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In Email, Emphasize Quality, not Quantity
by Louis Chatoff
Published on August 11, 2009

Email marketing has rapidly become all about quality: the quality of the sender's content and the quality of the sender's email addresses. It simply doesn't work to quickly throw together content and send to a large list of non-opted-in email addresses.

Keeping the content simple and valuable is the key to crafting a quality email message. Trying to cram useless information into a message will leave the recipient with little choice but to abandon it with a quick click of the "next" or "delete" button, or even worse—the dreaded spam button.

Below, a few tips for boosting quality when creating email marketing content.

Focus heavily on relevance and value

Always ask, "Will my audience truly appreciate what I am sending them?" Keep the message layout clean and the overall message easy to process.

Think of it as the side of a bus

Design the content like it is going to be displayed on the side of a city bus and people are going to see it as it quickly passes by. Much like an ad on a passing bus, your message may have the recipient's attention only for a second or two. Make sure the message is well-branded, and the offer and the call-to-action are easy to identify and act upon.

Offer tidbits, not the entire package

When sending article-based email newsletters, try not including complete articles in the email; provide only snippets that highlight the importance of each article, with a link to the full-length articles on your website.

Stick with your opt-ins

Keep your email-address list paired down to only those who truly appreciate your email content. This is the group that knows who you are as a sender, and why they are receiving your messages. They enjoy opening your messages and reading what you have to offer.

Sending to a wider audience can often result in poor deliverability—due to a high number of invalid email addresses and unwanted-email (spam) complaints. Keep in mind that once your overall deliverability goes down, so does the ability to reach your smaller, engaged audience.

Build your list one name at a time

The key to building a healthy list is to invite prospects to fill out a subscribe form that highlights the benefits of being a list member. Adding addresses by the bushel from some poorly managed or a purchased list will rarely lead to favorable results.

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The bottom line is this: Email quality will be rewarded, whereas quantity will not. The ISPs now use sophisticated mail filters that can easily identify senders who are going for the quick buck and are not interested in building a long-term marketing relationship with a selective audience.

Demonstrate your commitment to quality by writing compelling copy that your readers will surely appreciate.

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