Are there Email Marketing Myths on the Internet?

Are there Email Marketing Myths on the Internet?

On the Internet, you could be a dog.

Have you seen this photo by Peter Steiner published by “The New Yorker in 1993”?   Over 25 years later, it’s still true.  When you’re reading websites on the Internet you really don’t know who is on the other side of the keyboard.  Consequently, some of the articles, on any subject including Email Marketing, may be more fiction than fact.   Fiction can turn into fact if it is said enough times.  Here are 9 Email Marketing facts that are really email marketing fiction (myths) because they’ve been said enough times.

Don’t Say That!

I’m sure you heard it said, avoid spammy words in your email Subject Lines. The list includes but not limited to “Save”, “Huge”, “Discounts”, “Free” and “Cash”. Spammy words were always believed to be a no-no.  Today, ESP’s (Email Service Providers) and ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) along with Spam filters have matured.  These words are no longer flagged as SPAM, instead, inbox success is a combination of online factors, such as sender reputation and email authenticity. The bottom line, Feel free to advertise your Huge Savings with a Free catalog without being blocked.  (To read more please read Never Say Never to Free Email Advice. )

Set The Alarm Clock to Send Those Emails Out by Dawn!

The best time to mail is Monday morning before dawn, or it Wednesday after 12:00? Are these myths?

Analog Alarm Clock

This may be true if your readers expect to receive a message from you once a week on a particular day around a certain time, making it essential to get your email out before the window closes.  However, send out your campaigns based on:

your knowledge of your audience.  Your audience may include night owls who will read your email at midnight to the snowed-in technical writer who would enjoy your email on a Sunday afternoon.  In fact, you should test for the best times, just as you test for anything else when you’re planning your email marketing strategy

Dundee Internet, for example, gives you the ability to send different versions of a message to a random subset of your mailing list, scheduled to be delivered at different times. You can test items such as the Subject, images, template, and format. All factors that may or may not hinder your email’s reception.

Your best time of day may also depend on your industry, audience, and message content: remember you want to send the right message at the right time. (See Never on a Monday for more information)

Is 100 Messages A Day Too Much?

Too much mail

How many emails do you consider too many?   Once a day, a week a month?  Frequency depends on the services and products you’re selling, the discounts you offer and of course your customer base.  Like everything else email, there are no standards set for how often to email someone.   A good solution: give your subscriber a choice, by allowing them to select the number of emails they would like to receive from you in a day, week or month.  Dundee Internet does this with profile pages:

With Dundee Internet (Lyris) ListManager member profile forms, list members have control of their inbox as far as your email campaigns are concerned. They can easily set the number of emails they would like to receive, change their email address or other demographic information all in one place.

HTML with lots of images solicits the best opens

It’s been said that HTML is the better way to format emails. But is HTML emails really the preferred format?  If you test that theory on your email subscribers, you may find the email you send with the least number of images is the most preferred.

And some prefer plain text. Plain text is so much easier for the marketer. There are no concerns with colors, pictures, and layouts. Sometimes the message is just too important to leave it up to an image. Read about the pros and cons of HTML and plain text.

ListManager hosted by Dundee has always created a plain text version of the created HTML email so that the recipient receives the correct formatted email that their device accepts.  For tracking purposes, such as clicks and opens, our customers can use the built-in editor, to add those links.

Delete that list member after 6 months of inactivity

Life ebbs and flows, just as your email list does. What was once new and enticing to your customers many soon become an old hat, your subscriber becomes disinterested and your messages remain unread: the member is inactive. How do you keep your subscribers engaged and active before they decide to click that unsubscribe button? The best way, create a re-engagement campaign to target those disinterested members.  

There are five top ways to bring those subscribers back and it all starts with you. You can review this at Bringing Them Back for More or Are Your Subscribers Too Overwhelmed To Read Your Email?

Keep that Subject SHORT and totally always interesting

Subject Lines are a major part of your delivery rates, opens, and click-throughs. A good Subject Line should be an integral part of your email campaign strategy driving your subscriber to take action. Whether your goal is to distribute coupons or share a written article. The bottom line; a Subject Line should describe the subject of the newsletter or promotion, nothing different from the expectations you set by your Welcome or Hello letter when your subscribers first opted-in. Consider these points regardless of your campaign intent: Subject Line Science

My Open Rate is the only thing that matters

How do you measure success as an email marketer?  Do you savor the click-through-rates of your subscribers, the one metric frequently used as a performance benchmark? Or, on the other hand, do you value the open rates of your emails to gauge your success?  Are there other reports that are more significant; reports that will consider all the important statistics needed by the email marketer?  Or are you limited by a few choices between one analytical reporting tool or another?  With email marketing, someone always seems to have a better tool to analyze email-marketing campaigns and then another tool comes along.  How many reporting tools should you use and what are the results really telling you?

Who opened your email is an important metric. However, email reporting tools are not 100% accurate and for that reason, you should always look at the bigger picture.  There’s a lot of analyzing going on; Best days to email, message size, color preferences, subject lines, which From address to use and so forth.  For example, competitors in the same industry releasing a similar email campaign will get different results, as there are many variations and factors beyond control: i.e. when a major ISP goes offline. Your open rates are not the only thing that matters. Read more

Am I required by law to get consent before adding an address to my list?

There are many strategies to collect names:  and wouldn’t it make life simple just to be able to add email addresses to your list, regardless of how you obtained them.  However, possession of an email address does not give you the owner’s unequivocal permission to send an email to it.  Ideally, you want your list members to be opted-in to your list.  An opt-in subscriber wants your email: they told you so by an action of some type, giving you permission to send an email to them.

Interested in how to collect more email addresses? Read Confirmed opted-in email addresses; more valuable than the “likes” on your FB page

And the Can-Spam Act does not require permission, but they do have rules to follow. https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business

My Deliverability issues are caused by the ISP’s that accept the mail

It is true when you send to your list, emails may be blocked by your subscriber’s email provider. Even if delivered, the messages may not pass the recipient’s filter settings in their email client. Both indicate that you do not have total control over your deliverability, so what can you do?

Deliverability depends on your email practices. As a legitimate email marketer, you want to disassociate yourself with any inkling of being a SPAMMER. Follow the CAN-SPAM ACT and check local State Laws. Listen to your ESP, they should know the Best Email Practices. Your ESP can also help you with your online email reputation and assist you when someone complains. Read about Better Deliverability

The conclusion: There’s a ton of Email Marketing information on the Internet, fact, fiction or just myths. The information may be correct for one type of service, brand or experience because one size does not fit all. Research which bests works for you, perform your own testing and keep to your marketing strategy. If you need assistance contact dundee.net. We’re always open.

Email Marketing 101 THE COURSE

Email Marketing 101 THE COURSE

I’m amazed having been in the email marketing business for over 22+ years, that there are Email Marketing College courses, like Email Marketing 101, available which seem so second nature to me.  It didn’t’ take long for email marketing to become the class to take as part of the curriculum for some Marketing Degrees.  In fact, email marketing has grown so much in popularly and use, it’s turned into a big industry

In the early days, before it was sanctioned as big business and a must-have marketing course, my late husband and I were guest speakers for several semesters at Eastern Michigan University, specifically for the marketing majors.  We would lecture on the good and bad elements of email marketing, how it’s done, why it works, security, what is the cost and so on.  Since that time all the essentials of email marketing haven’t changed.  However, people did get smarter about DNS, SPAM filters and IP addresses. ESP’s (Email Sevice Providers) may have added some spiffy marketing tools and we are told that email marketing is the best way to grow and maintain your small business, but the medium, email remains unchanged.   

A picture of the board game Careers

Yes, the medium is the same and so are the essentials of email marketing, the elements that I continue to cover in my 100+ blogs offered online on our mailinglistservices.com website. 

Although email is the same, email delivery programs themselves have changed, some in appearance, ease of use, specialties, and pricing.  However they are all designed to do the same thing, ( some are better than others some are worse), deliver the email to the inbox and get it opened.

My plan with this blog was to write about email marketing basics and inbox delivery.  There are so many blogs on that subject and most of it is repetitive, so I decided to create my own syllabus for Email Marketing 101 if I were to teach the course.

INTRODUCTORY COURSE EMAIL MARKETING 101

Course Title: EMAIL MARKETING 101
Every 4th Semester starting January 2020
Course ID: 110819
Instructor: Ms. Patricia K Rountree ESP and Marketing Specialist
Location: Online
Contact information: Dundee Internet Services, 24/7, info@dundee.net, 734-529-5331

This course will define email marketing and the benefits of using email as a marketing tool.  It will teach you how to develop an email marketing plan to increase your business with full control and analysis of your marketing efforts.  The course will cover the difference between email marketing, past, present, and future and compare it to the more traditional types of marketing, such as TV and print ads.

The student will walk through the exercise of creating content for a specific audience with transactional email responses.

Students taking this course will have the tools to begin a career in email marketing as they learn how to:

A picture of the board game Careers

  • Collect email addresses in an acceptable way
  • Use opted-in and double opted-in memberships
  • Personalize messages
  • Include CTA’s (Call to Action) in their content
  • Promote brand awareness
  • Generate revenue with referrals

They will develop the skill of creating an email that is

  • Delivered
  • Engaging to the subscriber
  • Opened
  • And be able to analysis a mailing, its success rate, make appropriate changes, test, email, and analysis again

Prerequisites:

None, this is a first-year course

Materials:

This course is taught exclusively online, white papers, labs and webinar lecturers.
Assignments are all researchable on the Internet.
All testing and email distribution will be done on the Lyris ListManager platform.  Each student will have an online account with Lyris ListManager and access to the online help manual and the 24/7 help desk.

At the conclusion of this course

You will have a working knowledge of email marketing.  You will be proficient in content creation, testing, segmentation and understand the delivery process of your email message from start to finish.  

COURSES

Understanding Email Marketing

We will define email marketing, and answer questions such as

  • What are the parts of an email campaign
  • How is an email marketing strategy useful in business
  • How are traditional marketing channels currently used in comparison to Email campaigns?

List management and segmentation

Email Design

  • The importance of design
  • Templates or HTML
  • FONTS and Color
  • Images and links

Content writing

How to Deliver the right message

Email Deliverability  

  • Throttling
  • The shared and dedicated IP address
  • What is a Blacklist
  • What is a SPAM trap
  • ESPs expectations  

Analyzing your Email Campaign

  • What do all those report numbers mean
  • From Bounces to Opens

The final

Each student will create an online website sign-up script (URL and passwords will be supplied) Each student will join the list of each other student so there will be a full list membership of the class for each individual student’s newsletter.   How you opted in your list member is up to you. 

Students will be evaluated on deliverability, analysis of their email campaign, for example, explain the cause of a bounce (if any) and the type. Other students will critique the newsletter received, and on a scale, grade the content, color, font, subject line, and images.

This course is $200 a person, it runs for  7 weeks, class size is limited to 25. What do you think?  Would
you sign up?

Are You A Hurry Up and Get It Done Marketer?

Are You A Hurry Up and Get It Done Marketer?

Salty Sally sells seashells by the seashore. She also uses email marketing. She is not a hurry up and get it done email marketer. Salty Sally sends her email campaigns on a schedule. With each mailing, she puts her content in a template that mirrors her website. Because Salty Sally knows her subscriber’s preferences she sends each one relevant content, ROI increases monthly and best of all she is working with a supportive ESP.

Hand full of seashells

Manhattan Mark makes money monthly by mailing messages when the mood hits him.  He makes his content on the fly, nothing is planned, it’s just sent out.  It’s really just hit and miss therefore, his ROI is all over the map.  He’s using an entry-level ESP because it’s easy to use and cheap.

Both Manhattan Mark and Salty Sally are email marketers.   Both have a limited budget and but only one believes he doesn’t have enough time to do things right.  The fact that Mark is using an entry-level ESP, not only hindered his business potential but has made him “Market Lazy” without expectations of success beyond what he’s getting.

“Market Lazy” is just another way of saying that this is acceptable.  But is it, and should it be?

An entry-level ESP is a great way to start if you don’t want to make a commitment to use a more complex email service provider.  At first, just sending out mail, with offers seems wonderful.  You’ll get sales, but not reach the potential your emails are capable of because entry-level ESP’s have limitations

Limitations in any email service provider will hinder your sales.   Companies are looking for growth and great ROI, the results you would expect an email campaign to produce.   With an entry-level ESP, your hands are figuratively tied, limited by the marketing tools they do or don’t offer.  To be a successful email marketer, reaching the inbox could easily turn into sales or referrals if you’re given the tools to connect with your recipients

In fact, establishing a connection with your email recipient is one of the top three factors that most Chief Marketing Officers (CMO’s) consider essential in any marketing strategy along with Marketing Tools and good analytics.  An entry-level ESP may or may not support any of these three functions

Look at Manhattan Mark, for example, with an entry-level email program he is missing crucial marketing opportunities, such as building brand loyalty and increasing company ROI.  He has no way to track the email recipients who went to his website because of his email, he doesn’t know if the visitor just found his website or they purchased that multi-color maxi dress because they were referred by a friend who received an email offer.  He’s missing so much opportunity

Mike may think he’s got a good deal using an entry-level system, but the trade-off may be more expensive than the savings.   Mark may not realize how important it is to transform the members on his list to engaged list members, paving the way for one-on-one conversations.  Most customers expect the attention and the personalization an above entry-level ESP offers their list owners

Entry-level ESP’s hinders marketing growth, as for the most part, those type of programs disregards customer behavior, such as personalization or triggered responses, which can’t be used, and there’s no easy way to know and set their preferences. 

So be like Sally not like Mark and use advantaged email list services that:

Provides complete, personalized assistance
Supports a Welcome Series for new customers
Nurtures and Engages your list members
Automate your follow-ups with Triggers and Transactional messages
Segments made with a wizard using collected demographics
Mobile friendly
Detailed analytics about campaign performance
Easy re-engagement

Manhattan Mark after reading this decides it all sounds great, but he has limited resources, only 3 people in his department, and no one has time to learn a new system.  Sally who is using Mailing List Services by Dundee, is only one person, she works alone and in light of everything, is a more successful marketer

If you find you’re a Manhattan Mark and want to upgrade your email list services, give us a call and we will match the current cost of your current ESP.  Experience growth and more control of our digital marketing with Dundee guaranteed

Email Tools That Benefit Nonprofits

Email Tools That Benefit Nonprofits

The greatest benefit for nonprofits when using email marketing tools is an increase in audience engagement with their organization.

Email is an efficient, cost-effective way to ask for donations, and with automation never forget to send a thank-you follow-up

 

Newsletters sent to target specific list subscribers will increase fundraising efforts and volunteer participation, both a benefit for nonprofits. Dundee Internet an avid supporter of nonprofit organizations, offers several built-in email marketing tools for nonprofits that use our mailing list services

Marketing Tools that make it easy for your nonprofit to:

Send messages that target a specific audience, based on list membership demographics, behavior and preferences.   We offer customizable member profile forms, to allow list members to see and edit certain information collected about them.

Using member profile forms a subscriber can manage their own opportunities.  Offer options that allow subscribers to receive email from you less often, the type of communication they prefer (Fundraising and events or just the director’s report) or just simply a place to update their email address

Use trigged mailings:

to automatically send targeted emails to one or to many list members.  The trigger to send specific email is based on a specific action performed by the subscriber such as visiting a website or making an online donation.

Other than an action, triggers can also be set up to respond to a date (Birthday for example) or the time of day.  Triggered emails can run once a day, an hour or several weeks later.

Dundee’s mailing list service includes a Triggered Mailing Wizard that quickly creates trigged mailing in one step.

Easily set up autoresponders:

to schedule emails for delivery based on triggered activities.  List owners also have the ability to extend the auto-responder command to process before or after their own program.   When the autoresponder is triggered, the program will run first (or last) and do any processing on the message before it’s sent. 

Take advantage of sequential mailings:

which are a series of triggered mailings sent out in a sequence at predetermined time intervals to each member who meets the criteria of a single triggered segment. Dundee includes a Sequential Mailing Wizard, that allows you to quickly create a sequentially triggered mailing in one step.   It is intuitive and easy to use. 

Offer a survey

Surveys are a great way to engage and interact with your readers   We offer two types of survey, multiple-choice and text entry.  Multiple choice questions can have as many choices as necessary.  The questions can be arranged vertically or horizontally.  Answers can be required or not.   Text answers can be customized also.

With the Segment Clause Wizard send targeted emails to those survey participants who respond to the survey questions in a particular way or to those who don’t respond at all.

Experience higher conversion rates:

sending plain text emails or use one of our many responsive designed templates.  When you create content in mailing list services your content can be both be created as text and HTML at the same time: or you can do one or the other.  

Our HTML editor allows you to import your own HTML code

Create unique one-to-one emails tailored:

to the exact needs and interests of your recipients without having to write or send more than one message.   Conditional content allows you to insert blocks of text or graphics into your message automatically

And you can send text messages too.

We also include unlimited A/B testing, customizable detailed reports and so much more.

Increase member confidence in your organization with a newsletter that explains your yearly goals,  upcoming events or the project of the month.   And when you bring someone to your website, always be mindful of your landing page

Need help with landing pages, contact our sister company dwli.net

Sign up for a free 60-day nonprofit account with Dundee and start sending today.

Why Is This the Best Email Marketing Solution for your Small Business

Why Is This the Best Email Marketing Solution for your Small Business

Have you found the Best Email Marketing Solution for your small business, one which will help you gain and keep more customers?

According to internet statistics, including the Direct Marketing Association, email elicits a return on investment of over 4000% compared to other traditional marketing avenues.

Email marketing is known to be extremely cost-effective, with immediate feedback; there’s no other marketing platform available like it, including social media networks.

Running a small business?  You want to use the Best Email Marketing Solution possible, but are are you?  What do currently use for email marketing? Several Small Businesses use personal email accounts because it’s easy and cheap. Did you know, using personal email for business marketing may actually impede your success?  Why? Because each personal email account, (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.) has its own set of email limitations.

Limitations that can make your account and your messages:

Flag you as a Spammer. When a large amount of emails is sent from a webmail address, like Yahoo, the emails look suspicious to your customers’ ISP.  In addition, the safeguards that are set up by an ESP (Email Service Provider) to authenticate the email sender (you in this case) may not be set up properly because you do not control these domains (yahoo.com, Gmail.com, etc.)
Automatically be delivered to the junk folder
: black flagSending several emails at once seems like a good idea, however all it takes is a few recipients to report your message as Spam.  When that happens your incoming emails forever go into your recipient’s Junk or Spam Folders.  Each free email provider handles this differently, to fix this, normally it takes a setting on your recipients’ side.
Less secure and lack privacy.  Part of the service an Email Service Provider (ESP) offers is privacy from others. Sending bulk email using a CC (and I’m sure you received emails like that from time to time) exposes everyone to everyone on your lists.
Appear unfriendly and not lawfu
l. How are you handling unsubscribes using a personal email account?  With built-in marketing tools, most of these reoccurring actions, subscribes, unsubscribes, bounces are handled automatically, recorded and viewable for review.  And the Can-Spam Act requires an unsubscribe method. Lack of tools for the Optics: Is your Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail messages mobile-friendly.  Do the links work, can you include images without going over the size limitations. Can you make the email look professional?  How long does the link work within the email you send, hours, days, weeks?
Disappear
; How do you really know what became of your message? Did your recipient open your email, go to your website, refer your email to a friend, trash it?  Did they actually receive your message?  You may never know.

So why use an ESP?

Small Business email marketing can be challenging, and finding the best email Marketing Solution can be just as challenging.  There are many online “experts” who are more than happy to point you in the direction of their favorite Email Mail Service Provider,  Dundee Internet is no different, we would love to have your business but we realize the choices you make may be based on recommendations, price. referral credits or it sounds cheap enough. Dundee Internet exists to solve your email marketing problems and challenges, and we are great at it. While it is true there’s a lot of similarities between ESPs there are also many differences. For example, here at Dundee Internet, we are not part of a larger corporation, you can speak to the owner, technical support is tireless, available day, night, holidays, weekends, anytime you need us.  We have manuals, easy to follow tutorials and wizards. Our sending reputation proceeds us, so to speak, as we have been on the Internet for over 20 years. ISP’s know us.   All our authentication is all in one place, however, if you want to mail from your own domain instead of ours, you can.

If you are using your personal email to send your Small Business Marketing campaigns, try us for free and we will guarantee you will be amazed at the results.

If you’re already using an ESP, have you experienced the following issues?

You found that you reached your sending limit and your choice to continue is to pay more, wait until next month or if allowed, delete some contacts to add new ones.   Dundee Internet Email Marketing Service does not cap the number of emails you can send, the type or the size.  The sky’s the limit. You’re growing your list monthly along with the cost.   Dundee does not charge by list membership, the more list members the merrier. Having a problem getting out of the Junk Folder?   We will show you how to educate your recipients, so your mail goes in the inbox where it’s supposed to go. The templates man searching through papersoffered are old, confusing and unforgiving and you must start over if you want to send another mailing.  As for templates, we have several to choose from, mobile-friendly and easy to manage.  Don’t like what we offer, we will custom design a template for you. Our templates are reusable from one mailing to the next, everything is easy to edit.  And you can use your own custom HTML. You need to send your recent mailing to one list member; you find there’s no easy way to send to one member?   Dundee handles this just fine. You need more than one list, segmenting is okay, but you want a second or third list for specific events. You do not want to pay for three lists but segmenting your only option.  With Dundee, you can have unlimited lists under one account and create lists as needed. Do you find there are not enough reports, not enough options, not enough tools? There again we offer over 200 reports, tons of tools and options.   We show you who opened your email, and how many times they did so.  If they clicked on a link, forwarded your message, purchased an item.  And if the read your mail months later, you can continue to track their activity.

Our list management tools to make your life easier, with segment wizards, automatic bounce handling, transactional email, a/b testing,

Privacy is our priority, our servers are locked down, keeping your profile and the details of your list members safe. Our List Hosting platform allows you to: Manage all your lists from any location, web or email. Send your mail with the confidence that it will be delivered, as we have a working relationship with ISP’s to keep our sending reputation sterling. Find out if Dundee is the best email Marketing Solution for your Small Business.  Order a no-obligation demo or sign up as a customer.

And if you read this blog and mention it when you order as a customer,  you will not be charged for recurring fees during the first 6 months.

  (offer ends December 31, 2019)

A Start-Up That Wants To Grow

A Start-Up That Wants To Grow

When you launch a start-up you’re doing so with the goal of growing bigger.

There are some things to keep in mind that may keep you up all night as a start-up entrepreneur:

? Will You Have Enough Cash -there’s going to be capital expenditures to fund software, product development, office space, marketing, etc.woman shelling out money

? How will you market for new sales:  Is there enough resources for marketing and sales.  Do you have enough money and people to help you.

? What about after the launch, what is the plan: always have a flexible business and marketing plan to refer to and fall back on.

? Who works for you.  It may be difficult to get the right mix of people the first time, or even the second time you hire. Sometimes you place the wrong person in the wrong position – or their talent is being underutilized for the job you placed them in.  Write job descriptions, ask open ended questions and check their references.  Always follow up with their progress.  If the person you hire turns out not to be a good fit for your company, let them go.

? Do you have the time.  If you’re doing things right, you will be working around the clock.

? Inexperienced co-founders. The best friend that helped you develop this great new concept as a start-up, doesn’t have a clue how to run a business.  You need to consider all the business roles, maybe your friend really needs to be in R&D instead of sitting in the VP chair.

? Your product takes off like a bullet.  That’s a good thing, right?   You’ll have to hire more staff and take on more responsibilities. You will need to get a bigger office.

? Who is in charge  All this new growth circles back to number one on this list, CASH.  Are you now in the position to be the one to seek out new investors?  Do you know what to say and how to say it? – And most of all do you know how to find them?

? Who are your competitors.  Do you believe you are the first company out the door with this product: wait! as you look around, you’ll notice that the market place is pretty crowded.  Be prepared to adapt to the competitive environment.

?Is help necessary. Its always a good idea to be able to ask for help when you need it.  A valuable asset finds a mentor to work with.

? Do you have the right Management team.  Who is on your management team, do they know what they are doing, do they have respect for you, the company, the employees?  Poor management is a contributing factor to early failure.

All of these concerns are important; balancing marketing, sales, employees, growth and production.  Don’t run out of money along the way.

To keep your cash flow positive the best investment for your company: Email Marketing.  An email marketing strategy has been shown to be one of the best investments a company can make.  Email Marketing is the answer to most of these concerns:

Cash Flow: no other marketing tool comes close to mirroring the reported return on investment gleaned from email marketing.

Marketing and Sales: Build an effective email marketing campaign and you build a way to generate new sales. With an easy way to send personalized targeted messages to customers and prospects.

Time Management:  The Email Service Provider (ESP) you choose should offer tools to automate everything you need, from Drip campaigns to add on sales.  Tools allow you to preplan your campaigns, sent them out at the right time to the right audiences and see the results of your mailings as they happen: No other advertising media on the planet can do this.

Investors:  With the right email service you can keep your investors informed and encourage them to spread the news of your great service or product to attract more investors.

Management:  Keep your finger on the pulse of things with a Discussion list.  Using a two-way, private forum you can converse about employee issues to production issues, with the knowledge that your email conversation is private, with a searchable record of what was discussed.

Email management can help start-ups create a strong business foundation

Build an effective email marketing campaign early on, to form a solid basis for your supporters and followers who will help you carry your start-up into an established, effective business.

Consider the features mailinglistservices.com by Dundee Internet offers:

A low-cost entry-level program for unlimited emails sends for up to 500 list members for only $10 a month.

Have thousands of potential subscribers?  Grow your list not your costs,.  At  Dundee Internet malinglistservices.com your cost is not based on the number of subscribers you have.  AND there’s no sending limit for our marketing plans.

Triggered messages,  automatic replies and bounce handling is a small part of our list automation.

Use our segment wizard to divide your lists by the demographics you choose.  Create as many segments as you need, anytime you need them.

Need a template, no problem.  Several to choose from and we can custom make one for you too.  All themes are mobile and tablet friendly.

We never add our logo to your mailings

Reports galore. If you can’t find that report you want to create a custom report or several specific to your needs.

Our Support, always available, phone, email, and text.  help sign

Email marketing is a great way to grow your customer base: for your new start-up or your well established business: give a call and start today.

Daily Email Marketing Mistakes

Daily Email Marketing Mistakes

More than ever before email marketing is more successful than other marketing avenues, but there are email marketing mistakes.  When a marketer takes time and plans each email campaign, using the right email strategy for their audience, amazing things happen.  They see growth.  However if their plan isn’t solid, peppered with common mistakes, they may not be too happy with the results.  

Here are 13 email marketing mistakes you might not want to make. 

1. Subject Line

subject lineThere overwhelming evidence that the decision to open an email is based on the Subject Line alone. With that in mind try not to make them

 

  • Absurd: “Here’s One Million Dollars, no strings attached” 
  • Over-hyped: “Vanilla Ice Cream that tastes so much better than Vanilla ice cream” 
  • In All Caps: “CAN YOU READ THIS” 
  • Critical: “Don’t you know not to fry chicken?” 
  • No Subject Line  
  • Abusive: “Open this email or you’ll regret it”
  • Too many words “After you read this email your life will change, may not change tomorrow or the next day but will change” 
  • Deceptive: “You won the Lottery!!!” 
  • Not viewable on a mobile device

 

2. Irrelevant Information

Everyone is in a hurry.  No one wants to waste time reading immaterial messages.  AND if you send enough irrelevant messages your list member may never trust your emails again and unsubscribe.

3. Sending Email Campaigns at the Wrong Time

clocks

  • There are different Time Zones to consider 
  • As an example, people who are 9-5ers will generally not see an email sent to their business address at 6 pm on a Friday night, and if the email is time critical like a reminder about a sale on Saturday, it becomes irrelevant.

4. They Don’t Trust You

Recent studies indicate Social Media is now one of the less trusted sources for reliable information followed by media outlets (NEWS).  Trust is a big issue.  You need your list subscribers to trust you and not view your email campaigns with a wary eye.

  • Follow the rules of the land.  For example, compliance of The Canned Spam Act requires you to tell your recipients where you’re located.
  • Educate your reading audience about you and your business and/or services 
  • Send emails on a regular basis, a schedule. 
  • Use the same branding and from address. 
  • Apologize if you sent something you shouldn’t have sent
  • Tell them your privacy policy.  

5. Grammar and Spelling ERAS

Your emails should read well using correct grammar and spelling.  You do not want to leave your recipients
with a hard to read and understand newsletter.  Your message will get lost and with it, your creditably  

6. Mobile Devices do not Display Correctly

  • When you realize that more than 65% of emails are opened on Smart Phones, this point becomes very important.  AND if your message is not easy to navigate it will not be read, even when someone is legitimately interested. 
  • Test your emails on mobile devices.

7. Are You Sending from No One? 

When you use a no-reply address, you’re cutting off communication.  It’s easier to either use a real email account or include a link in the email footer for your subscribers to respond too if they feel the need to do so. 

8. Not Tracking Your Success (or Failure)

Make it a habit to look at your email campaign reports and take note of  success

  • Delivery rate 
  • Open rate 
  • Click-through rate 
  • Unsubscribe rate 
  • Conversion rate 

 

Why, because planning is key, and analytics will assist you for the next campaign.  With mailing data, you will be able to tweak success.

9. Did you Buy or Rent the List You’re Emailing To?

Keep your list clean and up-to-date. Send to active customers, as defined by your standards.  There are several automatic tools offered by most ESP’s to assist you with this. 

10. Badly displayed message preview

A text preview of an email message is displayed by most email clients.  This text is normally limited to 100 characters or less.  The wording comes from the first few lines in your message.  You can use this to your advantage by building on the subject line, to entice opens.  

11. Emails are Too Busy

How much information should one email contain – don’t overwhelm your recipient with too many links, graphics or forms to fill out.  In other words, keep the CTA (Call to Action) reasonable.  

12. Mailing to a Bad List

You have the reports and know that Bounce Rate and Sender Score are important numbers.   Bounces happen for many reasons; some you can solve and some you can’t. ISP pay attention to your bounce rates and the same numbers you do.  If your bounce rate is too high, you may be blocked or marked as a spammer.  The bottom line, don’t buy lists, keep your subscriber list up to date and remove people immediately 

13. Who Wrote That? 

It may take time to write the perfect copy for your newsletter.  Plan your content and don’t rush.  The goal here is to produce a professional looking email that makes sense.

And finally 

Focus by putting your audience first.  Treat them well, say thank you when is warranted, and do not demand anything.   You want your information to be engaged, valuable, generate a positive attitude and shared.   Serve your email list members well, give them what they expect, focus on the customer, not the product and you’ll avoid those email mistakes. 

Email marketing is the number of one-way small businesses are reaching more people than ever before. With a solid email marketing strategy, business owners can convert new customers and stay top of mind with existing customers.

But what makes up a solid email marketing strategy? We’re here to help you answer that question and show you how to avoid some of the most common mistakes small business owners are making with their email marketing today.

You can avoid these potential setbacks by investing in a done-for-you email marketing solution, but for the purposes of this article let’s focus on common mistakes and, most importantly, how to avoid them.

What is an ESP (Email Service Provider) Anyway?

What is an ESP (Email Service Provider) Anyway?

An Email Provider or Email Service Provider is known as an ESP.

They offer different ways to manage and send bulk email to individual email addresses for delivery.  members

 

For the list owner, an ESP may:

  • Provide email templates.   A template is a prebuilt layout, i.e. the front page of Newspaper with headlines and columns for stories, that allow the user to enter and/or replace certain objects and text within the layout.
  • Maintain a database of list email addresses for the list owner – addresses that the list owner collected and are opted-in to their list.   Such a database may contain, not only the first and last name of the database member (known as a list member) and their email address but may contain other demographic information collected such as member sex, age, and income.
  • Email messages, newsletters, and announcements, with or without attachments to list members.  Most ESP’s have mailing statistics available for the list owner to review the success of their mailings – which can include opens, referrals, bounces and delivery reports.

ESPs are notably helpful with all types and sizes of email lists.

blue envelopeThey allow the user of their service an easy way to manage their list membership with:

  • Tracking: Who and when someone subscribed as a list member
  • Automation: When someone leaves or joins, the list is updated accordingly
  • Complaints: Usually handled by the ESP
  • Custom templates
  • An HTML editor to create custom mailings
  • Personalized messages
  • Triggered Messages
  • Email Campaigns
  • Discussion: by creating a private discussion group for conversations with searchable archives.

So many ESPs how do I choose?

Like so many technology purchases, focus on what do you need – for example:

Is longevity important, is the company stable?  This industry is over a quarter of a century old!  Companies come and go, so longevity should be a consideration.  If you look around and do a little research you may find that the companies you think are, aren’t the companies they were.   There have been mergers, takeovers, and closers.

How about support?   At one time almost everyone was tasking support overseas. People who responded to support calls were difficult to understand, and that made it difficult to describe issues and solve problems.  From broken English to little or no support was a concern. Today, overseas support is still utilized by some ESPs, others may only allow emailed questions, some only offered an online manual, some use AI and a few offered continue to offer no support at all.

What about limitations?  Some ESPs only allow so many mailings per month or so many members before they want more money. What about an issue that just came up which will take you over the quota?  Do you want to send an attachment, is that allowed?

Do you need to send an email to one person, or send both a text and HTML message at the same time, is that supported?

Email Analytics, most if not all ESP’s offer them.  Can you review everything you need? Can you credit custom reports and see your results in graphic form?

Capabilities is a big issue.  Do you need something to just mail to clients or do you want to set up a sophisticated drip campaign?

Deliverability:  is your email accepted or blocked because your ESP has you on a shared IP Address?  Is DKIM and SPF set up offered?  Does your ESP have a good sending relationship with Gmail?

man with coffeeIn conclusion, consider using an ESP instead of bulk mailing from your favorite email client.

There are many ESP’s to choose from. Consider Dundee Internet mailing list services,

  • Dundee Email Hosting has been in the list business for over 20 years
  • We offer personalized support, you can call and speak to the CEO! email, tech guides all available 24/7
  • Attachments of any size are allowed, with no limit on mailings.
  • Our software has extensive reporting capabilities for your mailings and memberships.  We offer 8 categories of built-in reports.  AND you can create your own report with our Custom Chart tools.  All accessible in one location.
  • We care about your deliverability and your email reputation after all our rep is ours too.  We employ all the latest email authentication tools and monitor all mailings for issues.
  • A built-in segment wizard, drip campaigns, triggers, and transactional emails and so much more.

An ESP should be a company you can work with, is there when you need them as an integral part of your marketing strategy.   Try a demo, ask questions, review referrals.

You Too Can Be A DRIP (campaign) With Email Marketing

You Too Can Be A DRIP (campaign) With Email Marketing

Time Base Drip Campaigns

can be defined as emails sent over a set period of time, in planned intervals in a progressive sequence. They are used to build and maintain customer awareness and to systemically move the customer into an active sales cycle.

 

Drip Campaigns are also known as 

Drip Marketing

Automated Email campaigns

Life-cycle Emails

Autoresponders

Automated Email Series

Why use a Drip Campaign:

  • They are automated and prewritten.  This saves times as it’s not necessary to write a brand-new email for every customer that buys or a prospect who inquires
  • Send relevant information at the right time: they should be personalized and contain content the recipient is interested in
  • Maintains consistency with the subscriber
  • Keeps prospects/customers engaged with your company: triggered emails are shown to have a higher response rate overall marketing emails
  • Moves the prospect in the right direction: more opportunity for cross-selling and up-selling

How do they work?

trigger

Drip Campaigns are normally based on email triggers or prompts.  When a specific action is performed by an email recipient or website visitor, such as clicking on a link or filling out a form, their actions trigger an automatic response.  A website purchase, for example, generates an invoice, once paid online, a thank you email is triggered and a week later a follow-up email is sent to the buyer. The last email in this series has product information and a discount coupon with a shop now link – all designed to keep, in this case, the customer engaged with your products.

As you can see a drip campaign will allow you to distribute relevant information to your targeted list members, at specific times, which can translate into more sales. Dundee Internet Services use drip campaigns when someone signs up for a list demo. For example: with Dundee List services, when a prospect signs up for a demonstration list they receive a Welcome letter, followed by a series of emails, one per week for four weeks, designed to guide the prospect to become a customer.  These marketing emails include the features, the benefits and the ease of using our services.  Our goal, like all drip campaigns, is to keep the prospect engaged with our product.

When should you use a Drip Campaign:

  • To Welcome a new list member when they subscribe to your email list
  • Suggestions: they purchased a book from your store, suggest more titles by the same author with a “Thank You”  email.  A few weeks later, an email with “you might also like”
  • Auto-Renewals: use the autoresponder feature in your list management tools to send an alert email to let them know their account is about to be charged. Include a link to update payment information
  • Confirmations: Confirm reservations, events, and other important dates
  • Shopping cart abandonment: When someone clicks out of buying – reengage those customers and bring them back
  • Developing Leads: Use this opportunity to educate,  offer a free trial follows up, download white papers
  • Engagements:  invite the recipient to revisit to your site and stay awhile, triggered either by some on-site activity or a general lack of activity.

Setup your Drip Campaign:

target

The Target Audience.  Several field experts suggest creating your content first, however, it’s always good to know who will be receiving it, so I believe number 1 is to identify your target audience.  To do this properly you have to know which group you’re writing for, why and how and of course the types of triggers to use, such as an action trigger.  For example, an action trigger can include:

A new email list subscriber: they get an automatic welcome letter

 A purchase: they receive an emailed receipt with a coupon

 A download for your latest whitepaper: they receive follow up emailed information and an invitation  to join a seminar

You can also use a drip campaign for a behavioral email from HotSpot “Behavioral email is the practice of sending automated, targeted emails to the contacts in your database based on their interactions with your company across multiple channels: social media, email, your website and beyond. Jan 8, 2016”  In either case, when you compile your target audience you can test your drip campaign by selecting member segments based on specific behaviors, such as buying frequency. Write the Content.  With the target audience in hand, the next step is creating a message(s) that do something,  that gets their attention and leads them to your end game.   Your message needs to be understandable, relevant and personalized, just for the reader. Campaign Planning. Next, figure out your strategy for your drip campaign—consider making a storyboard to represent the campaign steps from the first trigger to the purchase.  Consider at this point:

  • The number of emails needed and the order they are needed in
  • Consistency between the emails sent in response to the trigger set
  • How do you know you’re successful, by adding more customers, collecting more demographic data, getting more sales?  This all depends on the goals you have set

How am I going to measure success?

Ready Set GO. When everything is in place, start your campaign with your ESP.  Dundee Internet will work with you to set this up.

measure

Is it Working?  Only time will tell if your campaign is successful.   There may be adjustments needed along the way, monitor your results.   If you send receipts to customers who purchased with a coupon, are they returning to your website? Someone signed up for your email newsletter after they receive the Welcome letter did they go to their profile page and update their settings, did they sign up for your blog? Drip campaigns are a great tool to cultivate leads without taking up too much of your time.  It’s also ideal to help your users with questions, new features, and training.  They will appreciate the effort and time you take.