When writing this guide, we reached out to the marketer community to collect case studies and learnings about creative marketing strategies. Most of these examples are included throughout the guide, but some didn’t quite fit. So we included those loose ends here, from the perspective of four awesome marketers. What better way to wrap up this guide than with you, our community?
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.
The best email marketing platforms depend on your budget and desired features. Here are some to consider. MailChimp is free for up to 2000 subscribers, so it’s a popular platform to start with. Alternatives to MailChimp include Constant Contact and Aweber. If you need to include other marketing tasks, try Hubspot or Infusionsoft, which many larger businesses use. Whichever you choose, you can easily hire someone to help you set up your email marketing account and create an email newsletter template.
Nathan, it’s a great write up,no doubt about that.But I would be more willing to learn or see your progresssion from none to an established brand. For example, you said you had worked with affiliates. But it’s not easy for a new brand to work with top affiliates. So what you did to build relationships with them? Lastly, time frame and monetary costs can be discussed as well 🙂
As Ximena Cordon points out in her article “What is the Difference Between Digital and Online Marketing” on WhiteSharkMedia.com, “digital marketing” does not necessarily mean the internet; it can simply mean utilizing technology to build your marketing message. Technologies such as e-books, SMS texts, games and TV ads can be defined as digital marketing; however, so can online videos and e-mails. So long as a form of digital technology or digital media is utilized in spreading your marketing message, you have engaged in digital marketing.
If ebooks aren't your jam, create tools instead. I don't recommend a one-or-the-other approach, necessarily, but if you have more development talent than writing talent, this may be a more attractive option for you. These tools can be valuable enough to some of your website visitors that they'll trade you their email address for a free demo of the product you built. Then, for your first email, ask them what they thought of the tool. It's the perfect icebreaker. http://1287170585.rsc.cdn77.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/3Stages_EmailMkt_Branding.png
Your best bet will be to give away something that’s valuable to your target market; for instance, a high-value digital asset on a niche topic. You can give away products (we’ve all seen contests where the prize is a free iPad or gift certificates), however this strategy often leads to entrants who are more interested in the money than in what you have to offer. http://www.mailigen.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/guest-blog-feature-1.2.32.png
Another collection method happens when list vendors buy emails lists from industry trade shows (or other events) where people give their info during the registration process. This is not the same thing as folks who signed up with you, directly, at your trade show booth! This is where list vendors purchase the entire registration list, from the trade show, itself. http://www.emailvendorselection.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/email_drips_hobsons.jpg
It doesn’t need to be overly complex or convoluted. In fact, the best lead magnets are simple and can be easily digested within five minutes. All you’re aiming to do with a lead magnet is to offer as much value as possible in its simplest form. The only difficult bit is making sure that you know your audience well enough to be offering something that you know they will like.
According to Chaffey, more and more people are researching the term “digital marketing” as companies attempt to make the transition from traditional marketing efforts to digital. Chaffey defines “digital marketing” as “achieving marketing objectives through applying digital technologies.” The decision whether or not to invest in digital marketing, however, should be determined by the results you, or your company, experience from your campaigns, not your company’s adoption of the technology that now gives you the means to utilize digital marketing.
Ever since the dawn of time, entrepreneurs have been giving away stuff for free. From the “lite” versions of apps, to samples in the grocery story, or straight up assaulting you with perfume every time you walk past the makeup department. Entrepreneurs of all sorts will fall over themselves trying to give you their stuff for free, all in the hopes that you’ll want to come back for more.
Hey Jonathan , enjoyed the article but it’s far fetched for startups and beginners like me who came here to see how in the first place we bring people to our website and not how we engage them or get email out of people who are already there.. getting people on your website is a bigger challenge, love your knowledge about the field is there an article which will help solve this?
Every ESP will give you tools to create an opt-in form for your site. Generally speaking, the less information you ask for (at this initial stage, at least), the better. The more information you ask for, the less likely your prospect is to complete the process. You’ll obviously need to ask for an email address, and I also highly recommended that you ask for a first name so you can personalize your emails. However, asking for any information beyond these two fields can decrease conversion rates significantly without adding much valuable data.
Much of this increase can be attributed to the ability to couple physical mail pieces with mobile and online marketing efforts, resulting in a sound multichannel marketing program. Think of how many pieces of mail you've seen recently sporting QR codes, URLs to social media sites, and SMS short codes. Mail affords marketers greater reach, allows more information to be communicated than most online advertising efforts, and gives buyers the opportunity to respond to a call to action in the way that they want, on their own time.
A key objective is engaging digital marketing customers and allowing them to interact with the brand through servicing and delivery of digital media. Information is easy to access at a fast rate through the use of digital communications. Users with access to the Internet can use many digital mediums, such as Facebook, YouTube, Forums, and Email etc. Through Digital communications it creates a Multi-communication channel where information can be quickly exchanged around the world by anyone without any regard to whom they are.[28] Social segregation plays no part through social mediums due to lack of face to face communication and information being wide spread instead to a selective audience. This interactive nature allows consumers create conversation in which the targeted audience is able to ask questions about the brand and get familiar with it which traditional forms of Marketing may not offer.[29]
Most people don't think of email as a lead- or contact-generating channel. But because people forward helpful emails to colleagues or friends, it can actually expand your database if you simply make forwarding or sharing email content easy for recipients. Include calls-to-action in your emails that make sharing an obvious choice for recipients, particularly with your most useful assets.
I typically create my email artwork in photoshop and then just drop in the jpeg using html and image mapping. Is there a “best practices” when it comes to actually putting the email together? Perhaps speaking from an editing perspective? Basically I make one big image and then use coding: img name, src, alt, a href and so forth. And for every different block, I simply create a new jpg image to use. Is there a better way I should be doing this?
One of a small business’s best marketing assets is a healthy email list. While proper management and use of your email file will drive revenue immensely, it is often a challenge to create the email list itself. With inbox clutter on the rise and customers becoming more sensitive toward any unwanted communication, marketers should develop their subscriber lists with relevance and care. 
Another collection method happens when list vendors buy emails lists from industry trade shows (or other events) where people give their info during the registration process. This is not the same thing as folks who signed up with you, directly, at your trade show booth! This is where list vendors purchase the entire registration list, from the trade show, itself. http://www.emailvendorselection.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/email_drips_hobsons.jpg
The recipient of your email blast is unlikely to commit a lot of time to reading what you send. If you keep the content short, make it easy to scan and easy for them to digest, it will be a much better value for both of you. Aim the content toward providing the reader with enough info to get them interested and then encourage them to follow the links to learn more. http://dgmseo.com/images/email1.png
As mentioned before, the type of email campaign you send depends entirely on your goals with email. If you’re looking to drive direct sales then sending marketing offer and announcement campaigns are going to return the best results, however if you are simply looking to keep your existing customers up-to-date on the latest projects, products or developments at your company, then sending a regular newsletter is going to be the best way to achieve that.

Though the internet and digital technologies allow businesses to reach their existing clients and catch potential clients’ attention more easily, Chaffey reminds us that it is important that not all of your company’s efforts go into online or digital marketing alone. In order to be truly successful in spreading the word about your brand or gaining new customers, you must integrate your digital marketing techniques with traditional media such as print, TV ads or direct mail. This integration is called “E-marketing” and usually has a wider scope than traditional media or digital marketing alone. Since “E-marketing,” like “online marketing,” uses some form of digital technology to either create the content of a campaign or deliver it, the term is another that can be used in place of “digital marketing.”


A web-based interface is often available to allow people to subscribe, unsubscribe, and change their preferences. However, mailing list servers existed long before the World Wide Web,[1] so most also accept commands over email to a special email address. This allows subscribers (or those who want to be subscribers) to perform such tasks as subscribing and unsubscribing, temporarily halting the sending of messages to them, or changing available preferences - all via email. The common format for sending these commands is to send an email that contains simply the command followed by the name of the electronic mailing list the command pertains to. Examples: subscribe anylist or subscribe anylist John Doe.
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.
Expert marketer Ramit Sethi of GrowthLab agrees with Julie about saying goodbye to the email blast, going as far as to publish a blog post entitled “Stop sending email blasts! Do this instead”. The post takes the recommendation to segment even further by suggesting “hotlists” — sub-segments of your email list that subscribers can opt into based on their interest in a specific project of yours.
When you meet people face to face for any reason, ask for their business card. Offer yours. Set a glass bowl on the counter in your store or the reception desk in your office, and ask visitors to drop their cards in it. Offer some incentive to do so — a free product or service, gift card, etc. Use your own business cards to further drum up emails; add an offer on the back of your card that encourages people to sign up to receive your emails.
If you are able to consult with customers one-on-one, ask any new clients how they heard about you. This will be trickier if you own a restaurant or clothing store since you won’t be able to track down every customer to ask how they heard about you. In these instances, consider asking customers to take a survey on every receipt. Offer an incentive (coupon, discount, etc.) to increase the chances that people will actually fill it out.
To increase traffic to one of its stores, a company may post a coupon on its website that offers customers an in-store discount. To entice customers to shop more online, a business may send consumers an e-mail offering free shipping for Internet purchases. Businesses also pay for advertisements on popular search engine sites. This way, even if a company's site doesn't show up in search engine results, it may be able to maintain visibility.
Did you know there are organizations dedicated to combating email spam? Thank goodness, right? They set up a little thing called a honeypot, which is a planted email address that, when harvested and emailed, identifies the sender as a spammer. Similarly, things called spam traps can be created to identify spammy activity; they're set up when an email address yields a hard bounce because it's old or no longer valid, but still receives consistent traffic. Fishy, eh?

We just started using MailChimp because it seems to be the only one that offers a free account for small or new users. The problem is that there are so many steps for a potential subscriber to go through with both double opt-in and recaptcha, that we are getting at best complaints to worst, plain nasty comments posted on our Facebook page. We don’t know how many would be subscribers we lost because of this.
Sometimes this just means cashing in on some old favors, other times it means we’ll share one of their lead magnets on our account too. Sometimes we’ll work out a deal where we’ll do five caption shoutouts of their account in return for them sharing just one of our lead magnets or something similar. If necessary, sometimes we’ll even pay money to have them share one of our promotional posts.
When people talk about email marketing, lots of them forget to mention transactional emails. These are the automated emails you get in your inbox after taking a certain action on a website. This could be anything from filling out a form, to purchasing a product, to updating you on the progress of your order. Often, these are plain text emails that marketers set and forget.
Email marketing has evolved rapidly alongside the technological growth of the 21st century. Prior to this growth, when emails were novelties to the majority of customers, email marketing was not as effective. In 1978, Gary Thuerk of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) sent out the first mass email[1] to approximately 400 potential clients via the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET). This email resulted in $13 million worth of sales in DEC products, and highlighted the potential of marketing through mass emails. However, as email marketing developed as an effective means of direct communication, users began blocking out content from emails with filters and blocking programs. In order to effectively communicate a message through email, marketers had to develop a way of pushing content through to the end user, without being cut out by automatic filters and spam removing software.

Electronic mail , often abbreviated as email or e-mail , is a method of exchanging digital messages, designed primarily for human use.. An electronic mail message consists of two components, the message header , and the message body , which is the email's content. The message header contains control information, including, minimally, an originator's email address and one or more recipient addresses. Usually additional information is added, such as a subject header field.. E-mail systems are based on a store-and-forward model in which e-mail computer server systems accept, forward, deliver and store messages on behalf of users, who only need to connect to the e-mail infrastructure, typically an e-mail server, with a network-enabled device (e.g., a personal computer) for the duration of message submission or retrieval. Rarely is e-mail transmitted directly from one user's device to another's. Wikipedia
Thank you for compiling. This is a great list of suggestions and reminder for my clients. Additionally, we’ve found that the use of sound, lights and unique folds also help drive participation and engagement with the DM piece. With the right product, the inclusion of a QR code can also help recipients take action immediately and interact with the advertised brand.
#7 is very important. Narrowing down the target market to consumer specifics such as age, income or home value can help improve conversion rate from 2% to 50%. I see it far too often that companies just send random mailers to all addresses within a certain zip code. It’s totally ineffective and ends up being a waste of money. I recommend purchasing a list, it’s generally very cheap and greatly increases your chances of a successful direct mail advertising campaign.
I think what Brian and the testers are missing is that 15k is neither big enough to be impressive nor small enough to be inviting. It’s not a number that works effectively as social proof, and while I can’t test it out myself, I believe, based on evidence for social proof around the web, that DIYthemes would have had much better success with a combined number in the 50k+ range as mentioned above.
Unlike online content, direct mail cannot be ignored. A catalog sits in someone’s inbox, earning attention whether the person buys a product because of the content or throws the mailer in the trash. “It’s worth it to put the time and energy in because you get to sell one-on-one to the prospect with very few distractions,” Simpson says. “That’s why I love direct mail.”
If you want to code your own emails, you have the freedom to do so. But this is an advanced skill that requires a good bit of technical know-how. Here’s what you need to take the coding leap—whether you’re just getting started, wondering about the basics of HTML emails, or looking for a guide to coding them. We’ve also rounded up a few more resources you might need as you become a certifiable email pro. https://www.websolutions.com/Customer-Content/www/CMS/files/blog/email-must-haves.png
It’s important to note how a number of growing trends revolve around content of value – not promotional content. Things like personalization and subscriber lifetime value, bite-sized content that’s easy to digest, stronger narratives and storytelling, richer experiences… that’s all key to crafting highly engaging emails that will grow your open and engagement rates.
Pam Neely has been marketing online for 15 years. She's a serial entrepreneur and an avid email and content marketing enthusiast with a background in publishing and journalism, including a New York Press Award. Her book "50 Ways to Build Your Email Marketing List" is available on Amazon.com. Pam holds a Master's Degree in Direct and Interactive Marketing from New York University. Follow her on Twitter @pamellaneely.
First of all, BuzzFeed has awesome subject lines and preview text. They are always short and punchy -- which fits in perfectly with the rest of BuzzFeed's content. I especially love how the preview text will accompany the subject line. For example, if the subject line is a question, the preview text is the answer. Or if the subject line is a command (like the one below), the preview text seems like the next logical thought right after it:
Note: If you want to attach additional files, such as a .pdf, we recommend that you store these files on a cloud storage service, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, and linking to these files within your blast. We do not support file attachments to an email blast as these file types tend to be larger, increasing your chances of triggering spam filters and preventing your blast from reaching your recipients. https://www.agilecrm.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/How-to-Design-a-Good-Drip-Email-Campaign-.jpg
In this day and age, there is no need for these services. No one wants to hear from you via email, phone or snail mail. If we did, we’d contact you. Unless a person speaks to you specifically and requests to be contacted, they did NOT opt-in. We were sold by some company who lied when they claimed to respect our privacy. We HATE being contacted by you, and feel violated each time it happens. People all over the world make fun of marketers of all sorts, and wish it were illegal for you to contact us in any manner. Curious to see how many spam email I get from this post.
It’s important to note how a number of growing trends revolve around content of value – not promotional content. Things like personalization and subscriber lifetime value, bite-sized content that’s easy to digest, stronger narratives and storytelling, richer experiences… that’s all key to crafting highly engaging emails that will grow your open and engagement rates. 

Now that you’re all set up to starting collecting emails, the fun part begins (when I say ‘fun’, I actually mean ‘hard’). If your site receives a good amount of traffic and you have a truly compelling offer, this shouldn’t be too difficult. However, if you’re like most business owners, you’ll need to look outside your own audience to start building your list.
If ebooks aren't your jam, create tools instead. I don't recommend a one-or-the-other approach, necessarily, but if you have more development talent than writing talent, this may be a more attractive option for you. These tools can be valuable enough to some of your website visitors that they'll trade you their email address for a free demo of the product you built. Then, for your first email, ask them what they thought of the tool. It's the perfect icebreaker. http://1287170585.rsc.cdn77.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/3Stages_EmailMkt_Branding.png
Well, charity: water took an alternate route. Once someone donates to a charity: water project, her money takes a long journey. Most charities don't tell you about that journey at all -- charity: water uses automated emails to show donors how their money is making an impact over time. With the project timeline and accompanying table, you don't even really need to read the email -- you know immediately where you are in the whole process so you can move onto other things in your inbox.
This email list growth was a major component of a massive product launch we undertook this past winter. In the lead-up to the launch of our Instagram Domination 2.0 course, we doubled down on our goal to rapidly grow our email list. In this article I’m going to reveal to you the exact tactics we used and how we employed them in order to explode our mailing list.
A lead magnet (a.k.a. an optin bribe) is something amazing that you give away for free in exchange for an email address. This doesn’t have to cost you anything to create– most lead magnets are digital materials like PDFs, MP3 audio files, or videos that you can create yourself at minimal or no cost. It can be absolutely anything you want, so long as it provides value for free.
If you want to code your own emails, you have the freedom to do so. But this is an advanced skill that requires a good bit of technical know-how. Here’s what you need to take the coding leap—whether you’re just getting started, wondering about the basics of HTML emails, or looking for a guide to coding them. We’ve also rounded up a few more resources you might need as you become a certifiable email pro.

As email marketing has blossomed and matured over the years, the terms email blast and e-blast have declined in popularity due to their negative connotations, being replaced with more palatable terms like newsletter or email campaign. And along with the new names have come innovations that allow marketers to create email blasts that are more personalized, better segmented, and thankfully less aggressive. We’ll talk about those innovations a little later.

While it’s tempting to say that we were able to create such a massive email list all by ourselves the reality is that it impossible to get that far without the help of some friends. As an entrepreneur one of our most valuable resources is our community of peers. While it may be easy to view others in your niche as your competitors, you’ll actually get a lot of more out of your entrepreneur community if you actually view them as potential partners who can help you out.
You don’t have to worry about Google or Facebook suddenly changing their algorithms, because once you have someone’s email you have the ability to communicate with them one on one. Even if all of Foundr’s search rankings and social media presence disappeared tomorrow, we’d still be able to promote our brand and our products to the thousands of people on our mailing list.
Thank you for the above piece the makes it easy for new entrants like to me understand Direct Marketing better. I am the owner of a Custom made Bespoke Suiting Company that makes suits, trousers, jackets, skirts, blouses and shirts for men and women. I have tried digital media advertising but haven’t had any luck. I am a start-up business and running on very tight budget so would like to start with a small but affluent neighbourhood with small population. I am thinking of targeting Westlake Village which is on the Western Edge of LA County and has a population of around 9000 with nearly 3000 households. What should be my approach and how may households should I target keeping in mind budgetary constraints.

Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a bachelor's degree in marketing, statistics, business administration or a similar field is the common requirement to enter a career in marketing. If you'd like to specialize in e-marketing, you could complete a bachelor's program in this field. Certificate and master's degree programs in e-marketing are also available, if you have a different education background and now want to enter this field.

Sponsor a video contest in which customers create a one-minute video about why they like your business, products or services. Ask them to send the videos to you and post them to your Facebook page. Invite visitors to vote on which video should win a cash or merchandise prize. Include an email opt-in on your Facebook page. Be sure to follow Facebook’s rules regarding contests.
Not really. Email addresses that belong to an "opt in" list have opted to receive emails from, say, the list-purchasing company -- not your company. Even if the opt-in process includes language like, "Opt in to receive information from us, or offers from other companies we think you might enjoy," the fact is the recipient doesn't recall having a prior relationship with you, specifically. This makes it highly likely for the recipients to mark you as "spam" when you arrive in their inboxes. Hey, if they don't recognize you or remember opting in to communications from you ... can you blame them?

To find what campaigns bring in the best ROI, O’Keefe suggests that marketers test as many aspects of their campaign as possible, including frequency, number of pages and types of mail they’re sending. He also suggests that marketers get a baseline of their efforts, then test their campaign by holding off on sending mail to certain segments of customers. This can help marketers understand the true value of that segment. O’Keefe says that many marketers get nervous about losing touch with a potentially important customer group, but he believes holding off is one of the best ways to get statistically significant data on the ROI of direct mail.


The post is very informative and the list you have shared with is great, but the Constant Contact is good I think to start the company as the live chat features are powerful in it can solve the one query on time. But it’s chargeable that to $20 at least it should be $10, I don’t know much about its but I’ll try for that free package and check it. Thank You.
A key benefit of using online channels for marketing a business or product is the ability to measure the impact of any given channel, as well as how visitors acquired through different channels interact with a website or landing page experience. Of the visitors that convert into paying customers, further analysis can be done to determine which channels are most effective at acquiring valuable customers.
The DMA’s 2017 Response Rate Report finds that the response rate for mail sent to people on house lists (subscribers who opted in to mail) was 5.1% for the year, and the response rate for prospect lists (potential clients) was 2.9%. These numbers are up from 2003, when house lists drew a response of 4.4% and prospect lists a response of 2.1%. And even though online shopping has surpassed purchases from direct mail pieces, the DMA reports that 100.7 million U.S. adults​ made a purchase from a catalog in 2016, compared with 209.6 million people who made purchases online the same year, per Statista. 
Loved reading this! Which of these would you recommend so that I could set myself reminders on certain clients so that I can follow up with them in the future? I feel like I am doing a lot of extra steps that I might not have to do if I was using an actual marketing software. I am in the very beginning stages of getting my business out there and I would like to follow up with potential clients down the road with an email… is this a possibility or should I just keep using my excel spreadsheet!?
The third and final stage requires the firm to set a budget and management systems; these must be measurable touchpoints, such as audience reached across all digital platforms. Furthermore, marketers must ensure the budget and management systems are integrating the paid, owned and earned media of the company.[68] The Action and final stage of planning also requires the company to set in place measurable content creation e.g. oral, visual or written online media.[69]
Basic text-based email editors to fully designed HTML or JavaScript templates are just some of the features these packages can provide businesses. You can manage your contacts by simply keeping a list of names and email addresses or you can create a complex database full of subscribers segmented by demographic slices and engagement levels. Which method you choose really just depends on how much of your budget you're willing to allocate towards the email marketing software that can give your company the features it needs.
It's practically impossible to overstate the importance of direct mailing lists to the success of your direct mail program. The correct mailing list will contain your most valuable prospects. The more careful you are in analyzing and selecting direct mailing lists, the better your chances for success. There are several different categories of mailing lists available on the market today ranging in cost and appropriateness for your market. When you are considering what type of mailing list to buy consider the following three types:
You definitely want to avoid the tactics of spammers and the language that they employ. Loading the email blast with terms like “special offer” or “urgent news” could send up a flag for spam and that will get your email newsletter sent straight to the spam folder. For more information about sending emails that don’t look like spam, check out these email marketing laws for business owners.
Neil O’Keefe, senior vice president of marketing and content at the Data & Marketing Association, says that marketers began questioning direct mail’s endurance in 2007. That year, Statista reports that smartphone sales jumped 70% from the previous year to $8.7 billion. At the same time, the volume of mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service began to plummet: In 2006, people in the U.S. sent 213.1 billion pieces of mail, according to USPS; by 2017, they were sending 149.5 billion pieces each year, a 29.9% decline. By this point, smartphone sales had reached $55.6 billion. The price of postage and paper had skyrocketed, as did the number of internet users—everything seemed to hammer a nail into direct mail’s coffin.
Most graphic designers managers have at least a bachelor’s degree—usually in art, computer science, or marketing. Classes in all of these areas will help a graphic artist gain a better perspective of what consumers (and employers) are looking for. In addition, internships and volunteering of design services for non-profit organizations are fantastic ways for artists to build a portfolio prior to entering the field. 
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