The primary purpose of a transactional email is to convey information regarding the action that triggered it. But, due to their high open rates (51.3% compared to 36.6% for email newsletters), transactional emails are an opportunity to introduce or extend the email relationship with customers or subscribers; to anticipate and answer questions; or to cross-sell or up-sell products or services.
Companies considering the use of an email marketing program must make sure that their program does not violate spam laws such as the United States' Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM), the European Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003, or their Internet service provider's acceptable use policy.
Your tip about CTA’s really hit the spot. I’ve been noticing that some of our competitors are using wordy yet highly specific buttons like ‘Get My Free Consultation Now!’ or ‘See Other Works From ____’. I was skeptic at first, but reading your logic behind it, it makes sense. I’m looking forward to implementing this on my own sites. Thank you, Brian.
Affiliate marketing occurs when advertisers organize third parties to generate potential customers for them. Third-party affiliates receive payment based on sales generated through their promotion.:22 Affiliate marketers generate traffic to offers from affiliate networks, and when the desired action is taken by the visitor, the affiliate earns a commission. These desired actions can be an email submission, a phone call, filling out an online form, or an online order being completed.
This is a topic I plan to write more on in the future, but I’ll briefly summarize it here. When a little old website called Mint.com launched back around 2008, a quick glance at their footer links and you would notice something interesting. Each link had “rich anchor text” (meaning the words used for the link were purposefully chosen) and the pages they linked to were landing pages. Taking note of this strategy, when I launched my previous business, BlueSkyLocal.com, in 2009 I made sure we followed the same strategy (see below). The website was young and had few inbound links at the time. However, I knew that but crafting valuable (simple) landing pages with information that users on the web were searching for, we could naturally start to capture some organic traffic. And we did. The site still gets traffic today even though I haven’t touched it in years. Here’s what one of those landing pages looked like: The idea was that by branching off key pieces of content from our homepage (kind of like a sunflower plant branches petals our from its core), we driving more free trial sign-ups. And we did (until we made the Jenius move of removing our free trial option of course — but that’s a story for another day 😉 ) This strategy can work just as well for you when it comes to building your email list:
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.
If you’re frequently practicing the content upgrade strategy as part of your blogging efforts, you’ll quickly amass a base of “premium” upgrades. One relatively advanced method for packaging this base of content upgrades is to create a “content vault.” This is where you require visitors on your website to register and in exchange they get full access to all your content upgrades instantly (plus some other goodies, ideally). Ryan Deiss practices this technique on Digital Marketer.com (see below). sites like Video Fruit and others have launched similar membership only areas of their websites. This strategy is but one more incentive to encourage visitors to optin on your website using their email. There are basic tools and plugins that allow you to setup this membership functionality on your WordPress site, but most of the best ones have a paid option.
It makes sense right? Afterall, why do you need the same email address opt-in more than once — you don’t! Here is the ONLY example I’ve seen of someone doing this on their blog, and it comes from Brennan Dunn who I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know personally in the last year. I’ll let the pictures do the talking then I’ll summarize… That’s step 1, and here’s step 2… And then here’s the result: Pretty awesome right? If you look closely, you can even see that the point after the traffic settles down after the third spike is higher than the “valleys” after the first two spikes. I don’t know of any tools to recommend that make this easy (though I plan to have my developer create a plugin for WordPress when I get around to it in the future). If you know of any, please leave a comment with a link to the resource so others can benefit, and then I’ll also update this section as well. One tool that I’m planning to use to “hack” together a test of this own on the AutoGrow blog is the Like2Get WordPress plugin — and it’s free if you want to check it out. In summary: There is still so much low-hanging fruit on every website, and this strategy highlight a key one that just about EVERYONE is overlooking right now. But wait… there’s more!… Keep reading…
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.
1) I would set up a MailChimp account, for free. It’s the industry leader, it’s the best performer (in my experience) and it’s the most pleasant to use from a UX/UI standpoint (which matters a lot to me). It’s also entirely free from the get-go, up until a couple thousand subscribers. It’s a “no-duh” piece of software. This let you easily segment your lists depending on sign-up locations, or sign up types. If you have email resources to push subscribers – like Bidsketch does with their proposal templates – you can easily segment the users that sign up there, apart from the users that sign up straight from your blog.
But just one category continues to perform well year after year: email marketing. The reason is clear: For ten years in a row, email generates the highest ROI for marketers. For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI and gives marketers the broadest reach of all the channels available to them. Despite the plethora of tools available to marketers, email marketing is simply the best bet for business growth.
If you want to expand your reach even further, consider using paid social ads as part of your strategy to boost email opt-ins. Create ads that promote your email list opt-in offer, and deliver this ad content to individuals who are similar to your best customers. Social media platforms like Facebook offer effective targeting features (e.g. lookalike audiences) that allow you to reach those who are most likely to be interested in joining your email list.
Guest blogging has exploded in popularity as a marketing tactic over the last 4 years. It offers a number of benefits, but few better than the fact that, done right, it will drive a large JUMP in subscribers followed by a steady stream of subscribers who continuously opt-in over time. Here’s the basic formula for how to do it, then I’m going to recommend 2 posts you should go and check out to learn more.
A text ad displays text-based hyperlinks. Text-based ads may display separately from a web page's primary content, or they can be embedded by hyperlinking individual words or phrases to advertiser's websites. Text ads may also be delivered through email marketing or text message marketing. Text-based ads often render faster than graphical ads and can be harder for ad-blocking software to block.
One other advantage that doing email list promotions like this, whether you’re doing it as a JV webinar partnership or as a marketing alliance, is that you have the option of doing a 1-click optin. This is especially easy if you have a LeadPages or Infusionsoft account. But you can do something similar using Mailchimp and other basic email marketing programs using the “mail merge” feature. For instance:
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.
Optimizely and Visual Website Optimizer. I’m grouping these two together because they are very similar. Both tools are specifically built ONLY for split testing different design changes on your site. I’ve used both (briefly) in the past without any complaints. VWO seemed easier to get started with in my opinion, and both integrate with WordPress and other services.
That said, I think that a solid content strategy, effective promotion and a good understanding of your target audience and what kind of offers are likely to motivate them to share their contact info are absolutely essential to building and getting business value from your email list. Without those key components, the best tools in the world won’t get you very far.
As you can see from the example above, emails following the model contain a succinct headline that highlights the key message of the campaign, as well as supporting information and visuals to help convince readers about the benefits of clicking-through. The reader is then presented with a prominent call to action button that makes it crystal clear what to do next.
Many laws specifically regulate the ways online ads are delivered. For example, online advertising delivered via email is more regulated than the same ad content delivered via banner ads. Among other restrictions, the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 requires that any commercial email provide an opt-out mechanism. Similarly, mobile advertising is governed by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), which (among other restrictions) requires user opt-in before sending advertising via text messaging.
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Mobile advertising is growing rapidly for several reasons. There are more mobile devices in the field, connectivity speeds have improved (which, among other things, allows for richer media ads to be served quickly), screen resolutions have advanced, mobile publishers are becoming more sophisticated about incorporating ads, and consumers are using mobile devices more extensively.:14 The Interactive Advertising Bureau predicts continued growth in mobile advertising with the adoption of location-based targeting and other technological features not available or relevant on personal computers.:14 In July 2014 Facebook reported advertising revenue for the June 2014 quarter of $2.68 billion, an increase of 67 percent over the second quarter of 2013. Of that, mobile advertising revenue accounted for around 62 percent, an increase of 41 percent on the previous year.
2) Foo Bar. Like a great, much cheaper version of the Hello Bar, it allows you to have a sticky promotional message bar at the top of your site as visitors scroll. Great for promoting your email list opt-in! Works well in tandem with a pop-up tool. It certainly gets plenty of clicks on my site – more than promo ads in the side bar! http://codecanyon.net/item/foobar-wordpress-notification-bars/411466
Some sources state that 25% of the websites using content systems are using WordPress. Although started purely for blogging, now you can create amazing websites for any vertical using pre-made themes and templates. The advantages of WP is a huge community (that works to improve the product), and large marketplaces to cater for plugins, designs, technical help and much more. The learning curve is not too steep, but possibilities are endless.
3) I would then set up List Builder from SumoMe on blog pages. Noah Kagan and his group at AppSumo have put together this awesome little pop-up tool that will show over the center of your screen asking you to sign-up, or you can easily click outside of the box to cancel it out. The thing is, initially all of my clients would say “I don’t want a spammy pop-up on my site, people will hate us!” But truly this has had tiny effects on bounce rates (meaning people aren’t really leaving because of this, they’re simply clicking the box away) yet they’ve had a massive effect on subscriber sign ups. List Builder also integrates with MailChimp, so all of these 3 tools work seamlessly together.
Great companies are always evolving, and your customers expect to experience change. What they don't expect (because too many companies haven't lived up to this end of the bargain) is to be told about those changes. That said, this email from ModCloth serves as a refreshing change of pace. If you're going to change the way you communicate with a lead or customer, give them clear, fair warning so, if they aren't on board, they can make the necessary adjustments to keep their inbox clean.
I don’t know, maybe I am not as experienced but my priority is – everything must be simple to use but come off as professional as possible. As well as automation, for now my resources are limited and I want to optimize as much as I can. So I dabbed with main email marketing services and the one that managed to really “Stick” with me was “Omnisend”. Great automation workflows – don’t have to worry about anything, welcome, birthday, cart recovery emails. As well as amazing newsletter builder. Just all in all a flexible tool for not as flexible audience.
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%.
Improve brand recognition. Social media ads are also ideal for improving brand recognition. By placing ads on the social media platforms that your target audience frequents most, you can start to build up a larger fan base. The more familiar consumers are with your brand, the more likely they will be to make a purchase—especially when they come across your holiday sale. Try running a brand awareness campaign on Facebook prior to your big sale.
Double opt-in is generally believed to cut spam complaint rates, though you may see a slight decrease in your opt-in rates compared to a single opt-in set-up. Both arrangements have their place in the email marketing world – the important thing is that you’re requesting future recipients’ permission to receive messages from your business. Sending messages without securing this permission is a quick way to get your account banned due to CAN-SPAM complaints.
4: CRM & marketing automation features – Unless you’re a large enterprise, it probably makes sense to combine your email marketing tool and CRM (customer relationship management) system in one. This will save you time connecting them together & will make triggering automated emails to the right people at the right time a breeze. As such, we’ve also compared the CRM & marketing automation functionality of the top email marketing services below.
I always pause and laugh when I see a CTA with a small, “No thanks, I don’t want to lose weight,” button underneath a prominent “Yes, sign me up!” link. It reminds me there’s a person behind the button, and, while it’s meant to be a joke, it also incentivizes me to hesitate before clicking “no, thanks”. It’s easy to click “no” when the CTA is “sign up for more emails!”, but it’s a little harder to say no to losing weight or getting richer.
Send new subscribers a “welcome” sequence. This is the message that you send to people right after they subscribe to your email list. It could contain a link to your lead magnet for an easy download, a thank you for subscribing, or maybe a call-to-action to check out your most popular blog posts. Every email list needs a welcome series: don’t miss this chance to “woo” your new subscribers and turn them into loyal fans!
The collection of user information by publishers and advertisers has raised consumer concerns about their privacy. Sixty percent of Internet users would use Do Not Track technology to block all collection of information if given an opportunity. Over half of all Google and Facebook users are concerned about their privacy when using Google and Facebook, according to Gallup.
Customer reviews are the "social proof" that encourages people to join in on something. It's one thing for you to tell people to sign up for a campaign, but it's another thing for your happiest customers to say it too. Publish your best reviews from communities like Yelp right to your website. This adds genuine value to your landing pages when people are on the fence about submitting their contact information.
This powerhouse of a platform is for small businesses that are really serious about email marketing. By that, we mean businesses who want to run laser-targeted automations, and integrate their email with other key tools (such as CRM, website, online store, or support desk). With an inbuilt CRM, SMS distribution, and the ability to manage personalized Facebook ads and site messages, there’s very little that this US-based provider doesn’t do, so it’s an attractive option for marketers who want an all-in-one sales and marketing solution.
Different jurisdictions have taken different approaches to privacy issues with advertising. The United States has specific restrictions on online tracking of children in the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA),:16–17 and the FTC has recently expanded its interpretation of COPPA to include requiring ad networks to obtain parental consent before knowingly tracking kids. Otherwise, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission frequently supports industry self-regulation, although increasingly it has been undertaking enforcement actions related to online privacy and security. The FTC has also been pushing for industry consensus about possible Do Not Track legislation.
On the downside, though, the templates, fonts, and design functions within GetResponse leave much to be desired, with many users complaining in particular about the hard-to-use image editor. If you choose this email marketing platform for your small business, plan to keep the design simple and stick to high-impact copy—or use a tool like Canva to create and size your images before importing to the app.
Address subscribers by name. Personalized emails are more successful. Buffer also suggests to personalize your emails based on need by sending emails that meet different user expectations. This makes them more targeted and more likely to be successful. Some studies show that educating and segmenting your audience will boost your click through rate on emails by up to 50%.
3) About page – My about page converts 10x more email sign-ups than any other page on my blog, and I think this is because I’ve spent a *lot* of time tweaking and testing the layout, the language, and the amount/type of content I display there. While this isn’t a piece of software, it’s one of the most important tools in my online toolbox. One strange data point I will share is that even though I have a dedicated page for email sign ups, more visitors convert on the about page after visiting my join page.
The best way to grow your email list is by adding a “Pop-up.” I know, people are not fond of this but there are many case studies that prove that if a pop-up is used on the right places and at the right time you can accomplish huge success. This tool shows the popup that appears when your visitor is about to leave your page. For instance, when your visitor is about to click the back button, the popup appears and asks the visitor to enter his email address.
The benefits of email marketing for small businesses are not always obvious. Email marketing is being used by thousands of organizations to promote their businesses and to grow revenue. If you’re on the fence about email or overwhelmed with information, we want to help you get started. Here are five benefits of email marketing for small businesses.
There is also a piece of legislation called the CAM-SPAM Act that includes a series of rules to curtail the transmission of spam. These rules include having a non-deceptive subject line, a method subscribers can use to easily unsubscribe from your email list, and your name and address at the end of all emails. As long as you adhere to the requirements of the CAM-SPAM Act, your emails should be spam-free!
There’s no doubt about it – email marketing is a great way to both increase your company’s online sales and build relationships with current and potential customers. Having an active email marketing list gives you the ability to follow-up with customers who haven’t yet purchased from you, as well as the chance to send targeted promotions to past buyers.
The Content Upgrade is a tactic that’s been around for a while, probably popularized in more recent years due HubSpot (an inbound marketing company) practicing it on every one of their blog posts. The basic definition of a content upgrade is this: on every article you publish on your blog, you create a simple bonus or “extra” that a visitor can get access to by providing their email. The bonus offer is something related to what is discussed in the article. For example, last week I wrote about “Pumpkin Hacking” as it relates to SEO. In that article I posted links to download my “Pumpkin Hacking Checklist” which is a 4 page PDF download (and FYI, it’s less work than it sounds like — the 4 pages is mostly because I wrote in a large font). Of course, you don’t have to create a checklist as the upgrade:
On social media, you’ll only reach a small % of your audience, But with email, your messages are almost guaranteed to arrive in the subscriber’s inbox (unless you’re spamming). SEO works for generating traffic, but most people aren’t ready to buy right away when they come into your website. Plus, you’re really at the mercy of Google. On the other hand, email allows you to follow-up and nurture relationships on a massive scale.
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The Australian Spam Act 2003 is enforced by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, widely known as "ACMA". The act defines the term unsolicited electronic messages, states how unsubscribe functions must work for commercial messages, and gives other key information. Fines range with 3 fines of AU$110,000 being issued to Virgin Blue Airlines (2011), Tiger Airways Holdings Limited (2012) and Cellar master Wines Pty Limited (2013).
A call to action (CTA) is a word or phrase that encourages readers and subscribers to do something specific. Examples of calls to action include “subscribe”, “shop now”, “get the free ebook”. You use CTAs on email signup forms, landing pages, in email newsletters, and more. When someone does what you want as a result of your call to action, that’s called a conversion. In email marketing, a conversion often means following a link in a email newsletter to visit another resource.
How can you build your email list quickly and reach that point of predictable profits? That’s what this article is going to teach you. Enter: Bryan Harris who is just as focused as I am on learning how to grow his email list as fast as possible (without spamming). Bryan has quickly built his email list to over 6,000 subscribers for VideoFruit.com so before we get into the complete list of 47 email list building strategies checkout our discussion…
A common example of permission marketing is a newsletter sent to an advertising firm's customers. Such newsletters inform customers of upcoming events or promotions, or new products. In this type of advertising, a company that wants to send a newsletter to their customers may ask them at the point of purchase if they would like to receive the newsletter.
Click through rates. Once your subscribers have opened your email, are they actually taking the action you need them to take? If you think that you have a low click-through rate, perhaps your body copy is not as effective as it needs to be. Consider the following: Is the copy of your email relevant to the subject line? Did you offer real value to your subscribers in the email? Is your call-to-action clear enough? Is the link easy to find?
Forming a marketing alliance to grow your email list is similar to doing a JV webinar, except the goal is specifically to grow your email list. To do this, you need to find one person or organization who is willing to promote your to their email subscribers. First, you must show a good reason why their subscribers would be interested in joining your email list. For example, it can be one or more of these reasons:
Cost per mille, often abbreviated to CPM, means that advertisers pay for every thousand displays of their message to potential customers (mille is the Latin word for thousand). In the online context, ad displays are usually called "impressions." Definitions of an "impression" vary among publishers, and some impressions may not be charged because they don't represent a new exposure to an actual customer. Advertisers can use technologies such as web bugs to verify if an impression is actually delivered.:59
In Mistake #4 above, I referenced the importance of using this information to identifying your top performing message topics, but there are plenty of other things you can do with this information. For example, you can use your open rate data to identify readers who have opened all your messages, but failed to make a purchase with your business. Using the tools provided by your email marketing program, you could then group these readers into a sub-segment of your list in order to send them targeted promotions based on their past interaction history.
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