More NEMOA Tips: Jennings Doles Out Pointers Across the E-Mail Board
In one of the final sessions from last month’s NEMOA conference in Burlington, Vt., e-mail marketing consultant Jeanne Jennings touched on myriad topics related to her stock-in-trade. Here are four of her most notable and implementable takeaway points from that session.
1. On e-mail registrations:
* spark people with engaging e-mail descriptions;
* don’t make registrations too long — keep them to five to seven items;
* ask for postal addresses, though she added that asking for them could turn off some prospects, so “don’t force it; tread lightly”; and
* get help from your IT pros.
2. Key deliverability factors:
* confirm your e-mail headers match your sender policy framework record;
* monitor the content of your e-mail — filters, such as SpamAssassin, assign values to words and formats to flag things that seem “spammy”;
* monitor your HTML code — “If it’s not perfect,” Jennings said, “you may be blocked. In fact, you’re more likely to be filtered for code than content”;
* investigate your deliverability twice a year;
* check feedback loops offered by most of the ISPs, and gain detailed deliverability information provided by white hat senders; and
* do a deliverability audit if you have a serious problem and don’t know how to fix it.
3. Bad subject lines? Jennings offered some examples:
* “Enter your subject here”;
* “Dude, make some new friends”;
* “I think this could help you”;
* “Your focus eJournal has arrived”;
* “Now available from API”; and
* “Conference e-mail.”
4. Welcome e-mails. Use these as a way to say thank-you for signing up. But make them transactional messages, Jennings noted, because transactional message open rates are dramatically higher than other e-mail open rates. “It’s a continuation of your last transaction,” she said. “They just signed up with you, so when you respond with a ‘Hey, that’s great, talk to you in a month,’ that doesn’t do much. But if you respond in a way that goes above and beyond, it leverages that relationship.”
Jennings added that welcome e-mails should contain a “click here to begin shopping” within them. Even better, she said, is to offer free shipping on prospects’ first orders, as well as another perk for their birthdays.