With e-mail becoming an increasingly cost-effective and easy way to reach your customers, clients, and volunteers, it's also becoming more and more challenging to send out the message to the people who truly want to hear it and make sure they received your message.
Before you send e-mails from your newsletter, consider the following:
- 1) Make sure your domain name is registered with EmailReg.org: http://www.emailreg.org/index.cgi?p=about
This list contains a master list of e-mails sent from specific IP addresses (hosting machines) to make sure your e-mail is delivered.
- 2) Only allow people to opt-in to your e-mail newsletter.
A double opt-in is preferable, where the person adds their e-mail address to your list and also confirms that they are the owner of the e-mail address.
- 3) Invite your website users to review your newsletter policies.
Let potential subscribers know how often the newsletter will arrive. They can decide in advance if they want to sign up.
- 4) Display past versions of your newsletter.
If available, show what you've sent in the past. Potential subscribers want to see what kind of information they'll be receiving.
- 5) When someone opts-in, consider adding a referral category.
When you can identify how someone was added to your list, such as "Website Opt-in" or "RSVP'ed to X event" so you have background information on how and when any particular e-mail address was added to your list.
Also consider asking new e-newsletter subscribers to add your "from" address to their whitelist. It never hurts to confirm this with existing subscribers, too.
On any of the e-mail newsletters that you send, you'll want to do the following:
- 6) Make sure the header information and reply-to address are correct. You may use an e-mail account from your organization, such as firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
- 7) In the subject line, make sure it clearly states what you are sending. Many people use e-mail filters to sort their e-mail, and yours may be sorted correctly if it has a predictable subject.
- 8) Have an obvious opt-out link available on any e-newsletter sent from your organization.
- 9) If someone calls, e-mails, or writes you to opt-out — make sure you remove them immediately.
- 10) Identify your organization or company at the beginning of the newsletter, and consider putting an unsubscribe link at the top — this allows your recipients to confirm who you are and unsubscribe, rather than hitting "mark this message as spam".
All businesses must be in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act to reduce spam unsolicited e-mail. Review further information on how to be compliant here:
Monica S. Flores, web developer at , believes in the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profits. She creates effective, engaging websites for women-owned companies, green businesses, and progressive organizations: her focus is on organic, holistic, fair trade, and sustainable work, and she's committed to Drupal development. Follow her on Twitter as @monicadear.
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