Here's another great example from Litmus of animation being used to create more interesting email marketing design. Unlike static text, the swipe motion used to provide recipients with a look "under the hood" of their email tool is eye-catching and encourages you to take a deeper dive into the rest of the content. Not to mention the header does an excellent job of explicitly stating what this email is about.
We suggest starting with two types of free offers. One top-of-the-funnel, educational piece of content like an ebook, and one middle-of-the-funnel offer to let someone speak with your sales team to get a demo or a quote or a free consultation or whatever works for your specific business. By having these two types of offers on your website, you can capture potential leads and convert customers that are in different stages of the buying process.
One little-known fact is that 66% of all emails in the U.S. are opened on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. If you’ve been considering using a text message or SMS campaign, email marketing might actually be a better choice for you. Email marketing works pretty much the same way as SMS marketing, but you can reach desktop users as well and most smartphone users find emails to be less bothersome than text messages from companies.
Most business owners simply don’t have the time, tools, or resources to create content and manage on-going email marketing campaigns in-house. Nevertheless, email marketing is a foolproof way to increase your overall marketing performance, and it perfectly complements and enhances other types of marketing strategies such as pay per click advertising, SEO, print, and TV.

A great way to promote your lead magnet is through social media. You can post links to the sign-up page on social media with engaging lead-ins that communicate the value of your content offering. You might also consider including social media share buttons on the landing page to encourage visitors to share the offer with those who may also find it valuable.


Very well written article! Thanks for sharing!!! Just that I would add another tool to this list- intellyMail.com. It is really one of the best email marketing tools that I have come across. intellyMail eliminates the need of manually sending bulk emails through an automated process, thus saving you time and money, besides helping you generate leads
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.

It’s easy to get creative and make a perfect email with SendPulse‘s drag-and-drop editor along with 130+ pre-designed thematic templates. Segmentation allows you to send personalized emails based on gender, location, behavior within your previous email campaigns. You can also perform A/B testing to help you choose the best performing version of an email campaign.
Square – Square offers email marketing services that allow businesses to create new customer profiles at the point of sale in order to build their directories; automatically add key customer information with a swipe, dip or tap; and see the return on each email's investment in their Square dashboard. The service features customizable templates, automation, segmentation, automatic distribution lists and social sharing. squareup.com/email-marketing
Emails triggered by milestones, like anniversaries and birthdays, are fun to get -- who doesn't like to celebrate a special occasion? The beauty of anniversary emails, in particular, is that they don't require subscribers to input any extra data, and they can work for a variety of senders. Plus, the timeframe can be modified based on the business model.

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I talked about generic exit-detection popups in an earlier point, but now let’s talk about a more advanced version of that email collection strategy. To review: Exit detection popups are a “smarter” form of email capture popup. It appears when it detects that the mouse from a visitor is moving off the page, towards the top, and he or she is probably about to hit the back button or type in a new web address (example below) There are a number of free options for this, but none of them work as well as the paid exit-detection popups that are out there. I personally use and recommend Optin Monster which costs $199. The biggest benefits to using something like Optin Monster is that you can A/B test your pop-ups AND set specific popups to appear on specific pages.  So, creating an exit-intent popup is a macro optimization you can make to your site, where as creating page-specific exit pop-ups is a micro optimization which leads to higher conversion rates as that individual pages level. Why? Well, think about it. If you’re reading an article about, say, building your email list and you see either

Treat your list well. Remember that the people you're using email to communicate with have trusted you with their email and name; they deserve your respect. Just as you deserve as a chance to convert them from customers to fans and even evangelists for your brand, people who want to talk about and share your message and get involved in any way they can.
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.
I so often forget that people can sign up to an email list in places other than an email capture form on my site. Depending on your email software, there is likely a landing page devoted to acquiring email signups. You can get the link and share it in a huge number of different places like email signatures, social media messages, and guest blog bios.

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. 
Instead of showing the same form asking for their name and email address, Hubspot allows you to identify this lead and show a different offer, or ask a different set of questions to learn more about them over time. This is called Progressive profiling – and it allows you to send more personalised email campaigns as you gather more information on your leads.
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.
Now that you know the best practices for small business email marketing, you can work to build successful email marketing campaigns that help you connect with customers and leads while driving conversions. Start with a strategy for how you plan to engage your leads through email and develop content that is targeted to your ideal audience. Don’t forget to test different tactics and measure your success along the way. In the end, this will help you get more out of your marketing budget while maximizing engagement.
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Email marketing may be a great way to reach your current and past customers and influence direct conversions, but social media can also be a valuable tactic for advertising your holiday promotions. Overall, social media channels have a much higher engagement rate than email marketing – consumers are more likely to share social media content from brands than they are email content.
Prices for the unlimited-sending plans are as low as $13.99 for 600 contacts and $21.99 for 1,000 contacts. Prices top off at $239.99 for 45,000 contacts and $254.99 for 50,000. You can view the complete pricing list on the Benchmark website. Larger plans, with caps on the number of emails you can send, range from $286 per month for 55,000 contacts and 770,000 sends to $5,000 per month for 1,215,000 contacts and 17 million sends.

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.
As opposed to static messaging, chat advertising refers to real time messages dropped to users on certain sites. This is done by the usage of live chat software or tracking applications installed within certain websites with the operating personnel behind the site often dropping adverts on the traffic surfing around the sites. In reality this is a subset of the email advertising but different because of its time window.
I recently purchased OptinMonster for our website. I’m very happy with SumoMe but the main benefits that Optin Monster has to offer that make it compelling are its nicely animated exit-intent plugins, as well as the ability to show specific pop-ups on specific pages AND to A/B split test them. If you’re not familiar with what an exit-intent pop-up is, it is a pop-up that shows only the moment that it detects a visitor is about to leave a web page. It understands this because it watches the visitors mouse movements and a mouse movement that is usually, quick, up and the the left tends to indicate that the visitor is about to leave the site. Here’s an example of what a high converting pop-up might look like, as shown by OptinMonster’s higher-end (and crazy expensive) competitor, Bounce Exchange.
Alternatively, ad space may be offered for sale in a bidding market using an ad exchange and real-time bidding. This involves many parties interacting automatically in real time. In response to a request from the user's browser, the publisher content server sends the web page content to the user's browser over the Internet. The page does not yet contain ads, but contains links which cause the user's browser to connect to the publisher ad server to request that the spaces left for ads be filled in with ads. Information identifying the user, such as cookies and the page being viewed, is transmitted to the publisher ad server.
You might be doing all the right things to generate leads -- landing pages, gated content, contests, and more. The problem might be that the design or copy itself isn't driving the engagement you need. A/B test (also known as "split test") different aspects of your list-building campaigns with different versions of the same content. This includes the call-to-action text, the color of the gated offer, the time of day you're posting to social media, and even where on your website these signup forms are placed. Sometimes a small change can drive hundreds more conversions.
Matt Ackerson founded AutoGrow (Petovera Inc.) in 2010 as a conversion-focused web design agency. The company has since worked one-on-one with over 500 customers and clients to create their sales funnels. Matt is a graduate of Cornell University. He and AutoGrow have been featured in Techcrunch, Forbes, Inc, Venture Beat, Mashable, and Popular Science among others. He and the team write in-depth articles on digital marketing, sales funnel design, and also offer an advanced funnel training course here on AutoGrow.co
There a handful of tools that can help ease this task of obtaining new customers, but there is one tool in particular that is being the talk of the town for being a streamlined tool that helps advertisers find and connect off-Twitter with users that are interested in their messages, which can come in handy if making business if the goal: Lead Generation Cards.
One former client of mine started using Hubspot for about $50/month, but after adding a few extra features and growing his list he was soon paying $2,000/month which had to be paid annually. For many small businesses, there’s a big difference between $50 leaving the bank account and $24,000 – especially when other tools can offer similar (or better products) at a fraction of this amount.
Brian. You talk about how all these variables matter in getting this article to rank #1 for “list building” and how competitors have way more links than you, but then you also consider your DA and your PA together, you have almost the highest score out of the top 10 rankings; and when you consider you are more topical authority, then that explains why Hugpages (all purpose site) is not ranking higher. Maybe its not all as complicated as you suggest.
I’ve opted in to lists that have anywhere from one to sixty messages already completed, queued, and ready to deliver. If you’re more hands-off you may want to write as many messages as you can up front to minimize your work on the back end. If you’re more involved in your business on a daily basis you may want to consider writing only one or two auto-responder messages and the rest live and delivered as a broadcast message. A broadcast message is one that’s sent immediately and not pre-scheduled.
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3. I’m a stickler for free stuff, and Noah Kagan’s SumoMe suite of free subscription tools are awesome. It’s very easy to add a smart pop-up or slide-in to your page, and “Leads” add-on is absolutely amazing! Use it to add content upgrade incentives into your post in order to gain email subscribers. Brian Dean does it on his blog with LeadPages on his site, but SumoMe Leads is a great, more cost effective way of achieving the same thing.

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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