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Tips for Successful Email Blasts
Tips for Successful Email Blasts

Creating your email list

Download a blank user spreadsheet form. To upload emails to your website database, download the blank user spreadsheet from your website.In your admin area click Security and Dashboard. On the left under Export there is a link to Download Blank User Import Spreadsheet.This is what you will use to add your new users to your website database. Duplicate users will automatically be removed from your database and unsubscribed users will stay unsubscribed. At this time, to import users you must send in a ticket to help@aisupportdesk.com and attach your user Excel file (.xls).Be sure to include your website name.The new AI mailer will allow users to upload their own database without using the ticketing system.

Make sure that your database has opted in to receive your emails. The CAN-SPAM Act requires commercial e-mailers to honor unsubscribes and only email to addresses who have opted to receive emails from your business.Make sure that everyone on your database list has opted in or is familiar with your company (ie: employees, vendors) and that if they have given you their email address that they have agreed to opt-in to receive your email newsletter.When users sign up online or book hotel reservations, they are given the option to opt-in to the newsletter.

Designing your email

DO NOT make the entire email one large image.SPAM filters look for emails without any body text.Be sure to add the proper amount of text and images to keep from getting marked as SPAM.

Keep the width to about 500-600 pixels.No more than 600 pixels wide! Typical email windows only open to about 540 pixels, with preview panes showing only 200 pixels or more, so keeping your email design width below 600 pixels will ensure that viewers can see it in their inbox. If you are using the AI mailer composer, this will automatically create an email in the correct size.

Use a simple layout.Every email application reads and displays HTML emails differently.What works in one application may display poorly in another. Avoid using complicated layouts with too many embedded tables, columns, and rows.Use a table with two columns and one row across the top for your layout.If you are using the AI mailer composer this will create a simple email for you.

Be careful using CSS.Most CSS will not work in email applications and your body text will show up unformatted.

Always give users a way to unsubscribe from your emails.The AI mailer will automatically remove unsubscribed users receiving your newsletter. The users will still be in your website database (viewable under security>users), however they will be unchecked to receive your newsletter.

Email Content

Link back to your website.If you are mentioning a special, create a link to your website page that has the details about that special. If you have images in your email, include a link to your photo gallery so that users can view more. To create a link in the AI email composer, highlight your text, click on the link icon in your text editor bar, and enter in the website address for the url field. Be sure to change the setting so that the link opens in a new window - this way users will not leave your email to view the link. Using the hyperlink feature allows you to link back to your website or specific pages in your website without showing the full address.You can have text like 'See more photos of our hotel' and create a link to your website gallery rather than showing 'See more photos at www.yourwebsite.com/gallery.cfm'.This is easier for users to read.

Be sure to check all links before sending out your email blast and make sure that the link sends users to the proper address.

• Do not use Flash, Javascript, ActiveX, movies, etc. in your emails.These types of files are not able to be viewed in most email applications and are blocked by anti-virus applications since they have been used in the past to spread viruses.

Tracking Your Email Blast

Most marketers want to track their email campaigns to see how many people opened the emails, how many bounced, and how many clicked through to their website.The overall goal of the email is to get people to open them, read the information, and then click through to the website.

• Create a duplicate home page and link this to your email blast. Go to your admin area, click on the CONTENT drop down menu, select LANDING PAGES.Click on the green button in the upper left hand corner to ADD NEW PAGE.

Select landing page.

Add your page name - this will be the url and will be visible in the address bar.

Click COPY MY HOMEPAGE.

Hotels: If you are using a promotional code in your email blast, by entering in the code this will be pre-populated in the page that you are creating so that customers will have the code already filled out.

Do not click anything for security, as you will want this page to be accessible by everyone.

Click Submit.Your new landing page has been created, this will be a duplicate of your home page. Use this new url to link to in your email blast.You can see how many people clicked through from your campaign in your Google Analytics.Google Analytics will break down the amount of visitors for each page within your site, this is how you can see the amount of people who clicked through specifically from your campaign.

To see how many emails were opened and successfully delivered.Go to your admin area, click on Mailer>Archived Mail. From there you can see which emails were sent, the amount of people sent to, how many bounced (the email addresses were incorrect or no longer working) and how many emails were opened.

Avoiding SPAM filters

SPAM filters look for specific trends within an email to determine if it is SPAM or not.Your email receives points for each SPAM-like offense it commits. If you

Here is a link to the full list of red flags that SPAM filters look for:

http://spamassassin.apache.org/tests_3_0_x.html

Do not use URL shortners.These have become popular for Twitter but they should not be used for email blasts.Gmail is now blocking emails that have url shorteners because spammers are using them to disguise the website links that they are sending out.

Avoid words like 'CLICK HERE!' or 'WHY PAY MORE?'SPAM filters assign points to these phrases. Other words and subjects to avoid:

-Talking about money

-Breakthroughs of any kind

-Mortgage-like sales pitches

-Anything with 'urgent matters'

-Money back guarantees

-Overuse of exclamation points

-Using all Caps in the subject line

-Using one large image and no text in your email

-Using the word Test in the subject line

Check your open rate and bounces. A normal open rate is 20-30%, if you start seeing a sharp decrease in your open rate it could be that your emails are going to the junk folder.If you have a high amount of bounces, this could also mean the same thing.

Good luck on your email blast!

-Alternate Image staff
Categories: Internet Marketing

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