A well managed email campaign or monthly newsletter can drive traffic to your website and produce vital online or offline sales. Maximise the effectiveness of your next campaign with these five tips.

Choose a compelling subject – it could be the only message your target sees before deciding whether to open your email. A good rule of thumb is to use some of your website keywords – afterall, if you have done your research, those are the words that people are searching for. Try splitting your email target list in two and use different subject lines – you can then monitor how effective each subject has been.

Test, test and test again – your newsletter is your profile, it may be the only contact a prospect has with your company and it is vital you create the right impression.  An email that looks fine in Outlook 2007 may not look fine in Outlook 2003 – and could display differently in GMail, Hotmail or other webmail accounts. Send a test to different email accounts so you can see how your email looks before your final dispatch. You may also consider setting up a test email group who are primed to receive the first wave of a dispatch and warn you if they see any issues. Our number one tip: once you think everything is ready and tested, send one more test.

Timing is everything – think about the time you dispatch a news item or newsletter. If you send overnight for example, you will be competing with other morning emails and when your customer logs on in the morning your email may be a long way down the list. Similarly an email sent on a Friday may not have as much impact as that sent midweek. There is no right or wrong time to schedule a dispatch. It’s a case of knowing your audience, and there is no better way of doing this than experimenting with dispatch times and reviewing the results.

Analyse and improve – reporting tools available with most email services will show you vital information such as open rates, click throughs and much more for each email you send out. Careful analysis of this information will help you improve future email campaigns or newsletters. Will changing the subject result in an increased open rate; will a different call to action lead to more click throughs to your website – the answers are all in the reports.

Be ethical – make sure your email has an unsubscribe option and your email target list has “opted-in”, meaning the addressee has specifically requested the newsletter or marketing email you are dispatching.  If you are targeting a 3rd party list or using email addresses that are not “permission-based” then we recommend you think before pressing that dispatch button.

Refractiv MySiteAdmin has a news dispatch module, if you would like to discuss sending a newsletter or need further advice from our experts please contact us.