Category Archives: Tips and Resources

Email Marketing Process

Guide to Spam Proof Email Marketing: Part 2 – Start Your Email Marketing Process

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Welcome to Part 2 in our series, ‘Your Guide to Spam Proof Email Marketing.’  In this blog, we will cover everything you need to know to start your email marketing process.

Setup Your Email Marketing Process

The first thing you’ll want to do is build your email lists.  Keep in mind though that you need to have permission to email your customers and other prospects prior to adding them to your list.

And while you might be inclined towards buying email lists, it’s not something we ever recommended. There are just too many issues with purchasing an email list that end up outweighing any benefits you might gain. We also don’t recommend you simply adding emails from your prospect’s business cards that were collected at a conference or a networking event. Just don’t put anyone on your list until you have express permission from them to receive your newsletters or emails. Failing to do this means your emails are more likely to be marked as spam, which will only damage your business reputation online.

Remember that people who don’t opt-in to specifically get your emails are just not the people who will be buying from you. So sending them your offers and/or other deals will be a complete waste of time and money.

To get started with your email marketing campaigns the spam proof way, you should:

  1. Create an Email Opt-In Form
  2. Set-up an Account with an Email Marketing Service

Let’s talk about some of the leading email marketing service providers out there:

MailChimp

For all first time email marketers out there, we recommend that you try out MailChimp as your email marketing service.  It’s a great service with an easy to set-up and highly intuitive user interface.  Adding new subscribers to specific segments is as easy as it can get.

The best thing about MailChimp is that it offers a free plan for up to 2,000 subscribers – that’s more than enough for any new businesses.  However, if you are looking for auto-responders or any other powerful tools, then you will have to make a switch to a paid plan.  But not to worry, their paid plans are some of the lowest out there, starting from as little as just $10/month.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is one of the biggest email marketing services.  We find them to be extremely easy to manage subscribers and create highly professional emails using customizable templates via their simple drag-and-drop editing tools.  They also allow you to send out automated emails to all of your new subscribers and track the performance.

Constant Contact offers a free, 60-days trial, after which you can start a plan from as low as $20/month or get further discounts for prepayments of 6 or 12 months.

AWeber

AWeber is another famous email marketing service with a wide range of tools, including auto-responders, email builder, segments and much more.  With a fantastic customer support team and features like highly targeted emails using opt-in forms, AWeber might just be the right service for you.

Their service prices start from as low as $19/month and offer a 30-day free trial for new subscribers.

ConvertKit

ConvertKit can be the perfect choice for you if you are a beginner who needs some advanced features to be used in the near future, including complex auto-responders.  You can think of it as a CRM minus the heavy price tag. ConvertKit is massively used by authors, professional bloggers as well as speakers.

Pricing starts at $29/month for up to 1,000 subscribers.

ActiveCampaign

Oriented more towards marketing automation, ActiveCampaign is a unique email marketing software. With ActiveCampaign, you can reveal more about the subscribers’ behavior, using tags on their profile.

Pricing starts at a meager $17/month.

InfusionSoft

InfusionSoft is an end-to-end CRM as well as marketing solution created with small and medium-size businesses in mind.  With extremely advanced features of list segmentation, marketing automation, and lead scoring, InfusionSoft is a powerhouse that is on top of its game.  You’ll either need to know a little HTML to be able to truly customize your emails or you can pay their team to do it for you.

Monthly package starts from a minimum of $99/month.

GetResponse

GetResponse is great for email marketers who wish to create responsive emails and have built-in auto-responders with A/B testing capabilities. The pricing starts at $15/month for 1,000 subscribers and can go all the way to $999/month for enterprise solutions.

Hubspot

HubSpot is an all-in-one marketing software that offers more than basic email marketing services.  Designed specifically to meet the needs of medium to large businesses, HubSpot will help you with strong SEO and a fantastic customer service.  They also offer free training to equip you with the inbound methodology in attracting, nurturing, converting and delighting your leads.

The basic plan starts at $200/month which features content creation tools, content optimization, email marketing, social media suite and a sublime marketing analytics dashboard.

How to Grow Your Email Marketing List

Once you have your Opt-In Forms and Email Marketing Services ready and in place, the next step is to start working on creating your email lists and make sales.

Let’s move on to Part 3 of our series: Guide to Spam Proof Email Marketing – Part 3 Grow Your Email Lists.

Preview and Rate Marketing Emails Before Sending

By | Marketing Email Deliverability, Product Features, Services, Tips and Resources | No Comments

marketing emailsLet’s be honest here – how many times have you discovered, after sending out marketing emails to your subscribers, an embarrassing typo or that you completely missed out on inserting a link to a button? Happens to the best of email marketers out there!

What might seem like a harmless little mistake can cost you a customer, and even worse, can land you in the spam folder. Your efforts and hard work will go to waste as a meaningless, amateur email when landing your potential customer’s inbox.

To avoid this heartache, we at Mail Monitor strongly recommend that you always preview and rate marketing emails before sending them out.

 

Marketing Emails: What Does An Inbox Preview Do?

Most of the leading email marketing services out, such as MailChimp and HubSpot, will allow you to have a complete preview of your email campaigns, giving you the final preview that your subscribers will see. This allows you to preview all your email campaigns before sending them out and gives you the opportunity to check them to see if they look professional and are readable and up to your quality mark.

Reviewing and optimizing your messages before sending them out will:

  • Ensure that your emails look accurate and are aesthetically correct for all devices and screen types; and
  • Will guarantee that your emails don’t get blocked by any spam filters based on an unforced error on your part

Performing this final check will also enhance your chances of increasing your response rate and minimize your unsubscribes.

 

Marketing Emails: What If You Don’t Do Inbox Previews?

Inbox Previews are essential marketing tools to quickly identify any issues before deploying a campaign. Failing to do this can lead to:

  1. High Spam Requests/Unsubscribes – You increase your subscriber’s likelihood to mark you as spam or simply unsubscribe from your mailing lists altogether. Imperfect emails are a real turn off for anyone and it looks extremely unprofessional and suspicious.
  2. Email Your Reputation – You need to make sure that your messages look perfect on all kind of devices. Failing to do so will definitely reduce your business’s reputation online.
  3. Increase in Block Rates – All renowned organizations rely heavily on email marketing to send the message across. Sending out faulty emails that might contain missing texts or images, broken links or invalid landing pages will increase the risk of being blocked, killing off the entire object of the marketing teams.

 

Rating Your Marketing Emails

Below are some of the things that you should always check when previewing your emails:

  • No words are misspelled – First and foremost, make sure your content has no typos or even worse, any grammatical errors. Make proofreading your best friend and maybe also involve another team member in the process.
  • The images are all working fine – Always double check to see that your images are being uploaded properly and/or are hosted on your public server, free from any password protection.
  • Links are working perfectly – Ensure that all of the links in your email are leading to the right place. Check each and every link and certify that none of your links used are blacklisted – something that you should consider critically.
  • Email layout is proper – Check the spacing of all elements and the overall layout of your emails for various devices, including the padding, margin changes, color, and fonts.
  • Looks good on all inboxes – You will have to make sure that your emails look good across all inboxes and not just a few. Check how they look on test accounts across all inbox services.
  • Headlines and subject lines looking good – Your emails should have a good headline as well a subject line that is relevant to the content of your email.

How to Create a Successful Email Re-Engagement Campaign

By | Marketing Email Deliverability, Tips and Resources | No Comments

Email Re-EngagementYour relationship with your subscribers goes through all the stages of any other relationship in your life. At the start, your subscribers are usually extremely excited about your emails and your offerings and look forward to anything that you send their way. All those exclusive discounts and personalized emails get them to blush with surprise and anxiously await your next emails.

However, just like with any other relationship, this honeymoon period doesn’t last forever and soon their interest tends to wane. After all, you need to be more than just about offering discounts and sending monthly newsletters to keep their attention and move your relationship forward.

However, just like with any other relationship, this honeymoon period doesn’t last forever and soon their interest tends to wane. After all, you need to be more than just about offering discounts and sending monthly newsletters to keep their attention and move your relationship forward.

While many brands tend to accept this as a sad, unfixable truth, it doesn’t have to be the case. Implementing strong, personal and strategic email re-engagement campaigns will make you unforgettable in the eyes of your subscribers.

 

Why do an Email Re-Engagement Campaign?

There are many reasons why subscribers stop engaging with a brand’s emails. With time, it is common to see a drop in open rates and clicks on emails. While a lot of the subscribers can also be considered as not the perfect fit for you, you’ll be surprised by how many of these can be won back with cleverly executed re-engagement campaigns.

Re-Engagement campaigns are opportunities for you to remind all those inactive subscribers why they liked engaging with your brand in the first place. It’s also important for you to target these non-responding subscribers because they can have serious negative effects on your deliverability. ISPs these days focus on things beyond the content of emails to determine spammers and are more concerned with the ways in which subscribers respond to your emails. All of this makes it important for you to take re-engagement campaigns seriously.

In our re-engagement strategies, we will be looking at the following three major steps:

  • Determining the People to Re-Engage With
  • Creation of Your Re-Engagement Campaigns
  • Knowing When to Quit

 

Determining the People to Re-Engage With

Even though the exact definition of an inactive subscriber varies from one company to another, they all agree it’s basis to be a subscriber who doesn’t open or click on an email in a certain period of time.

You will need to consider these when defining your timeframe:

  • Behavior Types – Most re-engagement strategies tend to be based on the email behavior, including lack of opens and/or clicks over a certain period of time, such as within the past 60 days. If significant, you might also want to consider on-site behavior and other purchase behaviors.
  • Email Frequency – Depending on your business, you will have to adjust your timeframes for inactivity. For example, a classifieds websites that specializes in daily and weekly deals might consider an inactive subscriber to be someone who hasn’t engaged in 90 days while a realtor who sends a monthly newsletter might consider a much longer timeframe such as 6 months or even a year.
  • Customer Journey – If the customer journey in your line of business is fairly long or your customers are more infrequent in their purchase cycles then you might want to consider inactivity time frames that are much longer to mirror this behavior.

 

Creation of Your Email Re-Engagement Campaigns

The first thing to keep in mind here is that since your subscribers haven’t been responding to your regular emails, you will need to send out something different. Some of the things that you can play around with include:

  • Content – Staying true to your brand values, mix up your content and communication, staying within the guidelines and present something out of the ordinary. Sending out extremely personalized emails with special messages and customized promo codes can help. Test things out and see what works here. Highlighting new offers and/or any changes to your business might be of interest to them. Some companies also consider sending out incentivized surveys to get valuable feedback while at the same time re-engaging with your subscribers. People like sharing their opinions and they LOVE being considered important.
  • Style – It is highly likely that your existing emails have been designed in HTML, having your brand as the “From” name. You should consider sending out plain text email from a customer support representative with a human name. This representative should contact inactive subscribers as a “check-in” to see if they have any questions about your products or services and if they would like to see something change. You should also be prepared for responses on such emails and should have a SOP on how to approach them. You should, however, still use HTML to create the appearance of the plain text emails, allowing your email service provider to include an open tracking pixel.
  • Pausing – Subscriber inactivity usually happens due to email fatigue, meaning that you have sent out too many emails to make them ineffective. If that is the case then it is a good idea to pause all activity on your inactive subscribers for a while before resuming with any kind of communication. Having said that, we also do not suggest that you keep them dormant for too long that they forget they opted-in to your communications in the first place.

 

Knowing When to Quit

Keep your campaign performance expectations as realistic as possible. Since these subscribers haven’t engaged with you in a long time, you shouldn’t expect any fireworks from them all.  While initial numbers will most likely be small, any win should be appreciated as you are managing to awaken some of your most difficult subscribers. Even having the most thorough re-engagement strategy will convert just a fraction of these inactive subscribers so you should know when to quit.  After understanding that nothing is working, it might be a good idea to send out an email on parting ways.

You don’t necessarily have to remove them from your list, but it is a good idea to stop annoying them with your emails when they ask or fail to engage in order to help improve your deliverability and your overall reputation score among different ISPs. We do not recommend removing these subscribers because they might still find a way to crawl back into your active, engaging lists.