ü Build your list internally, even if it takes time, so the quality of your recipient list remains at a high level.
ü Keep an accurate audit of how your company received permission to contact the subscribers of the lists - some people forget they signed up to receive information.
ü Make membership to your list valuable by offering deals that non-members do not receive.
ü Make sure that your company's name (or product name) is clearly stated in the domain name, which appears in the "Sender" line of the email.
ü Use clearly stated words that describe what you want customers to respond to in both the "Subject" line and the body of your message.
ü Provide recipients with a clear way to contact you for more information, including a staffed telephone number or email address.
ü Plan mailings for specific, opportune times so subscribers are expecting your messages and are properly suited to respond.
ü Personalize headers with recipients' names, and tailor messages that are ideally suited for different target segments.
ü Choose software that is capable of performing as your lists grow, scans outgoing messages for viruses, and can measure the effectiveness of your campaign.
O Don't send messages to anyone who did not request to receive information.
O Don't purchase or rent lists of email addresses from brokers who are not reputable.
O Don't use exclamation points, capitalized letters or other blatant marketing techniques that are synonymous with spammers.
O Don't send irrelevant offers to members of your database - for example, if you run an online travel agency, do not send special airfares incentives that originate from airports that do not correspond with the zip codes members have provided.
O Don't overload recipients with too many messages - only offer truly special deals.
O Don't cram too many messages into a single email or send large attachments that may clog subscribers' inboxes.
O Don't neglect to test messages for formatting errors, especially when sending HTML messages or when contacting AOL users.
O Don't rely on your email program's spellchecker - have several colleagues proofread your message for spelling and grammatical errors.
O Don't sell or rent your email lists to other organizations unless you have been given specific permission to do so.
O Don't expect every campaign to be an immediate home run - crafting quality messages takes time and requires feedback.
The full text of this award-winning article, "Successful Email Marketing Practices", can be viewed and downloaded at http://www.lsoft.com/resources/wp-email-marketing.pdf.