This article is informative, but it does not offer distinguishing features between the services covered (other than mailchimp is free). You seemed to go to great lengths to say good things about each – although I’m sure each services has positive aspects. I would have benefited much more from a rating of some sort of the various features of each service, or at least the pros & cons of each.
Today, perhaps the bigger question is whether digital marketing is a necessary term concept since some commentators have stated that we're now in a post-digital era with 'almost all' marketing now being digital now digital media and technology have become so pervasive. My view on this, explained in the post above is that we do very much need digital marketing, since many businesses still undergoing digital transformation and recruiting the digital marketing jobs and roles needed to compete. The trend in search volume also suggests there are more people searching for digital marketing than ever before, albeit with a drop before Christmas.
Targeting, viewability, brand safety and invalid traffic: Targeting, viewability, brand safety and invalid traffic all are aspects used by marketers to help advocate digital advertising. Cookies are a form of digital advertising, which are tracking tools within desktop devices; causing difficulty, with shortcomings including deletion by web browsers, the inability to sort between multiple users of a device, inaccurate estimates for unique visitors, overstating reach, understanding frequency, problems with ad servers, which cannot distinguish between when cookies have been deleted and when consumers have not previously been exposed to an ad. Due to the inaccuracies influenced by cookies, demographics in the target market are low and vary (Whiteside, 2016).[42] Another element, which is affected within digital marketing, is ‘viewabilty’ or whether the ad was actually seen by the consumer. Many ads are not seen by a consumer and may never reach the right demographic segment. Brand safety is another issue of whether or not the ad was produced in the context of being unethical or having offensive content. Recognizing fraud when an ad is exposed is another challenge marketers face. This relates to invalid traffic as premium sites are more effective at detecting fraudulent traffic, although non-premium sites are more so the problem (Whiteside, 2016).[42]

Direct mail is a type  of direct marketing in which businesses send letters, postcards or other promotional materials to past, current or potential customers or clients. Direct mail campaigns may be targeted to either a consumer or business or both.  In many cases, the mailing is directed to a target demographic (i.e. home owners) or geographic market (i.e. a specific neighborhood). In most cases, it's mass or bulk mailing, but you can send direct mail in smaller quantities as well.
I am loving this article. I specifically like points 1 and 7. As for number 1, I think a quality list is better than a gigantic list of just anyone like you say. I think this is also true for “followers” and “likes”. Are the people following you genuinely caring about your content or just subscribing just to apease you? As for #7, we have to KNOW if our efforts are working and not just go off of a gut feeling. Great points here Erik.
Thank you for this great roundup of tips regarding marketing emails. I especially appreciate your mention of tracking emails so you can continually improve your strategies, including an above the fold call to action so customers know exactly what to do next, and most of all making sure you have a solid (not necessarily huge) email list. Reaching out to those you know may be interested in your company and what it has to offer is always going to garner you the best results. I would also love to add that focusing on the customer, proofreading your email, and making the email conversational are other excellent tips for making your sales emails stand out and actually get read. Thanks again for sharing!
Marketers must first determine whether the goal is to retain customers or attract new ones, who their target audience is, and what they’re looking for. They then look to their budgets to determine which direct marketing strategy would work best for them, whether that be catalog, postcard, or email campaigns. Once they know the answers to these questions, they begin to build a strategic implementation plan.
If all Michael had was the 57k Facebook fans listed right below, I’m not nearly impressed. Combined with the big number above, however, the FB fan numbers serve as crucial verification. If your website has 1,500 FB likes, there is NO WAY I believe you have 500k viewers. But with Michael’s Facebook numbers, I start to believe in that much bigger number above, and it means I probably can’t afford to miss what he’s saying.
To have success with your email blast marketing, it requires much more than putting some content together and sending it to a bunch of people. You need to have the right content and it needs to be sent to the right group of potential consumers. In addition to that, you also need to include the right elements in the newsletters to increase the chances of action on the part of the reader. With a little bit of effort and a thoughtful approach, just about any business can manage an effective eblast campaign. 

With the internet and technology evolving so rapidly, digital marketing techniques and terminology have evolved as well. Today, terms such as “digital marketing,” “online marketing” and “internet marketing” are used interchangeably so often that it can be difficult to remember what the differences between them are. At the end of the day, CEO and co-founder of Smart Insights, Dave Chaffey, points out that the differences between these terms and their definitions don’t really matter. In his article “Definitions of Digital marketing vs Internet marketing vs Online marketing,” Chaffey explains that it is not so much the difference in definition that is important, but in the responsibilities you assign to the terms, and how effective those responsibilities are in assisting your company in its endeavors to build clientele.
Marketers need to authenticate their email to prove to ISPs that their messages are legitimate, helping to ensure delivery to their subscribers. Sender Policy Framework (SPF) verifies a brand’s identity; DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) verifies the message wasn’t tampered with in transmission; and Domain Based Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) requires both SPF and DKIM approval in order to authenticate.
As of mid-2016 email deliverability is still an issue for legitimate marketers. According to the report, legitimate email servers averaged a delivery rate of 73% in the U.S.; six percent were filtered as spam, and 22% were missing. This lags behind other countries: Australia delivers at 90%, Canada at 89%, Britain at 88%, France at 84%, Germany at 80% and Brazil at 79%.[7]
Julie Ewald recommends moving away from sending generic content to your whole email list  via e-blast entirely. With a little elbow grease, you can utilize segmentation and start sending off tailored messages to each of your lists with content that’s relevant, valuable, and designed to resonate with the kind of recipients that make up each segment.
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