9: Integrations – If you want to save yourself hours of mundane repetitive tasks, it’s important that you can automatically connect your email marketing software to the other tools used in your business – from your accounting software to your CRM (if separate). In this section, we compare which email marketing tools have the best blend of quality and quantity of integrations.
Every week, the folks at InVision send a roundup of their best blog content, their favorite design links from the week, and a new opportunity to win a free t-shirt. (Seriously. They give away a new design every week.) They also sometimes have fun survey questions where they crowdsource for their blog. This week's, for example, asked subscribers what they would do if the internet didn't exist.
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.
It’s probably the world’s best-known (and loved) newsletter tool, and for a small business, MailChimp is definitely worthy of consideration. It comes with some with useful features, including automations, landing pages, A/B testing, and advanced reporting. You can also choose between a monthly plan, pay-as-you-go credits, or even a free plan (with 12,000 emails per month for up to 2,000 subscribers).
How is 7.5 okay? I think that it’s a great score, especially when you take into consideration that it’s an averaged score of several hundred people’s opinion… Shopify and BigCommerce (I don’t agree that they should have the same score) are very good builders. Yes, they are only for stores, and there are different free website creators that might take their place due to them being free, but they do their job very well. It’s better to be a master at a trade, unlike the other builders – jack of all trades, master of none.
The most important element for launching an email marketing campaign is giving subscribers what they want and being consistent on your delivery with this value. Subscribers expect to see emails on a regular schedule, whether that’s daily, weekly, monthly, or even quarterly. If you fall short of their expectations, it will reflect poorly on your brand. Remember that you can always start out by sending emails less often and then ramp up efforts and send more frequently later.
Before you get started sending emails to your leads and customers, you’ll need to develop a small business email marketing strategy for the types of email content that you plan to provide. This helps ensure that your email messages are purposeful and organized. Newsletters and email drip campaigns are two important email marketing formats that you should include in your strategy.
This strategy is more controversial. I recommend you consider it only if you’re just starting out and your list is small or non-existent. Otherwise the long term consequences of using this strategy will hurt your brand and your business. Note: It’s not spam if you approach the process from the perspective that you’re just going to be super cool to the people in your market by offering to give away some truly useful information for free, and not try to hard sell anything, AND you’re NOT going to do it on a large scale. Some people will disagree with that statement but that’s ok. Here’s how it works:
More recently, companies have sought to merge their advertising messages into editorial content or valuable services. Examples include Red Bull's Red Bull Media House streaming Felix Baumgartner's jump from space online, Coca-Cola's online magazines, and Nike's free applications for performance tracking. Advertisers are also embracing social media and mobile advertising; mobile ad spending has grown 90% each year from 2010 to 2013.:13
We just started using MailChimp because it seems to be the only one that offers a free account for small or new users. The problem is that there are so many steps for a potential subscriber to go through with both double opt-in and recaptcha, that we are getting at best complaints to worst, plain nasty comments posted on our Facebook page. We don’t know how many would be subscribers we lost because of this.
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.
Create quickly — Before BIM software, the building design process involved a lot of manual drawings. These solutions enable designers to draft up a BIM model far quicker than by hand. Digital models also include more information than what is in a drawing set. Ultimately, by facilitating a quicker design process, BIM software saves firms money and labor.
Hi Edith, thank you for commenting and updating us with your story. Website creation might sound difficult to some people, but come to think of it, it is really easy as pie. I know kids and elderly alike that have learned to use a website building software so quickly that it is just amazing. Producing multiple sites is than easy, even taking it a step further and starting services to build stores and web sites for others! Thank you for sharing Edith, Good Luck with all!
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.
This too is discretionary since frequency is really your decision. Plus every niche is different. Many guru’s believe you should email you list every single day. For me personally I think this is a little overkill simply because when I send a message to my list I want it to be something very good so I tend to be selective in what I send instead of looking for ‘something’ to send my list every day just on principal. In my experience people get tired of being bombarded by too many messages that are thin on content or 99% promotional. You need to give before you can get.
Internet audience is fast moving, and they tend to go from one to another in a fraction of a second. So every aspect of your user interface counts when you are trying to get their attention. Having a beautifully designed web page will not always lead to the fact that you’ll be having lots of visitors to your website who would come back again and again.
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.
For Campaign Monitor customers, you can either manually upload an existing list (from an Excel file for instance) or you can connect your Campaign Monitor account to the tool where your customer data lives (such as your CRM, accounting, eCommerce tool, and hundreds of others) and automatically sync your customer information into your Campaign Monitor account.
Not only was this initial email great, but his response to my answers was even better: Within a few days of responding to the questionnaire, I received a long and detailed personal email from Matt thanking me for filling out the questionnaire and offering a ton of helpful advice and links to resources specifically catered to my answers. I was very impressed by his business acumen, communication skills, and obvious dedication to his readers.
Online marketing platform (OMP) is an integrated web-based platform that combines the benefits of a business directory, local search engine, search engine optimisation (SEO) tool, customer relationship management (CRM) package and content management system (CMS). Ebay and Amazon are used as online marketing and logistics management platforms. On Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and other Social Media, retail online marketing is also used. Online business marketing platforms such as Marketo, Aprimo, MarketBright and Pardot have been bought by major IT companies (Eloqua-Oracle, Neolane-Adobe and Unica-IBM).
Infusionsoft – Infusionsoft is sales and marketing software for small businesses. The marketing aspect of the software features personalized communications based on email sends, opens, clicks, form submissions and payment history. The software's email statistics show the number of emails that get delivered, opened, clicked, skipped, etc., while the marketing reports evaluate web form activity, landing page performance, reach and campaign effectiveness. infusionsoft.com
This email from Loft aims to demonstrate their understanding of your crazy, mixed-value inbox. In an effort to provide you with emails that you actually want to open, Loft asks that their recipients update their preferences to help them deliver a more personalized experience. This customer-focused email is super effective in making the recipient feel like their likes, dislikes, and opinions actually matter.
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.
Here are two examples of this strategy in action: QuickSprout.com Website Grader – This app helps website owners to grade how optimized their website is for search engines. Note: Neil Patel, the founder, found that conversion rates from usage to email optin were higher when the email address wasn’t requested upfront, instead just the website URL. Planscope.io – This app helps freelancers and teams plan web design and development projects, track time, and track progress.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s a myth that you need to double opt-in all contacts. For example, if that requirement were turned on, I’m confident we would lose about 10% of our email subscribers. Not because they weren’t real people, but just because everyone is busy and emails can easily get buried. Part of the way I get around this is in using Wufoo forms and LeadPages, email addresses are directly imported into into our email marketing software via an API. This bypasses the normal double opt-in requirement. So even if we end up having some “fake” or mis-spelled contacts in our database, I’d rather have those AND a 10% larger list. Plus, if an email address bounces, it’s automatically cleaned from our database.
The Offer Finally, if/when you send out those “money” emails (especially for re-marketing purposes, which we will discuss later on), you need to test out offers. An extra 15-days to try the product, or a $10 discount for being on the newsletter? Should you offer an incentive to those who have signed up but haven’t gotten started with your product, or just send a reminder? Find out the answers with split-testing!
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. 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.