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.


What we liked: MailChimp places a strong focus on design, which is evident in its easy-to-use editor and modern-looking email templates. If you’re an ecommerce, MailChimp offers some of the best automation options out there, including abandoned cart and purchase confirmation emails. Reporting is superb, too, with data around social media and conversions. There are also hundreds of integrations available, making it one of the most versatile email marketing tools.


Take the email below from Paperless Post, for example. I love the header of this email: It provides a clear CTA that includes a sense of urgency. Then, the subheader asks a question that forces recipients to think to themselves, "Wait, when is Mother's Day again? Did I buy Mom a card?" Below this copy, the simple grid design is both easy to scan and quite visually appealing. Each card picture is a CTA in and of itself -- click on any one of them, and you'll be taken to a purchase page.
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.
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.
SendGrid – SendGrid offers both email marketing and transactional messaging services. SendGrid's cloud-based email delivery infrastructure allows you to send email without having to maintain your own in-house email infrastructure. The software's transactional service features a simple SMTP setup, customized white labeling and advanced analytics. sendgrid.com
The disadvantages of email marketing surround the rejection/spam rate of the emails by the consumers’ email program, negatively affecting the delivery rate of the emails. This has somewhat been eliminated with the idea of “Opt-in” emailing, where the consumer consents to receiving the emails and therefore eliminates the idea of receiving unsolicitated emails – Ideally maintaining emails that are relevant and appropriate to each individual recipient.
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.
Integration – Companies can not just rely on one method of marketing, nor can they rely on several methods of differentiated marketing. Instead, best marketing practices utilise integrated marketing communication (IMC) where all aspects of their promotion work together to create a whole. Email marketing must be including here, therefore your emails must carry the same image and message as your entire operations. Even the timing of the campaign must work in with other aspects of your marketing mix.
I don’t have any quantitative data to back this up but many list building experts believe that on average each subscriber on your list is worth $1 per month in income potential. This may or may not be true, and I’m sure the value swings wildly from niche to niche, but there’s no denying the fact that a subscriber who likes and trusts you is more likely to buy from you. That’s just common sense.

When you flip through the Ikea catalog, do you ever wish you could see how, say, a certain bookshelf and desk would look in your space? You can! Its free, easy-to-use home planner tools allow you to configure your floor plan, choose from the store’s gallery of furniture and decor, calculate the cost, and then print out and take the list to your local Ikea store.
This is one of those low-hanging fruit strategies that is so easy you can implement it across your website and sales funnel in a matter of minutes. Simply put: if your goal is to collect email subscribers… then why are you requiring fields other than an email address on your form? Avoid creating an optin form that looks like this: Not only should you not require all those fields, but take them out! Take them ALL out, and just require an email address. Early on, I was able to double our email conversion rate by just changing our form from 2 fields (first name and email) to just 1 form field (email address). Similarly, Marketo (which is now a public company) experimented with removing multiple form fields. The result? Cost per lead dropped by $10 and conversion rates increased 34%.

Bronto – Bronto provides a cloud-based commerce marketing automation platform to midmarket and enterprise organizations. An advanced marketing automation engine with solutions for browse recovery, recommendations, shopping cart abandonment and powerful e-commerce integrations, Bronto helps commerce marketers grow revenue through targeted email, mobile and social marketing. bronto.com
This is one of those low-hanging fruit strategies that is so easy you can implement it across your website and sales funnel in a matter of minutes. Simply put: if your goal is to collect email subscribers… then why are you requiring fields other than an email address on your form? Avoid creating an optin form that looks like this: Not only should you not require all those fields, but take them out! Take them ALL out, and just require an email address. Early on, I was able to double our email conversion rate by just changing our form from 2 fields (first name and email) to just 1 form field (email address). Similarly, Marketo (which is now a public company) experimented with removing multiple form fields. The result? Cost per lead dropped by $10 and conversion rates increased 34%.
“Both the design of the website, and the later design of our mobile website, were extremely easy and professional. In the past I had problems with web designers not understanding how I wanted the site to look and respond. Working with Chase, there were none of these issues. He really listened to my requests, asked questions to make sure he understood what I was saying, and made many suggestions of ways to improve the site in ways that had never...”

With the right set of tools, you can build your list cost-efficiently and ensure that it’s relevant, filled with people who have expressed a genuine interest towards your brand. Building an email list will take some time, but it will grow over time and has the potential to give you a lot of business in the long run. Hope you give these tools a spin and let us know how it goes - we’d love to hear your feedback.
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