E-mail is an expected part of business life. And it can be very powerful - if used correctly.
Every time you send out an e-mail, it says something about you and your business.
So how often should you send e-mail? How can you send it easily? What can go wrong?
Why can't I use my normal e-mail program to send out my newsletter?
Normal e-mail programs (Outlook or Outlook Express - indeed, most desktop e-mail programs) can cause problems if you send an e-mail to more than 15 to 20 people at the same time.
What happens is that the e-mails all go out together and it can cause your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or other server hosting and sending your e-mail to think you're spamming. This can very negatively influence the way your mail is delivered.
Your ISP or hosting provider can block your entire e-mail address as that of a spammer and worse, can list you as a spammer. This will result in none of your mail getting delivered. You won't know, they won't inform you and you can't do much about it.
The IP address of the domain the e-mail is linked to may also be blocked. This may also negatively affect your website and you may have trouble with any subscriptions for auto responders or other lists you may be offering on your website. All in all, not a situation to get into.
E-mail has become such a large part of our lives so quickly that many of us haven't really had time to consider the impact it's made on us and the way we communicate with each other.
The main thing we're aware of is that our inboxes are getting fuller each day. This means more to read and more e-mails to answer.
We used to be able to describe our work frustrations with little pictures of people buried under mountains of paperwork piled up on their desks. Now we need to draw people drowning in their PC's!
Pretending that e-mail is going to get less or go away won't help. It's definitely here to stay. To use it to communicate effectively with as many people as possible, e-mail, especially business e-mail, needs to follow certain guidelines.
A few more pointers to consider to make your business e-mail as polished and professional as possible. (Part 1 is here.)
Your English teacher was right
- Grammar & spelling may bring back bad memories from high school but they are still important. Bad grammar and spelling can quickly create the impression that the writer is sloppy, careless, lazy, doesn’t pay attention to detail (or doesn’t care about it) or a host of other negative ideas. Definitely not the image you want to portray when you’re doing business.
A question I often get asked when it comes to e-mail marketing is:
- What is the basic difference between an e-mail newsletter/ mass mailing system and an auto responder?
An e-mail newsletter / mass mailing program lets you send info - such as a newsletter, product update or educational info - at a certain time, like once a month. The info you send goes out to everyone on your list at once and they all get it at the same time. You create fresh content for each newsletter.