Getting Started in Email Marketing: First Steps – By Kacy Manning

by Colleen on October 27, 2010

Taking the leap into email marketing can seem daunting to a beginner, but here are some basic steps to help you break into this time-tested marketing medium to drive results and revenue.

Step One – Build Your List. Building your list starts with creating a website or blog on a topic that interests you. Offer site visitors a weekly newsletter, industry white paper, or other information that you will send them if they opt-in to receive emails from you. If you want to create a double opt-in list, send a welcome email requiring recipients to confirm their interest by clicking on a link in the message. These lists are typically more responsive then single opt-in lists. Make sure the privacy policy and terms and conditions on your website clearly state that you will be sending subscribers email communications which may include third party offers. This lets you include affiliate marketing offers in your emails.

Step Two – Select an Email Hosting Service. Most email hosting companies charge on a per-email sent basis with price breaks for sending larger quantities of emails. You may want to test a few providers to select the one that provides the best deliverability (the percentage of emails sent that reach the recipient’s inbox). You can test deliverability by creating email accounts with all of the major ISPs, sending an email through a hosting service to each address to see if the message lands in the inbox or junk folder of each account.

Step Three – Learn the Rules. Familiarize yourself with the CAN-SPAM Act, a law outlining the rules for sending commercial email messages to U.S. residents. Getting up to speed on the law will be a key to your long-term success. A CAN-SPAM violation can cost thousands of dollars per email sent, so it’s important that every message is compliant. You can find information on the CAN-SPAM Act at the Federal Trade Commission website (

Step Four – Creating your First Email. Make sure your email contains information that will be of interest to your recipients. Your subject line should be short, clear and relevant to the content inside the body of the email. You should also construct HTML and text versions of your email. Some ISPs may block images embedded in the HTML version, so it is helpful to the recipient to see text explaining what the email contains.

Step Five – Tracking. Most hosting services provide detailed reporting that contains information on the number of emails delivered, emails opened and links clicked. If you are sending out affiliate marketing offers, make sure the tracking is set up correctly to track every lead or sale you generate for the advertiser. Monitor all of this information on every email you send.

While there are many factors in creating successful email campaigns, these initial steps can help get you on the road to developing a successful email marketing program.

Kacy Manning is the Supervisor of DataOverdrive, a division of Media Breakaway, LLC.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

affiliatesea October 27, 2010 at 11:35 am

I cannot understand this email marketing even after reading 100’s of articles on this topic.It looks very simple on paper,but its not so easy.

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