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By Ryan Buchanan

What makes up a successful email campaign? In the first part of this two-part series, we covered the first critical steps in implementing a successful email marketing campaign – strategic planning and the targets. In part two, we will look at creative and content aspects of your campaign and how to choose the best approach. However, keep in mind that it is important to perform solid in all of these areas which lead to greater results.

Creative and Content: In the first article, we covered creating a coherent strategy and a qualified list. Now it's time to work on the message creative (or content). A successful email must have clear, concise copy with a relevant offer and call to action. Getting there can be easier said than done. Email is fundamentally different from other forms of communications, especially traditional direct mail. Whether at home or at work, recipients behave very differently when sorting through “junk mail” when compared to “spam” email.

While traditional mailers offer the ability to control packaging and method of delivery, emails are differentiated solely by the subject line. A complete understanding of the target audience is required to determine effective strategies and tactics that will result in a response or conversion. If you’re not careful, emails will end up in the virtual recycling bin, similar to their print counterpart. Worse, they could lead to a complaint that can result in blacklisting of your URL or IP address. Blacklisting can block your messages from reaching a user group at an entire ISP (i.e. AOL.com, MSN.com, Yahoo.com) or corporation.

In order to create an email that will generate a response, we must first analyze its elements. There are several keys.

From: The sender’s name and email: Many spam filters first check the “from” line. Therefore, you must be accurate and relevant. A "from” email address ending with numbers is a red flag. The most important spam filter that you must get past is that of the recipient. Under CAN-SP@M rules, you must use a valid and not misleading ("relevant") email address. Is the email address you are using for this campaign one that you always use? Is it one that will already be identified as a “Trusted Sender” or known contact or brand to your subscribers? If you are creating a campaign for your first time, use an email that someone will recognize (ie, specials@eroidelivers.comor newsletter@eroidelivers.com). It can also be important to use the salesperson’s email address (carl.spackler@bushwood.com).

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Ryan Buchanan is the CEO and Founder of eROI.
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