Email Marketing – How To Increase Its Effectiveness

Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing tactics utilized by current internet business owners. It involves more than creating simple sales messages and with a little bit of creativity can become a powerful and even fun marketing tool.

There are many different ways to approach email marketing and each niche will have its own way of effectively utilizing this technique. Some ideas to keep in mind that you may find interesting:

1. Try to keep your email lists as targeted as possible. Lists that reach a specific group of people will generally have higher response rates. This allows you to really aim your emails at the specific interests and concerns of those particular users.

2. Build your own email list by creating a free email newsletter. By offering free advice, products, or services you can get potential customers to opt-in to your email list. This way you can reach interested customers over time and refresh their memory about your products or services.

3. Generate consistent long term sales by regularly providing relevant newsletters to your opt-in users. Providing your potential customers with useful materials will build trust and lower your unsubscribe rate.

4. Use a reliable and inexpensive auto responder service that will consolidate all of your email lists. Using a service like aweber.com you can create unlimited auto responders and have potential customers opt-in to your email lists from any where. (website, blog, etc.) You can create the opt-in forms and have scheduled messages sent automatically or manually to all of your members.

5. Generate more sales and credibility through offering useful series of emails that can be sent by your auto responder over several different emails. Keep the series of emails related, promoting a relevant product or service.

6. Encourage your recipients to forward the emails to their friends, relatives, and colleagues. This will increase the amount of exposure and improve the reach of your email marketing broadcast.

These are just a few ideas to consider when developing your own email marketing campaign. Email marketing is extremely affordable and is a powerful tool consistently generating long term sales and contact with potential customers.

e-Marketing Strategy: 7 Dimensions to Consider (the e-Marketing Mix)

What is e-Marketing?

e-Marketing is still quite a controversial subject to talk about, since no one succeeded to unify the various theories around it; however there is one thing upon which there is no doubt – that e-Marketing first appeared under the form of various techniques deployed by pioneer companies selling their products via the internet in the early 90’s.

The frenzy around these new marketing techniques created by e-tailers and supported by the internet rapidly gave birth to a new dimension of what we knew as Marketing: the e-Marketing (electronic Marketing).

There are many definitions to what e-Marketing is, the simplest and shortest one being formulated by Mark Sceats: e-Marketing is Marketing that uses the internet as manifestation media. A working definition is that coming from a group of CISCO specialists: e-Marketing is the sum of all activities a business conducts through the internet with the purpose of finding, attracting, winning and retaining customers.

e-Marketing Strategy

The e-Marketing Strategy is normally based and built upon the principles that govern the traditional, offline Marketing – the well-known 4 P’s (Product – Price – Promotion – Positioning) that form the classic Marketing mix. Add the extra 3 P’s (People – Processes – Proof) and you got the whole extended Marketing mix.

Until here, there are no much aspects to differentiate e-Marketing from the traditional Marketing performed offline: the extended Marketing mix (4 + 3 P’s) is built around the concept of “transactional” and its elements perform transactional functions defined by the exchange paradigm. What gives e-Marketing its uniqueness is a series of specific functions, relational functions, that can be synthesized in the 2P + 2C+ 3S formula: Personalization, Privacy, Customer Service, Community, Site, Security, Sales Promotion.

These 7 functions of the e-Marketing stay at the base of any e-Marketing strategy and they have a moderating character, unlike the classic Marketing mix that comprises situational functions only. Moderating functions of e-Marketing have the quality of moderate, operate upon all situational functions of the mix (the classic 4 P’s) and upon each other.

1. Personalization

The fundamental concept of personalization as a part of the e-Marketing mix lies in the need of recognizing, identifying a certain customer in order to establish relations (establishing relations is a fundamental objective of Marketing). It is crucial to be able to identify our customers on individual level and gather all possible information about them, with the purpose of knowing our market and be able to develop customized, personalized products and services.

For example, a cookie strategically placed on the website visitor’s computer can let us know vital information concerning the access speed available: in consequence, if we know the visitor is using a slow connection (eg. dial-up) we will offer a low-volume variation of our website, with reduced graphic content and no multimedia or flash applications. This will ease our customer’s experience on our website and he will be prevented from leaving the website on the reason that it takes too long to load its pages.

Personalization can be applied to any component of the Marketing mix; therefore, it is a moderating function.

2. Privacy

Privacy is an element of the mix very much connected to the previous one – personalization. When we gather and store information about our customers and potential customers (therefore, when we perform the personalization part of the e-Marketing mix) a crucial issue arises: that of the way this information will be used, and by whom. A major task to do when implementing an e-Marketing strategy is that of creating and developing a policy upon access procedures to the collected information.

This is a duty and a must for any conscious marketer to consider all aspects of privacy, as long as data are collected and stored, data about individual persons.

Privacy is even more important when establishing the e-Marketing mix since there are many regulations and legal aspects to be considered regarding collection and usage of such information.

3. Customer Service

Customer service is one of the necessary and required activities among the support functions needed in transactional situations.

We will connect the apparition of the customer service processes to the inclusion of the “time” parameter in transactions. When switching from a situational perspective to a relational one, and e-Marketing is mostly based on a relational perspective, the marketer saw himself somehow forced into considering support and assistance on a non-temporal level, permanently, over time.

For these reasons, we should consider the Customer Service function (in its fullest and largest definition) as an essential one within the e-Marketing mix.

As we can easily figure out, the service (or assistance if you wish) can be performed upon any element from the classic 4 P’s, hence its moderating character.

4. Community

We can all agree that e-Marketing is conditioned by the existence of this impressive network that the internet is. The merely existence of such a network implies that individuals as well as groups will eventually interact. A group of entities that interact for a common purpose is what we call a “community” and we will soon see why it is of absolute importance to participate, to be part of a community.

The Metcalf law (named after Robert Metcalf) states that the value of a network is given by the number of its components, more exactly the value of a network equals the square of the number of components. We can apply this simple law to communities, since they are a network: we will then conclude that the value of a community rises with the number of its members. This is the power of communities; this is why we have to be a part of it.

The customers / clients of a business can be seen as part of a community where they interact (either independent or influenced by the marketer) – therefore developing a community is a task to be performed by any business, even though it is not always seen as essential.

Interactions among members of such a community can address any of the other functions of e-Marketing, so it can be placed next to other moderating functions.

5. Site

We have seen and agreed that e-Marketing interactions take place on a digital media – the internet. But such interactions and relations also need a proper location, to be available at any moment and from any place – a digital location for digital interactions.

Such a location is what we call a “site”, which is the most widespread name for it. It is now the time to mention that the “website” is merely a form of a “site” and should not be mistaken or seen as synonyms. The “site” can take other forms too, such as a Palm Pilot or any other handheld device, for example.

This special location, accessible through all sort of digital technologies is moderating all other functions of the e-Marketing – it is then a moderating function.

6. Security

The “security” function emerged as an essential function of e-Marketing once transactions began to be performed through internet channels.

What we need to keep in mind as marketers are the following two issues on security:

– security during transactions performed on our website, where we have to take all possible precautions that third parties will not be able to access any part of a developing transaction;

– security of data collected and stored, about our customers and visitors.

A honest marketer will have to consider these possible causes of further trouble and has to co-operate with the company’s IT department in order to be able to formulate convincing (and true, honest!) messages towards the customers that their personal details are protected from unauthorized eyes.

7. Sales Promotion

At least but not last, we have to consider sales promotions when we build an e-Marketing strategy. Sales promotions are widely used in traditional Marketing as well, we all know this, and it is an excellent efficient strategy to achieve immediate sales goals in terms of volume.

This function counts on the marketer’s ability to think creatively: a lot of work and inspiration is required in order to find new possibilities and new approaches for developing an efficient promotion plan.

On the other hand, the marketer needs to continuously keep up with the latest internet technologies and applications so that he can fully exploit them.

To conclude, we have seen that e-Marketing implies new dimensions to be considered aside of those inherited from the traditional Marketing. These dimensions revolve around the concept of relational functions and they are a must to be included in any e-Marketing strategy in order for it to be efficient and deliver results.

Benefits of Using an Email Obtainer Service

One of the most challenging aspects of opening a new business, or growing your existing company, is figuring out how you are going to target new consumers. Whether you are searching for consumers, prospective employees or clients, finding individuals online is not an easy task. Even though all the information is out there, figuring out what service to use to obtain said information is the challenge. One service businesses may want to consider using is an email obtainer service, where you can find any email without much effort. The service is efficient and easy to use.

With such a service, you can find any email and reach out to anyone you may have encountered in the past. For instance, let us say that you met someone at a recent business conference. You may have caught their name, but you forgot to exchange contact information with them. How would you go about finding such a person? Unless you know where they worked, and the employee’s email address is listed on the company website, you would be out of luck. Yes, you can fish around among your contacts to see if anyone knows the person, but that endeavor could take a while.

The most productive way to approach the situation is to use an email obtainer service. It is free, and it only takes you a few seconds to find the person you are searching for. Whether you are searching for an individual based on their company name, LinkedIn profile, first name, last name or some other identifiable information, the email obtainer service will help you figure out their email address. There are hundreds of millions of email addresses included in these databases, with more being added daily. There is no email address that you cannot track down eventually!

The great thing about such a service is that it has a wide variety of applications. Say you are working in human resources, and you are hoping to check up on some potential hires. Maybe they wrote down their names when you conducted a few spot interviews during a conference on an expo. However, you did not get a chance to jot down their email addresses or phone numbers. Now you want to get in touch with these individuals, to let them know they can go ahead with a second interview for the job. Thanks to the email obtainer service, finding them should not take more than a few minutes.

The service is not even limited to businesses. Maybe you have a long-lost friend that you went to high school with, and it has now been 15 or 20 years since you last made contact. Even though a lot of people now use Facebook or other social media sites, maybe your friend is not on Facebook. Finding them through the email finder service is a great idea, as you only need to enter their full name to come up with a list of potential email addresses. Finding people takes on a whole new meaning with such a service!

AWeber Vs MailChimp: Which Works Better?

You can never do away with people or visitors who will just go to your website and will probably not buy anything. This is a problem encountered by all internet marketers. However, you can always do something to reduce this kind of traffic leak. One of the most effective ways is by presenting your readers or visitors with the option to sign up for your mailing list. This is where you will need a reliable email autoresponder and an effective landing or capture page. An autoresponder delivers information (including download links) as soon as the visitor confirms his email address after signing up through your landing page. It enables continuous marketing at very low-cost, expands reach and attracts more traffic and subscribers to your blog or website. Above all, it helps generate repeat sales and develop long-term relationships with your subscribers with little efforts.

As an internet marketer, choosing the right autoresponder is very crucial to the success of your online business. I had the chance to review the features of two well-known service providers, and here I will discuss them briefly to you to help decide what features and benefits to consider when choosing the right one for your business.

AWeber is considered as the market leader in email marketing and mailing list management with its smooth email marketing system. It provides its customers numerous user-friendly and customizable templates that come with 1 to 2 column designs to easily fit different opt-in forms and it allows you to create your own sign-up forms using its built-in wizard. It is equipped with a system that can import your contacts not only from your site, but also from a couple of third-party websites including PayPal and Yahoo. AWeber offers free migration support for importing your list from other email marketing service provider.

Knowing your progress with AWeber is made easy because of its excellent tracking system that will monitor your campaign’s performance. It will show you the people who opened your mail, which of your links are clicked and the number of people who opt-out or no longer wish to stay in your list. Its segmenting feature can group your subscribers based on similar activities like opening the same link or purchasing the same product. This is particularly helpful in targeting the right content to the appropriate leads for higher revenue conversion.

MailChimp is another autoresponder provider. It also offers numerous opt-in form templates, however not customizable. Just like AWeber, it provides a campaign progress report that details the growth of your subscribers and your subscriber’s activities, whether they read your email and click on your links or not.

I have come across a couple of customer reviews about MailChimp. Some users are unhappy with their services, especially on the issues about user’s accounts being shutdown, while others are complaining about being unable to send messages to their subscribers. Some say that these things happen because of MailChimp’s very strict policies, making people address the network as “not affiliate friendly”.

As to their rates, AWeber offers its services depending on the number of your subscribers. You will be charged $19 per month for 500 subscribers, $29 for 2500 subscribers, $49 for 5000 subscribers, $69 for 10,000 subscribers, $149 for 25, 000 and if you gain more subscribers, you can talk to their help desk for a special price. While in MailChimp, your first month will be free of charge, given that it will not exceed its trial limit which is 2000 subscribers. On the succeeding months, you will also be charged

depending on the number of your subscribers. For 2,500 subscribers, you will be billed $30, $50 for 5,000 subscribers, $75 for 10,000 subscribers, $150 for 25,000, $240 for 50,000 and a special price if you exceed those.

You may find that AWeber is more expensive compared to MailChimp when you have less than 2000 subscribers, However, once you have more than 10,000 subscribers MailChimp charges more per month than AWeber. Most important of all is you need to consider long-term which email list provider will be more beneficial to you. Surely, you do not want to start engaging with one, that will eventually fail or not work for your business. Yes, you can move and replace your service provider if things do not get any better, but you must remember that moving or transferring your list is not an easy and beneficial task. Given that when you do so, chances are up to 90% of your subscribers that you have worked hard for can be lost.

Remember that in choosing or settling for a service provider, be it AWeber or MailChimp or another company altogether, you really need to do your homework before you commit. List building management is such an important part of your growing your business in terms of being able to build trust and relationship with your subscribers and being able to provide value. Keep in mind That it is through value based marketing that you will be able to monetize your list. So to answer the question AWeber Vs. MailChimp, it is necessary for you to check the company’s credentials and reviews before getting involved, as you want to be able to deal with a company that you can use for the long-term and one you can rely on to effectively manage your email list.

Choosing an Autoresponder Service

If you’re an Internet marketer, you probably know how an autoresponder can help you improve your business online. However, those who are just new in the business aren’t probably aware of the benefits they can enjoy from using an autoresponder, or they don’t even know what to consider when choosing a reliable service.

For starters, before making a choice which autoresponder service to try, it’s important to consider the following:

1. Are you going to install an autoresponder software on your server?

2. Are you going to use an autoresponder service instead?

You have to know that there’s a difference between an autoresponder service and an autoresponder software. For instance, the main difference would be the fact that an autoresponder software should be installed on the server while an autoresponder service is usually hosted on a domain. Now, let’s move on to things you should look out for when choosing an autoresponder service:

Credibility

When choosing an autoresponder service, it’s important to pay attention to how long the company has been in the business. It’s one of the important factors that can help you determine its reliability. The longer the company has been in the business, the better rapport they have built with ESPs, such as Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo.

This only implies that the possibility of your email getting flagged as spam would lessen because they’ve already made a reputation on these servers. Also, when choosing an email marketing platform, it’s important to look for how long the company has been in the business. As a rule of thumb, don’t choose a provider that hasn’t been in the business for at least eight years.

User Interface

Unfortunately, this one is often overlooked, but a business owner can quickly tell a lot about the quality of service to expect from the quality of a service provider’s website.

For instance, if the autoresponder’s website isn’t even appealing at all, and tough to navigate, then you’ll have the idea that sending emails using their service would probably be a daunting task that would waste most of your time. Ideally, an email marketing service provider should be able to provide a nice, clean, and modern design. Likewise, it would also be ideal if they have a Drag N Drop feature.

This would give you the advantage of creating htlms and newsletters in a breeze, and because the interface is always user-friendly, you wouldn’t get distracted during the process. Most email marketing service providers provide a 30-day trial at a very affordable price.

As much as possible, if you’re interested in trying an autoreponder service you should sign up for a free trial first and test drive their dashboard, see if it’s something you like. If you find it difficult to navigate through the site, then it wouldn’t be a good deal at all– you’ll end up hiring someone else to do this for you.

Deliverability

This is considered to be the most important specification when deciding what autoresponder service you should trust. The effectiveness of email marketing efforts usually depends on one’s ability to land in the subscriber’s inbox. A company that has been in the business for several years would be able to provide a good deliverability. Though, you should still make it a habit of browsing the site and seeing that they can deliver the results you’re expecting.

How Deep Are You Ready to Go?

After understanding the main factors that should be considered when choosing an email marketing platform, the next question that you have to answer is how targeted you’re going to be with your marketing campaign. This level of depth will help you determine the type of platform that would be ideal for your business.

Should You Try a Free Autoresponder Service?

Of course, there are free autoresponder services available out there. However, you should know that these services make their money by inserting ads in every mail being sent to that autoresponder. Some subscriber may find this annoying, and so, it’s not worth the try at all, especially if your aim is to attract customers.

Final Words

There you have it; these are just some of the most straightforward criteria that would allow you to pick the best autoresponder for your business. There’s a lot of reputable services out there, and it’s up to you to do your research and pick one that would help you rank up and promote your business to a wide scope of audience.