to join – the sign-up form can be stand-alone (just the sign-up info by itself) or as part of a contact form – if it’s part of a contact form, provide a check-box – Yes I want to receive your newsletter / be on the mailing list / etc. –  have the check-box checked as the default setting (studies show people are more likely to approve being on a list if they don’t have to physically click an extra box).

2.  Frequency and timing matters

Send out mailings on average once a week maximum, once a month minimum.  If your mailing focus is business, Monday mornings or Tuesday mornings are usually the best times to send the mailing.

 3.  Grab their attention right away

Make the subject line interesting – communicating a unique opportunity instead of the cliche’ – and don’t use all capital letters or lots of exclamation points

4. Provide extra value to keep them wanting more

Provide some extra value information in each mailing – some interesting fact or resource knowledge that will help empower your recipients – give them value for it’s own sake in each mailing that is not your direct pitch.  This will get more people to read more of the time and remember your list.

5. The first few seconds matters

Have the key points to your mailing listed in bullet points at the top of the email if you’re communicating several things in a mostly or all text based list so people can get a quick view of what the complete mailing contains – make sure at least one or more of those list items refers to that extra value content.

6. Visual Design Vs. Content Rich

If you are selling products, a really high quality design with click to buy action buttons is the most successful – (sign up for Borders Books mailing list to see a truly world class design).  If you’re not up to the task of maintaining a high end custom designed visual mailing each time, it’s best to keep graphics to a reasonable minimum but in that case your content needs to be high quality with headings in bold and a paragraph or maybe two at most for each heading.  If you have more to say or communicate, this is a perfect opportunity to provide links from each section to a related news article or information page on your web site, or blog article…

7. Track email campaign statistics for fine tuning

Absolutely use a service such as ConstantContact.com or VerticalResponse.com – their systems allow you to embed links in your mailings, and you can see statistics on how many people received the mailing, how many bounced, how many people opted out, how many opened it, how many clicked on each link.  Invaluable for refining future mailings! (and they’re the most cost effective solutions for maintaining a mailing list that will also ensure you’re not going to get your mailings blanket flagged as spam by the major email service providers!)

8. Set yourself apart

If your mailings are more content than visual – make it creative and fun, in a professional way.  The more recipients enjoy the content the more they’ll be looking forward to each subsequent mailing.   It will be one more thing to help set your mailings apart from the rest.


About Alan Bleiweiss

Just another guy. Who happens to have a lot of experience living, breathing and sleeping organic SEO. So that's my primary focus - high end SEO audits and consulting for sites ranging from thousands to tens of millions of pages. In my spare time I blog, rant, write eBooks, and speak at industry conferences.

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