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!
Marketing emails need to be personalized to the reader and filled with interesting graphics. Few people want to read emails that are addressed "Dear Sir/Madam" -- as opposed to their first or last name -- and even fewer people want to read an email that simply gives them a wall of text. Visuals help your recipients quickly understand what the point of the email is.
I have tested all the above, I found that the best editor by far is Wix. They have elements that others don’t have such as being able to use your own fonts and delete elements in templates. However their customer support is really bad. They refer you to their on line tutorials and make it incredibly difficult to actually speak to them when you need to. I had something random happen that was not addressed In their online help section. It took a lot of searching to work out how to submit a help ticket. There is no chat and although they say you can call them, that number is not there. When I finally found how to submit a support ticket, which was buried, they did not reply to it. My account showed I had submitted a ticket but they just didn’t deal with it. I also read many other people complaining about the same thing. Its a real shame. Because its so important to get support, as in my case the random technical error meant I had to take the site down, and they just didn’t get back to me. I found a close second to be My website builder, and they provide chat support.
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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.
Sometimes very little, sometimes a lot. Hubspot, for example, may charge 10-20X more than most email marketing tools but they offer a built-in landing page builder, social media marketing tool and much more. On the other hand, ActiveCampaign offers an enormous amount of value while remaining one of the most affordable email marketing tools on the market.
Hi *|first_name|*, I’m emailing you to see if you’re the right person to contact at *|biz_name|* who’s in charge of marketing? My name is [your name], I’m the [title] of [business], a web marketing agency headquartered in [location]. [insert credibility / authority building sentence with a focus on how you can help this business specifically] Assuming you’re the right person to speak with, and you know you are [result they want], I wanted to check if you’d be interested in this [free offer] I created. I believe this can help you [get desired result]. Let me know if it’s is of interest to you. [your name]
Here’s a great example I can give you for step 1. I was curious to figure out which traffic source was sending us the highest converting traffic. And when I say “converting” I mean, obviously, converting from a visitor to an email subscriber. My theory was that the answer would be organic traffic from Google… But I was 100% wrong. No literally, I was 100% wrong because traffic coming into our site from LinkedIn converted 100% better (or twice as well) as Google. So in this example, to “scale that peak” of our highest converting traffic source, I need to figure out a way for use to grow our inbound traffic coming from LinkedIn. Here’s another example, not related to email but still relevant… I found our that our audience really likes articles that include multiple forms of media (video, images, and text). So I did more of those and as a result we grew our traffic as a result of more visitors sharing our articles. Simple, right? Of course, it goes without saying that I put significant effort into making sure the articles were good. So to review, find out which tactics or channels convert best and then double down on each one to grow your email list. If you’re curious to see the full interview where Noah mentions this concept, I’ve embedded the video below.
The above template is partially based on the “Break Through Email” system that’s been used to generate millions of dollars in sales for it’s founder, as well as his students of the course. The format is a bit different but it’s a good starting point to help you get results. To setup the landing page, you can use one of the recommended tools above like Lead Pages, or Unbounce, or Instapage. There’s also plenty of free HTML templates online you can download. Cold Email Case Study Years ago, I used cold email campaigns to generate leads via… surveys. Yes, I was obnoxious (and scrappy enough) to email strangers — but I did it out of love! (or ignorance haha) I knew a lot less about how to be an effective marketer back then, but I was willing to try just about anything without assuming “oh that just wouldn’t work.” So, when I was working on building a previous company, I sent an email to several thousand restaurant owners with a link to fill out a 5 question Google survey. That campaign received a response rate just over 1%. I sent the campaign just to collect some research data for a whitepaper I was writing at the time on how weather and other factors affect restaurant sales. About 2 years later, I ran a similar experiment, emailing business owner (with no personalization or any strategic thought in how to target it) and received relatively the same response rate. Keep in mind, in both of these situations, I was taking value rather than giving it (but still getting results!). If you try this strategy and offer something for free THAT IS VALUABLE and to a TARGETED group of people (as you should, otherwise you’re just spamming), you can expect to see a much higher response rate. However, I urge you not to abuse this. Otherwise you’ll poison the well for other companies and hurt your own brand.
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:
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.