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Many retailers and web site owners struggle with creating and sending newsletters on a regular basis.  I know I do.  My monthly newsletters about CommerceCM go out a few days before the end of the month when the panic sets it.  That hasn't changed since highschool. 

Recent numbers from the Retail Email Blog though tell me that I have a loooong way to go before I am keeping up with the eMail Jones's.  Top eMail marketers are sending their customers almost 3 emails a week.  Wow!

I am not saying that this is always a good thing.  You want to make sure that you do not exhaust your subscribers and have them unsubscribing in droves.  Do you really have that much to promote?  Do I care? 

A few tips to make eMail marketing easier for you and more engaging for your customer:

1) Keep it short: They don't need or want editorial from the place they buy their handbags no matter how witty you (think you) are. 

2) Highlight the benefit: Your shoppers want to know what is in it for them and that basically means sale pricing, or the opportunity to be the first to own the next hot new thing.

3) Portion Control: This is similar to #1, but if you want to send regular newsletters, you need to serve up your sales and new product in bite sized chunks.  Don't say "30% off all handbags", plan a series of emails that highlights different brands or styles.  It is the same 30% off sale, but it allows you to have different subject lines, photos and calls to action that will resonante with different shoppers. 

4) Call to Action: Make it big and bold. "Buy now!" 

5) Sense of Urgency:  If they don't have a good reason to go RIGHT NOW they will forget about it: "limited time" "Quantities limited, shop now for best selection"  This is the key to the success of the daily deal sites and Costco for that matter.  Buy it now before it is gone.

6) Plan: Think of yourself as a publisher and plan an editorial calendar.  Start small and think about one email a month.  Once you get in the routine, move to one email every other week.  Once you have a bit of a calendar laid out, it is easy to think about promotions and offers (benefits!) that are worth emailing about.

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