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Sign-Up Strategies

Obviously, it's critical for the recipients of such rich messages to truly opt-in to receive them. Companies need to build their own lists and adhere to a very strict opt-in program.

To avoid crossing the line into spam, make sure that your interactive e-mail direct marketing efforts adhere to the following netiquette-sensitive tenets:

  • To create your own opt-in list, first post a form on your Web site asking users to check a box authorizing you to send them e-mail or opt out altogether. Although preselected opt-out lists usually produce higher sign-up rates, it's safer to omit any preselected response because many users simply ignore the prechecked box on the form. Opt-in lists are more effective because those visitors have actively chosen to receive e-mail from you.

  • Add specific demographic questions on your form to further hone your e-mail messages, as well as a privacy statement to commit to users that you won't disclose their information.

  • Target your pitches to your existing client base or to an opt-in list of readers who have requested information about your product or service.

  • Keep your message—or movie—short and to the point. Include a call to action.

  • Use a punchy, meaningful subject heading that succinctly describes your offering.

  • Include instructions on how recipients can be removed from your list.

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