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By Dan Forootan

To make the best of a tough economy, more marketers are looking for cost effective methods to reach prospects and customers. As email activity and competition grows, the need to plan, create and maintain smart campaigns becomes even more important. To see the most benefit from their email marketing programs, email marketers should apply the following principles:

1. Pay attention to email volume. Email marketing is a valuable marketing tool in a down economy. The challenge for marketers is to resist the temptation to overuse the medium. Forrester Research cites that 77 percent of consumers are annoyed with the volume of email they receive today. Donít annoy your customers. Too much email can lead to consumer fatigue and erode email effectiveness. Conversely, donít email so infrequently that they donít know who you are. Strive to maintain a regular and ongoing relationship with your subscribers.

2. Respect your customers and their relationships with you. As worldwide email volume continues to grow, seek out highly relevant ways to communicate with your customers and to stand out from the crowd. Remember that not all customers are the same, or have the same interests. Some methods for improving relationships through email include:

a. Send relevant, valuable and timely information and offers.
b. Pay attention to messages viewed on mobile devices.
c. Segment lists to best match your customersí needs.
d. Leverage triggered (automated) emails to enhance personalized, customized customer communications.
e. Use transactional emails (welcome letters, receipts, confirmations, etc.) as an additional mechanism to build customer rapport.

3. Complement your email campaigns. Remember to provide consistent messaging across all your communications channels. Email should be one element of your marketing mix. Reinforcing messages across multiple channels will boost overall campaign effectiveness.

4. Remember email design and delivery basics. No matter what, donít forget the nuts and bolts of smart and effective email marketing Ė everything from using permission-based (opt-in) lists and good list hygiene to using clear, valuable subject lines and solid design and messages. Test your messages before you send, and maintain good relationships with the ISPs. (Attend StreamSendís deliverability webinar to learn more.)

5. Keep improving. Even if something worked in the past, it isnít guaranteed to continue delivering the same results. Measure the success of your campaigns. Take advantage of reporting and data analysis beyond the inbox. Test and innovate to make sure your email campaigns continue to grow positive results.

***
Dan Forootan is the President and CEO of StreamSend Email Marketing Software.

Dan Forootan is the President of EZ Publishing. The firm specializes in helping businesses harness the power of the Internet for marketing and to automate business processes. In addition to custom web applications, EZ Publishing offers permission-based email marketing via StreamSend, a leading provider of easy, affordable and dependable email marketing software for creating, sending and tracking email newsletter and other campaigns.
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