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 concept is simple. If someone is reading an in-depth blog post of yours, chances are they’re very interested in what you have to say on the topic. The key is to then offer them something that is directly related to the topic they’re reading about. You know they’re already interested, so by offering instantaneous extra value it’s not difficult to see why people would gladly sign up.
Internet service providers (GMail, Yahoo, etc.) and anti-spam organizations create the spam traps to prevent spam from reaching people’s inboxes. The important thing for everyone to remember is if you use a purchased list, you are technically spamming the people on that list. Spam is unsolicited email and those people did not request your information.
Sometimes this just means cashing in on some old favors, other times it means we’ll share one of their lead magnets on our account too. Sometimes we’ll work out a deal where we’ll do five caption shoutouts of their account in return for them sharing just one of our lead magnets or something similar. If necessary, sometimes we’ll even pay money to have them share one of our promotional posts.
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.
As with offline advertising, industry participants have undertaken numerous efforts to self-regulate and develop industry standards or codes of conduct. Several United States advertising industry organizations jointly published Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising based on standards proposed by the FTC in 2009. European ad associations published a similar document in 2011. Primary tenets of both documents include consumer control of data transfer to third parties, data security, and consent for collection of certain health and financial data.:2–4 Neither framework, however, penalizes violators of the codes of conduct.
Understand the statistics. Click-through rate or CTR is how often customers click on links contained in your email. There is also a conversion rate, which tracks how many people took action after clicking your link, as well as a rate for how many people opened and read your email. Many email blast software will have these metrics built in. Do not make things in the email blast confusing or complicated as it can prevent people from taking action or even reading the blast.
If you’ve read this blog before, you know how heavily we stress the importance of preparing, making a well-thought out and comprehensive plan, and then executing against it. Well, it’s no different for direct mail marketing, and the tried-and-true approach for this tried-and-true method of marketing is known as the 40/40/20 rule. This rule dictates that the success and eventual ROI of your direct mail marketing efforts are going to be dependent upon three factors – 40% of your success will come from how effective your mailing list is, another 40% will depend on how compelling your offer is, and the remaining 20% will come from everything else (design, the copy/text of the mailing, the images you’ve chosen, delivery date and method, etc.).
I like that you specifically mentioned art design and quality control. I get it, mail marketing design is hard sometimes, but nothing is going to make me less interested in your product than sloppy design. I won’t name names, but I get catalogs sent to my house by a major music retailer and those things are a NIGHTMARE to read. Product layouts that change from page to page, inconsistent use of pictures, it was just rough. I get not everyone has that Restoration Hardware/IKEA budget for catalogs (especially in an industry that doesn’t rely on them as much anymore, so maybe it’s not the fairest comparison) but a little more time and care will make me much more interested in whatever this year’s new Fender is.
Unlike online content, direct mail cannot be ignored. A catalog sits in someone’s inbox, earning attention whether the person buys a product because of the content or throws the mailer in the trash. “It’s worth it to put the time and energy in because you get to sell one-on-one to the prospect with very few distractions,” Simpson says. “That’s why I love direct mail.”
Marketers don’t always automatically receive notifications when they’ve been blacklisted, so it’s up to the marketer to monitor their brand’s email sending reputation. There are a number of free online resources that marketers should utilize to check their blacklist status before sending an email blast, such as Barracuda Reputation Block List or MultiRBL.
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.
Most of the article really talks about how to successfully get an email of a person who has already landed on your landing page/podcast page/affiliate/blog etc. but how to get those people there in the first place is a bigger challenge. Also, one of the ways you can include in your list is by offering free tools/widgets. For example, OpenSiteExplorer by Moz is a great example. Evergreen and very useful for the target audience.
Many consumers have reservations about online behavioral targeting. By tracking users' online activities, advertisers are able to understand consumers quite well. Advertisers often use technology, such as web bugs and respawning cookies, to maximizing their abilities to track consumers.:60 According to a 2011 survey conducted by Harris Interactive, over half of Internet users had a negative impression of online behavioral advertising, and forty percent feared that their personally-identifiable information had been shared with advertisers without their consent. Consumers can be especially troubled by advertisers targeting them based on sensitive information, such as financial or health status. Furthermore, some advertisers attach the MAC address of users' devices to their 'demographic profiles' so they can be retargeted (regardless of the accuracy of the profile) even if the user clears their cookies and browsing history.
Another key aspect of any email blast is the target audience. Make sure you’re hitting inboxes where the probability response, purchase or interaction is high. If you’re shooting emails like a loose cannon on a rolling deck, you could put off prospects and customers (if you make it to their inboxes!), tarnish your image and end up wasting a lot of time, money and effort.
I think what Brian and the testers are missing is that 15k is neither big enough to be impressive nor small enough to be inviting. It’s not a number that works effectively as social proof, and while I can’t test it out myself, I believe, based on evidence for social proof around the web, that DIYthemes would have had much better success with a combined number in the 50k+ range as mentioned above.
A/B testing is trying two different techniques that communicate the same message on a small percentage of your list, seeing whether A or B performed the best, then using the better performing option when you email the rest of the list. It sounds complicated, but there are plenty of email marketing solutions out there that take all the math and guesswork out of it. (All you have to do is come up with the option A and option B you want to try.)
Not only was this initial email great, but his response to my answers was even better: Within a few days of responding to the questionnaire, I received a long and detailed personal email from Matt thanking me for filling out the questionnaire and offering a ton of helpful advice and links to resources specifically catered to my answers. I was very impressed by his business acumen, communication skills, and obvious dedication to his readers.
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.
Most popular email marketing services offer functionality that strikes a recipient from a list once a certain number of emails to a specific recipient ‘bounced’ back as undeliverable. Don’t be overeager to remove a subscriber, though; there are valid reasons why an email cannot be delivered. Consider only removing such a subscriber after four or five “bounces”.
“We’re always giving people the option to join our email list when they come into the spa, but we just recently added the option for people to sign up when they visit our website,” explains Christine Copertino, spa director for Allegria Spa. “The response has been great. We’re seeing a ton of people signing up, and we know that these are really engaged people who will be excited to receive our emails.”