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Email Marketing Usability

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Jakob Nielsen’s latest Alertbox describes the process of subscribing and unsubscribing to email lists. I’ve written about this subject recently so I though it was worth a mention.

Savvy email marketers have known for some time that not only it is important to make it easy for your users to get on your mailing list, but it even more important to make it easy for readers to get off your list. Sending mail to people who don’t want it reduces the success rate for your marketing campaigns and the cick rate for your advertisers.

It’s also a good idea to test your messages, espiecially subscription list removal emails, in popular email clients. You wouldn’t build a Web site without testing in multiple browsers, so don’t build an email campaign without testing it in different email clients. Whether plain text or HTML, your message is going to look different to different mail readers.

It’s also important to test your email by running it through a variety of common spam filters. Create test email acounts with ISPs that use Brightmail and SpamAssassin and make sure your messages get through. Turn on all the spam filtering options in your test email clients and make sure that your message isn’t blocked. Send tests to Hotmail and Yahoo Mail accounts to see if the message is trapped by their spam filters. Run the message past client side filters like SpamFire and Spam Killer. If a customer tries to subscribe or unsubscribe and the confirmation is trapped by a spam filter, they’ll be left wondering if their action took hold.

The Alertbox also offers tips for imroving your newsletters, but experienced email marketers are not going to find any groundbreaking ideas here.

Read Email Newsletter Usability

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