Email Marketing FAQ

Is it better to rent/ buy an email marketing list or to create it by myself?

It is absolutely better to create an email marketing list. There could be included the addresses without permission in rented or bought lists.

How many people would be enough for my subscriber list?

You can have an unlimited amount of people on your subscriber list. But a better way is to organize the list, to sub-divide it into different interest groups, so you can create highly targeted campaigns.

What should I do if a person belongs to multiple interest groups?

This is perfectly fine and happens all the time. You just have to be attentive and try to send only one mail to that person only receives one e-mail.

What if I don’t have an email marketing list or database?

One of the ways to collect email marketing addresses is to use opt-in tool on your website, so that your site visitors is able to sign up for your email marketing list. Once they’ve given you their address and do wish to hear from you, they can be added to your list. You can also add a sign-up box to your existing website so people can enroll online. Anyway, you should give the visitor a call to action, a reason to sign up for your offers. Consider point of sale subscriptions, whether online or offline. Link exchange can also be very valuable because its free, it’s easy and it drives traffic to your site.

Can I in any way get in trouble for spam?

The best way to resolve this trouble is to be very attentive to the email marketing list building, so that it would contain only legitimate opt-in clients. All you have to do is make sure all the people in your list have opted to receive email messages from you.

What happens if a person wants to be removed from my mailing list?

For such occasions you have to be ready to give this person the possibility to unsubscribe. Such option presupposes that you have to be ready to remove user’s email address from your database. It is very convenient to place the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any email they receive from you.

Do I have to organize a double opt-in procedure?

The double opt-in procedure is very important to ensure your mailing list is of the highest quality.

Can I create an attractive campaign without special knowledge of HTML?

Nowadays a lot of companies propose services of creating unique email marketing campaigns without knowing any HTML.

What happens if the subscriber can only view text (not HTML) e-mails?

You have to be prepared to organize email marketing campaign within both formats: an HTML and text-only version. Thus you will be sure the recipient gets your message. Such situation can arise in case if the recipient uses Outlook to read emails due to Microsoft has replaced Internet Explorer as the HTML rendering device with MS Word, which interprets and renders HTML code less effectively.

When it is better to ask for the address?

The best time to ask the customer to sign up for your program is those several empty seconds in every sales transaction. You should briefly explain the advantages of you program. After the bargain is finished the customer has no reason to stay longer on your site. So never wait until you have closed the cash-register drawer before asking for your customers address.

Why some images are blocked by ISPs?

Sometimes images could serve as doorways to many security problems. If the ISP disables images by default users have to change a setting to allow images to download automatically. In such cases you can make special instructions for users on how to activate downloading, try to cooperate with ISPs that offer automatic downloading to reputable senders, or simply redesign your templates so that they show the most important content despite image-blocking.

Is it good idea to use animation in my email?

The only way of using animation is inserting in your templates small animated GIF. All other applications (Flash or movie files) could be blocked by ISPs or your subscribers might not be able to render them due to use of handhelds, such as cell phones or PDAs.

What if I insert commercial information in transactional emails?

The primary purpose of such email must be providing the transactional information. You still have the possibility to use commercial content in it. But be sure that it doesn’t compile more than half of total content. Otherwise it tilts the balance from transactional to commercial, and CAN-SPAM rules would apply. In particular, you would need to add a working unsubscribe link and physical postal address, which is never a bad practice for any message, transactional or not.

What is the average CTR (click through rate) for email marketing?

The average CTR for permission based email marketing is 7.2%. But keep in mind that your CTR will entirely depend on your list generation, targeting, use of particular techniques, and your offer type.

What is the average open rate for email marketing?

The average open rate for permission based email marketing is 27.5%.

What are the tips to increase response to my email campaigns?

The message you send should be really important, interesting and should provoke subscriber’s desire to be signed-in for a long term. A correct targeting and emailing list segmentation is good to in increasing the overall response to your marketing campaigns. Think over attractive subject lines. Give all subscribers the possibility to view your emailing by creating HTML and only-text versions of it. Be aware of breaking the Anti-Spam regulation.

How soon can I expect results from my email marketing efforts?

Email marketing is a very timesaving tool in marketing that generates immediate results in just several hours.

What is the difference between email marketing and traditional direct mail marketing?

Email marketing is cheaper, faster; it has ability to target defined demographics and effective measuring performance results.

How do you get removed from blacklists?

This process is unique for every operator. The majority of black list operators do not seek to block legitimate permission based commercial email. All you need to prove is that your email messages are permission based.

How can I create messages for PDA readers?

The problem is that many mobile platforms don’t properly render HTML. So you have to make the message readable for such subscribers. The solution is to create a text-only version of your HTML newsletter.

Are PDF attaches good for email marketing?

You don’t have to do it you don’t want your message to be blocked. Emails with attachments are much more likely to get blocked at more ISPs because it is a potential virus threat.

Should I use ALT Tags in my emailing?

Alt tags really improve the situation and are very important, especially now that major desktop email clients such as Outlook and Web clients like Yahoo! Mail block images unless recipients specifically request to view them. But be sure you use a good ALT tag (it should contain two to 10 short words that either describe the image or specify the action you want the recipient to take).

The word ‘Free’ is very popular, should I use it in my emails?

The only case in which you should use the word “Free” is when you want to increase you message’s chances to be banned.

How to make the subject line content more attractive for recipient?

Personalizing the message is a good way to emphasize your message in the recipient’s Inbox. Also be attentive the “from” line lists your company, brand or newsletter name. That will catch your reader’s eye too. Also you can announce the offer right in the subject line. To keep recipient’s attention on your message make sure the offer’s key elements appear in the first 50 or 60 characters.

Are there any benchmarks for unsubscribe rates?

There are several investigations which say that an unsubscribe rate above 0.50 percent would likely suggest some significant problems with your email program

What is the best time to send an email newsletter?

The best way to determine it is to survey your subscribers via email as to what time of the day they would most like to receive emails and give them a half dozen time periods to choose from. You can also purpose your subscribers select the time period they’d like to receive emails when then subscribe.

Consider conducting a mini focus group by contacting a dozen of your subscribers and finding out what time they’d like to receive emails or try to segment your list by time zone criterion.

How do you get on a white list?

You can apply to be on the AOL whitelist if you comply with their requirements. Some ISPs have internal white lists, which you could inquire about through emailing. Another way of being white listed is partnering with companies like Habeas ( and BondedSender ( These companies do the compliance legwork, and provide “outsourced white lists” for other ISPs. Being certified at one or both of these organizations will automatically white list you across all ISPs that subscribe to their service.

How Do I Know If My Message Gets Messed Up?

You should test your message in enough email clients. You can either sign up with a third-party verification service that reviews your messages across a broad swath of clients and platforms, or you can do it yourself by creating accounts at some of the major email providers.

Is it better to use the same or different email reply address while sending multiple enewsletters?

Different reply-to addresses for each newsletter allows you to track replies and manage responses better, while a single address could be a problem if one newsletter generates more spam complaints and bounces than the others.

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