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Email marketing is all about balance.

Email marketing is a great, inexpensive way to reach the people on your database. Below are some of the most important things you can do to improve your email marketing.

Are your emails getting opened?
Are you tracking your email open rates. If not, start doing so immediately. Your email marketing provider should have this information available, and you should definitely start paying attention. The standard open rate differes between industry but once you determine your open rates, you can then start to improve them. There are several reasons why your emails might not be getting to the inboxes of your prospects and/or not being getting opened.

Avoiding Spam words
If your emails contain a lot of spam related words (such as free, cheap, %, work-from-home, click here, discount, coupon, special offer, limited time), chances are slim that your prospects are even getting them. Spam filters are becoming more and more sensitive, and they can remove your email before it even gets to the inbox. Try to avoid words that might sound like spam, even if you think you’ll be safe this time. Writing good valuable content for your client goes a long way - this doesn't normally contain spam words.

Subject Lines and Sender
Once your email gets through the spam filters, your readers have to decide whether or not to open it. The subject line and 'from' address will be big factors in them making that decision.

Make sure that your subject lines are intriguing, but that they don’t overpromise. Consumers have been jaded by companies promising the world and not delivering. Avoid sensational subject lines that claim “800% increase in sales” or “I lost 200 pounds in 1 week.” Besides being unbelievable, these subject lines probably wouldn’t make it past the spam filters. Be real, be convincing, be a little mysterious.

Subject lines are only half of the equation. Be sure that the 'from' field is full of useful information too. Typically, your company name is a good way to ensure recognition and trust. Personal names work too, provided that they are recognisable. Don’t insert a name that your prospects or customers won’t recognise. Don't use ''noreply' or 'systems' addresses - these are not at all personal and are less likely to be opened.

Send Relevant Content
When you send an email, make sure the content is of value to your prospects. A good email could contain useful educational content, entertainment, or content that gives requested information. The information should be valuable, almost tangible - maybe something they could use straight away - or something that makes them think.

Emails should also be sent to current lists. Your marketing isn’t relevant to people who didn’t ask for it. Don’t use outdated lists, purchased lists, or lists that aren’t yours ... that is a sure-fire recipe for spam complaints and poor open rates. Build your database surely, even slowly - it is more targeted, and therefore much more valuable to you. You may decide to send your email  only to your clients  because it contains valuable information.

And the frequency
Sending out too many emails will make you a nuisance that ends up in the trash bin almost immediately. Waiting too long in between emails might cause your prospects to forget you and will also land your 'unrecognisable' email in the trash bin. The frequency will depend on the people behind your database and the information your are sending. Find a happy medium where you can stay in touch without bombarding them with daily emails.

Photo by Karine Germain on Unsplash