Best Practices

This section contains a knowledgebase of best practices and related articles in sales and marketing areas including bulk email list management, sign-up forms management, drip emails, email newsletter design, using HTML newsletter templates, lead generation, sales lead management, lead scoring, lead assignment, lead distribution, lead tracking, email template management, campaign design, permission marketing, spam prevention, customer segmentation, using micro sites, custom landing pages and personalized websites, proactive opt-in opt-out management, online survey design and analytics.

You may also check out the Lead Management Best Practices blog, Online Survey Research Practices blog and LeadPro247 Email Marketing blogmaintained by our lead management / email marketing / survey research professionals for more tips, tricks, best practices, guidelines, and how to guides on the respective subjects.

Please click on links below to learn more about the respective topic.

Why Email Marketing?
Email Marketing is cost effective (pennies when compared with traditional communications), fast (can be planned based on event triggers automatically) and interactive. While establishing customer friendly web sites, ecommerce shops and information portals are the first steps in the Internet based marketing, email marketing brings prospects and customers to the web resources. Providing right information at the right time needs email marketing. Email marketing can be used to send newsletters, product launches, promotions, invitations to seminars, trade shows and webinars (web based seminars), lead follow-up and fulfillment, industry updates and service upgrades. Learn More...

List Management Practices
Following efficient list management practices is the basic foundation of email based marketing. With the increasing regulatory compliance requirements (CAN-SPAM), it is very important to keep the marketing lists clean, accurate and updated. The lists are "living documents" as subscribers / prospects / customers can opt-out of your lists any time. Proper categorization of lists based on nature of contents would be very helpful in targeted marketing / segmentation of campaigns. Learn More...

Email Design Practices
As email users are getting more technology savvy and software and internet / email service providers are enforcing more stringent procedures while delivering emails, it is increasing getting difficult to deliver the email to the recipients. The email delivery rates keep fluctuating. Continuous improvement in email design and delivery management processes have become prerequisites of successful email marketing campaigns and communications. Learn More...

Regulatory Compliance (CAN-SPAM Law)
Can-Spam law was enacted in USA in 2003 in order to regulate the commercial bulk email messages. It is illegal to send commercial bulk email to email users without their explicit permission. Hence one can not buy or rent email address lists and blast emails with commercial messages. There are several other restrictions and requirements that need to be followed while sending email messages even with the users' permission. Similar or more stringent regulations are in force in other countries such as UK. Learn More...

Permission Marketing Concepts
Both the regulatory environment and technology developments have made "Permission base Marketing" as a prerequisite for email marketing. While the compliance requirements increase the costs, technology advances have helped the users and the service providers designate the emails as SPAM or junk. Even if the emails are delivered to the email boxes, the users many not open or read the same. Learn More...

HTML or Text Emails - Which is best?
As mentioned in the email design practices discussion, marketers have the option of sending the permission based emails either in HTML format or in pure text format. While the text formatted emails may have better delivery rates, the technology advancement in rich text (fonts, colors, images, etc.) can not be leveraged to get the attention of the users. However resorting to only HTML formatted emails also have problems, as still some percentage of users prefer text only emails and shut out HTML emails. Hence a combination of HTML and Text emails is the only option left to the marketers. Learn More...

Ideal Image Content in  HTML emails
HTML versus Text discussion leads to the subject regarding the contents of HTML formatted emails. Since HTML can include any number or combination of rich content features such as static images and flash images, it is essential to understand the advantages and disadvantages of using images in the email messages. Too many images may distract the users and result in invisible email contents due to the blocking of images by email providers (such as MSN Hotmail, Google, Yahoo, and AOL) and software such as Microsoft Outlook. Learn More...

Efficient Opt-Out mechanism
Since the CAN-SPAM regulations mandate opt-out mechanism in every commercial email and taking out the email address from the concerned list from future emails, an efficient opt-out (and opt-in) mechanism and proactive management process have to be built into the email marketing practices of every organization. Learn More...

How NOT to lose subscribers?
Since there is an easy mechanism for the subscribers to opt out of the email list, it is critical to understand their requirements and manage the campaigns accordingly. Target Marketing and Campaign Segmentation approaches help to provide the right messages to the right target audience. Establishing solid permission based marketing procedures and building trust with the subscribers will add enormous value to retain the subscribers. Learn More...

Email Marketing and Media Mix
Can email marketing alone can bring in the customers in today's world? Certainly not. Email Marketing has to be used as a complement to the other marketing and media mix. The major advantage of the email and interactive medium is the low cost. Learn More...

Personalization in Email Marketing
While it is is easy to send mass emails to thousands or even millions of subscribers, providing the right contents within these emails is not an easy task. To enhance the effectiveness of the email campaigns, the email messages can be customized for each subscriber. The custom content can be based on various parameters such as user demographics, user interactions and specific requirements. Hence personalization does not need to be adding a salutation or a name. Specific messages and offers (such as coupons, discounts, cross sell opportunities) could be leveraged to personalize the email message. Learn More...

Lead Scoring Methodologies
Many think of Lead Scoring as the process of assigning a number or a grade to a lead / prospective customer. Assigning a number or score (on a scale of 1 to 10 or 1 to 100 or A, B or C) will not help in converting the Lead to Sales. Score of Lead should be considered as a grade at a particular point in time and not a permanent number valid for ever. The score is not a constant but an ever changing number arrived at using several parameters.

The business rules for arriving at a lead score will change from business to business and time to time. Anagha Group provides custom services and custom enhancements to manage the Lead Scoring process on an ongoing basis. With the advent of internet, self service portals, email marketing and multi-channel customer support and sale support facilities, the leads have to be constantly tracked, assessed and scored to reflect the current status. Learn More...

Custom Web forms and Landing pages
While incorporating CAN-SPAM regulations related features (opt-ins, opt-outs, forward to friend or coworkers, etc.), customized web forms and landing pages can be leveraged to provide user focused information and establish / maintain brand awareness. LeadPro247 suite of services can be built around these custom forms and web pages based on your business requirements. Providing personalized, focused and relevant information on these pages help tremendously to retain the subscribers and grow the email lists. Learn More...

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO (or SEM) can be used effectively in coordination with email marketing. When web sites, microsites (hypersites) or custom landing pages are designed, it is essential to have the search engine optimization procedures in mind. Keywords, negative key words, links, and site contents are the key concepts in the SEO process. As the search engine results are getting crowded, if your web site links are not displayed in the first one or two pages, the sites will not be productive. Learn More...

Pay per Click (PPC) Advertising
While search engine optimization (SEO) is the basic requirement for any e-business or e-marketing platform, its paid service cousin Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising helps improve the visibility of web sites in the search engines such as Yahoo, Google, MSN and Ask.Com. Extensive key word analysis, planning and management efforts are required to get the best results and reduce the PPC cost. Number of impressions, number of clicks (click thru ratio - CTR), key word optimization, page ranks and budget management are the important concepts of pay per click advertising. Google Adwords, Microsoft Adcenter and Yahoo Search Marketing are the three leading PPC programs. Learn More...

Use CAPTCHA security mechanism in Signup Forms to avoid spam entries
We all know setting up sign-up forms on the web sites coupled with opt-in or double opt-in options is the best practice to obtain the email addresses of prospective customers or leads, the approach has its own disadvantages. Many people wonder how come they get so many junk / spam like entries in their subscriber lists and even doubt their ESPs (Email Service Providers) if their data has been compromised. The issue is because of the automated signup programs (also called as bots). CAPTCHA security mechanism could be used effectively to prevent such automated sign-ups. Learn More...

Effective Email Campaign design - Best practices checklist
While selecting a good feature rich but simple to use Email marketing solution and signing up for an email service provider (such as LeadPro247) is a relatively easy process, getting the best Return on Marketing Investment (ROI or ROMI) depends on the effectiveness of email campaigns executed. Email campaign design, list building, execution and tracking are the most important facets of e-marketing (or interactive internet marketing). Here is a checklist to get started with your e-campaigns. Learn More...

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