In addition to satisfying legal requirements, email service providers (ESPs) began to help customers establish and manage their own email marketing campaigns. The service providers supply email templates and general best practices, as well as methods for handling subscriptions and cancellations automatically. Some ESPs will provide insight and assistance with deliverability issues for major email providers. They also provide statistics pertaining to the number of messages received and opened, and whether the recipients clicked on any links within the messages.

Relying on people to organically land on your site can be frustrating. It’s kind of like looking for a gas station to fill a nearly empty tank with Google Maps or Waze on the fritz. Instead, use your email newsletter to direct people there. Invite them to view your content or provide them with an incentive to stop by your site. Make sure to use a strong call to action, like in this example from nonprofit Parkrun:

Whilst a bulk email marketing approach can have a positive effect upon click-through rates or overall traffic levels, what is this worth if the traffic is not of the right quality? There is no point spending money on generating traffic that isn’t going to convert into a sale, or whatever your end goal is. Targeted email marketing can deliver the relevant, high-quality traffic you need to improve chances of conversion.
Professional, cloud-based email marketing platforms like GetResponse offer plans based on the size of your email marketing list (number of contacts.) Basic plans start as low as $15 monthly, and provide features like email marketing, autoresponders, marketing automation, and landing pages – everything you need to start growing your business. But before committing, you can always try a free plan, and make sure it’s a good fit.
Last but absolutely not least – Aweber, GetResponse and Vertical Response all have solid Privacy and Anti-Spam Policies in place that are 100% trustworthy as of Dec 2016 at last check. All companies change their policies though so always check the final print (toward the bottom) and make sure you know exactly what you and your clients have “Opted In” for.
You can add more detail to your emails with GetResponse, as well. It can import images from Flickr, Facebook, and iStock, sell products in emails with PayPal buttons, and even reuse text from previous emails with its snippets feature. Then, you can schedule your emails in advance by dragging them to the correct date on a calendar. And if you're promoting your products online, GetResponse has you covered with tools to import contacts from Facebook forms and Twitter ads.
Another newsletter provider traditionally known for sending transactional emails, MailJet has evolved into a more complete email service, although their features are still relatively basic (statistics, for instance, are still in beta). Their free plan is generous in terms of capacity (unlimited contacts and up to 6,000 emails a month, with a 200-email daily limit). It’s a little less generous in terms of access, however – premium features like automations, segmentation and A/B testing are only available to try out for free for 30 days.
The key here is just not to purposely deceive your recipients. If you are sending a campaign on behalf of ABC widgets, it’s a breach of the laws to put ‘Brad Pitt’ in the From name field to get people to open the campaign. However, arousing curiosity or getting creative with your subject line is perfectly ok, so long as you don’t purposely try to deceive recipients.
What we liked: They have a great variety of well-designed and (mostly) mobile-responsive templates, with plenty of flexibility to edit as needed. Their reporting is comprehensive, with stats on conversions, social activity, e-Commerce tracking and email domain performance. You’ve also got forms that easily integrate with your site, landing pages, and over 800 third-party integration options.
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.
Mailchimp is a very well-known email marketing tool that integrates with popular apps and services like Salesforce, Eventbrite, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Shopify, and SurveyMonkey. This inbound marketing tool allows you to easily sync your data from those services, import content from other sources, and learn how your campaigns are affecting your business. Along with reports to show you how well you’re connecting with your audience and how much money you’re bringing in, Mailchimp gives you tips for improvement. Mailchimp Mobile Dashboard enables you to check in from anywhere.
It’s easy to assume that marketing success depends on the number of people you’re reaching, but an effective email marketing campaign also depends on the recipients themselves. That means you should regularly evaluate the quality of the subscribers on your lists to make sure they’re still worth engaging. After all, sending repeated messages to someone who isn’t opening your emails will quickly turn you into more of a nuisance than an asset.
If someone doesn’t open your email, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are not interested. They could be out of the office, didn’t see the email, or were too busy to read or reply when it was sent. Most people don’t empty their inboxes, so once it’s missed, it’s unlikely to be seen again. To counter this, resend emails to non-openers a week later with a new subject line.
To ensure your email doesn’t get flagged as SPAM or junk by readers, consider implementing a permission-based approach. Permission marketing is essentially when a recipients have provided explicit consent that they want to receive your email communications – whether by sign-up or other opt-in mechanism. There are a number of things you can do to build an organic, opt-in marketing list. Read about these in my earlier blogs:
A great digital marketing plan relies on a solid strategy made up of various communications channels. However, email continues to be the glue that holds these various channels together. In fact, a well-designed newsletter that offers targeted messages to customers based on their preferences and behavior can be a powerful driver of sales and ultimately, brand loyalty.
Prior to sending targeted email marketing campaigns, set benchmark metrics. Then, use real time campaign engagement reporting to analyze things such as delivery rate, open rate, click rate, and conversion rate. After deploying targeted email campaigns, always measure success against the original benchmarks. See what worked, and what didn’t to determine an even better strategy for the next campaign. You can even try A/B testing campaigns to improve individual email elements.
Emails about the latest happenings at your company can get boring. To capture your customers' attention, you should write emails that are focused on their interests, not yours. ActiveCampaign makes that easier with its full-featured CRM alongside with its email newsletter tool. You can gather detailed info about each of your customers, then divide them into lists based on interests, locations, and more.
Not only is InVision's newsletter a great mix of content, but I also love the nice balance between images and text, making it really easy to read and mobile-friendly -- which is especially important, because its newsletters are so long. (Below is just an excerpt, but you can read through the full email here.) We like the clever copy on the call-to-action (CTA) buttons, too.
Active Trail is an automated communications platform that focuses on SMS and email marketing campaigns. It has a user-friendly newsletter and email editor with a drag-and-drop interface as well as an advanced image editor. Additionally, Active Trail includes predictive delivery which helps users predict the optimal time to send emails to their recipients. It also includes ready-to-use sign up and lead forms, A/B testing and Personalisation tools.
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