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How To Plan Your E-zine Re-Send

Apr 18, 2008
You crafted a great e-zine campaign, with a compelling subject line, the perfect mix of html and text, dynamic supporting graphics. Your headline is persuasive, your offer is unbeatable, your product is top-notch...

And yet the sales aren't pouring in as you expected them to. Only a fraction of your readers actually opened your e-zine. Oh well, guess you'll need to try again next week with a new sales pitch, right?

Wrong!

Too many marketers are willing to accept inadequate open rates as "just the way it is". They assume that they sent their message once, and if it didn't get opened, it's time to move on to the next message.

But there is absolutely no law that says you can not re-send the same e-zine to your readers who didn't open it the first time. In fact, industry statistics have proven that multiple mailings have a positive effect on the campaign's overall open rate.

But before you just open your message and hit the send button, keep these tips in mind:

1. Segment your list so you're sure to only re-send to the email addresses that have not opened your first message. (It's important to point out that this is not a guaranteed tactic, since readers who viewed your message with images off will not be recorded as an open.)

2. Determine how long it takes to reach your average open rate. Remember, not everyone will open your e-zine on the day you send it. If your average open rate is 23% and it takes you three days to achieve that rate, consider sending the second version of the message on day 4.

3. Ensure the problem is with your open rate and not your delivery rate. Depending on how your recipient's email server is configured - and this is especially true of large corporate servers - the delivery failure may actually happen after the email has been accepted by the server. Your email statistics will show that the message was delivered when, it fact, it never actually reached its intended in-box. The best way to avid this issue is to thoroughly test your message before sending it. Run it through as many spam filters as you possible can and constantly monitor the blacklists and blocklists.

4. Change the subject line of your second send. One of the most effective ways to improve open rates to legitimate email addresses is to by using effective subject lines. Open rates also improve if your subject line is 35 characters or less. Opt for a subject line of 35 characters or less for maximum opens.

5. Consider sending the second message from a different email address. Several email clients, AOL included, do not display the From Name in the in-box. Your reader only sees your email address, and something like "do_not_reply[at]newsletters[dot]mycompany[dot]com" is not a very enticing invitation to open. Make the actual email address itself as inviting as possible, such as "YourBigSavings[at]mycompany[dot]com"

6. Send your second message at a different time than your first message was sent. If you sent your first e-zine at 7am Eastern Time, your West Coast readers were still sleeping. By the time they finally checked their email, your message was buried in their in-boxes. Likewise, if you have a large subscriber base in Europe, Asia or Australia, you'll need to adjust your sending times accordingly.

Remember, every subscriber base is different, so it's important that you monitor your re-send campaigns to ensure that your spam complaints do not increase. By setting up a feedback loop with the major providers who offer this service, you'll be able to keep your email reputation clean.

Time to implement: The time to implement this tactic will vary widely depending on which email service provider and metrics reporting system you use. If you're using a typical ESP with built in metrics, you can expect a re-send campaign to take approximately one and a half to two hours to implement, including list segmentation, crafting a new subject line, testing and sending.
About the Author
Karen Scharf offers several whitepapers, free reports and checklists, including her FREE Can-Spam checklist and FREE email pre-flight checklist to ensure your emails get delivered, get opened and get read. Download your copies at http://www.ModernImage.com.
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