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If you’ve been involved with online marketing I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘the money is in the list.’
The reason that marketers rave about the virtues of creating your own list is simply because it works.
Basically a list is simply a bunch of contacts who have, by supplying you with their email address, given you permission to send them messages.
Not so long ago, when the only way to communicate with your subscribers was through snail-mail, it cost a bundle to send out your message. At least $1 per person was the rule of thumb back then and now it would be far higher. Sending out to even a relatively small list of 1,000 could be a serious investment and so you had to sell very hard to get a return.
Now, with Email Newsletters, things are very different. You can send out to 10,000 people in a few clicks and it will cost you almost nothing. Email marketing is close to being free. In fact, with certain email marketing services, it is absolutely free — I recommend MadMimi.
That means that you need a far lower response rate, compared to snail-mail, to make a profit! It is not unusual to make thousands of dollars from a single mailing that takes you just a few minutes to write.
With your permission-based list there is nothing to stop you sending out to your list again and again.
But there is a catch.
People may willingly give you permission to email them, but you need to be able to catch their attention with quality content. And having caught their attention, you need to have established a trust between you so that your readers will happily follow your recommendations to buy the things you promote.
The old days of mail order selling to a list entailed sending out long, professionally written sales letters. Long sales letters definitely do not work in an email newsletter. Email newsletters, or e-zines, are not about hard selling, they are about entertaining, educating and pre-selling.
Pre-selling is the art of warming an audience up – making them desire the product you are recommending – so that they will take your advice and follow the link you provide to the product’s sales page. That’s where the selling takes place, not in your email newsletter. The link you use to send them to the sales page will be coded with your affiliate link and so when they do buy the product, you will get a commission credited to you. In Internet marketing, that commission is usually between 50% to 100%.
But as I said, your ability to get your readers to click on a link depends on the rapport you have built with them and the level of trust they have in you. People buy from people they know, like and trust.
Learn how to write an email newsletter the right way and online profits will come your way as fast as you can click on the send button in your auto-responder!
One 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.
If you host seminars, workshops or attend trade shows, these are great venues for collecting email addresses to build your list. Recently, there was a question on Linkedin about the proper use of double opt-in in such cases.
Perhaps in this case double opt-in is not required. Attendees will probably be given a form to fill out at the event. This form should clearly state that by giving their email address, they will be added to a list named “XYZ” owned by “Name”
If you choose double opt-in (also called confirmed opt-in), then make sure the FROM address is readily recognizable to the recipients, and that the subject line includes a reference to the event. Don’t use the typical subject line: “[firstname] please confirm your subscription,” instead, try something like: “[event-name]: your free bonus material” and then deliver the bonus material on the confirmation “thank you” page or by delivering it via auto-responder once the recipient confirms the subscription.
Don’t be afraid to use the word “free” and certainly do not try to obfuscate it like this: fre-e, f.r.e.e as that will certainly trigger spam filters more so than using the word in the open.
One key element of any successful email marketing campaign is content. If the follow up emails contain only advertising for your books, courses, etc. then most of the recipients will mark the emails as spam — even if you use double opt-in. It’s all about delivering what’s expected: if you say “monthly enewsletter on subject” then don’t send 27 other messages in a month that are purely promotional.
An interesting question regarding email subscribers vs. blog subscribers was asked recently on Linkedin. In a nutshell Lisa Bowen was wondering:
Can a blog-subscription email list be used for general company announcements and email newsletter blasts?
I personally separate the two types of subscribers and recommend that my clients do so as well. Although this practice may be perfectly legal under CAN-SPAM, I consider it not very ethical.
However, depending on how you phrase the ad copy in your pop-up, you may get away with it, e.g. if you say: “Sign up for updates from my blog and also receive my ezine.”
Be aware, though, that the spam issue is ultimately in the eyes of the subscriber.
Additionally, problems may arise when somebody opts out. Because these two lists are usually handled by two separate systems, you need to manually update one of them. Ideally, your email service provider would have some sort of RSS Feed plugin or connectivity. Email Service Provider MadMimi recently introduced this upgrade to their very slick email publishing platform. iContact has it, Aweber, too, I think. GetResponse also has a limited feature which allows you to send an automated email to your ezine subscribers announcing the new content is available on your blog, but it doesn’t actually deliver your blog content by email.
I use FeedBurner for handling email subscriptions to my blog and it can only collect the email address, not the name of the subscriber. This is just one of the reasons I wouldn’t use the blog subscribers list the same way I would any of my other confirmed opt-in email marketing lists.
What do you think? How do you let your blog subscibers mingle with the ezine subscribers?
Boris’s seminar was filled with incredible, usable information on how to make my business more visible on the web. His deep understanding of the inner workings of the web and email is apparent and his presentation is very interactive. This seminar is a must for anyone who is interested in learning internet/email best practices and how to maximize this effective marketing medium.
Boris’ Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, Expert
General Manager at DiPaolo CNC Retrofit Ltd
Note: This testimonial was originally published as a recommendation on Linkedin
If you ever attended one of my seminars, please leave your own comment – Thanks!
Did you know that 70% of all sales now start as research on the Internet – are your ideal clients finding you?
Invest 3 hours and I guarantee I will teach you how to:
Attract Contacts (Generate Leads)
(or, How to Get Prospects to Know, Like and Trust You)
(or, How to Convert “Friends” to “Raving Fans”)
Please visit the Contacts to Clients page to learn more and to register.
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:
For more information and to register now visit: iBizAcademy.com/Oakville-Apr-2/
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.
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.
You probably heard that Social Networking is the next great thing (among others), so I’d really be surprised if you never heard of Facebook, but Linkedin is probably one of those hidden-gem online resources you may not be so informed about.
While Facebook started as a students-only networking site which in the last 2 years has become the place to be online for anyone, including businesses – and big businesses as well – Linkedin started as a closely-knit professional networking site, and remains true to its origins to this day.
Today Linkedin has over 36 million users world-wide. That’s a great place to hang around if you’re looking to grow your business: either by finding clients or customers to hire you as a consultant, or buy your products. But Linkedin works for you on another level, too: it can provide contacts to help you grow your practise or business by supplying services and/or products you need to grow.
For example, if you’re a product designer, you can link up with a local speciality print shop owner to supply 3-D decals for your products. The printer can in turn hook you up with engineers she may have in her network to hire you as a consultant – and the circle continues – you get the idea…
I use Linkedin for both of these purposes I outlined above, but also for one more, not so apparent one: to grow my email marketing list! You see, the way Linkedin is structured, you cannot easily send mass emails to your whole list of contacts, so if you have several hundred, or even several thousand connections, it would be close to impossible, and certainly not very practical to send each one a personalized email.
That’s why you need to find a way to selectively “move” your Linkedin connections to your own email list (hosted by your Email Service Provider of choice), so that you can reach out to them with information and special offers targeted to their particular needs.
One way that’s been working for me is: I create events, such as my free tele-seminars, and then use Linkedin’s application called “Events” to create a page where I can describe the event and in effect advertise it. From there I go on to send an invitation to my Linkedin contacts – I can send it to 50 recipients at a time. I only send one invitation and leave it to them to take action: if they are interested they follow up by registering on my web site – outside of Linkedin – in effect adding their name to a special list I create for each event.
If you’d like to learn more about using Linkedin to generate qualified leads, sign up for my free tele-seminar. Even if you can’t attend the live event, register anyway because you will receive a free audio recording 2-3 days later. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, March 11 at 1 pm ET. Register here.