1. Get Permission
Without permission you not only risk losing customer goodwill but also could end up blacklisted by ISPs that refuse all mail coming from your domain. Permission is not difficult to get. Offer something of value (eg. a coupon or promise of special discounts, a whitepaper or informational newsletter) in exchange for the customer agreeing to receive your messages.
2. Work with a Clean, Targeted Database
Work with the cleanest permission-based list you can find that is targeted to your industry and your offering. Do some research to ensure they will reach your targeted demographic and the lists are maintained. For instance, Programbusiness.com allows its members to send broadcast emails to its database of some 50,000 targeted subscribers and members have the opportunity of selecting subsets of addresses categorized by insurance type such as commercial, health, life, and auto.
3. Let Readers Drive Design
A well-crafted newsletter should be more than just a summary of your resume or company history. Personalizing the contents and adopting an intriguing subject line can make a big difference. Many companies offer both plain and rich text email editions, giving customers the option of registering for the html edition on their Web sites. In those editions, design becomes especially important.
4. Have an Exit Strategy
People who gave you their email address did so because they wanted to hear from you. But that can change and often does. Always add a link to unsubscribe to the email. You should always let your customers know you are always their ally but not their headache when they open their mail box every day.
After all, email marketing is about what works best for your audience. Sometimes it’s necessary to break the rules and test to better engage your customers. It all starts from developing a thorough understanding about their demands and customizing the email contents toward that demand.