Category Archives: Tips and Resources

How to Grow Your Email Lists

Guide to Spam Proof Email Marketing: Part 3 – Grow Your Email Lists

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Even in this day and age, there are marketers who just create opt-in forms, stick them on their website and then hope people will sign up.  The reality is that this method will take you years to grow your email list…if it even grows at all.

In this blog, Part 3 of our series ‘Your Guide to Spam Proof Email Marketing,’ we will review strategies to organically grow your email lists by creating and promoting a compelling offer (also known as a ‘lead magnet’.)

Grow Your Email Lists Through Lead Magnets

Lead Magnets are deals and offers that you give away for free in exchange for an email address.  Most successful lead magnets are digital materials like audio files, videos or PDFs (versus products or services that will cost you money). The catch is that your lead magnet needs to provide value for your potential lead in order to appeal to them.

Some of the most widely used lead magnets include:

  • eBooks
  • Link to free webinars
  • Discount coupons
  • Tips and resources
  • Free trials/samples
  • Quizzes and/or assessments
  • Case studies

And if you’re wondering on exactly what makes a good lead magnet, you need to consider the following 5 criteria when making your decision:

  1. Easy Consumption – Your lead magnet is useless unless your audience uses it.  Try and share snackable, digestible lead magnets to gain traction (nothing too huge or cumbersome that consumers won’t use).
  2. Action Driven – A good lead magnet will always provide useful information and/or tools and skillsets that your audience can apply.
  3. Relevant – Make sure you study your prospects to guarantee that your lead magnet solves their problem.
  4. Instant Gratification – Don’t make your audience wait after they submit the information that you required them to.  Give the lead magnet right then and there.
  5. Creates Noticeable Improvement – Your lead magnet needs to be as good as (if not better) than your main offerings to be able to make an impact.  People continue to buy from businesses who give out lead magnets that are unique and will provide them with something useful or valuable.


Creating Opt-In Forms That Work

Keep in mind that your opt-in form is there to convey the BIG benefit that your lead magnet promises,  essentially prompting your audience to subscribe to your email lists in exchange for getting your offer.

Every good opt-in form that converts will have the following components:

  1. Exciting Headlines – The headline always needs to describe the benefits of the lead magnet that you are giving out.
  2. Great Visuals – It’s always a good idea to include an image of the lead magnet, if possible.  If not, then make sure the visuals and the template of the opt-in form are both, professional and appealing.
  3. Supporting Descriptions – Try and keep your descriptions brief, crisp and to the point.  Use bullets wherever possible so that the reader can give it a quick scan.
  4. Keep it Simple – The form doesn’t have to be too complicated.  Don’t ask more than the first name and email address.  Having too many questions can be the deal breaker.
  5. CTA in Subscribe Button – Having a contrasting color for your all-important subscribe button can make a huge difference.  Also, instead of a generic copy, try and use a call to action like “Send me the 50% discount!

Once the opt-in form is created, you will have to install it on your website.  Some of the highest-converting places to put your opt-in form include:

  • A splash page
  • Floating bar
  • Welcome gate
  • Your website’s header
  • Within your blog posts
  • In the sidebar
  • In the footer
  • In your “About” page
  • In timed lightbox pop up

Personalize Your Email Marketing

Your lead magnet and opt-in form are ready to go.  It’s time to start building your email lists!  Check out Part 4 of our series: Guide to Spam Proof Email Marketing – Part 4 Personalized Email Marketing.

Email Marketing Process

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

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

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:


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 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 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.


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 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 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 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.