1. Start with a good list. E-mail those who have given you permission to contact them.
2. Target individuals most likely to be interested. The more targeted, the more you can tailor your message to the audience.
3. Provide useful content. Doing so increases the chances that your audience will read future e-mails.
4. First impressions count. Make the subject line of your e-mail a benefit or an offer. The “from” address should be recognizable. Put your most important content at the top so that it shows in the preview pane.
5. Try two or three versions with different subject lines, offers, or text to see which draws the best results.
—Kathleen (“Kathy”) O’Neil ’92
O’Neil, of Wrightsville Beach, N.C., is president and founder of Washington Square Consulting, LLC (washingtonsquareconsulting.com/our_firm.html), a marketing firm serving established technology corporations as well as start-ups.