The first step is to collect a comprehensive list of email addresses. The only significant disadvantage of email marketing is that many countries have laws against sending spam. Companies that send out unsolicited emails can face significant fines. It is crucial to only send emails to customers who want to receive them. It is important to make the process easy for customers to sign up for email updates (See also Permission Marketing). They can also offer incentives like one time coupons to encourage higher subscription rates.
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.

VerticalResponse – VerticalResponse, a business unit of Deluxe Corporation, provides a full suite of online marketing tools to help small businesses connect with their customers on email, social media and mobile devices. The software's features include professionally designed and responsive email templates, autoresponders, contact management tools, an HTML editor, and a variety of tracking reports. verticalresponse.com

This strategy is pretty popular among more seasoned marketers like Ryan Deis (founder of DigitalMarketer.com) and others who are huge proponents of spending money on ads in order to acquire traffic (rather than doing content marketing or SEO, I mean who do that crazy stuff right? 😉 ) After they convert that traffic on a free offer, the newly opted-in subscribers are sent to a page that says “Thank You” with an offer to buy something (usually something inexpensive, less than $50 so it can be considered an “impulse buy.”). The reason for this is two-fold:
Another way to improve your email delivery rates is to include an unsubscribe option in each of your marketing emails. This would be a link or button at the bottom of the email that allows subscribers to unsubscribe from your list if they no longer want to receive your content. This helps ensure that everyone on your email list is giving their permission to receive marketing emails from you. This also helps you weed out those subscribers that are no longer getting value from your content.
Improve brand recognition. Social media ads are also ideal for improving brand recognition. By placing ads on the social media platforms that your target audience frequents most, you can start to build up a larger fan base. The more familiar consumers are with your brand, the more likely they will be to make a purchase—especially when they come across your holiday sale. Try running a brand awareness campaign on Facebook prior to your big sale.
Analyzing the emails of competing businesses can be a great way for companies to plan their own. This can be done easily by just signing up for their email lists. Competitor's emails reveal what kinds of images, messages and specials they are using to appeal to their customers. Businesses can then tailor their email campaigns to match or beat the offers of their competitors.
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.
There is also a piece of legislation called the CAM-SPAM Act that includes a series of rules to curtail the transmission of spam. These rules include having a non-deceptive subject line, a method subscribers can use to easily unsubscribe from your email list, and your name and address at the end of all emails. As long as you adhere to the requirements of the CAM-SPAM Act, your emails should be spam-free!
Benchmark offers both free and paid plans. Its plans and packages can fit into the budget of almost any small business. All plans, including the free plan, come with its drag-and-drop editor, responsive templates, signup forms, basic drip campaigns, email delivery management, Google Analytics tracking, list management, contact segmentation, and list hygiene.
Frequency matters, and how often you send emails can have a significant impact on your revenue and email engagement (and unsubscribe) rates. Send too much and subscribers can suffer email fatigue causing them to disengage and unsubscribe. Send too few and you lose the attention of your audience. They may even forget why they signed up leading them to unsubscribe.

Click-through rate: The best marketing emails cause audiences to take action—either through a response to the email, or by clicking through to the sales page or piece of content you’ve shared. Look for an email marketing platform that tracks not only the total number of clicks but also how many users clicked through (accounting for those who may have clicked multiple links in the same email).


After its 2014 breakthrough on the back of a brilliant podcast marketing campaign, MailChimp is perhaps the most widely-used email marketing system for small businesses with an estimated 15 million+users. And it’s more than just a popularity contest winner. In a recent email marketing survey of 60 small business owners, it received rave reviews from its users.
In addition to linking to Letter Shoppe's designs (available on merchandise that is ultimately sold by Redbubble), the email campaign includes an endearing quote by the Featured Artist: "Never compromise on your values, and only do work you want to get more of." Redbubble's customers are likely to agree -- and open other emails in this campaign for more inspiring quotes.
The Law of Scale is what all good marketers recognize, intuitively or explicitly. It states that in order to get to scale, you must leverage that which has scale. In other words, if your business’s email list is on level 1 (small), and you want to get up to level 2 (medium), use the tactic that will get you (or that have already gotten others) up there: the elevator, the stairs, a ladder, etc. Except in this case the stairs and the ladder are other websites. One of the most effective ways to do this is with guest blog posts. Brian Harris (VideoFruit.com) and others have used this technique to attract hundreds of new email subscribers to their lists. The basic formula works like this:
There is no rule again repurposing old content. Especially when certain content appeals specifically to individual market niches. Almost no one does this though, even though it saves a lot of time. Plus, positioning any page to be more specific in who it appeals to is almost guaranteed to convert better as long as the traffic arriving on that page is from the targeted niche. For example, let’s look at a popular, high-converting landing page template from our friends at Lead Pages.   In this example offers a downloadable free report. Now, let’s say I had already created a report and used this landing page to target answering service companies — but I also want to target law firms. How best to do this? Well, you don’t need to create a new report assuming the current one is also applicable to law firms. Instead, reuse the same report at the incentive but recreate the same landing page with slightly different content and copy. You want to name specifically who you’re appealing to, and use colors and graphics they will find relevant. For instance:
Best Practices Calls to Action Coding Content Marketing Copywriting Customer Journey Customer Spotlight Data-Driven Marketing Deliverability Digital Marketing Email Automation Email Design Email Development Email List Email Marketing Email Templates Event Marketing Marketing Automation Metrics Personalization Segmentation Social Media Strategy Subject Line Testing Transactional Email
Your tip about CTA’s really hit the spot. I’ve been noticing that some of our competitors are using wordy yet highly specific buttons like ‘Get My Free Consultation Now!’ or ‘See Other Works From ____’. I was skeptic at first, but reading your logic behind it, it makes sense. I’m looking forward to implementing this on my own sites. Thank you, Brian.
Where they can improve: Autoresponders are on the basic side – just enough to set up the most simple triggered campaigns. It doesn’t come with a huge template range, either (and none on the free plan), so you’ll probably need to use their visual editor to create your own. Finally, it doesn’t offer a spam or design testing feature – if you wanted these, they’d need to be performed externally.

Where they can improve: Autoresponders are on the basic side – just enough to set up the most simple triggered campaigns. It doesn’t come with a huge template range, either (and none on the free plan), so you’ll probably need to use their visual editor to create your own. Finally, it doesn’t offer a spam or design testing feature – if you wanted these, they’d need to be performed externally.
As with offline advertising, industry participants have undertaken numerous efforts to self-regulate and develop industry standards or codes of conduct. Several United States advertising industry organizations jointly published Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising based on standards proposed by the FTC in 2009.[109] European ad associations published a similar document in 2011.[110] Primary tenets of both documents include consumer control of data transfer to third parties, data security, and consent for collection of certain health and financial data.[109]:2–4 Neither framework, however, penalizes violators of the codes of conduct.[111]

There are many great options available, but some key considerations to help businesses make the right choice are budget, ease of CMS integration and available resources to manage the platform, as the more complex platforms require a dedicated internal or agency resource in order to get the most value. If you’re interested, check out this post on choosing the right marketing automation solution.
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