Castle Builder Blog

How to Keep Email Marketing Useful—for Marketers

by Amélie Walker-Yung

People are bombarded with email messages these days. For many, it has become unmanageable, and they just delete every newsletter along with actual spam. One of my friends even made unsubscribing to an email list a day one of her new year’s resolutions.

I design and send email newsletters for several of our clients here at Castle Builder Design, and I subscribe to many as a consumer. I believe that email marketing can be a win-win situation, but it has to be well managed.

If you are the one sending the messages, you want to make the cut and continue getting the word out to those who want it. If you are the one receiving the messages, you want to get content you like and find useful in a manageable way.

Maintaining Your Subscribers

Email marketing is still a cost-effective way to promote your business, sell products, announce upcoming events and distribute news, but you have much more competition for your readers’ attention than in the days before social media.

So, how do you keep subscribers on your list, when they are oversaturated with emails?

Keep your list targeted from the start. Be up front on your subscription form. When you ask people to subscribe, tell them exactly what kind of content they will be receiving. If you send out something they don’t expect, you are going to lose subscribers.

If you are starting a new website or business, do not automatically include emails from another list unless it is very closely related. Starting a new list is a slower way to build, but you’ll have a higher quality targeted list. The people you get on that new list are more likely to respond and less likely to unsubscribe.

If you want to promote your new website or business in another newsletter of yours, go right ahead, but treat it like any other outside advertising.

Stay on topic. Keep content relevant, even advertising. Since you want to give the people what they expect, carefully consider any change of subject. If it isn’t related to your usual topic, it doesn’t matter how excited you are about it, it could mean loss of subscribers.

Let your personality shine through. Giving your emails a personal voice will make your subscribers feel more connected to you and your brand. Stiff, businesslike email messages don’t inspire much loyalty. Be human, be yourself.

Limit advertiser emails. You will likely lose some subscribers each time you do this, so carefully weigh the benefit (payment from advertiser) against that loss. You will do best advertising products or services closely related to the subject of content you normally send out.

Send regularly. You don’t have to send every day or every week, but set a schedule and stick to it.

And more… That’s not all you can do to maintain your email lists, but these are really some of the things that I think are the most important. Consistently meeting expectations is a big part of it.

Do you have more tips? Leave a comment below!

Don’t miss Part II in this series, How to Keep Email Marketing Useful—for Consumers.

Published on January 24, 2014.

About Amélie Walker-Yung

Amélie, the founder of Castle Builder Design, has been constructing a wide variety of websites since 1997. She manages all projects and specializes in crafting visually compelling yet clear-eyed designs, all the while taming open source software. She sees a successful website as a puzzle solved through the seamless integration of its two vital elements: beauty and function. In her spare time, Amélie is the membership coordinator of Webgrrls NYC and bakes cupcakes.

One thought on “How to Keep Email Marketing Useful—for Marketers

  1. Good advice worth repeating! And don’t forget “give a clear call to action”- with easily visible links to your website. Make it easy for people to buy what you are selling! Plus, it’s always a good idea to have someone review your email before you send it out to check for misspellings and user-friendliness.

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