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Email Marketing: Care and Maintenance (4 of 4)

Wow, we’ve covered a lot of distance over the last few months! Do you feel like you’re an email marketing expert by now? You understand why email marketing is still valuable, how to obey the rules, and how to get through roadblocks between you and your email subscribers. But, there’s one more thing you need to keep in mind.

Email Marketing: Care and Maintenance A classic car requires more than just hopping into the driver’s seat and going for a cruise. You need to change the oil, keep it clean, rotate the tires, check the brakes, and more. If you want the car to keep running as long as possible, you must take care of it and maintain it. Continue reading

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Email Marketing: Arrive At Your Destination (3 of 4)

There’s only one reason to get into a car and start it up…because you have somewhere to go. Similarly, there is only one reason to send an email…to get a message to an actual person.

In the first article of this series, Email Marketing: Classic or Clunker? I talked about the Email Marketing - Get Emails Deliveredbenefits of “driving a classic” like email marketing. In the second article, Email Marketing: Rules of the Road,  I gave you some email “driver training” so you’ll steer clear of accidents. Now it’s time for you to learn how to how to get your messages to their destination and find the best “parking spot.”

When you hit the “send” button in your email program, the email message travels through cyberspace and a series of filters before it lands in someone’s inbox. Sending doesn’t equal delivery. Getting a marketing email delivered to a real live person requires a partnership between you and your email service provider.

Your email marketing software provider (Constant Contact / Infusionsoft) is responsible for keeping their server reputation clean. They patrol the streets and take “bad drivers” (aka spammers) off the road. It’s the software provider’s job to get your emails through the reputation-based spam filters between you and your subscribers.

But those filters aren’t the only roadblocks. There’s another layer of filters. Some of them are integrated filters, provided by an email service company (like Gmail). Others, like SpamAssasin, are installed and controlled by the email service user (your subscriber). These filters look at email content more closely before delivering an email to someone’s inbox. You have complete control over what you say in email messages. Getting through the content filters is YOUR responsibility.

Here are some tips that will help you get more messages to their destination:

  • Don’t talk like a spammer.
    Don’t over use lingo commonly associated with SPAM emails. If you sprinkle too many “Act Nows,” “Free Offers” and “Risk Frees” throughout a message, you’ll sound like a spammer. If you really think about it, you know which words to avoid because they make you feel like an email is spam when you see them in a message you receive.
  • Don’t look like a spammer.
    I don’t know about you but most of the time I can spot SPAM at a glance, without even reading a message. Big red or blue headlines. An abundance of links. Way too many images. And lots of caps (ACT NOW!!). Emails formatted like this are designed to generate an impulsive, immediate response. It IS important to design attractive emails, using some images, links and font variations. But carefully review completed messages to make sure they don’t look like SPAM.
  • Don’t play the spammer games.
    Make sure you always send emails from a valid email address and don’t send a image-only emails. Some senders use images to mask their “spammy” lingo because email filters can’t read text in an image.

If you talk, look, or play like a spammer, your emails may get filtered completely or end up in junk mail folders. And, if you think about it, that might be exactly where they belong. If your email marketing software does not have a built-in way to analyze email content, then you might want to use a service like Litmus that will do this for you.

Getting email messages delivered is critical, but it’s only half the battle. Once an email is delivered it must compete with all of the other messages that arrived that day. Stay tuned for the last article in this series where I’ll talk about the care and maintenance of your email list.

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Dee Allomong of Property Management Newsletters and Let's Talk Property ManagementLearn more about Dee.
Let’s Talk Property Management
(A professional network for property managers and landlords.)

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Email Marketing: The Rules of the Road (2 of 4)

Do you remember when you got your driver’s license?

I do! I was 16 and I thought I knew everything. I couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel, squeal my tires, and hit the road. I was aware of speed limits and traffic laws. I knew there were penalties (if I got caught). But I have to admit that these “legalities” were not necessarily top of mind. I just wanted to GO!

In my last article, Email Marketing: Classic or Clunker? I told you that, in the 1990s, email marketing became the hot alternative to expensive advertising. Well, the email marketers of the time were like a new teenage driver – full of ambition and low on consideration. In fact, they inspired a new 4 letter word – SPAM. Businesses (legitimate and not) flooded people with messages they did not ask for and did not want. Continue reading

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