There are seven easy, simple, and basic ways that you can become a better email marketer today. None of these require massive data integrations, culture overhauls or other forms of paradigm shifting… Maximize Your Brand Recognition – The majority of email users will click the spam button if they do not immediately recognize the sending party, almost always before actually opening the message. You must consider the way your email is being seen by the reader in the preview window with images turned off. Besides making your from and subject lines clearly descriptive, pay particular attention to the snippet text: the first line of content that is previewed in Gmail and many other email clients. Increase Relevance via Segmentation – You should be constantly trying to improve your email marketing on an incremental basis. This does not equate to a complete overhaul of your campaigns, but a steady identification of fairly small subsets of your audience and the best ways to ameliorate your appeal to them. By linking their profiles or behavior to a specific approach that has greater relevance to them, you will gradually be increasing the overall effectiveness of your email marketing. Create Outstanding Content – There is much more to creating a great email campaign than just including a strong call to action. Do all your links work? Are the images used to their greatest impact? Is your content written to an eighth grade comprehension level? Is it meticulously free of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors? Have you used the proper forms of accept/except, affect/effect, assure/ensure, all the way down to your/you’re? Give Your Prospects Control – Your subscribers will be far more engaged with your brand if they receive the emails that suit their preferences. Your subscription process should provide valid choices presented in a manner that makes customization and personalization effortless. At the opt-in stage, explain to your customer clearly why you want to collect more than just basic information. If they know that you’ll be using their birthday to provide a special gift or discount, and their zip code to key into regional promotions, they’ll be more likely to happily comply. Listen to Feedback – Your prospects are clearly telling you what they like and what they hate, so why aren’t you paying attention? When your audience provides such valuable feedback, you should use every bit of it as the basis of developing a more refined and effective campaign. Your response policies should ensure that all of your possible inboxes are monitored and reviewed, even those that you instruct your readers to not reply to. Do everything possible to encourage bilateral conversation, from soliciting audience comments to sending surveys on specific topics. Review the Full Breadth of Metrics – Savvy email marketers are well aware that there is much more to metrics than the Holy Trinity of open, click-through, and ROI. Bounces, spam reports and unsubscribes are just as important. Each and every aspect of your processes, from opt-in to unsubscribe, must be optimized in order to enrich the customer experience as well as provide the critical data you need to make intelligent marketing decisions. Know When to Say Goodbye – Spare no effort to keep your list as clean as possible. If a recipient has not actually made the effort to unsubscribe, but they’ve gone dormant for a year or more, they are likely inactive beyond a prayer of reactivation. You are encouraging greater respect for your brand if you cut your losses - and their name from your list - than if you keep flogging your emails. Follow these seven common sense procedures and you will substantially benefit your entire marketing process, as well as your customers.