Email Marketing: Best Practices
Email marketing is most effective when the recipients are interested in the information being sent to them and actually receive the email in their inbox rather than their spam folder. In order to insure that your emails do not go to spam you will need to perform a series of tasks related to your DNS and validation of your IP and domain.
If you plan on using email marketing and growing your list of subscribers you should either invest in your own properly configured dedicated mail server or use a service that sends emails from a server that they maintain for you.
Companies providing this type of service have strict rules against using the service for spam and will monitor mailing activities and recipient response. You can be blocked from using the service if you receive too many reports of spam. The best practice is to have your subscribers opt into the service using an email marketing service.
The added benefit of using an email marketing service it that they provide you with many tools to create, categorize and manage your email campaigns. You can access statistics and compare the effectiveness of campaigns.
If you are just experimenting with a small number of email recipients then you can certainly use tools such as gmail and google apps to manage your campaigns though often it will take a bit more time.
Email Marketing Tip: Remember to put your email list recipients into the BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) field and not the CC field, that is if you don't want to send someone your email AND you entire emailing list. Keep your peeps safe from spam.
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