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E-newsletter Publishing

30
Mar

In times of recession, most small business owners tend to do the wrong thing: trying to save money by cutting back on their marketing spending. I hope you’re not one of them, and that you know that we must promote our businesses all the time, even when times are great, but even more so in tough times.

Well, I can say I’ve never been busier, and I’d like to share some of the secrets of how I got myself booked solid for the next several months!

Join me for a 3-hour training seminar in Oakville and learn how to

► Build an Email List
► Create Effective Email Campaigns
► Get More Clients

Did you know that Email Marketing has the highest ROI over all other marketing channels?

In my seminar I will teach you:

How to Build an Email List of Contacts and Subscribers

  • How to use your web site or blog as a lead generator
  • What you need to sign up visitors to your email list
  • Secrets to generating traffic to your web site, or other online presence
  • How to entice visitors to sign up to receive more information from you

How to Easily Create Effective Email Newsletters and eFlyers

  • Follow up with automated and semi-automated messages
  • Learn about auto-responders, e-newsletters and email flyers
  • Find out about the technology needed to deliver email marketing messages
  • Learn how to prepare email campaigns yourself

How to Make More Money with Email

  • You don’t need an e-commerce site to make money with email
  • How to take credit cards, e-cheques and money transfers online
  • Find out the hidden potential in your business – any business
  • Learn how to create products or services to sell online
  • Finally reach your business goals in 2009 – regardless of the state of the economy

What Do You Get?

  • 3 hours of coaching, tips, strategies you can use immediately
  • You will create your 1st email newsletter – bring your laptop!
  • Ask any questions you might have in Q&A sessions throughout the seminar

Bonuses:

  • bonus CD audio+PDF presentation of my Email Marketing Tips and Strategies for Solopreneurs a value of $27 on its own
  • Chance to win 50 Tips on Growing your Business Online 2 hours+ videos and eBook package valued at $47
  • Free online Email Publishing Account – use it as long as you want to grow and manage your list
  • Enjoy complimentary refreshments: hot coffee, tea and muffins!

For more information and to register now visit: iBizAcademy.com/Oakville-Apr-2/

Want proof?

See what other small business owners have said about my training courses!

Category : E-newsletter Publishing | Email List Building | Email Marketing | Email Service Providers | Events | Selling Online | Seminars and Live Events | Small Business Marketing | Social Media Marketing | 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
9
Feb

Blogging for your business is not an option anymore, but does it work better that Email Marketing?

How do you make the these two marketing strategies work together to create a powerful tool to boost your small business or professional practice?

On Wednesday, February 11, I will be asking ask Denise Wakeman and Patsi Krakoff, the dynamic duo also know as the BlogSquad, some tough questions:

  • Is blogging an option for any kind of business?
  • How to use blogging to strategically market a business?
  • How to choose which blogging platform to use?
  • What are some of the pitfalls and how to avoid them?
  • I have a web site – why do I need a blog, too?
  • I already have a web site – how do I connect my blog to it?
  • I have an email newsletter – how do I use my blog to generate more subscribers?
  • What is RSS, FeedBurner, FeedBlitz – and do I need to be a tech geek to create and maintain a blog?
  • How do I blog without having a blog of my own?

These are a few of the questions Patsi, Denise and I will answer for you.

This is a FREE tele-seminar, LIVE on Wednesday, February 11, starting at 3pm EST

There will be no pitching or selling on the call, just pure content.

Seating is limited, so register for your chance to jump start your blogging efforts in 2009, or if you’re already blogging, to find out how to make the most of business blogging to promote your business.

If you can’t make the live event, a downloadable MP3 recording of the call will be available, so register now:

http://www.ibizacademy.com/blogsquad/

See you on the call!

Boris Mahovac – Email Marketing Coach

Category : Blogging for Business | Driving Traffic to Your site | E-newsletter Publishing | Email List Building | Email Marketing | Events | Seminars and Live Events | Small Business Marketing | Social Media Marketing | Tele-seminars | Blog
22
Jan

I know statistics can be a royal bore, but there’s this one piece of statistical information you really should pay attention to — your email campaign bounce rates.

Regardless of which Email Service Provider (ESP) you’re using, you should be able to see bounces. Ideally, you’d like to see them at zero, but realistically, if you try to keep them to a minimum, say 1-2%, you should be OK. If you are 5% or more, and your list is in the thousands and/or you send emails frequently, you may be digging a hole for your email campaigns.

You may think this is not a big deal, but it actually is very much so. Big ISPs such as Yahoo, AOL, Sympatico may label you as a spammer if you repeatedly try sending emails to non-existing (expired, mistyped, etc) addresses. This is because it may appear to them as a typical spammer practice of “dictionary attacks”.

Those bounced email addresses are “dead meat” and should be removed promptly. Sometimes your ESP may give you false positives, so generally you don’t want to remove an address the first time it bounces, but after the second or third time it’s probably safe to assume the address is no longer active and should be removed, or at least moved to a separate list.

If you normally send HTML emails, you may want to try sending a text-only version to see if you can get through to some of those bounced email addresses. Simply move (or segment) all your blocked addresses to a new list then mark all of these as “text-only”. Next time you send a promotion these contacts will only receive a text-only email – this may be enough to bypass their ISP’s spam filters (some block all HTML email). If they still bounce, they are history.

If you have resources available, you can have staff or a VA go over the bounces and check for spelling errors, obvious typos (simpatico vs. sympatico, or aolcom vs. aol.com, yahoo!.com vs. yahoo.com) and other ways of identifying the errors.

If the address appears valid, and you see it belongs to an active client, you may want to contact them by conventional means (postal mail, phone, fax) to check if they’ve moved and changed email addresses. All these can be automated to some extent (e.g. voice mail broadcast).

Your email marketing list is an important business asset and should be tended to on a regular basis.

Category : E-newsletter Publishing | Email Delivery Best Practices | Email List Management | Email Marketing | Email Service Providers | Managing Email | Tracking Email Opens | 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
23
Oct

Consumers in the 18-to-34 age bracket are more likely to respond to marketing messages received by email than to advertising they see while using social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, etc. according to new research published in a white paper from Ball State University and ExactTarget.

ExactTarget, Inc. is a leading provider of on-demand email marketing software solutions. The Center for Media Design at Ball State University is a research and development facility focused on the creation, testing, and practical application of digital technologies.

Among other findings: the best time to send email newsletters is in the morning when recipients receive fewer messages, spend more time with each individual email, up to 13 minutes on average. Shorter, promotional email messages have a better chance of response in the afternoon and evening, when the time spent on emails drops down to 2 minutes or less, on average.

There’s a lot of other fascinating data available in this report which you can download for free from ExactTarget.

What is your experience? Please comment – I’m looking forward to your thoughts.

Category : E-newsletter Publishing | Email Marketing | Social Media Marketing | Tracking and Split Testing | Tracking Email Opens | Blog
28
Jul

First, let’s talk about your ezine, or e-newsletter. If you intend to publish an informative ezine, do not expect much direct sales from it. Why is this?

Because the primary purpose of your newsletter is to establish your credibility, expertise and to create that relationship – we keep returning to this relationship thing all the time, don’t we? Do not think of your ezine primarily as an advertisement for your services or products.

In your ezine, you must provide useful content to your subscribers

By all means, promote your products and services in your ezine, but do not make it the most prominent part of the newsletter. Here it should be in the background, and shouldn’t take up more than about a quarter of the space.

For example, at the bottom of the newsletter you can have a section titled “About Me”, and here you can provide a brief summary of your business, and also mention that you are the author of such-and-such book, or creator of a product. Provide a link to your site where there’s more information.

Now, the most money you’re going to make is through so-called promo-emails, or some people call them solo mailings. While your ezine may have several articles, reviews, comments, recommendations, etc., in a promo email you will concentrate on promoting just one particular thing: it could be a new product you developed, a new type of service that you offer, or something like that.

Typically, your promo emails will be much shorter than your regular ezine. In case you’re sending your ezine in HTML format you may want to experiment and send the promo emails as plain text. Be sure to split-test this.

BTW, for those who are not familiar with the term, split-testing is when you send one version of your email to a subset of your list and another, different version, to a different group of the same size. You compare the results, and from then on use the format witch produced the highest response.

These promotional emails will usually have response rates that are several times higher than a response from your ezine.

Category : Affiliate Marketing | Driving Traffic to Your site | E-newsletter Publishing | Email Marketing | Selling Online | Small Business Marketing | Tracking and Split Testing | Tracking Email Opens | Web Site Development | Blog
12
Jul

Although this one seems obvious, unfortunately the situation is far from being clear and simple.

It is one thing to follow the law and obey all the rules, but ultimately spam is in the eyes of the beholder! This means it is your audience, your subscribers who are the judge and jury and executioner who have the last word on the issue of spam.

In this case, power truly is in the hands of the people!

These days, it’s not so much the content of your emails that’s going to trigger spam filters, it’s your reputation as a sender. That’s why it’s imperative to keep your name and web site domain clean.

Don’t be tempted to send emails to a list you obtained from a friend, and send an email “blast” to them. This will definitely land you in the dog house.

To avoid being labeled as a spammer: deliver content that you promised. That means content that is relevant to your audience.

If you say “sign up for my ezine to learn how to get rid of fear of dentists” don’t send them articles on effective anaesthetic procedures your dentist just introduced, or if you provide reviews of fine-art books in your e-newsletter, then don’t talk about music or architecture.

Sending relevant content will improve your reputation and your response rate!

Category : E-newsletter Publishing | Email Delivery Best Practices | Email Marketing | Small Business Marketing | Blog