Below are some tips about creating a must-read eZine as opposed to antagonizing those on your list.
Prominently display unsubscribe info at the top of each message:
If you have a clean list, you should not be afraid of people unsubscribing, and it’s best to make it easy from someone to go away. If they want to unsubscribe, they should not have to search for the means to do so.
Stay on topic:
Pick a narrow topic and stick to it. Maybe you’re a landscaper offering tips for homeowners to keep their lawns healthy. Perhaps you’re a tax accountant offering tips about reducing taxes. Whatever your topic, stick to it, as subscribers read your eZine for that specific reason. Straying off-topic will cause people to unsubscribe.
Make sure your content is interesting and has value to your readers:
People will not read your communications if they don’t perceive a return on the investment of their time. Keep your content fresh and interesting to deliver value on a regular basis.
Keep it brief:
Everybody is time poor. Don’t stretch out a 60 word blub to 300 words to impress your readers. Condense as much as possible. If you have trouble with this, hire a good editor to do it for you.
Use a email service like Constant Contact:
Such email services are cleared for delivery throughout the email system and typically do a pretty good job of making it through spam filters. They also have templates and other tools to make it easy for you to create, send, and track your messages.
Create a regular delivery schedule and stick to it:
People are creatures of habit and they find comfort in predictability and regularity. You can help build anticipation by delivering your content on a regular schedule.
Don’t be a spammer:
All unsolicited email is spam, no matter how valuable you perceive your message to be. If your recipients didn't give you permission to send your message to them, you are a spammer.
Don’t disguise or hide list sign up by bundling it with anything else:
This includes email communication, contact form submission, or help requests from your website. Make sure that subscribers understand and give you permission to add them to your list.
Don’t buy a list:
Build your own email list of people who actually want to receive your information. Paid email lists are full of email addresses pulled from websites and compiled from random sources, and the recipients generally do not want your message. On the contrary, they are commonly annoyed that you are bothering them. Remember this: a clean list of people who sign up to receive your information is much more valuable in that these people have the propensity to actually become customers one day.
Don’t subscribe anybody unless they gave you express permission to do so:
This includes business cards you collect, people who contact you via your website, people you are connected to via social media, and people you meet. Simply knowing someone or introducing yourself to them is not permission to email them information that they have not agreed to receive.
Don’t make it difficult to unsubscribe:
I’ve seen unsubscribe info in tiny print that links to a form that makes the user enter their own email address and answer questions, and then displays a message that the unsubscribe process may take up to 10 days. Are you kidding me? I’m already irritated that I’m receiving junk from someone who doesn’t have permission to email me in the first place, and they’re making me work to get off the list. That’s just wrong. Don’t be so disrespectful of your list members.
Don't use Outlook or any other personal email system:
Sending your email blast from Outlook is the kiss of death. It screams unprofessional and will likely get you blacklisted, thereby preventing you from sending any email out of your ISP at all.
Don't let recipients see each others' email addresses:
This is another common Outlook email blunder. Using a professional email service prevents all recipients from seeing everybody else on the list, and it protects the integrity of the list and privacy of its recipients.
So, the next time you receive spam from someone, feel free to send them a link to this blog post.
Image credit: Micky Aldridge