Whether it’s weekly, monthly or on an as-needed basis, more clubs and resorts are looking for ways to successfully use e-mail marketing to their members (and potential members), vs. being dismissed as junk. Here are some ways to not only make it safely into an inbox, but actually get read once you do:
1. Adhere to the rules of the 2003 CAN-SPAM law. Specifically, make sure you have an “opt-out” line (“If you no longer wish to receive e-mails from us, click here”). For more information on what the law allows, visit www.ftc.gov/spam.
2. Avoid Flash (animated) elements. Animation is a red flag to many e-mail servers that you are less than what you seem. A better choice is to send out both HTML and text versions of your e-mail, so it can be read on a BlackBerry or similar device.
3. Track your results. Experts agree that it may take up to three e-mails to build brand awareness and recognition.
4. Try to send consistently. If you are sending a weekly e-mail at 9 a.m. Monday morning, try to stay on schedule. Not only is it a hallmark of a responsible e-marketer (spammers don’t care when they hit the “send” button), but you’ll find that recipients will come to expect their weekly dose of news from you. For the record, studies show that the best-read e-mail day is Tuesday, with Mondays and Fridays ranking low, especially for business-to-business communication.
5. Link back to your site as often as possible. To keep a cohesive brand message, make sure readers see at least one link to your home page in the e-mail. It can be as simple as “Click here to see the week’s events,” or as sophisticated as a special section of “What’s new on our site.”