Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our sample templates here. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question. For my full profile and other social networks, see the Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.
In order to engage customers, retailers must shift from a linear marketing approach of one-way communication to a value exchange model of mutual dialogue and benefit-sharing between provider and consumer.[21] Exchanges are more non-linear, free flowing, and both one-to-many or one-on-one.[5] The spread of information and awareness can occur across numerous channels, such as the blogosphere, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and a variety of other platforms. Online communities and social networks allow individuals to easily create content and publicly publish their opinions, experiences, and thoughts and feelings about many topics and products, hyper-accelerating the diffusion of information.[22]

Just like with any other form of advertising, you will need to hit people with your message more than once in order to maximize effectiveness. Your first send might pique their interest, but people are receiving mail at the same time they are getting home, and are facing many distractions. By consistently sending marketing messages, you increase the chance that they will convert.
Just because something is true, it doesn’t mean it should be sent to the customer. Good personalization is relevant and valuable, but it shouldn’t be too specific, O’Keefe says, citing Netflix and Amazon as good examples for direct marketers. These companies know what their customers want, but they don’t go over the top in telling them things about themselves they may not yet know. 
Understand the statistics. Click-through rate or CTR is how often customers click on links contained in your email. There is also a conversion rate, which tracks how many people took action after clicking your link, as well as a rate for how many people opened and read your email. Many email blast software will have these metrics built in. Do not make things in the email blast confusing or complicated as it can prevent people from taking action or even reading the blast. http://network.napco.com/target-marketing/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2016/10/1266076_59809070_thumbnail.jpg
This is why it’s so important to make the time to establish strong connections with other influencers in your niche, and to view them as collaborators and not competitors. It was because of the relationships that we’ve built with these other influencers that allowed us to have our lead magnets and content shared directly to their own community. Which in turn led to us growing our mailing list by 56,000 new subscribers in just 30 days.

Thanks for the warning re ESPs, spam traps & spam treatments Crystal. That’s a shame. Who puts the Spam trap in there & I wonder what they’re trying to achieve? The clients I have already picked up with this purchased list may save our business. As mentioned, at $250-$500 per lead through our SEO campaign, this lead acquisition rate was unsustainable. In brief, this would not be a business. But at $13.75 per lead through the purchased cold email list, those are metrics which make a profitable business. I wonder why anyone would try to block this efficiency with Spam traps? Thanks for your time to help.
You can send people to a landing page on your website that has a URL that is specific to your direct mail campaign. You will then need your vanity URL to redirect to a tracking URL. Unfortunately, this will only be a useful measure of success if you are trying to drive traffic to your site. To learn how to do this, view this white paper by Brian Clifton explaining ways to track offline marketing. You can purchase your vanity URL here.
If you create an email blast that asks your contacts to do something (like call you, fill out a form on your website, or take advantage of an offer), make sure you have that high up in the email.  A good rule of  thumb is that your call to action should appear right away, when someone opens your email. If someone has to scroll to find it, it’s in the wrong place. It’s the same philosophy as the old newspaper theory that the stories “above the fold” are those which get the most attention.

Paid channel marketing is something you’ve probably come across in some form or another. Other names for this topic include Search Engine Marketing (SEM), online advertising, or pay-per-click (PPC) marketing. Very often, marketers use these terms interchangeably to describe the same concept — traffic purchased through online ads. Marketers frequently shy away from this technique because it costs money. This perspective will put you at a significant disadvantage. It’s not uncommon for companies to run PPC campaigns with uncapped budgets. Why? Because you should be generating an ROI anyway. This chapter walks through the basics of how.
I would wager that most business owners under the age of 35 probably have never even considered running a direct mail marketing campaign for their business. Having grown up in an increasingly paperless world, the mere concept of spending precious marketing dollars on printing up thousands of pieces of paper to stuff into mailboxes across a large swath of people seems pretty crazy to the younger generation of entrepreneurs – and it’s not a baseless feeling. There’s no denying that the business world (and our world in general) has been dramatically swinging toward the quicker, more efficient, much cheaper, and much more environmentally friendly realm of electronic communication. But does direct mail marketing actually work?
Craig Simpson, a direct marketing consultant, says that he works on hundreds of direct mail campaigns each year and finds the most successful campaigns are those coordinated with other media. For example, if a brand sends a piece of direct mail to a consumer, who then receives an e-mail and retargeted ads as parts of the same campaign, Simpson believes that those campaigns will have the best results. 
To do this, you need to have a web analytics tool (like Google Analytics) installed on your site. If you do, and you’ve enabled our Google Analytics integration, then you’ll be able to see details of any visits to your website from your email campaigns, including how long they spent on your site, what pages they visited, what campaigns they’re coming from and more.
This ties into the second 40 of the 40/40/20 rule – now you’re probably beginning to see why that was listed up front and why it’s universally considered the gold standard when it comes to direct mail marketing guidelines. With other forms of advertisements or marketing, it is perfectly acceptable to only go after impressions – a billboard in a highly-trafficked area or a TV spot that is more of a teaser in nature can sometimes go a long way toward educating the public of your existence, which is the first step in getting them to engage. With direct mailings however, you might as well be printing cash to send out to people if you don’t have a compelling call to action to give people.
You could use your Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo accounts, but if you need something professional and fool-proof and want to avoid being labeled a spammer, it’s a far better idea to use an email blast program provided by a professional email marketing company such as Benchmark Email. Benchmark’s partnerships with elite consortiums like The Email Sender & Provider Coalition (EPSC) and leading delivery experts like Return Path give you the best chance of reaching a prospect’s inbox, which is a major challenge in email blast marketing. Benchmark Email even has built-in data merging features, which allow you to import contact information from different databases so you don’t need to re-enter long email lists. Besides this, you can also customize your mails in easy-to-use HTML editors before sending them to your customers and prospects.
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.
Build your audience and manage your contact groups. Install our opt-in widget on your website to capture email addresses and automatically sync to contact lists in your account. Upload your own contact lists as either a CSV, TXT or XLS files. Our system will seamlessly integrate into your CRM acting as your second pair of eyes, filtering out unsubscribes and possible errors.
Just because something is true, it doesn’t mean it should be sent to the customer. Good personalization is relevant and valuable, but it shouldn’t be too specific, O’Keefe says, citing Netflix and Amazon as good examples for direct marketers. These companies know what their customers want, but they don’t go over the top in telling them things about themselves they may not yet know. 
It wasn’t enough to just post high-quality articles on the Foundr blog itself, but it was crazy important that we start getting our posts onto other influential sites as well. Taking our cues from Buffer, we began drastically ramping up our content creation process. Part of that process of guest posting was including as many links as possible back to the Foundr site.
Just an Idea as a facebook/social friends request is slightly different than a push to read my spam email and less intrusive. the prospect has the choice and through this decision you can pretty much ascertain they are looking for what you are offering or interested in the targeted keywords your profile centres around- when you are friends start a conversation and follow up.
If you want to operate an email blast campaign as a part of your marketing strategy, then you need to send the emails out regularly. If it is too long between emails, then the recipient might not even remember what your content has to offer. However, you do not want to send them too frequently. If the consumer is getting an email from you every other day, then they might get annoyed and stop reading altogether.
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.
This is a process described by Seth Godin known as permission marketing. The core concept of this idea is that you never market to someone that doesn’t want it, you first have to ask them for their permission. When someone signs up to your email not only do they become a warm lead but they give you their permission to send them offers and to market to them.
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.

There are a number of ways brands can use digital marketing to benefit their marketing efforts. The use of digital marketing in the digital era not only allows for brands to market their products and services, but also allows for online customer support through 24/7 services to make customers feel supported and valued. The use of social media interaction allows brands to receive both positive and negative feedback from their customers as well as determining what media platforms work well for them. As such, digital marketing has become an increased advantage for brands and businesses. It is now common for consumers to post feedback online through social media sources, blogs and websites on their experience with a product or brand.[25] It has become increasingly popular for businesses to use and encourage these conversations through their social media channels to have direct contact with the customers and manage the feedback they receive appropriately.


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Personalization in email marketing is essential because most people want a more relevant experience. Email personalization is not just about using people’s names in an email. It’s also about making sure you send the right emails to the right people at the right time. One essential tool for email personalization is segmentation. You can get an email marketing expert to help you set up segments so you can personalize appropriately. Done right, email personalization results in more clicks and more business.
You can now avoid meta keywords because they are no longer as important as they were before for search engine optimization. Many search engines know that websites can “game” their meta keywords field through black hat keyword stuffing. Hence, Google puts no importance on meta keywords in its ranking algorithm. Google puts more importance on meta descriptions and title tags, as previously mentioned. Nevertheless, they still form a helpful part in the communication of your message.
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?
Find things that encourage people to engage. By tracking the statistics on each of your emails, you'll be able to develop concise reports about what works and what doesn't for your target audience. Take note of the specific days and times for your highest open and conversion rates. Test different tones and subject lines and see what causes your audience to read the blast. Stick to the things that your consumer tends to favor or enjoy and avoid repeating aspects of emails that do poorly according to the stats.
I know a few of you just thought, “I cannot run my business like that”. So work with this. Instead of sending endless sale item emails, send just one “give” email a month. And what if you sent a really cool story of what someone has done with your products once a month? If you send weekly emails, just adding those two emails into the mix every month now means you’re on 1 to 1 schedule. Will your sales go down if you do this? Maybe a little. Will your engagement go up over time if you execute this well? Like a rocket ship.
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