Best Practices for Web Marketing Newsletters

E-mail represents an increasing percentage of online advertising spending. With this emphasis, e-mail companies have studied best practices to achieve a high CTR while complying with all the legal requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act.

Here are the best practices that you're legally obligated to follow:

  • Include your company's street address or P.O. box and phone number in your newsletter.

  • Include a link to unsubscribe or opt out with a single click.

  • Provide a link to your privacy policy. Don't share your lists with a third party unless you give notice to subscribers and obtain consent from them.

These best practices create a customer-friendly or high-quality newsletter:

  • As always, proofread everything, including the From and Subject lines, and test all links.

  • Send preview copies of both HTML and text copies to yourself and others.

  • Tell people how often the newsletter will arrive and when.

  • Provide a place for subscribers to indicate their name, areas of interest, job title, or type of newsletter they want, especially if you have more than one newsletter. For example, some readers might be interested in events or new products; others in sales or discounts.

  • Require only a few fields in this subscriber profile. A sign-up form that’s too long discourages subscribers.

  • Include a link that allows subscribers to change their profiles easily.

Best practices for marketing and growing your subscriber base appear in this list:

  • Send a welcome message to new subscribers. Include a coupon (or promotion code), if appropriate. Remember to update your online store with the promo code and its start and end dates.

  • Send your e-mail only to the people who have agreed to receive it. When feasible, use a double opt-in process.

  • Include a link to forward the e-mail newsletter to a subscriber's friend or colleague. Place it near the top of the newsletter, if you can.

  • Provide a direct link to the Subscribe page for people who've received a forwarded e-mail. This strategy is especially important as a call to action in a newsletter sent to a rented list of e-mail addresses (a rental list). One of the most important goals of sending a newsletter to a rental list is to acquire some of those names for your list.

  • Restate your privacy policy and the benefits of subscribing. Place this information immediately above the subscription form on your web page.

  • Post sample newsletters on your website. Potential subscribers can then preview them.

  • Include a link to subscribe to your newsletter. Place the link on all your social media pages.

  • Post excerpts from your newsletters on your social media pages. Then invite readers to share the newsletters with their friends.

  • Save testimonials that praise your newsletter. Get permission to post them on your subscription page.

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