Five Tips for Better email Marketing

Based on the limitations of "newbie emails" and what works in the constraints of the inbox:

1. Have a distinct headline for each mail which builds on the subject line

The first 3 words of the headline are most important and adds a reason to read more or click through. Try large font, reversed out text, not obscured by a branded banner which is the same in each email - although you do need a clear brand to prove a reliable source - and in From field. Shorter subject lines are usually the best.

Recent  email marketing research showed that "Email recipients were significantly more likely to open messages that used short subject lines (24% opens for 35 or fewer characters) compared to 17% for longer subjects.

2. Use a Text-based hyperlink call to action in the lead in text

Preview pane for those using Outlook or near to top anyway for everyone using webmail readers. Try to get those impulsive clickers to act. Also provide an alternate image call-to-action with alt tags for those who haven't downloaded images. Don't use a design based solely on sliced images - some text is essential to maximize response.

3. Use a two-column format

This will enable you to pack more above the fold. Tinted panels work well. Trend to using table-of-content and call-to-action on the left of screen where we scan down and not truncated on right.

4. Develop a multi-message campaign for more impact / reinforcement.

First use a teaser postcard format - these can get good click-throughs since you intruige and don't give too much away. Then follow-up with a more detailed email building an argument for those you haven't convinced. Or try the sequence in reverse. Short copy is not best in all cases just as for offline. If you can afford it integrate with direct mail for max effect.

5. Try different forms of offer to maximize click through

Don't just have the direct 'buy now', 'get a quote', etc, but have softer specific 'find out more' style calls-to-action to engage which will intrigue people on the list.

I wouldn't worry too much about the spam filters on copy as long as you don't overdo it. Reputation is more important, so it can help to use an established broadcaster. If you want to try your spam scores I have collected several email marketing tools.