Thanks for the post, Neil! I have been trying to find good resources for brainstorming what kind of offers our content marketing should have. For some reason, my creativity is completely dried up in this arena. The question “What does your target audience want?” for some reason doesn’t get at the root of the problem for me. Do you have any resources you would recommend for brainstorming that “Tantalizing” content?
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. https://echogravity.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/What-to-Expect-When-You-First-Launch.png
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.).
Due to the massive growth of the Internet, most countries have passed legislation to prevent companies from sending unsolicited emails. These laws determine what is and what is not considered acceptable email correspondence, and enforce restrictions on email communications. In the United States and Europe, for example, bulk email must contain an accurate from field and subject line, and the email content must include the sender’s physical address. In addition, a blast email must also offer its recipients the opportunity to unsubscribe from the email list — and such requests must be met within a specified period of time. As a result of these laws, it is very important for companies to maintain an updated list of subscriptions and cancellations at all times, and avoid sending out email that appears to be spam. https://mangools.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Case-study-Launching-a-new-product-email-campaign-960x510.png
Enhancing the Value of Mail: The Human Response, sponsored by the U.S. Post Office, used eye-movement tracking and biometric measurements such as heart rate and respiration to gauge attention and emotional engagement with both digital and direct mail. It then used magnetic resonance imaging to capture participants' brain activity when asked to recall a particular ad. http://1287170585.rsc.cdn77.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/3Stages_EmailMkt_Branding.png

Augmented reality: Creating a direct mail piece that comes to life and can be manipulated by your prospects and customers is very powerful. You can create a fun user experience without going over your budget when you take the time to plan it out. Look at your idea from your client’s perspective: Is the experience fun and easy to use? (Pokémon Go is a widely recognized and fun example of augmented reality.) How can you create an experience with your direct mail? Our agency crafted an experience by creating an animated cartoon that was launched by scanning the mailer. The cartoon showed people how to use a service and the pitfalls of doing it incorrectly. This campaign was funny and informative at the same time. Whatever you do, don't be boring.
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.

In the 2000s, with more and more Internet users and the birth of iPhone, customers started searching products and making decisions about their needs online first, instead of consulting a salesperson, which created a new problem for the marketing department of a company. In addition, a survey in 2000 in the United Kingdom found that most retailers had not registered their own domain address.[12]These problems made marketers find the digital ways for market development.
I’d rather not shift into being an email marketing therapist, but I’m not the first email marketer to have issues about being called a spammer. I, too, have been asked what I do in a social situation and had someone respond, “Oh, so you’re a spammer.” Of course, usually people are kidding when they call you a spammer, but but being labeled a spammer is one of an email marketers' biggest fears.

Online banner advertising began in the early 1990s as page owners sought additional revenue streams to support their content. Commercial online service Prodigy displayed banners at the bottom of the screen to promote Sears products. The first clickable web ad was sold by Global Network Navigator in 1993 to a Silicon Valley law firm.[16] In 1994, web banner advertising became mainstream when HotWired, the online component of Wired Magazine, sold banner ads to AT&T and other companies. The first AT&T ad on HotWired had a 44% click-through rate, and instead of directing clickers to AT&T's website, the ad linked to an online tour of seven of the world's most acclaimed art museums.[17][18]
To increase traffic to one of its stores, a company may post a coupon on its website that offers customers an in-store discount. To entice customers to shop more online, a business may send consumers an e-mail offering free shipping for Internet purchases. Businesses also pay for advertisements on popular search engine sites. This way, even if a company's site doesn't show up in search engine results, it may be able to maintain visibility.
Generating your own list of email contacts who have opted in to receive content from you doesn't just comply with legal regulation and protect your brand reputation. It also presents you with opportunities to grow this list through genuine relationships with new customers. We've already written a post of clever ways to go about doing this, which you can check out here. But below are the basic best practices that have a very big bang for their buck when it comes to consistently growing an email list.
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.
I typically create my email artwork in photoshop and then just drop in the jpeg using html and image mapping. Is there a “best practices” when it comes to actually putting the email together? Perhaps speaking from an editing perspective? Basically I make one big image and then use coding: img name, src, alt, a href and so forth. And for every different block, I simply create a new jpg image to use. Is there a better way I should be doing this?
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. http://www.clickalchemy.com/assets/images/email-marketing-flow-img.png
e-Commerce describes the exploitation of electronic means and platforms to conduct company business. e-Marketing (also referred to as web marketing or internet marketing) uses electronic communication technologies including the Internet, mobile phones and digital televisions to accomplish marketing objectives (McDonald and Wilson, 1999). More specifically, e-Marketing portrays company efforts to inform and communicate with buyers, and promote and sell its products and services over the Internet (Kotler and Keller, 2006).
Alternatively, ad space may be offered for sale in a bidding market using an ad exchange and real-time bidding. This involves many parties interacting automatically in real time. In response to a request from the user's browser, the publisher content server sends the web page content to the user's browser over the Internet. The page does not yet contain ads, but contains links which cause the user's browser to connect to the publisher ad server to request that the spaces left for ads be filled in with ads. Information identifying the user, such as cookies and the page being viewed, is transmitted to the publisher ad server.

The huge advantage of email over social media is that prospects and customers are more likely to see an email than social media. Just posting something doesn't mean that everyone you want to see your message will see it. Your post might not even show up in your targets' social media streams. However, an email will sit in the inbox until it's read (or deleted). 

This article is informative, but it does not offer distinguishing features between the services covered (other than mailchimp is free). You seemed to go to great lengths to say good things about each – although I’m sure each services has positive aspects. I would have benefited much more from a rating of some sort of the various features of each service, or at least the pros & cons of each.
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. https://echogravity.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/What-to-Expect-When-You-First-Launch.png
Ad blocking, or ad filtering, means the ads do not appear to the user because the user uses technology to screen out ads. Many browsers block unsolicited pop-up ads by default.[87] Other software programs or browser add-ons may also block the loading of ads, or block elements on a page with behaviors characteristic of ads (e.g. HTML autoplay of both audio and video). Approximately 9% of all online page views come from browsers with ad-blocking software installed,[88] and some publishers have 40%+ of their visitors using ad-blockers.[3]
Using the company logo and clearly identifying the sender is another good way to make an effective business email newsletter. People like to know who they are getting mail from, and once they are familiar with the newsletter, they might be more likely to read it in the future. Your logo can be at the top of the newsletter and included in your professional email signature.
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.
Well, charity: water took an alternate route. Once someone donates to a charity: water project, her money takes a long journey. Most charities don't tell you about that journey at all -- charity: water uses automated emails to show donors how their money is making an impact over time. With the project timeline and accompanying table, you don't even really need to read the email -- you know immediately where you are in the whole process so you can move onto other things in your inbox.
Email marketing has always been Permission based, but is silently replaced with its brother; Tease Marketing, continuously building on a brand relationship based on mutual interest. The challenge becomes presenting an – already in itself – appealing and attractive message. But how to benchmark your email marketing efforts to fit that new train of thought?
If someone didn't ask to hear from you yet, it doesn't mean they won't want to hear from you later. It's your job to prove to them -- through helpful content and valuable offers -- that they should stay up to date with your company via email. If you force your email content on anyone too early, even if you know in your bones they're a great fit for your products or services, you risk preemptively losing their trust and their future business.
To do an email blast, start by finding an email blasting software or website you can use, like MailChimp, Constant Contact, or Vertical Response. Then, upload your email blast and all of the contacts you want to send the email to. When you're writing your email blast, include a compelling subject line, like "Act Today, 25 percent off all shirts," so people are more likely to open it. Also, try to use actionable language throughout your email, like "Buy now" or "Call today," to encourage people to act when they read your email 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.). https://www.digitalthing.com.au/wp-content/uploads/email_campaigns.jpg
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.
Update your website and continuously offer useful and updated content. Think of your website as a storefront but in the virtual world. In the same way that you do not leave your physical store unattended for a month, you would not do the same to your website. Always update your website and keep it fresh by having a blog, announcing sales, special offers, and new products. Think that you are a customer yourself, so give them the information that they want.
You’ve launched an amazing product or service. Now what? Now, you need to get the word out. When done well, good PR can be much more effective and less expensive than advertising. Regardless of whether you want to hire a fancy agency or awesome consultant, make sure that you know what you’re doing and what types of ROI to expect. Relationships are the heart and soul of PR. This chapter will teach you how to ignore the noise and focus on substantive, measurable results.
Well, charity: water took an alternate route. Once someone donates to a charity: water project, her money takes a long journey. Most charities don't tell you about that journey at all -- charity: water uses automated emails to show donors how their money is making an impact over time. With the project timeline and accompanying table, you don't even really need to read the email -- you know immediately where you are in the whole process so you can move onto other things in your inbox.
The ad exchange puts the offer out for bid to demand-side platforms. Demand side platforms act on behalf of ad agencies, who sell ads which advertise brands. Demand side platforms thus have ads ready to display, and are searching for users to view them. Bidders get the information about the user ready to view the ad, and decide, based on that information, how much to offer to buy the ad space. According to the Internet Advertising Bureau, a demand side platform has 10 milliseconds to respond to an offer. The ad exchange picks the winning bid and informs both parties.
Establishment of customer exclusivity: A list of customers and customer's details should be kept on a database for follow up and selected customers can be sent selected offers and promotions of deals related to the customer's previous buyer behaviour. This is effective in digital marketing as it allows organisations to build up loyalty over email.[22]
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.
Best Practices Calls to Action Coding Content Marketing Copywriting Customer Journey Customer Spotlight Data-Driven Marketing Deliverability Digital Marketing Email Automation Email Design Email Development Email List Email Marketing Email Templates Event Marketing Marketing Automation Metrics Personalization Segmentation Social Media Strategy Subject Line Testing Transactional Email
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]:60[95] 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.[96][97] Consumers can be especially troubled by advertisers targeting them based on sensitive information, such as financial or health status.[95] 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.[citation needed]

It's important to know the exact result you want before you begin. Then make that result happen by ending your message with a specific call to action (or CTA). A call to action might be "call us now," "use this discount code in our shop," or "schedule a demo." Make sure the CTA is direct and appealing, and that you show the reader why it's worth their time to click, visit, or call.

Besides the fact that email blasts can be spammy and impersonal, they’re also not the most effective way to make money. Although a large-scale email blast is sure to convert, it’s not because sending it was a strategic move — it’s because you cast a wide net. If you crafted a targeted newsletter instead, you’d see a better conversion rate and you’d be able to replicate the strategy many times over. Marissa Petteruti calls email blasts a wasted opportunity to generate more revenue, citing:


Digital marketing methods such as search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing, influencer marketing, content automation, campaign marketing, data-driven marketing,[6] e-commerce marketing, social media marketing, social media optimization, e-mail direct marketing, display advertising, e–books, and optical disks and games are becoming more common in our advancing technology. In fact, digital marketing now extends to non-Internet channels that provide digital media, such as mobile phones (SMS and MMS), callback, and on-hold mobile ring tones.[7] In essence, this extension to non-Internet channels helps to differentiate digital marketing from online marketing, another catch-all term for the marketing methods mentioned above, which strictly occur online.
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.
The huge advantage of email over social media is that prospects and customers are more likely to see an email than social media. Just posting something doesn't mean that everyone you want to see your message will see it. Your post might not even show up in your targets' social media streams. However, an email will sit in the inbox until it's read (or deleted). 
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.
Molly K. McLaughlin is a New York-based writer and editor with more than a decade of experience covering technology. She has tested and reviewed all sorts of software, mobile apps, and gadgets. Before launching her freelance business, she was an editor at PC Magazine, covering consumer electronics, followed by a stint at ConsumerSearch.com, a revie... See Full Bio
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