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Don’t miss the Condescending Corporate Brand Page for a steady stream of reminders of how not to be annoying with your Facebook Page. With all of the forward thinking hype surrounding social media marketing, its older brother, the email campaign, is often seen as something of a relic of a past.
Consider the following if you’re contemplating launching a new small business email marketing campaign.
A recent study of online marketing techniques found that email marketing generated new customers for online retailers at a rate of roughly 7%, while social media had a conversion rate for new buyers of less than 1%.
I’m by no means saying that you should deactivate your Facebook account and pledge to never post another photo to Instagram again. That said, social media should be thought of as more of a long game, big picture strategy, with email working to gain more short-term conversions. Post subscription calls to action on your blog, at the end of website pages and even on your social media pages.
If you’re looking for more tips for getting an email campaign off the ground, Forbes’s offers a guide to email marketing for small businesses.
Amie Marse is the founder of Content Equals Money, a small content generation firm based in Lexington, KY. We’re the same, for all the hype about new marketing tools, we think that some of the oldies still work the best.
I believe that there is an art and a science to email marketing and, if done wrong, it could go very badly for a company. I don’t know if I am just being pessimistic but with more and more people ignoring emails that advertise a certain product or service, I think that email marketing will probably die in the near future. For social media, it does not cost anything to have accounts set up on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media websites. With social media you build those long last relationships with your customers which you can also leverage in your email marketing campaigns.
I agree with you that any of your campaigns should look at the overall picture that you want to accomplish and then set your campaigns around those goals to achieve success. We recently decided to reboot our e-newsletter campaign after a two-year hiatus but ran into the problem of not being able to clean our e-mail list without spamming our subscribers. Email marketing still remains one of the most reliable tools to help you connect with your prospects and customers alike, particularly for small businesses.
One of the main reasons why small businesses should practice email marketing is to keep their leads engaged. Success is directly related to how you play the game and how you move your marketing pieces. Small businesses have the opportunity to easily be something that large companies work very hard to bea€”a member of a local community. Comprehensive software exists that allows entrepreneurs to reach millions of customers without lifting a finger. Sometimes, lines are gooda€¦like when youa€™re a business owner and the line is made of customers and ita€™s outside your door!
Guerrilla marketing is unconventional, but the nice thing about unconventional is that ita€™s also typically inexpensive. The marketing mindset doesna€™t just belong to marketing executives, it belongs to everyone in the organization. These low-cost, but highly effective, marketing tips will help you find customers and generate sales quickly. With this in mind, Small Business Trends has come up with a list of past articles that can help you in this area.
Recent research shows that email marketing can generate more new customers for your business than social media outlets.
By asking customers to sign up for your email list, you have the ability to learn more about their needs and can often separate them into categories based on those needs. Luckily, there are a multitude of tools that allow you to make your email marketing job easier and more effective, and to generate messages that are more attractive.
And if that list is not enough for you, here’s an update to our list from several years later.
Believe it or not, appearance is just as important in email as it is in traditional marketing. If your marketing messages are working properly, a lot of your customers may be ready to make a deal. Founded in 2003, Small Business Trends is an award-winning online publication for small business owners, entrepreneurs and the people who interact with them.
Together with hundreds of expert contributors, Small Business Trends brings you the news, advice and resources you need. I often get asked “what’s the best email marketing software for small business?” and the truth is that there’s no one size fits all answer.
Choosing the right marketing platform allows you to manage and grow your subscriber list, while helping you design and optimize beautiful emails, in an effort to build your business.
Which of them is correct? As it turns out, that depends on your exact needs as a business owner. After reaching that threshold, the price goes up in a pricing method that’s precise rounded up to 100 subscribers to ensure you’re never overcharged.
Depending on your skillset, the web-based tool also comes with a built-in editor for your pictures, making MailChimp one of the most flexible tools on the market: it’s just as useful if you’re just starting a business as it is when you’re looking to grow beyond your initial customer base. AWeber is the first email marketing system that I signed up for when I was starting my online business, and it’s one I’m still happy to recommend today. What I love about AWeber is their “no fuss” focus on delivering your emails, and giving you good stats about what people do with your emails. Especially if you engage in eCommerce by selling products directly on your website, you need an email tool that integrates with your shopping cart so that you can send well-designed, automated confirmation and shipping emails each time someone purchases one of your products. In fact, we would go as far as to say that AWeber is the perfect choice if you are looking for a tool that integrates with your various customer databases. Salesforce integration comes with the tool from the start, as does an easy way to set up auto-responders that will become invaluable as your business grows and you don’t have time to send emails manually and individually.
If you’re technologically savvy, AWeber even allows you to take your email marketing one step further: at AWeber labs, you can create custom apps that integrate seamlessly with your email marketing. Unlike MailChimp, which gives its users almost limitless flexibility in how robust or complex their email marketing should be, Constant Contact goes the opposite route and takes care of the choice for its users.


The options for integration with other digital marketing are almost limitless, allowing users to attach videos or documents to the emails along with seamless social media navigation.
Constant Contact is easy to navigate and master, and its many help and support articles and resources are sure to answer any questions that may remain. A popular review site recently ranked iContact as the single best email marketing tool available, with an average rating of 9.83 out of 10 possible points.
Working in iContact allows you to easily create beautiful emails, but the tool especially scored especially high based on its excellent customer service and contact management system. I personally used iContact for a few months, to see what all the fuss was about and I have to say that I loved my experience.
It’s almost impossible to get confused in the interface but even if you do, the tool’s customer service ensures that you are back on the right path sooner than you know it. Where iContact relies on its quality service to ensure your satisfaction, Mad Mimi goes a different route: providing perhaps the most beautiful emails out of all the options we mentioned here. That’s not to say the creators ignore customer service – it’s just that they have clearly made design their top priority, and it shows in the software. Rather than relying on pre-designed templates like most of its competitors, Mad Mimi instead offers Themes that are reminiscent of their WordPress equivalent and allow users to customize the look of their emails without any prior design knowledge. The result: no two emails look the same, and it’s almost more difficult to make an email look bad than the opposite. Let’s start with the most important part: Infusionsoft is one of the most expensive platforms on this list. If you’re not willing or able to spend at least $200 per month on your business, you may want to skip to the next tool we’ll discuss. Too often, calculating the return on investment from email marketing devolves into a guessing game. The tracker has been so successful, it makes other advanced features (such as a lead scoring system that allows you to track which of your contacts are most likely to become customers or flowcharts that allow you to create comprehensive, consistent campaigns) seem like nice little bonuses. I personally switched to Infusionsoft when my business started to get more complex, when I realized that I could automate my follow up and do more smart marketing based on people’s actions. If you’re not sure if it’s time to upgrade to Infusionsoft or Ontraport, I’ve got a blog post giving you my advice here. Ontraport is the Infusionsoft equivalent, with a slightly different approach to automation and contact management.
One of the deciding factors that might help you decide between Infusionsoft and Ontraport is the community and support that each company has cultivated. Finally, we finish with a software (Vertical Response) that’s almost the exact opposite of Infusionsoft and Ontraport, at least in terms of budget-needs.
You probably noticed that most of the email marketing tools we mentioned above base their pricing models on monthly subscriptions. That may not make sense if you have implemented a comprehensive email strategy into your marketing plan, but it’s perfect if you just want to send out a promotional email to loyal customers every now and then. Active Campaign is a newer contender in the email marketing space that focuses heavily on automation and contact management. Active Campaign also allows you to track leads and do more individual one-on-one sales, just like Infusionsoft does. One thing that ConvertKit has going for it is their intuitive interface design and the fact that they’ve gotten some big name bloggers on board, like Pat Flynn. With ConvertKit you can build email drip sequences, and use automation features like triggers to change the default behavior and tailor it to each individual subscriber. PopupAlly Pro allows you to design the most beautiful opt-in boxes, polite popups for you website… using any of the email marketing systems we reviewed today.
Of course, a single blog post can’t even begin to list all available email marketing tools for small businesses.
Questions about the best email tool available for small businesses are impossible to answer definitively. We actually get a ton of people switch off of Infusionsoft and Ontraport once they start to get larger (over 30k-50k). Take a look at their pricing page – it is based on how many subscribers you have on your email list. As allies in our marriage and business, we're here to become your favorite allies for growing your business with elegant software solutions! But for small businesses, email campaigns are still an important part of any marketing toolbox and may even drive more sales than social media campaigns.
That’s a huge finding and it’s a little bit surprising to everyone who’s been saying email is old news and social media is the way of the future.
Throwing together some text and sending it out willy-nilly is not the way to get that 7% conversion rate. Upon sign-up, allow subscribers to choose whether they want deals, business updates or tips about products. Know well in advance what you’re going to send out so you don’t find yourself scrambling to produce something. Before you send anything out, make sure that it complies with all of the major spam regulations so it doesn’t get automatically funneled away from inboxes. A letter in the post or an email campaign still generates traffic to our website that we could only dream about with Social.
They already have done business with you or have given you an email address for communication.
I have found a couple of very good companies that offer an email marketing service for small businesses that is not only effective, but also very affordable. I agree that throwing together some text and sending it out willy-nilly is not the way to get that 7% conversion rate. Unfortunately, none of the e-mail marketing services we contacted would allow us to send out a test e-mail so we’re caught between a rock and a hard place right now.
With most online businesses making most of their money from their email followers, it’s clear the approach is still quite vital. To take advantage of this, there are several key ideas to keep in mind when you’re beginning your campaign.
You won’t see many other mediums that market to customers by asking for their permission first. As a result, small business owners are in a better position to target customers specifically and create more customized products and services.


And a plain-old email message may not be enough to wow the customers you’ve worked so hard to earn. These tools will track who opens your emails, what keywords get them clicking through to your website, and other behaviors of the recipients of your messages. This list of 24 email marketing applications is a great refresher on where things stand more recently as far as email apps are concerned.
A professional journalist with more than a decade of experience in the traditional newspaper business, he has another 10 years of experience in digital media for trade publications and news sites. On top of it all, you also get different analytics that allow you to you determine just how well your email did, and how you can improve it in the future. Countless email marketing software companies have sprouted up, determined to convince you that they are the perfect solution for your small business marketing needs. To make the decision just a little easier for you, we’ve compiled an overview of some of the best email marketing software for small business, and how they can help you achieve your goals. And that’s for a reason: the service is entirely free if you have under 2,000 subscribers or send less than 12,000 emails per month.
The service allows businesses to spend as much or as little time designing their marketing emails as they want, offering both free templates and an easy-to-learn drag-and-drop template editor for customization. Their autoresponder and list management options are also more flexible than MailChimp’s list management… which is important if you have more than one type of customer or email list offer. The cheapest plan begins at $20 per month, but this email marketing service leaves much to be desired for digitally savvy business owners.
That, in turn, makes iContact the ideal tool for small business owners who are ready to start their email marketing efforts but not yet familiar with creating and editing emails, or contact management. But if the money is available in your budget, then the added benefits of a full fledged program like Infusionsoft will pay for themselves. This means you can do smarter marketing and offer the right kind of email follow up based on what people do (or don’t do).
Infusionsoft has been around longer, but Ontraport is coming up strong with new features and a strong set of support professionals to answer your questions.
But if you’re a small business that doesn’t necessarily send out emails all that often, these pricing models mean wasting money in months that you don’t actually use the service. Think split testing emails, and automatically adjusting what people receive based on whether they clicked a link in an email or didn’t open another email.
However, the more email subscribers you have on Active Campaign, the faster your monthly bill increases… but I see it as a way to tap into automation before you are ready to jump into bigger systems like Infusionsoft or Ontraport. Their marketing is aimed at bloggers and those who are building an audience and wanting to segment follow-ups easily with their automation features. Pricing is reasonable for smaller email lists and does pick up speed quickly, and once you pass the 30,000 subscriber mark you’d be better off on a system like Infusionsoft or Ontraport. But there is such a thing as the best email tool for specific situations, and we hope you will be able to find the answer for your needs in our list above. In fact, our larger customers (100k-300k subscribers) ran into major throttling issues and slow sending speeds.
I appreciate you sharing what your customers are seeing in terms of what works for them and when it makes sense to upgrade or switch providers. There are so many companies that don’t realize that they are making some easy to fix (and annoying) mistakes.
Those forms of online marketing that rely on social networks do work, and they’re a great way to build a brand image and interact with customers even if they don’t always directly translate into immediate conversions. This ensures that subscribers will stay subscribers, and it gives you an idea of what kind of content is most popular.
Ideally, they’ll be interested enough to read the whole thing, but no one is going to commit to reading a big block of text without some idea of whether or not it’s relevant. Her philosophy is that the essentials of content marketing do not change from the small business to the Fortune 500 level, and that creativity trumps budget every time. This shows they’re a more qualified person and therefore worthy of your time, attention, and best efforts. Email marketing is still one of the most used, and underestimated digital marketing veterans. So there is still a segment of the market that is more accustomed to communicating that way. This listing shows you what sort of campaigns can best be created via email and how best to generate customer response from your efforts. By asking leads to fill in their names and email addresses, you are asking for their permission to market to them. They offer everything from insights into the reach of your emails to templates you can use to make your messages more visually appealing to your subscribers.
Apart from that tip, this list also covers topics like considering how your readers will receive your email marketing messages and what’s included in the subject line. Shawn has served as a beat reporter, columnist, editorial writer, bureau chief and eventually managing editor with responsibility for nine weekly newspapers, the Berks Mont Newspapers. Infusionsoft provides an answer: it comes with a built-in ROI tracker that allows you to calculate exactly that, and the results have been higher ROI than most if not all competing email marketing tools. But even beyond that, you may not have to pay much: the tool offers pay-as-you-go options that allow you to pay only when you actually send out an email.
But from MailChimp to Vertical Response, this list should cover the best tools for every situation.
I obviously subscribe to them which is why I receive them in the first place, and I subscribe to them with the best of intentions, but there are actually one or two that I actually DO read.
This is exactly the reason why business owners should not take email marketing for granted.
Once they grant you that permission, they are much more willing to listen to what you have to say.



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