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.
With so many of the us depending on the internet to stay tuned into what's going on in our lives and in the world, it's no wonder that direct mail, or "direct classic" as the industry sometimes refers to it, has become an afterthought for small business marketing strategies. Postage is getting more and more expensive. Plus, email delivery and online communications are near immediate compared to the time it takes to go through the production, proofing, printing, and mailing process.

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?
Are you really willing to risk not only your email deliverability, but also the reputation of your IP address and your company? Even if you find the light after purchasing or renting email lists and decide to only email those who have opted in with your company, it'll take you months (or maybe years) to get your Sender Score up and rebuild the reputation of your IP.
This is not a recommended email marketing practice any more. The most successful email marketers segment their lists. The cutting-edge marketers are using things like dynamic content to take personalization even further. But even beginner email marketers can add a subscriber’s name to subject lines. Even that has been shown to give a nice lift when used appropriately.

One of Raquel’s suggestions is to make sure the email contains a clear call to action. The recipient should be able to tell right away what you’re asking them to do, and when they click through, they should be taken to the exact page they need, not just your homepage. If you ask them to click on a video thumbnail to watch a video, you need to link them directly to the video. If you’re asking them to read your latest blog post, link them right to it.
It is increasingly advantageous for companies to use social media platforms to connect with their customers and create these dialogues and discussions. The potential reach of social media is indicated by the fact that in 2015, each month the Facebook app had more than 126 million average unique users and YouTube had over 97 million average unique users.[27]
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.

“I am a big believer in the intersection of online and offline marketing and this can be a big win with direct mail marketing. If you can provide users with a strong enough incentive to visit your website then you can then integrate follow up strategies like remarketing and email nurturing. As marketers we have to try and break down the wall between traditional advertising and digital as often that intersection is where the best results are.”


Data-driven advertising: Users generate a lot of data in every step they take on the path of customer journey and Brands can now use that data to activate their known audience with data-driven programmatic media buying. Without exposing customers' privacy, users' Data can be collected from digital channels (e.g.: when customer visits a website, reads an e-mail, or launches and interact with brand's mobile app), brands can also collect data from real world customer interactions, such as brick and mortar stores visits and from CRM and Sales engines datasets. Also known as People-based marketing or addressable media, Data-driven advertising is empowering brands to find their loyal customers in their audience and deliver in real time a much more personal communication, highly relevant to each customers' moment and actions.[37]
Before people hand over their email address, you’re going to have to offer them something enticing in exchange. This could be a free eBook, access to a Webinar, or the promise of discounts or deals exclusively for your subscribers. You could even repurpose some of your existing blog content and turn it into a guide or resource list. Whatever you decide to offer, just make sure it’s something people will recognize as holding true value!

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?
The criteria and metrics can be classified according to its type and time span. Regarding the type, we can either evaluate these campaigns "Quantitatively" or "Qualitatively". Quantitative metrics may include "Sales Volume" and "Revenue Increase/Decrease". While qualitative metrics may include the enhanced "Brand awareness, image and health" as well as the "relationship with the customers".
Think targeted marketing when determining the demographic selects for your mailing list. Who are your best customers? A direct mailing list performs better when you target your prospects based on the demographics of your current customers. Our online mailing list service allows you to define your mailing list by age, income, gender, length of residence and more. Each list contains different demographic selects.
E-marketing can offer more competitive prices than traditional marketing because e-marketing reduces costs by not having to maintain physical store space and by strategically placing distribution centers throughout the country. Second, because the Internet is available 24/7, e-marketing enables shoppers to search for product/service information and buy goods at their convenience, not just when the store is open. Third, research indicates that the cost of Internet-based promotion is one-fourth of traditional promotion, because it does not incur the costs of paper, printing, handling, and mailing. Fourth, e-marketing enables buyers to custom-build products such as shoes, clothes, computers, and automobiles on the Web, options often not available in stores.
There are many vendors out there who sell lists or rent them (though renting means that the list seller maintains ownership and control of the email list). These are collections of email addresses that the vendors sell to any business or individual who can pay the fees. Your email list is considered to be a purchased or shared list if it’s provided to you by a third party, like an email list vendor or affiliate. There's a few ways that vendors build these non opt-in email lists.

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.
The old formula for direct marketing success was mass marketing: "Mail to as many people as you can; someone has to be interested." However, paper and postage costs are always increasing, and with so much mail ending up in the trash, businesses have changed their way of thinking. Why waste money mailing to everyone when everyone is not a potential customer? You need to target the leads who will buy. That is the difference between mass marketing and target marketing.  Targeted mailing lists pinpoint your best leads.  There is less waste and a higher percentage of prospects responding to your mailing.
A pillar of content and copywriting is to write as if you’re speaking to one single person at a time. This isn’t feasible with mass email marketing, but segmenting your list and messages helps attain the same sort of feeling. Email marketing segmentation transforms generic email into personalized and tailored messages more likely to resonate with your recipients.

In 2002 the European Union (EU) introduced the Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications. Article 13 of the Directive prohibits the use of personal email addresses for marketing purposes. The Directive establishes the opt-in regime, where unsolicited emails may be sent only with prior agreement of the recipient; this does not apply to business email addresses.
Further, today's consumer is connected 24/7 and attention spans are divided across multiple mediums -- web, email, mobile apps, texts, TV, radio, etc. Direct mail pieces received directly to homes or businesses break through marketing silos and require a dedicated pause to consider compared to the many thousands of on-screen messages we receive any given hour. Consider how unaffected you are as a consumer when you receive spam emails -- it's a quick click to delete without a second thought. But we're receiving less physical mail than before, and are therefore less likely to dismiss mail as quickly as we used to.
It is increasingly advantageous for companies to use social media platforms to connect with their customers and create these dialogues and discussions. The potential reach of social media is indicated by the fact that in 2015, each month the Facebook app had more than 126 million average unique users and YouTube had over 97 million average unique users.[27]
The final part of the description summarises approaches to customer-centric emarketing. It shows how success online requires a planned approach to migrate existing customers to online channels and acquire new customers by selecting the appropriate mix of e-communications and traditional communications. Retention of online customers needs to be based on developing customer insight by researching their characteristics, behaviour, what they value, what keeps them loyal and then delivering tailored, relevant web and e-mail communications.
Hi Louise – it depends how you’re running your website. With an integrated platform like Thrivehive you can update your website and send emails seamlessly. Most website platforms do not have this capability and you would have to use a third party email campaign system like MailChimp or Constant Contact. For more information about our integrated platform, you can go to https://thrivehive.com/request-a-demo and fill out a form for someone to give you a call!

If you’re serious about growing your business, building a healthy email list should be one of your top priorities. When it comes down to it, your list is one of the only online assets that you have 100% control over. Having a solid social media presence is absolutely essential (here’s why), but you’ll always be at the mercy of new and changing algorithms (think Facebook’s Edgerank). And achieving high search engine rankings is great too, but again, you’re at the mercy of changing algorithms and updates.
To help explain the scope and approaches used for digital marketing working with the IDM in 2005 I developed a more (too?) detailed definition than the simple one at the start of this post to better scope it and show how digital marketing needs to be closely aligned to broader marketing objectives and activities and involves much more than SEO and inbound marketing. So this is the original definition from 2005 - how should it change now?
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.
I recently had my MailChimp account suspended. One of my sites is in the ‘make money online’ space. It’s a completely legitimate website, but apparently if your emails contain keywords they don’t like, they will suspend you. I would not recommend using them. Contacting support I just get form responses that are completely unhelpful. There’s no phone support- just account termination. Really bad experience. Luckily, this is a very new site- but imagine if you have thousands of emails and they just shut you down without ANY recourse.

Although online marketing creates many opportunities for businesses to grow their presence via the Internet and build their audiences, there are also inherent challenges with these methods of marketing. First, the marketing can become impersonal, due to the virtual nature of message and content delivery to a desired audience. Marketers must inform their strategy for online marketing with a strong understanding of their customer’s needs and preferences. Techniques like surveys, user testing, and in-person conversations can be used for this purpose.


Direct Mail Printing and Addressing: Depending on which printer -- online or local -- that you work with, costs will vary. There are also other variables that will impact cost, including size of your direct mail piece, as will your use of color vs. black & white, type of paper used, whether your marketing list will need to be cleaned up, and other caveats.
Using the word blast says a lot about how you view email marketing. And because so many of us are so very touchy about being characterized as spammers (or just feel bad about “bothering” our subscribers) even using a word that leans toward sounding like spam bothers us. Remember that there are always two definitions of spam. There’s the email marketers’ definition (the CAN-SPAM Act of 2013 definition), and then there’s the consumer definition. The consumer definition of spam is simple and complete: It’s email they don’t want.
The first is just common sense. Do you really think that hundreds of random people will be interested in what you are promoting? Probably not. Most will instantly delete the email, unsubscribe, or mark your email as spam. Plus, if you buy the list from a company that gathered the names in less-than-ethical ways, you risk being labeled a spammer. And if that happens, having a small database is the least of your worries.
Purchased lists are ineffective, and they impact everyone else who uses Mailchimp, too. If you send emails to a list of people whose contact info you bought, many of the emails will get identified as spam. Some spam filters will flag a campaign if anyone with the same IP has sent spam in the past. When you use Mailchimp, your email is delivered through our servers, so if one person sends spam, it could prevent other users’ emails from reaching inboxes. But by forbidding Mailchimp users from using purchased lists, we increase deliverability for everyone.
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.
Using Dr Dave Chaffey's approach, the digital marketing planning (DMP) has three main stages: Opportunity, Strategy and Action. He suggests that any business looking to implement a successful digital marketing strategy must structure their plan by looking at opportunity, strategy and action. This generic strategic approach often has phases of situation review, goal setting, strategy formulation, resource allocation and monitoring.[60]
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.
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.
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?
As advertisers collect data across multiple external websites about a user's online activity, they can create a detailed profile of the user's interests to deliver even more targeted advertising. This aggregation of data is called behavioral targeting.[26] Advertisers can also target their audience by using contextual to deliver display ads related to the content of the web page where the ads appear.[19]:118 Retargeting, behavioral targeting, and contextual advertising all are designed to increase an advertiser's return on investment, or ROI, over untargeted ads.[27]
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