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Creating effective e-mail newsletters

For the inaugual post on AddressBin's blog, let's go over some of the basics of actually writing email marketing materials.

Know your audience

This point goes at the top because it's the most important. If you don't know your audience, you can't communicate effectively with them. If you can't communicate, you can't sell.

Writing effective email copy is, like all exercises in marketing, about helping someone solve a problem they have. What problems do your subscribers have? How is your email going to help them address the problem?

Have a goal

Hopefully your goal coincides with your users' problem. Make sure you put this near the top, and includes lots of link throughout your newsletter towards your goal game.

You could just contact your users because it's been a while since the last one, but you probably shouldn't if you can avoid it. Make sure you have new content to share with users, even if you have to create it.

Avoid being spam

“Spam” has no formal definition, but a commonsense rule is that spam is unsolicited email that provides no particular value to the recipient

Check your spelling, and give your message to somebody to proofread before sending it out. You can't edit it once it's sent!

If you follow all the above rules, you should be safely out of spam territory. One more rule to add is not to send emails too often.

The CAN-SPAM Guidelines have a few other points that you should follow if you want to avoid a fine:

  • Don't use deceptive subject lines
  • Identify yourself (as an advertiser if necessary)
  • Include your mailing address
  • Include a way to unsubscribe

Of course, if you use Addressbin we'll make sure that the last two are always present, so you don't have to worry about that.

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