Just a few email marketing tips for you all ...
Let me just 1st quickly fix 2 misused terms ...
AutoResponder ... This is just ONE portion of what ALL AR Companies do. The correct term is ESP, which stands for: Email Service Provider.
Broadcast ... Technically NOT wrong, but, just not the preferred word in the industry. Most prefer to use: Campaign.
Now, on to the rest of this LONG message ...
Let me first state this clearly ... Regardless of what all the headline and spotlight hunters say ... EMAIL MARKETING IS NOT DEAD!
Email marketing STILL provides the highest ROI of ANY advertising medium on the Internet today!
Email Marketing IS changing though!
This started back in 2010 already, but, it's getting more and more focus, and there is ONE word to describe what's happening, and if you choose to ignore this one word, you WILL run into trouble soon.
That ONE word is: ENGAGEMENT
It's also not just about getting people to open your email anymore. Tier 1 ISP's like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Outlook, AOL and Comcast now track MUCH more than just the opens.
They track stuff like how long it's open for, how many links have been clicked in your last X number of emails, etc, etc.
When your ENGAGEMENT goes down, so does your ability to Inbox. This is REGARDLESS of how well your ESP's IP and domain reputation is!
Here are a few tips to drastically HELP with your Inboxing and engagement, REGARDLESS of what ESP you use!
1. ALWAYS ask your subscriber to whitelist your FROM email address AND add it to their address book. NOT just on your thankyou page, BUT, in EVERY email! Even Google directly recommends this here: Legitimate mail is marked as spam - Gmail Help
2. Regardless of what the so called guru's tell you, NEVER EVER use a free email account like Gmail, Yahoo, whatever as your FROM address! This actually counts NEGATIVELY against you, even if it's on the same service. The general consensus is that using a from address of Gmail, when sending TO Gmail will do better. NOT!!! Use your OWN domain as the FROM address, and make sure the FROM address DOES exist and can receive email.
3. ALWAYS use the SAME from address for the same list!
4. Regardless of weather your ESP allows single opt-in or not, ALWAYS use double opt-in ... Yes, yes, I know, you will get a LOT less subscribers than with single opt-in. BUT, what MOST people don't realize is that it is about QUALITY and NEVER about size when it comes to email marketing! With big anti spam organizations using more and more spam traps, it's virtually impossible to NOT get a spam trap on a single opt-in list! Spam traps DON'T confirm, and thus will never affect your deliverability! Spam traps WILL cause you to not only go to spam, but, if you have a few, WILL get your account canceled by any reputable ESP!
5. Create a schedule and STICK to it! If you send 3 days per week, don't deviate unless you REALLY have to, and when you do, tell your subscribers it's a deviation, and why you're deviating! You're basically training your subscribers to expect an email from you on a certain day.
6. Send ONLY RELAVENT emails. If your subscriber signed up for a fitness newsletter, DON'T send them ANYTHING but directly fitness related emails.
7. A VERY disturbing trend among especially Internet Marketers lately is to use deceiving subject lines. Something like: Your PayPal commission paid. Not only will these deceptive subject lines get your account canceled at your ESP, but, they don't work. As soon as your subscriber realizes you lied to them, they mark you as spam. Not to mention that it is ILLEGAL! DON'T DO IT!
8. Don't share, buy, lease or rent lists! If you did not build the list yourself, you DO NOT have a relationship with them, and they WILL cause you ENDLESS troubles! Build it yourself through things like solo adds, giveaways, etc. Use proper, LEGITIMATE list building practices.
9. IF you use co-reg, and your ESP allows it, make SURE to IMMEDIATELY send a welcome email, explaining why and how they were added to your list. DO NOT sell to them in the first few messages!
10. Build a genuine relationship! Make your from address one that you can read, and when people respond to your email, respond back if it's appropriate! You WILL get swearing and abusing. Just ignore those, remove them from your list, and move on. You'll be happier! ;-)
11. I'll leave you with this one last, semi sexual reference ... "It's not the size of the wave. It's the motion of the ocean." In the context of email marketing, not the gutter part where most of your minds went, this basically says this: It's not how big your list is, but, rather how you use that list, AND, how responsive that list is! I have seen 5K lists out perform 100K lists!
I can actually go on for MANY more pages on how to do email marketing correctly, but, this would become such a long post, it will actually be useless as no-one will read it because of it's length.
Hope you find something useful in there that you can use right now!