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The Golden Rule of Email Marketing
Thou Shalt Send Email Thou Wouldst Like to Receive

If you are in the Internet business, chances are good that you receive way too many emails.  You may sift through hundreds of emails daily, often deleting messages before ever opening them up.  According to marketing specialists, the most effective emails are the ones that grab your attention and somehow "convince" you to read them.  What better way to grab your recipients’ attention than to create emails that you yourself would open and read?  To ensure the success of your email marketing campaign, read about the five deadly email marketing sins and avoid committing them. 

Thinking as the recipient of the message while creating your email will help you gear your message more effectively to the audience at hand.  Key questions to keep in mind when creating the "golden" message are: “What are the messages I delete right away?” and “what are the messages that keep my attention and motivate me to do something?”  These questions are important because you want to send emails that you yourself would like to receive; just as is stated in the golden rule.  Here are a few other things to keep in mind to maximize your email marketing campaign without breaking the golden rule.   

The Five Deadly Sins of Email Marketing:

* Thou shalt not address genericallyWhen you receive a generic email, aren’t the chances of you deleting such a message higher than if the message addressed you by name?  Apply the golden rule to this situation and personalize the email message you’re about to send whenever possible.  What better way of establishing a friendship than to call your potential client by name?  There have been actual studies which prove that people respond more positively to being addressed by name—so directly address your recipient whenever possible.

* Thou shalt not be obscure– Are you more likely to read an email sent by the “Bill Gates” or one sent by “wldfkjasds”?  Personalization goes both ways; when the recipient of your email thinks of you as an individual wanting to communicate to another individual, the chance of them reading and “buying” your message is much higher than if the message were sent by an anonymous sender from yahoo or hotmail accounts or by a spam relay service.  Remember: business relationships ought to be built on trust—and it is easier to trust “Bill” than “wldfkjasds.” 

* Thou shalt not be “unnecessary”– In order to build a strong rapport with your customer, appeal to their needs then provide a way of meeting that need.  Why send an email about mutual funds to college students that are looking for loans to borrow?  The message appears irrelevant and may be deleted quickly.  However, “needs” is a very subjective notion, and you can use your creativity to create such a “need” in the recipient of your email and turn them into a potential client.  How about a subject line such as “Turn Your Pizza Money into Solid Investments!”  Appeal to the college student by telling them how little they have to pay in order to begin a mutual fund account, and how it will pay off in the long run.  Just think, skipping out on pizza once a week will turn into a million dollars in the future—wouldn’t you think twice about a message like that?  In applying the golden rule creatively, you have just turned a seemingly irrelevant email message into a possible sale.

* Thou shalt not be technically inept­ Is anything less useful then sending an email message that cannot be read?  Is there anything more annoying then receiving such a message?  No one ever "intends" to send a message like that, but it often happens to email marketers who may be a bit technically inept.  Make sure that you’re up to par technically so that the messages you are sending are visually appealing as well as browser appropriate.  If you are sending out an email message in HTML format, make sure to test the messages in all of the possible browsers to make sure that the readers can view it properly.  If all else fails, use simple text messages.  Despite its lack of visual appeal, it's better that the email message gets across than for it to be a bunch of incomprehensible codes, right?   

* Thou shalt not harvest email addresses– Don’t you hate getting emails you didn’t sign up for?  Well, so do the recipients of the emails that you may be sending.  Not only is it difficult to target your audience when you are randomly “harvesting” emails, but your recipient may be put off by the fact that they’re receiving an email without their consent.  In order to be personal and relevant in the messages you’re sending, it is necessary for you to know to whom you’re sending the message.  Opt-in lists are often interest specific and may provide the demographics of the email recipients; they are a more professional option than email addresses obtained by random harvesting.

And Make Money Too?
After applying these concepts, your possibilities for what else to include in the email are endless.  How about the possibility of generating extra income with your email marketing campaign by using Pay-Per-Text to provide “useful” information for your email’s recipients?  If you were sending out an email marketing campaign targeting college students, you could, as an affiliate of 7Search.com, provide links to return lists that sells cheap textbooks or CDs which may also be of interest to your recipient.  Building a “friendship” with your email recipient will be enhanced by the various options you’re providing them. By filling the “need” you have created, you increase the possibilities of partnering with these prospects in the future. 

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