Email Campaigns – 5 easy points that can make your life easier" rel="attachment wp-att-492">Your campaign has been well planned, the email database cleaned and prepped for top-performance, the HTML creative is breathe-taking and the offer just can't be refused... The broadcast platform has been calibrated and re-checked, timing set-up and...nothing! The email is not received or mysteriously finds it's way into the Spam/Junk folders, the images are cropped / invisible / distorted and the text just isn't what you planned it to be? What abut the response rates? Sounds familiar?

Anyone that tried sending an email campaign had, at least once, experienced any one of these problems, probably a combination of them and, in the first attempt, most likely all of them. So, what causes this small yet tiresome interferences between you and your clients? Let's take a look at some of the mechanics governing the world of email marketing – a small check list that can lead to big changes:

1. Email clients & On-line accounts – your friend or foe?

Email clients like Outlook, Thunderbird, Evolution mail and Google, Yahoo, Hotmail are all extremely important when you plan your campaign. First off, the clients use one of them (or a combination) to view and evaluate your offer. If the creative artwork reaches them looking as you desired – that's great! If not, consider some of the following pointers:

- Outlook – great for business bad for email marketing! A favourite amongst business leaders it's a nightmare for marketers. It features a “re-vamped” HTML encoding engine stolen from Word meaning no CSS allowed! That's right, all those nice colors, text flourishes and eye-candy you spent hours in programming just won't cut it. No CSS, no nothing. Just use plain old HTML and you should be fairly safe your images won't be lost, text disfigured and borders erased.

- Thunderbird – great open sources email manager with a mind of it's own. Although it can handle any type of HTMLs, the font depository is a bit lacking so any fancy typography might result in the wrong font size or type.

- Google/Yahoo – good functionality, enough on-line storage...and Spam filters like Fort Knox. If your server has been blacklisted, has a lack of security certificates or any of the two companies Spam algorithms deems your emails as Spam, it's a one way trip down Junk alley.

2. Subject line – Choose your words carefully

Your subject line can be a maker or deal breaker when your emails are concerned. Spam being the major issue with today's email broadcasts and campaigns, it's extremely important how your phrase your subject line and what words you actually use. Remember that words like “free, give-away, seminar, order, conference, product, slip” etc. are often used by Spammers so the Junk filters automatically label any such email as Junk.

3. Content – Simple vs. Complex

You might be good with words, have a great selling point or just want to convey an important message – but remember the people you're talking to! With emails ever increasing in quantity (in 2012 it has risen by 25% compared to 2011) your audience doesn't have the time (nor will) to read through long emails. Keep it short and sweet, emphasize your strong points and it's more likely to see a potential Lead forming up from your campaign.

4. Added Value – Get your audience moving

The next step is to motivate your potential clients / leads / peers to subscribe to your newsletter, purchase a product or sign-up for a specific service. So don't forget that you have to give something in order to receive something back. By adding value to your offer, such as free eBook download, trial periods or free consultations, your audience will be more prone to engage with you, talk to you and, in the end, listen to what you're saying. Remember, making a sale is a dialogue and not monologue.

5. Timing – Are you ready to go?

Timing is everything – if your email reaches the right people at the wrong time it's the same as not sending it. Analyse your offer and think about the schedule of your target audience. For example, someone working a fast-paced job will use Monday morning to shuffle through his business emails and plan the week ahead of him in terms of projects, meetings, if your offer is a foot massage and it came in @ 9am, don't expect a great response. Or, if you're offering a business conference sign-up but send it in the evening, when your potential lead is relaxing, he/she will be more likely to ignore it. So, choose your timing carefully – and think about the time zones your audience is located in!