Your customers, prospects, and partners are the lifeblood of of your business. You need to build your marketing strategy around them. Step 1 of marketing is understanding what your customers want, which can be challenging when you’re dealing with such a diverse audience. This chapter will walk you through (1) the process of building personal connections at scale and (2) crafting customer value propositions that funnel back to ROI for your company.
…email blasts are, frankly, inconsiderate from a recipient’s standpoint. We define spam as any unwanted email, and most of the time irrelevant emails are unwanted. Email blasts by definition are irrelevant since you can’t possibly send the same exact message to hundreds of thousands (or even millions!) of subscribers and expect it to resonate personally with each one.

The best time to send an email blast depends a little on the best time you think your recipients would like to receive it. Most business contacts receive an average of 75 emails per day. To make sure they have the time to review (and hopefully, read) your email, try to have your email blast arrive on Tuesday Mornings between 8am and 11am. Mondays (especially after holidays) is typically a day where most contacts are catching up on email from the weekend. Fridays are difficult, as most contacts are wrapping up work from the week and may not have the time to look at your message. Even if they do find time to read it, they may have forgotten about you, and your message, by the next Monday. If Monday is a holiday, time your email blast to arrive on a Wednesday Morning after the holiday. Mornings are best as most people are planning or finalizing their day in the mornings. This gives them more time to react to your email message that same day. Afternoons and evenings are typically too late in the workday to encourage immediate action.


Set your target audience. Audiences can be split up in a variety of ways including gender, age, geographic location, or buying habits. Before you send your blast, you want to make sure that you can segment people into different lists so you can target your blasts to the right people. Consider what demographic you want to target, and what they will need to fulfill your call-to-action.
Target Corp. inadvertently drew an early line in the sand between good data use and data use that was too personal for customer comfort. In 2012, Charles Duhigg reported in The New York Times that Target addressed a mailer, which featured coupons for cribs and baby clothes, to a high school girl. When her father complained to the company, yelling that his daughter was not pregnant, the company apologized; when the father called back a few days later, he was contrite. “It turns out there’s been some activities in my house I haven’t been completely aware of,” the father said, according to Duhigg. “She’s due in August. I owe you an apology.”
Understanding Mobiles: Understanding mobile devices is a significant aspect of digital marketing because smartphones and tablets are now responsible for 64% of the time US consumers are online (Whiteside, 2016).[42] Apps provide a big opportunity as well as challenge for the marketers because firstly the app needs to be downloaded and secondly the person needs to actually use it. This may be difficult as ‘half the time spent on smartphone apps occurs on the individuals single most used app, and almost 85% of their time on the top four rated apps’ (Whiteside, 2016).[42] Mobile advertising can assist in achieving a variety of commercial objectives and it is effective due to taking over the entire screen, and voice or status is likely to be considered highly; although the message must not be seen or thought of as intrusive (Whiteside, 2016).[42] Disadvantages of digital media used on mobile devices also include limited creative capabilities, and reach. Although there are many positive aspects including the users entitlement to select product information, digital media creating a flexible message platform and there is potential for direct selling (Belch & Belch, 2012).[44]
To create an effective DMP, a business first needs to review the marketplace and set 'SMART' (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Time-Bound) objectives.[61] They can set SMART objectives by reviewing the current benchmarks and key performance indicators (KPIs) of the company and competitors. It is pertinent that the analytics used for the KPIs be customised to the type, objectives, mission and vision of the company.[62][63]

Today we’re all about social media marketing, search engine optimization, and whatever other buzzword you can think of. But the truth is, there is no other channel that will give you a better return on investment than email. According to Adobe, for every $1 spent on email, the average ROI is $40. That’s almost double the return of SEO, the second-highest channel.
Does the difference in these terms and their definitions matter? No, of course not, it's semantics! But it is interesting to see how the scope of Internet marketing vs Digital marketing has changed over time. In my books, when discussing alternative definitions, I explain that, no it doesn't really matter, but the scope and responsibility is important to make the most of managing the opportunities. So the scope of digital marketing activities should be agreed within a business and/or between a company and its agencies. The biggest difference is whether digital marketing is simply seen as about communications (online marketing) or whether it is broader, looking at underpinning marketing technology and options for new online business and revenue models.
People read and subscribe to newsletters because they feel like there is something that they are getting from the content. If you overload an eblast with pitches to sell products and links to affiliate sites, the reader is going to tune out. Inform the reader and get them to your site by engaging them with a topic that relates to the product or service. Check out these golden rules for email blasts for more information on how to keep your readers happy.

If you’re going to get in the habit of pitching often, try to put yourself in the reader’s shoes. Ask yourself if your messaging is consistent with the expectations you’ve set. As I said before, Amazon does this well because they send relevant offers based on my buying habits. Those that send blind offers are far more likely to lose permission to keep doing so.
As emails and advertorials pile up in your subscribers’ inbox you really need to make sure you optimize your sending time. A few months back we created a super-detailed list of email marketing best practices. As a part of that we run a huge data analysis on when is the best day to send an email blast.  As it turns out Thursday morning is the optimal time for the average sender. But hey – you need to make sure what works for you and your audience.
Use it to make sales on autopilot. Creating a sales funnel out of an email autoresponder sequence is a widely adopted strategy used by information marketers, but it can also be used by software companies, eCommerce businesses and service providers. For example, it could consist of a series of educational videos, a sales video and follow-ups to sell your information products. Or, you could create a sequence of free educational emails, and then invite them to a live or recorded webinar where you make an offer. For eCommerce businesses, your sales sequence could include promo offers for products your subscriber has just viewed on your website.
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 call to action doesn’t have to be a sale or discount – it could be advertising a contest or promotion, or incentivizing people to conduct an online survey. Regardless of the nature of the call to action, there must at least BE a call to action. Direct mailing is most certainly not the avenue to send out a blank postcard or flyer that simply informs people of your presence – it’s too expensive, too time consuming, and too hard to efficiently track metrics to garner simple impressions.
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.
So what is an email newsletter anyway? An email newsletter is very much the same thing as a traditional newsletter, the only difference is that it is transmitted to the consumer through the use of email. The business obtains a list of potential consumers that may be interested in their service, they create a newsletter for that group, and then they send the mass email out to all of these people.

For subscribers who may have been on your list for a longer period of time, a small incentive or discount will often get them talking. Marketers should capitalize on word-of-mouth marketing by incorporating email sign-up on viral components, such as features that allow site visitors to forward products, services, wish lists, information online, notifications and more to their friends.
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If rounds of split testing, segmentation, and resends still result in low engagement scores for some of your subscribers then don’t be afraid to clean your list. Review subscriber data regularly to monitor activity and engagement ratings. Remove or further segment those who aren’t engaging in order to improve the overall open rates of your primary subscriber segments.
Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It usually involves using email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations, and is meant to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness. Marketing emails can be sent to a purchased lead list or a current customer database. The term usually refers to sending email messages with the purpose of enhancing a merchant's relationship with current or previous customers, encouraging customer loyalty and repeat business, acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately, and sharing third-party ads.
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.
The subheadings in the email blast also need to engage the reader. Many recipients will not actually read the whole thing and instead, they will scan the newsletter. When they scan through the email blast, the subheadings will be one of the parts most likely to catch their attention. Use your subheadings as a way to organize the relevant information in the content of the email to make it easy for your readers to jump to the information that is relevant to them.
Buying email lists doesn't just damage your deliverability and brand reputation -- it can also put your email account at risk. Email clients like Gmail, Yahoo!, and Outlook don't want to be associated with accounts that recipients repeatedly flag as spam. Email service providers like AWeber go as far as immediately closing your account if it suspects you're sending unwanted content. http://buildingastorybrand.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/email-marketing-banner.jpg
Presentation is everything, or so they say. With this old adage in mind, we’ve compiled our best tips for anyone who wants to send emails that subscribers click into a handy email design guide. We cover each facet of design: content, templates, identity, color, images, layout, fonts, and calls to action. Design is as much science as it is art, and we take the guesswork out of what can seem like the most challenging part of sending good emails.
Next up is building an email newsletter. The best services offer several ways to do this; you can import your own HTML, start from scratch, or use a pre-designed template. Most of these services have drag-and-drop UIs that let you choose exactly the elements you want to include, as well as image libraries in which you can store assets such as your logo or company photos. Tools that let you test your emails for spam are also essential since there are some seemingly innocuous terms that may send up red flags and drop all of your hard work into your subscribers' junk folders or, worse, get your emails banned before they ever reach their recipients.
Marketers try to measure customer response to direct mail through personalized URLs and coupon codes, but there’s no guarantee customers will visit websites from a specific URL or buy products using a specific code. O’Keefe says that consumers will often receive a piece of mail, get inspired and Google the product they want to buy. The difficulty of attributing conversions may be a reason why the pendulum has swung toward digital, O’Keefe says.

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.


“Direct mail can be very, very powerful. The key is what you send out. Last week, someone mailed me a message in a bottle. The message was about the company changes this business planned to instill in the new year, and the idea was so well put out that I called them immediately. Here’s the key: Send a more creative message to less people. It’s about quality, not quantity. ” ~ Joe Apfelbaum, Ajax Union


Set your target audience. Audiences can be split up in a variety of ways including gender, age, geographic location, or buying habits. Before you send your blast, you want to make sure that you can segment people into different lists so you can target your blasts to the right people. Consider what demographic you want to target, and what they will need to fulfill your call-to-action.
Write a compelling subject line. The subject of your email will be the first thing that people will see when viewing it. Because of the immense amount of spam that exists, it's important that you draw the recipient in enough so that they open the message. The subject line should invite the reader to some benefit or include a sense of urgency which requires action. Avoid cliche marketing terminology like "act now" or "free limited offer" as these subject lines can make recipients feel suspicious and turned off. Your subject line should be 50 characters or less.[2]

Use custom campaign URLs. Google provides a tool where you can create your own unique URL for your particular marketing campaigns. You may include parameters such as your medium, source, content, term, and campaign name. As soon as you have a customized link, you may use it in its complete form or shorten it by using a link shortening tool such as bit.ly.

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Create your mailing. The success of direct mail requires designing a compelling mailer. To do that, you need to understand copywriting. It's not enough to tell people about your business. Instead you need to entice them by speaking to their needs and offering to be the solution to their problems. You are allowed to put text on an envelope, so don't forget to put a message that entices people to open your letter.
In our email marketing software review roundup, we test the top email marketing tools available based on how easy it is to create emails, build subscriber lists, set auto-responders, and pull in other communication-based tools, such as social media management and web analytics software. To that end, we selected Campaigner and MailChimp as the best pure-play email marketing services. If you need a more complex tool that can build comprehensive workflows designed to automate the email marketing process, then we recommend HubSpot and Pardot, which are better served as marketing automation tools.
Email marketing is all about expectations, and it’s up to you to set them. If your call to action is strong, and your follow-up is consistent, then you can count on a positive campaign. However, if you promise to send one email per week and instead send them daily, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. On the contrary, if someone is expecting daily updates or critical product updates and you don’t’ deliver, then they are likely to be just as upset in that case too.
In our email marketing software review roundup, we test the top email marketing tools available based on how easy it is to create emails, build subscriber lists, set auto-responders, and pull in other communication-based tools, such as social media management and web analytics software. To that end, we selected Campaigner and MailChimp as the best pure-play email marketing services. If you need a more complex tool that can build comprehensive workflows designed to automate the email marketing process, then we recommend HubSpot and Pardot, which are better served as marketing automation tools.
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

Use it to promote up-sells/cross-sells. You can even set up an autoresponder sequence for someone after they purchase and get repeat customers. Depending on the products you sell, you could offer an upsell, or cross sell related products. For example, if someone buys a digital camera, you can offer to add a lens, a tripod, and other accessories to their order before it ships. Or, if you sell products that people buy frequently (like food or disposable items, like diapers), you can automatically send them offers for new items when you know they’re about due for another order.
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.
Your social media strategy is more than just a Facebook profile or Twitter feed. When executed correctly, social media is a powerful customer engagement engine and web traffic driver. It’s easy to get sucked into the hype and create profiles on every single social site. This is the wrong approach. What you should do instead is to focus on a few key channels where your brand is most likely to reach key customers and prospects. This chapter will teach you how to make that judgment call.
As mentioned earlier, technology and the internet allows for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week service for customers as well as enabling them to shop online at any hour of that day or night, not just when the shops are over and across the whole world. This is a huge advantage for retailers to use it and direct customers from the store to its online store. It has also opened up an opportunity for companies to only be online based rather than having an outlet or store due to the popularity and capabilities of digital marketing.
Email marketing is all about expectations, and it’s up to you to set them. If your call to action is strong, and your follow-up is consistent, then you can count on a positive campaign. However, if you promise to send one email per week and instead send them daily, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. On the contrary, if someone is expecting daily updates or critical product updates and you don’t’ deliver, then they are likely to be just as upset in that case too.
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!?
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