Email Newsletter Marketing Best Practices

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Step 1: Develop your mailing list

First, develop a list of your current customers' e-mail addresses. Currently, many businesses are capturing e-mail addresses along with their customers' other contact info. If you haven't already, be sure to modify any forms your business uses to include an e-mail address request. This can include forms used at trade shows, online and printed information request forms, product registration forms, and so forth.

Admail Signup Forms streamlines the registration form process with both web links and QR Codes to help your customer register fast and easy.

Step 2: Set up your newsletter template

To get a head start on creating a professional looking newsletter in Admail, take advantage of the free Email Newsletter templates, which are available in the Email Builder. On the Web site, you can also find email newsletter templates with various decorative themes.

When you select one of the Email Builder the templates, it allows to edit and modify much the same as Microsoft Word or Open Office on your computer — ready for you to customize it to your business or service.

NOTE: You'll notice the e-mail newsletter template uses a table to hold the copy and graphics. This prevents format changes from occurring when it is opened in different e-mail programs. You can easily add or delete rows and columns from the table to accommodate your needs.

Step 3: Complete your e-mail newsletter

Add articles and graphics

One distinct difference between a printed newsletter and an e-mail version is the amount of text to include. Unless you are absolutely sure all your readers will be interested in a longer version, you should keep the amount of information to around 1,000 words or less. Anything more becomes tiresome to read in an online format and you may lose their interest before they read the items you really want them to see.

What to include

Some items to think about including might be new employee introductions, recent awards presented to your company, specials and discounts on products or services, new product announcements, and information on new ways to take advantage of your products or services. Don't include items that might be of interest to only a few customers. You want to capture and hold the interest of as many readers as possible.

Add graphics

Add graphics or pictures with captions to help break up the text and create some visual interest. But make sure whatever you add relates to the adjacent text. A picture of the company dog might be cute, but if the story surrounding it is about a new product, the picture will only confuse your readers.

Contact information

Be sure to include contact information in more than one place. Not only should it be part of your master template, you should include "For more information" contacts or links in every article where it's appropriate. Don't make your customers hunt for the information; chances are they won't take the time.

Web links

Include links to the company Web site wherever you can. Be sure to update the site to include the information you are referring customers to. It's easy to include hyperlinks in your newsletter that will take customers right to your Web site or get them started with an e-mail to your sales staff.

When you've completed your newsletter, it's time for one of the most important steps of all — proofreading. Go back through every article, headline, caption, and callout. Take several passes through the material, looking for different things each time. Trying to catch everything in one pass doesn't work. Look for spelling errors one time, grammar errors the next. Check your punctuation. Verify any addresses, phone numbers, and Web links to be sure they are accurate.

When you've completed this task, give the newsletter to a colleague to look over. A fresh pair of eyes can be invaluable. Above all, don't depend completely on your spelling checker. As good as they are, spelling checkers can't detect the difference between the incorrect usage of words like "too" and "to" or "you're" and "your."

Time spent proofreading is well worth it. For some of your customers, this may be the only contact they have with your company. Make sure you take the time to do a thorough job — after all, this is your company's image and you want it to be as positive and professional as possible.

A number of Web sites provide great tips on things to look for when proofreading. A quick search for "proofreading tips" will give you a variety of sites that outline some proofreading basics.

Send it to yourself!

Step 4: Send it

With Admail simply select the “I'm ready to send” then click the “Send” button Admail does the rest, including tracking your readerd activity.

Step 5: Social Media. Check out Adsocial for launching your social media campaign seamlessly.