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Archive for the ‘email’ Category

Email marketing – Do you GetResponse or focus on Constant Contact?

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Once you choose an email provider for your blog or business, you are pretty much committed. So best make a very informed decision before you sign on, says guest blogger Gail Gardner.

Do you think all email providers are the same? There are some surprising differences. Choosing the best fit is important because moving an email list can result in losing a huge chunk of your subscribers.

Businesses can take a shortcut to choosing the right solution by using the same strategy for solution providers they use for choosing products: peer reviews.

Instead of using technology to automate processes, think about using technology to enhance human interaction. – Tony Zambito

Instead of popping over to Amazon, focus on sites that compare solutions. While some “Top 3” type sites choose the three with the highest affiliate commissions, there are legitimate sites that focus on comprehensive reviews. (more…)

 


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What if email isn’t dead?

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Mark Twain is famous for saying “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”  The same could be said for email marketing, and here is why…

It’s a refrain you might have heard a lot of recently (actually, going back at least to 2009): “Email is dead”.  After all, the evidence is all around us:

  • Today’s youth are texting instead of emailing.
  • People message each other on FaceBook
  • Students want to tweet their professors.
  • People “chat” through Skype and iMessage and other chat tools.

Obviously, email is in decline, right?

But wait.  Email marketing is flowing faster than ever.  How can this be?

Email marketing is flowing faster than ever.

Perhaps the “evidence” above is misplaced.  Could we be comparing apples to pineapples?  Texting is a form a chatting – a two-way conversation where several messages go back and forth, often in less than a minute.  FaceBook and Twitter messages are also “real time” messages, that can also be quite rapid-fire.  Similarly, Skype and iMessage are instantaneous.

While messages in some of these formats can be saved for the long term, they are all meant to be instantaneous.  They tend to share the following characteristics:

  • Instantaneous communication.
  • Optimal for short messages.
  • Not ideal where attachments are needed.
  • Not ideal for storing over the long term or for keeping track.

In short, these tools are ideal for conversations, not for correspondence.  Email, however, is ideal for correspondence, not conversations.  Yes, some conversations take place by email, but the lag between one person posting and the other person downloading makes it less than ideal.  However, email can easily be filed and tracked.  It is ideal for long messages and for attachments.

If email has replaced a lot of paper correspondence of days gone by, texting has replaced phone calls, not email.  The headlines should not read “Email is dead”.  They should read “phone calls are dead”.  This could herald in the prospect that we might someday use our phones for every purpose except as phones.

As Brett Moneta reports in Digital Pivot:

“Everything has its purpose and place. If you’re sending a timely social message, you’ll send it as a text. Need to be clear? You’ll probably call. Social messages that don’t need an immediate reply go as social media. And finally, when you need to send an official message, it goes as email. The younger generation isn’t doing heavy business yet. That’s why they prefer texting.”

Social media certainly is not replacing email.  If anything, more social media usage means more email usage.  I know when somebody has commented on one of my G+ posts or wants to message me on FaceBook or DMs me on Twitter because I receive an email telling me so.  If there is a login issue, I need an email address to send a reset-password URL to.

Email as a marketing tool

As marketers, one lingering question might still remain. If people are communicating more by texting and messaging, are they still reachable by email?  Does the younger generation care about correspondence at all?

Numbers don’t lie.  Email marketing continues to grow. A 2013 study by Custora reveals that email marketing is the fastest growing customer acquisition channel, quadrupling from 0.88% of customers acquired in 2009 to 6.84% in 2013.

Email marketing is becoming more sophisticated, more targeted.

As email marketing continues to grow, it also remains an effective way to deliver messages. According to a 2013 GetResponse study, the ROI on email marketing is $28 for each $1 spent.  In the growing mobile marketing segment, 41% of emails are open on mobile devices.  Simon Grabowski, CEO of GetResponse email marketing services, says:

“Email marketing is becoming more sophisticated, more targeted.  We see continued growth as more and more businesses are realizing that a website is not enough to be ‘online’, that they also need some means of communicating with customers.  Email is usually the best way to do that.”

There is some compelling evidence that people still want email, and especially that once they start their own households it will become increasingly important to them. Even in a “paperless” society, documentation is still required.  Nothing demonstrates this better than the delivery of utility statements.  As utilities try to eliminate paper statements and bills, they are giving consumers incentives to receive them by email.

In fact, any elimination of paper almost universally requires a replacement of some form of electronic documentation, and email is still the most assured and effective medium available.

So consumers can still be reached by email, even if other platforms are also being used. And email is still the best way to reach individuals personally.  You can broadcast your latest special on Twitter, but you can send a “Dear Justin” personalized message via email.

To reach business customers, email is even more important that to reach consumers.  Businesses don’t chat; they send documentation.  Email remains their chief electronic means of communication, so for a business audience, email will likely be your most effective means of marketing.

In fact, a 2014 survey found that on average, companies attribute 23% of their total sales to email marketing.  That is up from 18% in 2013. That same survey found that email marketing gives the best bang for the buck, edging out SEO for best ROI, and well ahead of affiliate marketing, offline direct marketing and other channels.

Steve Chou agrees.  He teaches people how to make a living selling goods online, and he teaches them that email marketing is essential.  A few months ago, he revealed his own success with email marketing in an article entitled How I Made Over $300K These Past 2 Years With An Email Autoresponder.  He says:

“Email is definitely not dwindling.  It is an essential tool to any business that wants to succeed online in 2014, and for many years to come.”

Here are a few additional statistics about email marketing from Wolfgang Jaegel that you might want to consider:

Email markiting stats

So next time you hear that email is dead, you can say, “Email is dead.  Long love email!”

 

 


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Business Blog Commenting Carnival #1

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Welcome to our first ever “Business Blog Commenting Carnival.” I spend a fair amount of time visiting blogs to learn, discuss, support and network.  With all the comments I leave, surely there are some that I should be sharing with my own readers.  And I thought also that you might be interested in some of the same blog posts that inspired me to elucidate, extrapolate or simply irritate.  And that is the idea between what I hope will become a regular feature on this blog.

 

 

Over at Do You Shine? Consider A Business Model Shift , I just had to agree that change is a mind trap…

This is so sadly true, not just with whole business models but even with small adjustments. How many times have I known that I should make a change…but change is disruptive. It takes time to even just set up a new process for doing something. There is a HUGE psychological barrier to making changes.

And at at 5 Ways to Make Your Site Fly, one of the 5 tips to make your blog faster was about resizing images. I added this…

I have also found an easy way to resize images is just to view them on my desktop, then reduce the size of the picture viewing window, then I just use the snipping tool to save the image in a new size.

I had to jump in at Want to start a business – How to come up with a new Business idea

I think a more basic question is why you want to start a business in the first place. Normally the reason to start a business IS because you have a passion about something. Or you see a problem that needs fixing. Or you are frustrated in your job because the boss just doesn’t get it.

If you have to search for an idea, there is a good chance your business will fail. The core motivation is missing.

On Social Media and Email – a Winning Combination

Indeed, there is no guarantee that your list will respond as you wish. First, the content must be really good, not something cobbled together on the cheap or a sales pitch with no curiosity of “Wow!” factor. And then, as you say, you have to be oh-so clear about what you want them to do, because people can be stupid – yes, even really smart people can also be stupid – and busy and distracted.

And while we are on the topic of the power of social media (I know this is not so much business related), I commented at 7 Links, 5 Writers

“One of the most amazing things about the Internet, and one I am most thankful for, is the way it brings together people of different ages, nationalities, backgrounds, and experiences, and enables them to become friends before it ever occurs to them that, under other circumstances, their paths likely never would have crossed. ”

I have often thought about this. It is one of the reasons I am so happy to associate with people on the Internet, even though I am a bit of a hermit. Many people I am best buddies with on the Internet, I might not even get along with in real life – who knows?  This virtual world is amazing.

 


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Italian food from a Chinese restaurant in Pakistan

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Most people do this when they get spam email:

Grrrrrr….!*$#@!+%$!*&

But sometimes, spam can be really funny.  Especially when it comes to pathetic target marketing (You know, like I really need my melons to be enhanced or my Brazilian to be waxed!).  In that same light, consider this ad I recently received:

 

 

 

Italian food from a Chinese restaurant in Pakistan…targeted to a Quebec-born Hungarian guy with a German name living in Ontario. Award-winning pizza?  Maybe.  Award-winning marketing?  I suspect that these guys would not recognize their target market even if they understood the concept.

Thanks for the laugh, guys.  I’ll have mine with green pepper and mushrooms.  Will you deliver in 30 minutes of less?

 


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5 Reasons to Shorten Your URLs

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Here is a great list of reasons why you would want to shorten your URLs.  Here is the abridged version of the list, but the link above gives a more detailed explanation, well-thought out and pretty obvious for anyone trying to spread their website by means other than links. 

  • Avoid broken links in your emails/messenger text
  • Save characters in your SMS
  • Tell others your links via phone
  • Hide your affiliate links
  • Much better for audio recirdings or repeating the URL over the phone

 


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Make them think

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

If you want to attract attention, it helps to make them think.  I ran the following item in my Daily Dose of Happiness ezine:

RELAX

Close your eyes and imagine you are in a room filled with soft blue light.  Around you is gentle green foliage.  Feel the blue.  Feel the green.  These colors, the hues of sky, forest and water, are known to relax people.

For more permanent stress-relief, paint your walls blue, green or a combination of the two.  Since these are cool colors, they can also help keep tropical homes cool.  Not recommended in Iqaluit or Hammerfest. 

A fairly straightforward little item, with a touch of cuteness at the end.

Actually, it was a touch of interaction.  You have no idea how many people pulled out the atlas to find out where Iqaluit and Hammerfest are located.  And one Norwegian subscriber even emailed me to cheer the inclusion of her country in my ezine.

Make them think.  Make them look something up, but make sure that what they have to look up is not something really important to your message, because not everybody will look it up. 

 


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Dreaming Of Search In 1994

Friday, January 5th, 2007

David Utter writes in Dreaming Of Search In 1994 :

Instant messaging and VoIP have begun to supplant email for regular communications anyway, a change we will lament. The best part of email is its asynchronous nature. A message sent at 9 could be answered at 10 without either party feeling intruded upon or ignored.

I agree.  A discussion requires instant communications, best by telephone of one sort or another.  But for most communication, which requires a simple one-way transfer of information, email is at least as useful, much less disruptive and far more efficient.  Plus it leaves a trail to refer back to, especially when you want to refer back to commitments you, your supplier or your customer have made.  Plus email allows you to forward information, even months later, to new players who get involved. 

Unless a discussion is required, email is by far the most effective tool we have right now.

 

 

 

 

 


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