Aaaaand… SEND! How to Create Your Best Email Campaign Ever

8 06 2011

The Rodeo Shop NewsletterThere’s a moment, right as you press “SEND” on your mass email campaign, when time slows and panic sets in, as you wonder whether you forgot something. The subject line, perhaps? (Been there.) Or maybe your website link? (Done that.)

The 10-point list below will help alleviate your concerns, as you check off each item to create your best email campaign ever.

1) Use an Email Builder.  With plenty of inexpensive and effective email marketing systems out there, there’s no excuse not to use one. They keep your email campaign looking professional. They maximize your delivery success. They help you manage your database. They include essential reporting features.

2) Prevent Spam Complaints.  There’s a reason it’s called ‘permission marketing’. Be sure your readers have chosen to receive your emails. For more anti-spam tips, read this.

3) Match It!  Creating an email that compliments your existing marketing makes it easier for readers to identify you and your brand.

4) Add Visuals.  Make your email an experience, rather than a report, by adding plenty of imagery. Video content is an added bonus. Some readers opt for text-only messages, but the ones that don’t are expecting some eye candy.

5) Relate to Your Peeps.  Keep your content relevant and concise. Be sure your emails contain material that is of direct interest to your target audience.

6) Edit!  Don’t be one of those emailers – the type that sends out messages requiring an acronym translator (LOL!, OMG!, ROFL!), or who defies all laws of grammar, or who runs on-and-on-and-on-and-on-and-…

7) Include a Call to Action.  What are they supposed to do with your email? Print it for an in-store discount? Click through to your website? Call you for a quote? Tell your reader what to do next. And, for the record, ALWAYS include your contact information!

8) Rock the Subject Line.  The subject line is often the arbiter of whether a reader even opens your email. Studies have shown that short, sweet and to the point provides the highest open rate.

9) USE Your Reports.  Email marketing systems just about always include a report feature that allows you to view open rates, click rates, unsubscribe rates and other handy information. Review every report. Use what you see to modify content, links and subject lines to maximize opens and clicks. The day you stop improving on the last email is the day you start losing your customers’ interest.

10) Generic is Out. Custom is King.  Generic templates are always available to get you started, but they are meant to be customized. Let the character of your business shine through. If you’re interested in amping up the content and appearance of your emails, contact us! We’ll take you to a new level of e-communication.

“Diamonds are forever. Email comes close.”  ~ June Kronholz

Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  DMT Artistry LLC  |  810.923.4582  |  dawn@dmtartistry.com





Permission Marketing: Please and thank you!

11 08 2010

Spam or Junk Mail - It's all the same garbage.Show of digital hands… how many of you spent precious minutes this morning clearing out junk mail from your inbox?

Forget about the viruses, do-it-yourself diploma mail, fake job offers, and inevitable “enhancement” garbage; I’m talking about legitimate business emails, newsletters, solicitations and sales announcements that you did NOT sign up to receive.

How do these people track our information down? It depends. They may yank it off your Facebook page and assume that an accepted friend request means you desperately want their e-news and solicitations. They could pick it up through mass emails from a non-savvy sender who isn’t acquainted with Blind Carbon Copy (bcc). They can also be unscrupulously “scraped” from various internet sources.

But, however they managed to locate your email, the point is, you didn’t ask to receive what they are so eager to send.

Enter Permission Marketing.

Permission marketing is all about asking. It’s the “please and thank you” politeness that’s gone missing from the wham-bam world of mass marketing. There is a time and place for quantity-driven rigmarole, but I’ll give you a hint: unless you’ve got something that targets a ginormous demographic, and a marketing budget to match, this is likely not the way to win friends and influence customers.

Quality over quantity. That’s what we’re looking for.

Think about it this way – our inboxes are, in a sense, our virtual homes. Many of us spend as much time there as we do our own residences. If we didn’t invite you in, you are a trespasser. Trespassers not only make themselves and their businesses look bad, but they also turn people off, encourage viral spread of negative feedback, and are cruising for a Spam Complaint smack-down.

Spam complaints, by the way, are not just some pie-in-the-sky protective feature. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) is a regulatory board that carefully monitors abuse reports, and can boot your bottom off email marketing at lightning speeds. Get spammy enough, and you could even face criminal charges.

Not cool.

So here’s how you can legitimately gather emails in a way that increases open and click-through rates, optimizes your and your business’ reputation, improves interaction, builds a bond with your readers and – happily – is legal:

Ask first. Keep a sign up sheet at your office or store. Incorporate a “subscribe me” link or form on your website. Link to your sign up form via your email signature and social networking pages. Just make sure that your subscribers know what they’re signing up for.

Tell them verbally or in realistically readable writing what your e-announcements will include, how often you’ll be sending them, and whether or not their email address will be used for any other purpose (though, if “other purpose” to you means “sell or rent for profit”, please get off my site… we have nothing more to say to each other).

Better 10 die-hard readers, than 1,000 random and uncaring leads. If a reader OPTS IN to receive your emails, it is because they are interested in you, what you do or what you are selling. These are the people who will buy. These are the people who will refer your business to a friend. These are the people who will give you positive feedback. These are the people you want.

Now I’ll quietly step down off my soap box until my next blog. Please tune in… you never know what I’ll say next!

Need help with your permission-based e-marketing campaign? You’ve come to the right person! Feel free to contact me:

Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  DMT Artistry, LLC  |  (810) 923-4582  |  dawn@dmtartistry.com





Why Can’t We be Friends? 5 Tips to Reduce Your Spam Complaints

2 06 2010

You’ve worked hard to collect those email addresses for your monthly or weekly e-Newsletter, and now one of your recipients – a client, in fact – has just reported you as “Spam”. What gives?!

Those abuse complaints can hurt, but if you catch a person with the wrong content on the wrong day, sometimes it . just . happens. And it has nothing to do with whether or not they like you.

HOWEVER, there are ways to improve the odds that your e-mail Newsletters will be well-received. Here are 5 of my top techniques to help my clients max out their open and click-through rates:

1) Stick With Who You Know. A list of 100 loyal clients who specifically signed up to receive your e-Newsletter will consistently outperform a purchased (which, by the way, doesn’t jive with today’s internet marketing regulations) list of 1,000 random strangers who have no reason to trust or even need your business.

DMT clients build a super-glue-strong email following the good, ol’ organic way – by getting permission!

2) Keep the Subject Line Real. Contrary to popular belief, witty email subject lines drop open rates like deadweight. If it’s not immediately obvious what your e-Newsletter is all about – “Acme Co. February Newsletter”, “Acme Co. Summer Blow Out Sale” – then it’s suspect. And we all know where “suspect emails” end up, don’t we? The graveyard of the email world a.k.a. the Spam Folder.

DMT e-Newsletter subject lines blend simplicity, honesty and stating-the-obvious to keep those open rates up!

3) Include YOU. In an earlier post, I talked about the importance of putting a face to your marketing. Add some humanness to your e-Newsletter with images of – and stories about – you and your staff.

DMT includes clients, staff and their photos in every e-Newsletter send.

4) Variety is the Spice of Life. Newsletters, by their very nature, contain a little bit of something for everyone. If one topic doesn’t interest a reader, another one will. That’s how you keep ’em coming back for more!

DMT incorporates feature stories, fun trivia, staff spotlights and more to appeal to a broad audience.

5) When You Think It’s Short Enough, Keep Going. Online attention spans range from short to shorter, so your content should follow suit. A three page dissertation on the qualities of your product is more appropriate for a pamphlet than an e-Newsletter.

DMT e-Newsletter articles feed relevant, useful and cool information in byte-sized pieces.

Don’t wait until your favorite client banishes your e-newsletter to the Spam Folder. Makeover your e-Newsletters with your readers in mind, and watch those open rates climb and spam complaints plummet!

DMT Artistry, LLC has been consistently, successfully and significantly exceeding industry average open and click-through rates for all of our e-Newsletter clients. Want to raise the bar on your own email marketing? Contact me any time:

Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  DMT Artistry, LLC  |  (810) 923-4582  |  dawn@dmtartistry.com





Client Spotlight: Grand River Dental

26 03 2010

This post is a quick congratulations to superstar client, Grand River Dental. Their recent debut newsletter (designed by yours truly) notched up a stellar open rate… which means – guess what! – their clients like and trust them!

Speaking as one of their die-hard clients and fans, I can’t think of another dentist office where conversations about American Idol and Caribbean cruises are commonplace, laughter abounds, the dentist sings musicals, the charming staff includes a four-legged fuzzball who loves “belly wubs” and patients swap cheery banter across the privacy partitions. No wonder their e-newsletter open rate reached for the stars… and caught one.

Way to go Grand River Dental!

Grand River Dental's Debut e-Newsletter





Part 3: Times, they are a-changin’…

5 03 2010

Before we cover DMT Modern Marketing Creed #3, a brief review… DMT Creed 1: Make your marketing worth your customers undivided attention. DMT Creed 2: Set a new standard with your marketing honesty. Now to round out the holy triumvirate of DMT Marketing Creeds:

3) It’s about giving freely.
Yes, I did use “free” in that sentence – one of the most powerful words in a modern business’s lexicon. In our web-based world, someone somewhere is just about always offering what you offer free of charge. It may not be as cool or as convenient but, let’s face it, the difference between a penny and FREE is as vast as the Atlantic Ocean.

Turn off the Code Red! This doesn’t mean you need to give away the farm. Free information (think blogging, websites, social media, e-newsletters), free instruction (think seminars, on-the-floor demos) and free time (think volunteering for a cause) are all perfectly legitimate ways to jump on the “free” bandwagon, without devaluing what you do or sell. Instead, it builds your reputation as an Ultimate Resource.

So with the old school, assembly-line-style marketing out of the picture, you’ll find yourself having a lot more fun with your marketing, and your customers having a lot more fun patronizing your business. Win-win all around!

What modern marketing adventure will you tackle next? Please share!