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By Andrea Rowland, GoDaddy

Get the most out of your email marketing campaigns by heeding email best practices

The statistics don’t lie: Email marketing continues to yield strong returns for small businesses.

  • It’s nearly 40 times more effective at garnering new customers than Facebook® and Twitter®.
  • More than 80 percent of online shoppers in the U.S. are at least “somewhat likely” to make additional purchases after receiving targeted emails based on their previous shopping behaviors and preferences.
  • Companies that send less than 100,000 emails per month see a 139-percent return on investment.

Undoubtedly, email done the right way can help businesses grow. And email done the wrong way can have the opposite effect. Nobody wants to find an unpleasant error message in their inbox, along the lines of “Recipient not found” or, worse yet, “This message has been rejected due to content judged to be spam by the Internet community.”

In technical terms, when a mail server can’t send or deliver an email, it generates a bounceback message that describes why delivery failed. Perhaps you misspelled an email address or forgot to add an “opt-out” option to your monthly e-newsletter. Whatever the case, your email was rejected and returned — and it’s now at least a time-consuming hassle and at most a ding to your email reputation.

One thing’s for sure: You do not want to be tagged as a spammer. You can avoid that ugly moniker by heeding a number of email best practices, including:

  1. Get consent. It’s vital that recipients have opted-in to receive your email marketing campaigns. Display a clearly worded notification to advise recipients what they’re consenting to.
  2. Make it easy to unsubscribe. Keep the process for unsubscribing to your emails simple (a la one-click unsubscribe links), and quickly follow up on unsubscribe requests. Don’t stress about some unsubscribes; it happens.
  3. Perform maintenance. Quickly address errors — such as timeouts or too many connections — to avoid looking like a bot pumping out spam. For example, a real person wouldn’t continue emailing an address that throws back a permanent delivery error. But a bot would.

Continue to cultivate a great reputation as an email marketer for your business by staying on top of the rules and regulations involved with using email. You might even ask your Internet provider and domain registrar how they identify and authenticate types of email communications; this will help you avoid those pesky bouncebacks. Overall, be genuine, respectful, professional, and follow the golden rule of email marketing: Treat your email recipients the way you’d want them to treat you.

About the Author:

A former small business owner and newspaper journalist, and a published nonfiction author, Andrea Rowland helps craft compelling communications for today’s go-getters through her work as a copy editor at GoDaddy. Connect with Andrea on Google+. The world’s largest domain name registrar and Web hosting provider, GoDaddy gives small business owners the tools to name their idea, build a beautiful online presence, attract customers and manage their business. To get more tips for your small business—including articles, videos and webinars—check out the GoDaddy Training Hub.