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.
Email marketing is now a very popular offshoot of direct mail marketing (See also Email Marketing). However, it’s worth bearing in mind that 37 states now have laws regarding “spam,” or unwanted junk email. Therefore, companies that wish to maintain a positive reputation use an “opt-in” policy for marketing email, targeting only interested customers.
Getting started shouldn't be daunting. Generally, you'll know right away whether you like a user interface (UI) or not, and most of the contenders we reviewed offer free trials so you can poke around before dropping any cash. Luckily, most of these services have modern-looking graphics and uncluttered layouts. These are not the complex business software UIs of yesterday. Be careful, though, as some free trials require a credit card. This means you need to be sure to cancel your trial before you're billed if you're not happy with the service.
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.
When people talk about email marketing, lots of them forget to mention transactional emails. These are the automated emails you get in your inbox after taking a certain action on a website. This could be anything from filling out a form, to purchasing a product, to updating you on the progress of your order. Often, these are plain text emails that marketers set and forget.
As a growing business, you may also be looking for a CRM solution, and you'll find that the more advanced email marketing services have begun to crossover into CRM. It makes sense: Both types of software deal with managing and communicating with customers. A handful of these services are one-stop shops, either offering both email marketing and CRM out of the box or as add-on services.
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!
A good email blast or newsletter has a professional email signature at the end. Email signatures are not only compliant with CAN-SPAM laws but they also provide a quick and effective way for the recipient to contact you, find your social media profiles, and engage with your business. Email signatures make email blasts more effective for businesses. Check out this blog post for examples of email signatures for you and your business.
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.