There are many tools out there that offer cost-effective solutions for managing e-mail campaigns. One that I recommend is iContact. I just got this great, simple list of tips from them.
5 Steps to a Successful Email Campaign
by Ryan Allis, CEO, iContact
Step One: Make full use of your permission-based email software package. iContact has a ton of advanced features for handling your campaigns. It makes it easy to create and send your newsletters. It will manage subscriptions and bounced messages for you. It automates a lot of the grunt work involved in an email marketing campaign.
Step Two: You’ll have to decide what type of campaign you want to run and how frequently you want to send your messages. I recommend sending at least a monthly newsletter. Of course, if you sell more than one product, it might be a good idea to send multiple messages. Just be sure to keep your broadcast times consistent. You may consider sending promotional messages offering a discount or coupon for your product.
Step Three: Add a sign-up form to your website. The sign-up form lets you collect a group of addresses for your sending lists. We’ve found that it’s generally safe to import anyone who did business with you in the last year or so. Just make sure to send content relevant to what they purchased. (Always provide value!)
Step Four: Create an effective email template. A lot of email software programs include HTML templates. IContact actually comes with over 300 professionally designed templates. You can also create one in-house or use a graphic-design service.
Step Five: Develop quality relevant content for your messages. I cannot speak highly enough of providing relevant content for your customers. We all find it refreshing when, instead of the typical spam messages, we get an email that actually enhances our lives. As your contact lists grow, you’ll notice increased traffic on the day of and the days following a message broadcast.