Cost-effective, and just plain effective, email communications are quite possibly the one sure thing to cling to in the current downturn. So, are you treating them—and your subscribers—right? In a post at ClickZ, Stefan Pollard says there's no time like the present to improve your email marketing programs. He offers 10 New Year's Resolutions that are sure to help generate better results for 2009. Here are a few:

I will listen to feedback. "Monitor replies to inboxes," he says, "even those you tell readers not to email." Further, actively solicit input from subscribers by requesting comments and conducting surveys.

I will work to send great content. Create polished email messages with impeccable spelling and grammar, and functional images and links. "Content filters are not your key challenge," he notes. "It is what readers think of your content and how they act on it."

I will be more careful about whose email efforts I emulate. Just because a respected company does something a certain way, that doesn't make it a no-brainer for your situation. "[Y]ou don't actually know if an initiative worked or if their goals match yours," says Pollard. "Honestly, most of them aren't doing great email, either."

I will trash the word "blast." Remove the word "blast" from your vocabulary: it represents everything that a responsible email marketer wants to avoid, Pollard says.

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