Email marketing is a reliable and lucrative method for generating leads. It is no wonder that this platform has become a very valuable one for Internet marketers especially now that marketing budgets are suffering due to the economic recession. Although email marketing is generally cost-effective, there are a number of things you can do to make the most out of your campaign. To help you achieve optimal open, read, and response rates, follow the twenty tips discussed below:

1) Offer Incentives to Attract Subscribers

Most Internet users won’t just sign up for something just because they see a registration form. Many people are hesitant to give away their email addresses because they believe that they may be risking their privacy and security by doing so. For this reason, you need to give them a good reason to sign up. Offering incentives such as free e-books or discount coupons may do the trick. Whatever you offer, be sure that it is something that will entice them to subscribe and retain their subscription.

2) Simplify the Registration Process

Make sure that your subscription form is visible on your website and provide details on what benefits subscribers can gain from signing up. Also, don’t ask for too much information. The fewer fields you ask for in your registration form, the more likely your visitors are to fill them up. If possible, ask only for names and email addresses.

3) Get Subscribers to Opt In Twice

Although the registration process should be as simple as possible, it is best to get your subscribers to opt in twice. This will allow you to ensure the quality of your mailing list. To do this, you simply need to send out an email to all those who subscribe through your opt-in page. Within that email, include a link that recipients must click on to confirm their subscription. There are, of course, other ways to do this but making the process simple for subscribers will encourage them to perform the desired action.

4) Be Consistent with Your Sender’s Line

When people receive new emails, they normally check the “From” line to find out who the sender is before checking the “Subject” line to learn what the email is about. Whenever an unfamiliar name appears in the sender’s line, recipients are likely to delete the email without even bothering to find out what it is about. Being consistent with the name you place in your sender’s line is important because you need to make your recipients familiar with who you are. If the name you use sparks recognition, your recipients will be more likely to read your emails.

5) Develop a Persona

Many business owners use the name of their brand, company, or service in the sender’s line. However, using a person’s real name is often recommended because it makes emails more personable. By allowing your subscribers to know who you really are and by communicating with them as an individual and not a corporate entity, they are more likely to trust you. Large companies have also found benefits in developing a fictional character that subscribers can relate with. This fictional character can eventually become a persona that companies can then leverage once it starts to be known as an expert within a given niche.

6) Use Attention-Grabbing Subject Lines

Typical email users take less than a second to decide on whether or not an email should be ignored or deleted. For this reason, it is important for you to make use of headlines that not only catches your recipients’ attention but also gives them an idea of what benefits they can get from reading through your email. Offering an enticing promise or a benefit in your subject line will lead your subscribers to be more interested in what you have to say.

7) Put Above-the-Fold Content to Good Use

Most email clients now provide users with an option to view snippets of new mail without having to open their inbox. These snippets often include the sender’s name, the email’s subject, and the first few lines of the main text. There are also software that feature preview panes that allow users to glance at the content of new emails to help them decide on whether or not to open it. Knowing this, you need to make sure that what appears in mail snippets and preview panes is enough to capture the interest of your readers. You can do this by positioning another heading or other interesting content at the top of each email and place supporting information below it.

8) Personalize Your Emails

Always keep in mind that people generally don’t like receiving emails that have nothing to do with them. They don’t like spending their time reading through content that won’t give them any benefit. By addressing your subscribers by name, you give off the impression that what you have to say is relevant. By simply adding your recipient’s name in the subject line and main text of your email, you can dramatically increase your open rate. Note, however, that you really need to be sure that your content is relevant to recipients before you address them by name. If not, you could easily disappoint them and cause them to opt out.

9) Write in a Conversational Tone

Apart from addressing your recipients by name, compose your content in a manner that makes your emails more personal. Your writing style should be casual and conversational just as you would write to a friend to share some interesting information. By writing this way, your emails will seem more like a one-on-one conversation with your recipients rather than a broadcast sent to thousands.

10) Send Out Relevant Information

As you move forward with your email marketing campaign, be sure to keep a record of your subscribers’ responses and purchases. By doing this, you’ll begin to learn more and more about them and use what you know to make your content more relevant to what they are interested in. You will also gain a lot of insights that will help you enhance your email marketing campaign to better suit your target audience.

11) Help Resolve Issues

By becoming familiar with your target audience, you can determine what issues they are facing. Use your newsletter campaign to provide useful information that will help them face their issues. Also, make sure that you provide them with valuable insights that they won’t be able to find anywhere else. Doing this will not only help you enhance your reputation but also demonstrate your expertise. Subscribers will then be more likely to patronize your business and become loyal to it.

12) Never Try to Sell

Keep in mind that people subscribe to your emails because of the promise of useful and relevant information. For this reason, you must never use your mailing list to send out sales pitches. Doing so will instantly irritate your readers and prompt them to opt out. Instead, use your sales copy on your website. If your email marketing content is persuasive enough, you’ll get your subscribers to visit your website for information on products that can benefit them.