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Email marketing is on the rise… 75% of businesses plan to spend more money on email marketing next year… Sending targeted campaigns has an ROI of $43 for every dollar spent.

These are all common quotes that are thrown around lauding the greatness of the email campaign for acquiring new customers and keeping existing customers connected. However, there are a lot of things that must go right behind the scenes to achieve the kind of success these tag phrases claim. We’ve sent over a million emails in various campaigns and made lots of mistakes, here are five of the biggest takeaways from what we learned.

1. Never stop learning about your list: The best thing you can do to make sure your emails resonate with readers is to know who your readers are. Use a program like Rapleaf┬áto get detailed stats on your subscribers. You can even take it a step further and create an imaginary ‘average subscriber’ who characterizes the most prevalent traits of your list. Before sending out any campaigns, make sure they would be enjoyed by that average subscriber.

2. Remember your subscribers are people: A common mistake is to feel as if your list becomes to big to address personally. Even with thousands of people receiving your campaigns, remember that each and every individual on your list is still a human and should be addressed appropriately. The worry here is to be to friendly and make your emails feel fake, make sure to test your results to find a happy medium.

3. Segment, Segment, Segment: The single best thing you can ever do for your email marketing is to segment your list into multiple lists based on interests. Set up the various email capture forms on your site to feed into specific lists and send separate campaigns out. There is an investment up front to set this up, but it is much easier to address a specific subset of people than to try and talk to everyone at once.

4. Don’t Chase Numbers: While it’s tempting to use less-than-kosher tactics to inflate the number of subscribers to your list, it will hurt you in the long run. Subscribers who didn’t voluntarily submit to receiving your contacts rarely make purchases and are much more likely to report you as spam or give your products a bad review. It’s better to have 1000 very engaged subscribers than 5000 that don’t care about you.

5. Do give people a chance to subscribe: Without being pushy, have clearly labeled subscription options on your site. Often, readers may be interested in getting more information by email, but unless you make it easy the transaction doesn’t happen.

 

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