There are many factors to consider when you are thinking about an email marketing campaign.
The first rule of email marketing is only email people who have opted in. The Spam and Privacy Act provide stringent legislation in Australia with regards to collecting and using personal data. The first question should be, have the intended recipients physically opted in to receive marketing information?
On the flip side, once the person has the email, unsubscribing should also be clear and simple. Not having an unsubscribe is actually illegal!
The subject line is without doubt one of the most important parts of your email. A subject line can mean the difference in delivery and being opened. The subject line has to be relevant to the recipient and the content. Some words get filtered by some email clients and can mean that your emails don't actually get into the intended mail boxes
Devices & Browsers
Is your email readable or viewable across all devices and browsers? According to a recent report, nearly a third of all emails [in the second half of 2011] were opened on a mobile device, depending on the recipient and content this figure could reach 50%.
There are a few key points to consider - Bear in mind the size of the screen and the method of navigation on smart devices... don't make the email too long (too much scrolling), don't have too many images (takes time to download), don't have too many columns (squashes the content into the screen) and finally don't have the links too close together (bear in mind some people have fat fingers!).
Lastly, offer a plain text version in case the full colour (HTML) version cannot be viewed by the email client or device.
The content has to be relevant to the recipient. Keep it short and sweet and to the point, provide links through to your webpages to read or view the full content. Remember they could be reading this on their smartphone.
Use social media links so your recipients can share the content with their friends and colleagues. This makes it very easy for your email recipients to spread the content in your email to the people in their networks, extending the reach of your email beyond the original list of recipients.
Use a recognised system
Use a proper email broadcast system, one that manages subscriptions, automatically offers a text version, allows you to test your email before you send and finally, provides full analysis and reports once sent.
Lastly, once sent, use the analysis and reports... what's working and what isn't working? A recent study reports that 69% of consumers who unsubscribe from an email list do so because they're receiving too many emails from the business!