Considering that most marketing involves some form of published media, it is almost (though not entirely) redundant to call 'content marketing' anything other than simply 'marketing'. There are, of course, other forms of marketing (in-person marketing, telephone-based marketing, word of mouth marketing, etc.) where the label is more useful for identifying the type of marketing. However, even these are usually merely presenting content that they are marketing as information in a way that is different from traditional print, radio, TV, film, email, or web media.
Ideally, email marketing should go hand-in-hand with social media. Adding social media "Like" or "Share" buttons to your marketing emails gives an additional way for customers to connect with your brand. Snippets of positive reviews from social media fans can be included in emails, and conversely, social media postings can be used to encourage fans to subscribe to your email newsletters.
I completely agree with everything you have said on this post. Many of email marketers fail to understand how important it is to have an opt-in email list. No business can grow without an email list of subscribers. The email list building list you have written seems to be effective. And you have managed to list all the noteworthy tools for building an email list of subscribers.
Hey Ben, thank you for all the information. I think web site builders in general are a great tool for novice computer users such as myself. I started my own website and it took me only a few hours to do so! I know I might sound childish, but this is unheard of for me. I used the Wix website builder software which was free of charge, and I am contemplating upgrading to the 2nd plan in order to remove the banner ads.
But as the cost of postage and printing has risen, the effectiveness of marketing through the mail has declined. Businesses now have to pay more while seeing smaller returns. This is exacerbated by the fact that new communication tools provide many of the same services that standard mail does. Although direct mail marketing has not disappeared by any means, it has been on the decline for years.
While we would prefer good news all the time, it’s important to know that not every email will be a smash success. And that’s okay. And totally normal! Because of that reality, take the same amount of time to look at emails that didn’t perform as well as you hoped. Make sure you have clear calls to action, your links are all working correctly, and the content is interesting.

You’re probably already investing time and resources into marketing to potential customers. But are you also thinking carefully about how you build relationships with vendors and partnering businesses? Email gives you the ability to maintain communication with all of your different audiences so that you can build the relationships you need to be successful.
I recently had my MailChimp account suspended. One of my sites is in the ‘make money online’ space. It’s a completely legitimate website, but apparently if your emails contain keywords they don’t like, they will suspend you. I would not recommend using them. Contacting support I just get form responses that are completely unhelpful. There’s no phone support- just account termination. Really bad experience. Luckily, this is a very new site- but imagine if you have thousands of emails and they just shut you down without ANY recourse.
Cobalt – Cobalt's web-based email marketing software allows you to send newsletters, product updates and sales promotions, among other things. It lets you import email addresses by industry, product line, type or any other category you choose. Cobalt's campaign-tracking tools show exactly who opened your emails and who clicked on the URL links in your message. gocobalt.com
ConvertKit – ConvertKit is email marketing software designed specifically for bloggers. The software combines simple sending with the automation and tagging features that professional bloggers need. While ConvertKit was built with bloggers in mind, that doesn't mean you must be a blogger in the traditional sense to use it. Its customers are also podcasters, service-based business owners, course creators and YouTubers, among others. convertkit.com
Brian , your every post is like a book, I always read your post and try to find a few questions to ask .. but to be honest your posts are that comprehensive that, I don’t find a question to ask because you left nothing unexplained ! I wonder how long you take to prepare a post like this, I probably would take a whole year ! 🙂 Good luck Brian. you are a magician of IM strategies.
That said, I think that a solid content strategy, effective promotion and a good understanding of your target audience and what kind of offers are likely to motivate them to share their contact info are absolutely essential to building and getting business value from your email list. Without those key components, the best tools in the world won’t get you very far.
GetResponse is another powerful email automation provider, offering triggered campaigns, automated segments, dynamic content, and tagging. But it also includes some very handy extra features, such as landing pages, CRM, and even webinars. It’s little wonder, then, that customers worldwide are signing up to GetResponse – they currently serve over 350,000 clients in 183 countries.
“"Blue Corona measures and tracks my website and all my advertising so I know exactly what is working and what needs to be re-evaluated.  They break down the data into actionable insights and clear takeaways. Before I hired them, I was getting 3 property management leads per month. Today, as a direct result of their SEO work and pay-per-click expertise, I receive over 25 leads per month and my cost per lead has actually gone down!" Rory Coakley founded Coakley Realty...”
Another type of marketing email that is important for your small business email marketing strategy is the email drip campaign. This is an automated email message that is sent to subscribers on a schedule. These emails can also be triggered when the subscriber takes a certain action, such as downloading an e-book or abandoning their cart after visiting your site.
Retention Science – Retention Science (ReSci) is a predictive marketing and personalization software that helps brands convert more customers through 1:1 multi-channel communication. Its machine learning platform uses AI to automate and deliver scalable and relevant marketing campaigns to create direct relationships with each individual customer. retentionscience.com
Hi. thank you for the great information. I currently have Mail Chimp and it is set up to sync between my WordPress site and Mail Chimp. the problem is it isn’t and new subscribers to my blog are not being updated onto the list on the Mail chimp end. I have tried several fixes and nothing is working. I am unsure what to do now after endless googling it may be time to quit Mail Chimp. Seems others are having this problem also.
As you can see from the example above, emails following the model contain a succinct headline that highlights the key message of the campaign, as well as supporting information and visuals to help convince readers about the benefits of clicking-through. The reader is then presented with a prominent call to action button that makes it crystal clear what to do next.
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.

To do this, you need to have a web analytics tool (like Google Analytics) installed on your site. If you do, and you’ve enabled our Google Analytics integration, then you’ll be able to see details of any visits to your website from your email campaigns, including how long they spent on your site, what pages they visited, what campaigns they’re coming from and more.


2) Foo Bar. Like a great, much cheaper version of the Hello Bar, it allows you to have a sticky promotional message bar at the top of your site as visitors scroll. Great for promoting your email list opt-in! Works well in tandem with a pop-up tool. It certainly gets plenty of clicks on my site – more than promo ads in the side bar! http://codecanyon.net/item/foobar-wordpress-notification-bars/411466
That said, I think that a solid content strategy, effective promotion and a good understanding of your target audience and what kind of offers are likely to motivate them to share their contact info are absolutely essential to building and getting business value from your email list. Without those key components, the best tools in the world won’t get you very far.
Probably one of the most advanced ways to build your email today is to create an app or WordPress plugin of some kind. In order to access it, users need to enter in an email address. This the ultimate “content upgrade” because instead of just being content it’s a tool that helps your target audience get closer to a key goal of their’s. How to do it:
Marketing technology on the web today is making it incredibly easy to driving high quality traffic into your website’s sales funnel–traffic that’s likely to convert. So much so that if you have an email list of at least 500 people, you can upload that list to Facebook and Facebook will automatically target people similar to the matches it finds on the network. This feature is called “Facebook Custom Audiences.” You can even target ads to people who have liked your competitors and have had certain buying interests recently. When it comes to finding targeted, similar audiences to help you build your email list, another option to consider is teaming up with other businesses or existing industry partners via Perfect Audience’s Connect feature. Using Connect, you can retarget the same people who have been to your marketing partners’ websites. This way, you’re not just retargeting people who have already visited your site.
Microsoft Connections — Microsoft Connections lets you send professional-looking marketing emails that showcase your brand and drive sales. Engage current customers with newsletters and announcements that remind them to make a visit. Easily set up incentives like refer-a-friend discounts to reward current customers for referrals so you can bring more business through the door. products.office.com/en-us/business/microsoft-connections/email-marketing-software
Setting up your account usually takes just a few clicks. In most cases, all you need to do is to enter your email address and choose a monthly plan. If you are not sure which is the right email marketing software for you, it is advisable you request a free trial. Some platforms offer free trials to all new users. Just be aware that they usually ask for your credit card details. This means that once the free trial period is over, you will be billed for the following month unless you cancel in due time.
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!?
Salesforce – Salesforce offers email marketing services with drag-and-drop content tools, real-time tracking, geographical reporting, A/B testing, automation, and the ability to easily scale campaigns up or down. Salesforce also offers Pardot, a B2B email marketing solution. salesforce.com/products/marketing-cloud/channels/email-marketing-solutions
The Daily Egg is a newsletter from Crazy Egg that is aimed at helping small businesses improve website design and optimization. Notice that there are no images or elaborate design work. However, this newsletter does provide a helpful digest of content that is important to its readers. By providing this important content, the company can work to demonstrate industry knowledge and establish itself as an industry leader. This goes a long way in influencing conversions.
Split testing, also referred to often as A/B testing, is one of the most effective ways to increase your conversions. A split test on your website means to run a randomized test with two or more design variations being shown to different visitors. The “winning” design variation is the one that get you more results (clicks, email optins, purchases). Split testing makes a lot of sense for websites with 10,000+ visitors per month, so for that reason you should question whether this is the right strategy (right now) to help you grow your email list. That being said, I have developed a concept called Micro A/B Testing which you might want to try out instead if your website is not yet ready for split tests. If / when your website is ready, here are 5 tools you can use to make split testing your landing pages or email optin forms / popups easy:

Historically, it has been difficult to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns because target markets cannot be adequately defined. Email marketing carries the benefit of allowing marketers to identify returns on investment and measure and improve efficiency.[citation needed] Email marketing allows marketers to see feedback from users in real time, and to monitor how effective their campaign is in achieving market penetration, revealing a communication channel's scope. At the same time, however, it also means that the more personal nature of certain advertising methods, such as television advertisements, cannot be captured.
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