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Boris Recommends

15
Jun

GetResponse email marketing systemOne of the best and most reliable business email marketing solutions on the market is GetResponse. Over the last few years this email marketing company has established itself as the tool of choice for creating, sending and tracking opt in email marketing campaigns such as email newsletters, promotions and surveys.

If you’re not happy with your existing email service provider, this would be a good time to consider switching as GetResponse currently runs a promotional campaign where the first 1000 new clients get a guaranteed prize, such as an iPad, Amazon Kindle, etc.

The feature that sets GetResponse apart from the competition (such as MadMimi, Aweber, etc.) is their built-in GetSubscribers service which you can use to purchase pre-qualified, double opt-in subscribers to your account. These days building your email list is becoming more difficult as people are increasingly more and more reluctant to subscribe to online offers and newsletters. GetResponse can build your list fast and for a very low cost with their GetSubscribers service. Check out Getresponse today for a chance to win one of 1000 guaranteed prizes.

Category : Boris Recommends | Email List Building | Email Service Providers | Blog
27
Dec

iContact email marketingIf you’re looking for an affordable business email marketing solution look no further than iContact. Over the last few years this email marketing company has established itself as the tool of choice for creating, sending and tracking opt in email marketing campaigns such as email newsletters, promotions and surveys.

If you’re not happy with your existing email service provider, this would be a good time to consider switching as iContact currently run their usual end-of-year discount campaign. With plans starting at just $8.46 per month (for annual accounts), and $9.95 per month (for monthly accounts), their pricing structure is very competitive, and if you upgrade your account from the free trial to a paid account you can now save up to 27%.

All you have to do is open a free trial account, then upgrade to a paid level and use the promo code “LOCKIN2010″ before December 31 and save 15% if you’re paying monthly, or save an additional 15% if you upgrade to an annual account, for a total of 27% savings.

Category : Boris Recommends | Email Service Providers | Uncategorized | Blog
23
Jun

Over the years I’ve tried about a dozen or so Email Service Providers (ESPs), and now I regularly use iContact.

If you’re thinking of switching ESPs, or are considering getting into opt-in email marketing for your small business or solo practice, iContact is making your decision a bit easier with their June 2010 promotion: save 15% when you upgrade your account (you start with a free trial account), and save an additional 15% if you also pre-pay for a year of service, for a total of 30% savings. Use the promo code June2010 to save now!

I recommend iContact to my clients who are looking for a service that provides:

  • 99% deliverability rate
  • unlimited lists
  • unlimited auto-responders
  • unlimited signup forms
  • RSS-to-email (reuse your blog posts as emails)
  • 5 Mb of free image hosting for your email campaigns
  • integrated surveys
  • and more…

In case you’re considering switching, I offer a service that does that for you and is included in my “ESP Account Setup” service. Please see my services page for more information.

Category : Boris Recommends | E-newsletter Publishing | Email List Management | Email Marketing | Email Service Providers | Blog
30
Jul

When looking for a suitable Email Service Provider to provide you with the online system to manage your email marketing campaigns ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Do I need to handle multiple opt-in lists?
  2. Do I need a sequential auto-responder?

This will narrow down your choices significantly. If you’d like to have people sign up on your website/blog/facebook to different lists and offer them different automated sequential messages (aka auto-responders) then my choice would be iContact – I use it myself and recommend it to my clients.

For the ultimate in ease of use, try MadMimi.com, I recommend them to my clients who are just starting out, with zero contacts on the list. MadMimi has the most easy-to-use interface of all the ESPs I’ve tried over the years. Their customer service is the best I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with, plus they keep adding features on a regular basis. MadMimi’s free account is a fully-featured one, but is limited to 100 contacts, and you can send as many messages as you want. Read my blog post MadMimi Brings the Fun Back to Sending Email “Blasts”

Category : Boris Recommends | E-newsletter Publishing | Email List Management | Email Marketing | Email Service Providers | Blog
14
Jun

I just realised I have 100 published blog posts. To celebrate this insignificant fact I decided to give away my entire product line to whoever buys anything in the next 12 hours, limited to the first 100 people. Starting now, at 8:00 pm ET – ending at 8:00 am ET.

Since I don’t want to create any special links or discount codes, simply buy anything you like and I’ll refund it to you asap (less the usual PayPal processing fee so I don’t end up in the red with this crazy thing).

Category : Boris Recommends | Blog
20
Mar

These two Email Service Providers (ESPs) are as different as they can be.

Aweber is primarily an auto-responder service, enewsletter service second. To take advantage of all its features, you really need to be familiar with some Internet technologies, such as HTML, FTP and RSS.

If your intention is to self-publish a company newsletter, then Constant Contact is a better choice (not the best choice, though, but read on). They have an extensive library of ezine templates which can be customized relatively easily. CC provides hosting space for a small number of images, and more can be purchased. Aweber does not offer image hosting, so images need to be uploaded to your web site or blog – by FTP, for example.

When sending HTML emails, such as newsletters and e-flyers, it is advisable to also send a plain text version along with it, for people who prefer to read text-only emails, or their email programs don’t support HTML, or HTML is blocked by the company firewall. If you’re using one of Constant Contact’s many templates, the system generates the TXT version for you. With Aweber you need to manually create the TXT version which can become tedious quickly. However, a tool such as Premailer can help with that, however your HTML ezine needs to be hosted on your web site for this tool to work.

If you plan to publish several different email newsletters, and collect subscribers online, then Aweber provides an easier way, as you can have separate sign up forms for each list (newsletter). Aweber also offers pop up sign up forms, which have been proved to be very effective. Also, in terms of user experience during the sign up process, Aweber offers more choices as you can direct subscribers to different pages on your site, for example to deliver a sign up bonus or freebie.

Constant Contact would be a better choice if you already have an existing list of subscribers, or clients, which you can import into your account. Ideally you would import only people you know would be interested in receiving your newsletters, and have given you permission (either electronically or in person). When importing any number of contacts into an Awber account they are automatically sent a so-called “confirmation” email. This email contains a link each individual contact must click to give you permission to send them additional messages. This process can sometimes decimate your list, even ones which contain previously confirmed contacts. With Constant Contact, it’s up to you if you want to send your contacts this message, or you can confirm them “softly” over time, by including a “reminder” at the top of each email you send them. When a confirmation message is sent, you can not send your contact ANY more messages until they click on the confirmation link.

If it’s important for you to get detailed reports on opens and click-throughs, CC comes ahead of Aweber again. CC offers a very detailed report on how many people were sent an email, how many (and which ones) were opened, who click on which links, and how many times, who forwarded your email to a friend, etc. Aweber (in its basic package) offers limited reporting capabilities, to get the similar reporting to Constant Contact’s you need to upgrade your account.

If you’re looking for a system to easily create and send email newsletters and e-flyers, consider MadMimi instead of Constant Contact, as it’s much easier to use, at about half the price.

For a full-featured, yet easy to use auto-responder and newsletter publishing system I know use and recommend iContact.

Category : Boris Recommends | E-newsletter Publishing | Email Delivery Best Practices | Email Design | Email List Building | Email List Management | Email Marketing | Email Service Providers | Tracking and Split Testing | Tracking Email Opens | Blog
11
Mar

MadMimi LogoIf you’re like me then you love to find a great tool that’s easy to use, inexpensive and performs well. One such tool I discovered recently is Email Service Provider MadMimi.com

If you’ve been in business for some time, and you have a substantial number of clients and contacts and would like to start sending effective but simple-to-create email newsletters and e-flyers to them, MadMimi is a great choice for four reasons:

1. MadMimi allows you to import your contacts and clients without forcing you to “confirm” each and every subscriber. Using Aweber or KickStartCart may decimate your list if you are not very careful and take a systematic approach to confirming your subscribers. With MadMimi you can “confirm” your subscribers over time in a gentle way.

2. MadMimi’s simple-yet-sophisticated email creation wizard is so easy to use, anyone with basic computer skills can be off and running in an hour, so you don’t have to hire someone like me to manage your e-newsletter for you :-)

3. One of the features some of my clients appreciate the most: it’s free, for as long as your email contact list contains fewer than 100 people. Service plans starts at a very affordable US$8 for up to 500 contacts, and you can send as many emails as you like – the service cost is determined by the number of contacts, not by the number of messages you send. No long-term contracts, pay as you go.

4. On top of that, MadMimi has the most responsive and friendliest support staff of some half dozen Email Service Providers I’ve ever dealt with.

In case you’re looking for a service that offers autoresponders, MadMimi has that very feature in the works as I write this – and knowing the guys behind it, the service is just going to get better and better. Highly recommended.

Sign up with MadMimi today even if you’re not ready to start using email for marketing — their free account offer may not last much longer. If you’re already a MadMimi user, share your experience by commenting on this post.

Category : Boris Recommends | E-newsletter Publishing | Email Marketing | Email Service Providers | Blog
15
Feb

I love BloggingI must admit I was a reluctant blogger. I knew if I started a blog I would have to publish on it regularly, and being already busy with publishing my award-winning ezine and working with clients, I thought I’d never be able to keep up.

Good thing I found the time!

Now I not only love it, but I recommend it to all my business contacts and especially my clients. As an Email Marketing Coach I love email marketing, which still delivers a great rate of return on investment, but I’m the first to say: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket! If you’re a solo professional, or small business owner, you must publish an email newsletter, have an auto-responder, write on your blog, have a Facebook profile, do live business networking, etc.

Here are just three reasons why I love blogging:

1. It allows me to reach a much wider audience than by just publishing an email newsletter. Blogs have built-in features that basically “push” my content to search engines and blog directories. This would be hard, if not impossible, to accomplish by a “web 1.0″ web site. My blog site now allows me to reach out to my audience in 3 different ways: using RSS, RSS feed delivered by email, and via ezine subscription. This enables my audience to get my articles the way they prefer.

2. Deciding to build my new web site using WordPress, enabled me to create what I call a blog site: a combination of a static, web 1.0 web site, with the power and versatility of the Web 2.0 blog. My blog site is now search engine optimized, and every time I hit “Publish”, soon after, Google, Yahoo! and dozens of other services get “pinged” and my content gets indexed immediately.

3. Having a blog has also enabled me to attract the right type of prospects. Before starting a blog, my whole web presence was a 1-page “squeeze page.” It served its purpose well — it created a lot of subscribers to my e-newsletter — but after a while I realized that I wanted to attract a different type of prospect, one who’d like to get to know me a little bit before considering hiring me. A visitor to my blog site can now read my articles which build my credibility, so I don’t have to “sell” my self, my content does it for me.

Finally, blogging makes it really easy and fun to connect with other great professionals in the wider blogosphere.

Here are five people I’d like to see write a quick blog post on this topic:

Charmaine Idzerda
Sandy McMullen
Dr. Kiya L. Immergluck
Grace Yvonne Attard
Cheryl Scoffield

I invite YOU, the reader, too, to share here by commenting or on your own blog! Please send me the link if you post on your own blog. BTW, this whole thing started on TypePad.com – get the “official” guidelines.

Thank you Patsi Krakoff, for inspiring me to write this entry.

Category : Article Writing | Blogging for Business | Boris Recommends | Branding for Small Business | Driving Traffic to Your site | E-newsletter Publishing | Email Marketing | On Line Networking | Personal | Search Engine Optimization | Small Business Marketing | Web Site Development | Blog
3
Nov

VerticalResponse, Inc.

One of the world’s most respected email and direct marketing service providers, VerticalResponse, now offers flat-rate unlimited email sending service options by monthly subscription. This was announced on October 28.

Until this announcement, if you wanted to email your list of 6,000 opt-in subscribers it would have cost you $72 per send. Switching to one of VerticalResponse’s new unlimited email plans, you will be paying $72 per month and will be able to send unlimited emails to a list of up to 8,000 contacts. For some email marketers, this could mean a dramatic drop in per-email-cost.

VerticalResponse joins other Email Service Providers who offer unlimited sending options:

  • GetResponse offers unlimited auto-responders and unlimited emails for up to 10,000 contacts for only $17.95 per month
  • MadMimi offers unlimited email newsletters and messages for up to 5,000 subscribers for $12 per month
  • KickStartCart is more than an Email Service Provider, because it offers a shopping cart, digital product delivery, affiliate program and more.

If you’re overwhelmed with all this choice, contact me and we can discuss your email marketing needs. I offer a free 20-min telephone consultation.

Alternatively, read my article: Learn How to Pick the Right Email Publishing System Provider.

Unlimited emails deal really works for email marketers who send either weekly or biweekly email newsletters, or regular email promotional offers.

Are you one of them?

Category : Boris Recommends | E-newsletter Publishing | Email Marketing | Email Service Providers | Off Line Marketing Strategies | Blog
15
Aug

I Heart AWeber.com
Surfing the blogosphere I run into this cute button. I highly respect Aweber for being one of the top-rated Email Service Providers.

Here’s why I like AWeber:

  • Robust list-management features
  • Absolutely the highest CAN-SPAM compliance
  • Very high deliverability rates
  • Unlimited auto-responders
  • Unlimited follow ups and broadcasts
  • Low monthly fee for up to 10,000 contacts, upgradable to bigger lists for a nominal fee.
  • Online archive of all or selected broadcasts
  • RSS delivery of your e-newsletter
  • Provides several ways for your contacts to subscribe: by email, sign up forms (standard and several un-blockable pop ups), manual add, and list import.

In December 2005 HTML email templates were introduced, however, even after the Fall 2006 upgrades to the graphical HTML editor creating an HTML email is still not as user-friendly as Constant Contact’s mail wizard, for example. However, for those who’d like to use their own custom-designed email templates, AWeber offers much greater flexibility and ease of use.

Category : Boris Recommends | Email Service Providers | Blog