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.
This is a mistake.  Sending regular messages to your email marketing list conditions your audience to expect to hear from you at certain intervals.  At best, your recipients may come to look forward to your scheduled missives, but even at its worst, sending regular messages gets your audience members used to seeing your company’s name inside their inboxes.

There are tons of websites and publishers out there that cater to your audience -- and larger portions of it. Guest blogging for these websites helps you expand your contact list to this audience. When creating content as a guest blogger for another website, include a call-to-action, as well as a link in you author byline, for readers to subscribe to your site's blog or email newsletter.
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.
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:
Check out Pure360 – from their website it seems like they have both SMS services and integration with Salesforce. I can’t vouch for their service as I’ve never used it, although I did used to live about two minutes from their offices in Brighton! The other option would be something like Infusionsoft. I’m pretty certain that they have SMS functionality, and would be very surprised if they didn’t integrate with Salesforce.
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!
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 Feature Box is exactly what you see in the screenshot above. It was popularized (invented?) by Derek Halpern of Social Triggers fame. In one case example that Derek wrote about on the DIY Themes blog, implementing the feature box on his website resulted in a 51% increase in email signups. If you want to see another example of this, just look at the feature box at the top of the AutoGrow blog roll page.
As we continue to further explain what is email marketing, we must also mention how it works best with other marketing efforts. As mentioned previously, email marketing works extremely well alongside social media marketing. You are able to cross-promote your company’s social media profiles on emails with buttons requesting that your email subscribers follow you. You can also use your social media profiles to gather an email list to use in your email marketing campaigns.
☑ Autoresponders (and automation) – Because you don’t want to be manually sending a welcome email every time someone signs up for your service! Autoresponders are an absolutely crucial part of small business email marketing (think order confirmations, renewal reminders etc). And if you want to take them to the next level, choose a tool that offers advanced automations, such as web-triggered campaigns and lead scoring.

The “Cons” are in the Privacy Policies, at least this is true for Constant Contact and Mailchimp. Constant Contact was bought out by Endurance International Group (EIG), an unscrupulous acquisitions company who has purchased ~74 web companies over a decade or so. Before EIG, Constant Contact was the most trusted brand in the business. Today, all you have to do is take a look at their Privacy Policy, if that’s what you want to call it – I have another name for it and Privacy was not one of them. See the sections on “Security and Privacy” and “Sharing of Information” as I said – towards the very bottom of https://www.constantcontact.com/legal/privacy-statement. Mailchimp’s Privacy Policy has similar wording, the sharing of your account information with their affiliates. However, Mailchimp’s Affiliate network pales in comparison and quite frankly, so does their contacts database.
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.

And that leads us right into understanding service pricing and packaging. The email marketing services we reviewed range from about $5 per month to as much as $20 per month for a range of features. Many email marketing plans include unlimited email sends each month and bill you based on the number of subscribers. If you have a small list, then look for a company that offers a free plan, a low-cost plan for several hundred subscribers, or even a pay-as-you-go plan. On the flip side, many of these services also offer high-volume plans with up to 100,000 or more contacts. Sometimes this requires a custom plan that has to be arranged directly with a sales rep. If you're willing to commit, then look for the companies that offer discounts if you pay yearly rather than monthly. A few offer also money-back guarantees.
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A friend of mine — who shall remain nameless, haha hopefully that doesn’t sound shady — was able to double his email subscriber list size in the last 3 months… “So what?” Ok so his list was about 10,000 subscriber before, and now it’s over 20,000. “Whoa.” Exactly. And if you want to get the exact process for how to do this from someone who’s an expert at it, click the link below (and then the links I point to in the screenshot). My friend George Kao who was AWESOME enough to make ALL of his coaching program material available for free earlier this year. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1URE2r6PJ-9YqVSBHSDRFDm7iUg3svfQ8YNJFNXdF2Wo/       This single email list building strategy can transform your business, so if you’re going to do it, take the time to do it right, and don’t spam. Keep in mind we’ve got 57 more of these, baby! So if you’re getting lots of value from this, consider sending out a tweet by clicking below.

Purchased lists are ineffective, and they impact everyone else who uses Mailchimp, too. If you send emails to a list of people whose contact info you bought, many of the emails will get identified as spam. Some spam filters will flag a campaign if anyone with the same IP has sent spam in the past. When you use Mailchimp, your email is delivered through our servers, so if one person sends spam, it could prevent other users’ emails from reaching inboxes. But by forbidding Mailchimp users from using purchased lists, we increase deliverability for everyone.


Note: This is the exact set up recording gear I used for my multiple 6-figure summit, List Building School and what most of my successful VSM students tend to use as well. I’ve since updated my own setup to up the quality 100 times at least, and as that’s more advanced and cost a few $1,000 I won’t go into it here (I do cover the exact tools and setup I use now in my premium flagship program Virtual Summit Mastery though).

The concept of native advertising has become increasingly hot recently. If you’re not familiar with the term “native advertising” it means content that is put in with the regular “stream” of organic content on social networks (or other non-digital mediums) and labeled as “sponsored.” For example, here’s a native ad from my newsfeed on Facebook. We’ve all seen ads like this by now. But one smart way to drive more clicks and build your email list is to send the traffic from ads like this to specific content posts on your website that have already been identified as “high performers” in terms of visitor to email conversions, social shares, and/or commenting. In addition, Twitter recently came out with its “Lead Generation cards” feature (which is free). It allows you to easily collect email optins by offering some sort of content incentive. Here’s one I found from Ryan Deiss, co-founder of DigitalMarketer.com.   Note: If you want to find out more about how to use Twitter lead generation cards, I cover it (along with how to steal your competitors followers) in this free video here. As it turns out, I found Ryan’s ad before he was using Twitter lead gen. cards. I actually converted to an email list subscriber simply as a result of reading an insightful article post on his blog. Ironically, the article I was reading was all about how he and his business had achieved 259% ROI with native ads and non-squeeze page content (blog posts). I get the sense that in order to convert with paid traffic being sent to blog post content, you really have to figure out what’s most likely to convert in advance and make sure those pages are optimized for capturing email optins. Otherwise you’ll be going through a process of trial and error which will require more investment to get right. And if if you want a good laugh, check out “Last Week Tonight’s” bit with John Oliver on certain controversial forms of native ads (NSFW), see below.
As part of a marketing degree, you will learn to analyze your customer base, write compelling copy, choose attention grabbing images, and maximize value for your customers. Every company has money and time invested in marketing and it is a field that has been studied intensely. Tapping into this knowledge base is the best way to take the successes of the past and apply them to the technologies of the future.
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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