Loved reading this! Which of these would you recommend so that I could set myself reminders on certain clients so that I can follow up with them in the future? I feel like I am doing a lot of extra steps that I might not have to do if I was using an actual marketing software. I am in the very beginning stages of getting my business out there and I would like to follow up with potential clients down the road with an email… is this a possibility or should I just keep using my excel spreadsheet!?
Drip is the perfect solution for you if you’re an eCommerce merchant who wants to convert your visitors into subscribers and customers with intelligent marketing automation. Drip is more than just a typical email marketing service. It lets you have deeper conversations with your customers and send emails at the right time by understanding their purchase intent and behavior.
Now that you have your email software system in place (step 1) you’re ready for the next phase – the ethical bribe. The ethical bribe is simply something of value that you’ll exchange for the email addresses of the subscribers you want to attract. The ethical bribe is especially important now since people are becoming increasingly concerned about their online privacy. You’ll need a strong valuable freebie to get them to part with their email address.
2016 was a tremendous year for web-based services & software, including e-commerce and web-creation platforms. This is overall good for us, the consumers, as competition between these providers ensures a better product, lower price points and more versatility in the long run. Be sure to stick with known brands which offer low monthly payments and even free plans.
This is simplified, according to the IAB. Exchanges may try to unload unsold ("remnant") space at low prices through other exchanges. Some agencies maintain semi-permanent pre-cached bids with ad exchanges, and those may be examined before going out to additional demand side platforms for bids. The process for mobile advertising is different and may involve mobile carriers and handset software manufacturers.[46]
While this might seem surprising at first, think about your own online behavior: When you sign up for a website (like an online store), you have to enter your email address to create the account. You even need an email address to create a Facebook or Twitter account. What’s more, Facebook and Twitter email to notify users of activity, like when someone is tagged in a photo.
The first widely publicized example of online advertising was conducted via electronic mail. On 3 May 1978, a marketer from DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation), Gary Thuerk, sent an email to most of the ARPANET's American west coast users, advertising an open house for a new model of a DEC computer.[5][10] Despite the prevailing acceptable use policies, electronic mail marketing rapidly expanded[11] and eventually became known as "spam."
However, with only a few simple templates and styles to choose from, the underwhelming visual impact of emails sent through ConvertKit make it a decidedly “function over form” option—that is, the back-end management and analytics that ConvertKit offers far outshines the experience of the end audience. So if sending beautiful or graphic-heavy emails is your highest priority, you should probably look elsewhere.
A number of startups have focused on mobile-first efforts, the most notable is likely Haiku Deck, that launched their mobile app in 2010. While offering simpler interface, it’s still harder and more time consuming to use the app on the iPad, which means that naturally people will prefer to continue working on their computers whenever they have the chance. 
Furthermore, advertisers may encounter legal problems if legally required information doesn't actually display to users, even if that failure is due to technological heterogeneity.[86]:i In the United States, the FTC has released a set of guidelines indicating that it's the advertisers' responsibility to ensure the ads display any required disclosures or disclaimers, irrespective of the users' technology.[86]:4–8
If you want to take advantage of the opportunities that small business email marketing can provide, you’ll need to focus on the strategies and tactics that are proven to drive sales. Below, we’ll dive into a few different aspects of small business email marketing and provide helpful tips along the way for strategy, implementation, and optimization.
Promote up-sells/cross-sells. You can even set up an autoresponder sequence for someone after they purchase and get repeat customers. Depending on the products you sell, you could offer an upsell, or cross-sell related products. For example, if someone buys a digital camera, you can offer to add a lens, a tripod, and other accessories to their order before it ships. Or, if you sell products that people buy frequently (like food or disposable items, like diapers), you can automatically send them offers for new items when you know they’re about due for another order.
John, Thank you for this comprehensive review of some of the most popular and well-used services. Over the last decade I have tried many and appreciate your perspective on each. I currently use GetResponse (as I’d not been as active and appreciate the price-value relationship for 1,000+ contacts. I know they’ve grown considerably and now offer many of the features of which you speak of other services you prefer. I would appreciate your updated 2018 review. THANK YOU!
In addition to satisfying legal requirements, email service providers (ESPs) began to help customers establish and manage their own email marketing campaigns. The service providers supply email templates and general best practices, as well as methods for handling subscriptions and cancellations automatically. Some ESPs will provide insight and assistance with deliverability issues for major email providers. They also provide statistics pertaining to the number of messages received and opened, and whether the recipients clicked on any links within the messages.

When I think about the brands I like best, like J. Crew, Spotify, and SoulCycle, I know I’m not a loyal brand advocate because of their products alone. I can get cheaper clothes, music, and groceries from plenty of other places. Ultimately, I’m a brand advocate because I believe in what they promote and I feel invested in their stories, like SoulCycle’s: “We aspire to inspire. We inhale intention and exhale expectation.” I relate to their brand messaging.
Focus on regular communication with content that’s interesting and relevant to your audience. Are you a real estate agent? You can discuss topics like DIY home projects, how to landscape on a budget or even financial tips on down payments. Make sure your contact information is easily accessible so that anyone who feels compelled to reach out can do so quickly.
It’s a mistake to try and send emails without using a vendor. Many people think that they can use outlook or Gmail to send bulk emails but this is far from recommended. As explained above there are many risks involved and it’s better to use a pro service that will protect you from making mistakes. Most email marketing companies have free packages for small businesses so cost is not an issue.
One of the greatest advantages of email marketing is that it allows marketers to send targeted messages. Print, radio and television ads are broadcast indiscriminately and frequently reach consumers who have no interest in the product offered. But email marketing allows companies to tailor certain ads to certain customers. If a customer has shopped for a brand of shoes in the past, companies can email them coupons for that same brand knowing that they have already expressed an interest.
So how do you build this list of “cold” contacts? If you’re a B2C business and your product is less than $50, you’re probably better off just using one of the other strategies on this list. If you’re a B2B business, this process is 10x easier because the average value of acquiring 1 client is substantially higher. To compile a target list of B2B contacts, start by Googling with specific search terms that will lead you to the websites of your target audience. For example, if you’re targeting US-based dentists, understand that you’re targeting a local business market and start by listing your top ten target cities. Then, match up the searches you make with each location. For instance:
The best email copywriting starts with the subject line, which has to make new subscribers want to open your email. Follow that with an appealing headline so they’ll keep reading. Constant Contact’s research suggests that email copy should be short, around 200 words. It’s also wise to avoid being promotional in all your emails. Instead, offer value to your subscribers. The most important part is the call to action which helps improve your email open rate by leading recipients from the email to your landing pages or blog post.
Lead Pages is probably one of the best investments I made in the last month. I can’t say enough about how useful their lead generation software is for quickly creating landing pages that are designed to convert. Particularly, their LeadBoxes feature I’ve found to be the most useful. A LeadBox allows you to turn an image or some text into a link that shows a pop-up optin box when clicked. Why is it useful to show a pop-up optin form instead of embedding it directly on the page? Good question. The reason this is useful is because showing offers that lead to a popup or landing page are perceived as GIVING value rather than a form, which is perceived as TAKING value. From testing, the LeadPages team found that this could raise the conversion rate by about 39%. Ryan Deis, co-founder of SurvivalLife.com (a $1 million+ per month blog) found this to be true as well. Another part of the “magic” behind Lead Pages that few people realize is the fact that, if I opt-in on website A (which has Lead Pages installed) and I go and visit website B (which also have LeadPages installed), when I click a link and see a LeadBox, my email will already be filled in. This is because Lead Boxes cookies each visitor of each website visited, so when you see another landing page or pop-up, they know “hey, ok, this person is [email protected]” As a result, people have to “work” less and conversion rates are pushed even higher.
Ok this one I have to give credit to my man, Noah Kagan, for coming up with it. It’s one of those intuitive ideas that you might have kind of known in the back of your head, but as soon as you hear it you’re like, “Wow, that makes perfect sense.” Here’s the jist of the “Scale the Peaks” strategy (and a reader warning, it’s heavy stuff so try to stay focused for the next few lines):
On the downside, though, the templates, fonts, and design functions within GetResponse leave much to be desired, with many users complaining in particular about the hard-to-use image editor. If you choose this email marketing platform for your small business, plan to keep the design simple and stick to high-impact copy—or use a tool like Canva to create and size your images before importing to the app.

Did you ever even think of cold calling as a way to grow your email list? I bet you didn’t. By as Trent Dyrsmid revealed to Andrew during his Mixergy interview, offering a free report over the phone instead of just on a webpage is extremely effective. In fact, he built his business on it. Here’s an excerpt of the transcript, read it from start to finish to get the full benefit:


Be sure to look at the tech support offered by each of these companies, as we felt many weren't as available as we would have liked. You'll find that some offer 24/7 phone support, live chat, and email help, while others leave you to rely on online documentation and limited live support hours. The best services offer a combination of self-serve help resources—where you can search FAQs and articles to find your own answers—as well as live support via chat or phone when you can't solve an issue yourself. We cover all of these concerns in our reviews, plus you can get an overview in the feature chart above.

Where they can improve: The automation editor lacks a workflow view, so isn’t the most intuitive to use. List management isn’t the best, either – it doesn’t remove duplicates and lists are kept isolated from another. It also has one of the strictest acceptable use policies, and isn’t ideal if your business deals with affiliate marketing, healthcare products, real estate or novelty products. And it’s certainly not the cheapest provider out there – surprising, given its popularity (which just goes to show the power of great marketing!). Note – we’ve noticed that emails from MailChimp tend to go to Gmail’s Promotions folder.
If rounds of split testing, segmentation, and resends still result in low engagement scores for some of your subscribers then don’t be afraid to clean your list. Review subscriber data regularly to monitor activity and engagement ratings. Remove or further segment those who aren’t engaging in order to improve the overall open rates of your primary subscriber segments.
You have probably heard about the Wix web builder, when the company advertised their product during the 2015 SuperBowl games. As a publilcy traded company and market leaders, they aggressively advertise their product, neglecting the fact the the main product is free of charge. If the name Weebly rings a bell, it could be the fact that Tim Ferris, publisher of several best selling books and a top tier consultant recommends it with passion, stating it is one of the top website builders available, helping him build a fully functional web site in less than 2 hours. The rest are widely known as well, may it be for Ecommerce uses, or being a leading internet services company like Web, which is publicly traded at the NASDAQ stock exchange.
So how do you build this list of “cold” contacts? If you’re a B2C business and your product is less than $50, you’re probably better off just using one of the other strategies on this list. If you’re a B2B business, this process is 10x easier because the average value of acquiring 1 client is substantially higher. To compile a target list of B2B contacts, start by Googling with specific search terms that will lead you to the websites of your target audience. For example, if you’re targeting US-based dentists, understand that you’re targeting a local business market and start by listing your top ten target cities. Then, match up the searches you make with each location. For instance:
Knowing what works is great. You can continue building on previous success. Equally as important is to recognize where you can improve. While it’s easier (and more fun) to focus on the positive, acknowledging where you can make adjustments will improve your products and services. With email marketing software, it becomes easy to gather such data by tracking conversion and click-through rates.
2016 was a tremendous year for web-based services & software, including e-commerce and web-creation platforms. This is overall good for us, the consumers, as competition between these providers ensures a better product, lower price points and more versatility in the long run. Be sure to stick with known brands which offer low monthly payments and even free plans.
*iContact – iContact's email marketing platform offers a variety of features, including responsive email templates, landing pages, workflow automation, social posting and monitoring, lead scoring, and intuitive reporting. The software is designed to serve the needs of high-volume senders, professional marketers and businesses new to email. icontact.com. Read our full review. 
I already mentioned that you should use social media to grow your email list, but you should also use your newsletters as a way to grow your social media profiles as well. The simplest and most effective way is to add the social media buttons in your newsletter so that your subscribers can share the content but also connect with you in the various social networks.
I already mentioned that you should use social media to grow your email list, but you should also use your newsletters as a way to grow your social media profiles as well. The simplest and most effective way is to add the social media buttons in your newsletter so that your subscribers can share the content but also connect with you in the various social networks.

Omnisend is an email service that helps online store owners take their email campaigns to the next level. Aside from a long list of clever ecommerce automations like abandoned cart campaigns and product recommendation emails, Omnisend also offers unique features such as online scratch cards, gift boxes, and ‘wheel of fortune’ incentives. A/B testing and website tracking are included, too.
SparkPost – SparkPost is a cloud-based email delivery service built on the Amazon Web Services platform. SparkPost's cloud API allows you to send transactional emails quickly. Developers at businesses of all sizes can send up to 100,000 emails a month for free and scale as the business grows and email programs become more sophisticated. sparkpost.com

The “Cons” are in the Privacy Policies, at least this is true for Constant Contact and Mailchimp. Constant Contact was bought out by Endurance International Group (EIG), an unscrupulous acquisitions company who has purchased ~74 web companies over a decade or so. Before EIG, Constant Contact was the most trusted brand in the business. Today, all you have to do is take a look at their Privacy Policy, if that’s what you want to call it – I have another name for it and Privacy was not one of them. See the sections on “Security and Privacy” and “Sharing of Information” as I said – towards the very bottom of https://www.constantcontact.com/legal/privacy-statement. Mailchimp’s Privacy Policy has similar wording, the sharing of your account information with their affiliates. However, Mailchimp’s Affiliate network pales in comparison and quite frankly, so does their contacts database.

We’ll warn you right now that as you’re evaluating different email platforms, you’ll likely be tempted to focus a lot of your attention on which platform has the prettiest email templates. This is understandable. But unless you have an e-commerce company and are selling a physical product online, the truth is that the visual aesthetics of your emails are not the most important factor.
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