Another option, which is really more theoretical than anything else, is running your own email server. A quick cost/benefit analysis often makes this an unrealistic option for most small businesses. Sending out emails isn’t that much of a problem. However, if your email server doesn’t have a good sender reputation, your emails won’t be accepted by major email services such as Gmail, Yahoo, AOL etc.
Instead of creating a new email from scratch every time, use a pre-defined newsletter template to save time and help maintain a consistent brand image. When someone selects a template to use as the basis of their email design, they are free to make changes and edit as they see fit—however, those changes will only take place in that email, they do not affect the original template.
You can use its built-in email designer to customize your email style and build templates for both your newsletters and your routine transactional emails. You can segment your lists, and run A/B tests with up to 10 versions to test anything about your marketing that you want. It's a handy way to handle all of your company's emails from one service, letting your developers send messages from your app the way that's easiest for them while also letting designers and writers update emails without having to dive into code.
Create a marketing strategy to attract clients. Join the Greater Houston Partnership to network with other businesses in the Houston area. Join social networking sites, such as The E-mail Marketer's Club, to meet other email marketers and those looking to hire an email marketing company. Compile a list of potential clients using local business directories such as HoustonBusiness.com or the Houston Yellow Pages. Contact potential clients by phone or send an email demonstrating your email marketing abilities.
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.
If sending thousands upon thousands of emails has taught us anything, it’s that personalization is the sure way to find common ground with your target audience. This can be simply mentioning them by first name (we can help you with that) or incorporating other relatable content into your email. Other ways you can boost your email campaigns are automation, testing, and responsive design.
It’s as simple as this – why would you target your marketing at the 65+ age group, when it was designed for an 18 – 24-year-old audience? If the product has been designed for that audience, so too should the marketing. It’s just simple common sense. Sending targeted emails to the right demographic will, in theory, improve your chances of said demographic buying into the product. This could in turn improve your profits. How could anyone argue with that?
But there's a happy medium if you'd like more control. You can host your own email app, and then use a transactional email sending service—including Amazon SES, Mailchimp's Mandrill, SendGrid, and Mailgun—to send your messages. That gives you the flexibility of an app that you control, the cost savings of bulk email sending, and the confidence of sending emails with a dedicated service that delivers your messages to any email app, anywhere.
Carl: This is what newsletters look like and when they are used. On the flip-side, there are drip campaigns. Drip campaigns are basically a series of emails that you will receive over x period of time. As an example, here’s an email from our friends at MailChimp. You see here it says, “Number 1. Getting Started with MailChimp.” This email is all about using a template or how to create your own, inside their tools. So this drip goes out to any new MailChimp subscriber. So this is the first part of it, then a few days later, you’ll go ahead and receive the second part, which is about collecting subscribers and building your list.
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.
Targeted email marketing differs to its bulk counterpart by sending customised emails to certain demographics, based on their needs. For example, if your brand formulated a product or service aimed at 18 – 24-year-olds, ideally you’d want to target this core audience above any other. You may have a location-specific service, meaning you only wish to attract Glaswegians or those living in Hampshire. Targeted email marketing can help you achieve this and much, much more…
Not only was this initial email great, but his response to my answers was even better: Within a few days of responding to the questionnaire, I received a long and detailed personal email from Matt thanking me for filling out the questionnaire and offering a ton of helpful advice and links to resources specifically catered to my answers. I was very impressed by his business acumen, communication skills, and obvious dedication to his readers.
You can then build your lists with advanced subscriber forms that include up to 25 fields—with smart fields that can split first and last names automatically—and build landing pages with the same tools. It'll help your email newsletters look great, with hundreds of included templates and stock photos. And, it offers three mobile apps: one to keep track of your stats, another to add subscribers on the go, and a Curate app to build and send email newsletters from curated content.
Whether you already have a list of subscribers or are starting from scratch, email marketing services can help. All of the services we cover let you add contacts manually using copy and paste or by uploading CSV or Microsoft Excel files. Some integrate with third-party software enabling you to import Gmail and other webmail contacts, Salesforce.com and other customer relationship management (CRM) data, or other software where you might have contacts stored. Depending on the size and location of your list, third-party integration could be key. Verify whether you can export contacts as well (and how easy it is to do so) should you leave the service. Managing users who unsubscribe should also be easy so you're not accidentally contacting anyone who has opted out of your newsletters.
The enhanced tracking option links to your website through Salesforce or Google Analytics. To use “auto-responders”, you must have a paid account – you can automatically trigger specific responses or segment users based on actions they take. After sending out your emails, MailChimp allows you to integrate your social channels to post regular updates on Twitter and Facebook.
Carl: One of the things that I have seen done really, really nicely is what I like to call product narratives, which is one email where you highlight this one product, and you talk about this one product in-depth, and why it’s a great product. So in the example of Uniqlo, they are known or at least, from what I’ve seen in the subway ads, for creating very high-tech fabrics.
It's designed for transactional and other drip emails, but Sendwithus could also be a great way to send out email updates from your blog and more. You'll be able to trigger emails to go out automatically whenever you publish—or make them work however you want. It's an easy way to send emails via an email sending service and integrate emails deeply into your app, while still having the convenience of beautiful email interface.
Cuuver’s James Nuttall agrees that the subject line should be enticing. Saying, “No matter how great your content is, there is no point in writing any of it if the people you send it to aren’t tempted to open the email in the first place; the best way to ensure they do this is to have a subject header which grabs their attention and makes them want to check out the contents”.
On the email side, you'll have all the features you'd expect, with a familiar, Office-style editor that lets you drag and drop message components wherever you want, making it easy for anyone on your team to edit your email campaigns. Then, you can further your email marketing by sending out SMS messages with your latest announcements and deals, with all the same tools to gather contacts and segment them into lists that you're already using with your emails.
As an email service that’s strongly geared to ecommerce, Omnisend has a lot of exceptional features, including automation workflows, the ability to automatically add your store’s products to your newsletters, and cool email add-ons like scratch cards and gift boxes. The bad news – none of these are available on the free plan. Regardless, the free plan is pretty hard to beat if you’re looking to send email in high volumes, with an allowance of 15,000 emails per month (2,000 per day). You also get A/B testing, website tracking, 24/7 support, deep reporting, and up to 3 forms/landing pages. Not bad at all.