Sam Harrelson

Growing Your Business with Email

We handle dozens of email marketing campaigns every week. It’s one of the most enjoyable parts of marketing for me, to be honest (I got my start in marketing doing email in 2003 or so). Email marketing is part science, part art, part analytics overload, part psychology, and part gut intuition. When done right, it’s an amazing augment to a wider marketing plan.

Even the popular payment taker Square is getting in on the act.

Here’s a nice intro to email marketing for businesses and groups that are looking to get started…

More than 90 percent of the world’s 2.4 billion email users checked their email at least once a day last year and received over 180 billion emails, according to vero. How are you going to make sure you stand out from the crowd? Marketing is a science and email marketing gives you access to a wealth of data that you can use to grow your results.

Every step in the process – including database segmentation, send number, time of send, subject line, content of email and landing page – is up for testing and analysis.

via How To Hack Your Email For Growth.




You Need to Segment Your Email List

Building an email newsletter is a fantastic thing for your business. In fact, it’s a must. Email is still a very active and viable channel for marketing and with free/cheap tools such as MailChimp, Constant Contact or Awebber, it’s easier than ever to organize and send email newsletters.

Whether your list size is 50 or 5,000, you need to be segmenting your list. That means splitting it up into various sub-lists based on relevance and groupings.

Even with small business lists of only 50 addresses, we commonly segment those into “leads,” “potential leads,” and “previous customers” with each segment receiving their own variation of the newsletter.

It works.

And here’s some data to back me up…

When I conducted a survey about email marketing, I asked respondents to tell me, in a free-form text field, why they chose to subscribe to emails from some companies. One of the most common responses I received was that they expected the emails were going to be relevant to their interests. 38% of respondents specifically referenced the word “relevance,” and one especially well-worded response indicated that content should be “particularly and specifically” relevant to them.

via New Data Proves Why You Need to Segment Your Email Marketing.




iPhone Passes Outlook in Email Usage

Email marketing is an essential part of what we call Discovery Marketing. Retention is the new acquisition, after all.

We love to use resources like MailChimp or ConstantContact to help our clients find the best relationships with their customers or users. Often, we get questions about HTML emails and pretty graphics as a part of those campaigns.

We like to caution people to remember the mobile component and how much customers are using devices such as iPhones, iPads and Android devices to perform tasks like checking on email during the day, during a sports event or in the evenings.

In many ways, the iPhone and competing devices have re-opened the possibilities for email that programs like Outlook slowly smothered.

And here’s some more positive news about email usage on the iPhone that bolster our point…

“Email marketing campaigns have been a classic marketing technique since the rise of the Internet. Traditionally, people would use their computer to open up an email client like Outlook or Hotmail and sift through the contents of their inbox. Now, more people are accessing and opening emails via mobile devices than ever before. In fact, a recent email experiment in which one billion “opens” of emails were examined shows that the iPhone accounts for most email opens, more so than Gmail, Hotmail, and Windows Live combined.

So, yes… use email marketing.

But keep in mind those of us that routinely use iPhones etc as our preliminary email processing machines for real effectiveness in your campaigns!




Impressions

We don’t pretend that we don’t need inspiration, too. ​

In fact, as we are grocery shopping or eating lunch or filling up our cars with gas, we are noticing and observing how businesses are telling their stories. ​

Today as we gathered for a team lunch, we noticed the diner had placed a paper 4 x 6 card on the table to sign up for their newsletter. Being the curators of ideas that we are, we picked it up and examined it and wondered if it was effective. ​

Five minutes later, we noticed the older couple at the table next to us had picked up the same 4 x 6 card. The following conversation resulted:

Woman: Did you see this?

Man: Aren’t we getting those emails all the time?

Woman: Not from here. You can get discounts.

Man: I think we probably are on too many email lists already,

Woman: But we eat here an awful lot.

In the digital world, these would be called impressions. We picked up the card and talked about it. This older couple picked up the card and talked about it. ​

The result is the diner is spreading their story. ​

See, we’re still talking about them! ​




AOL Mail Team Blows It Bigtime

E5468927-95B7-46DA-BC50-9012E5025391.jpg

AOL is, on the whole, doing things right by its users and the web in general these days.

However, the mail team blew it with this bone-headed post complaining about GMail and written on the level of a jealous 14 year old girl that didn’t make the cheerleading squad but wore the same outfit as the prom queen last Tuesday at the basketball game.

Come on, AOL. You’re better than this. Don’t you have a pretty strict PR dept??

Make sure to read the comment thread for readers’ reactions.

AOL Mail Blog: “An Open Letter to Gmail: Happy Halloween! We love your costume!”




Xobni Open to the Public

Xobni is an interesting plugin for Microsoft Outlook users that allows for the grouping, organizing and searching of an inbox via more social attributes such as recent conversations and contact details.

If you’re overwhelmed by your inbox, this could be something useful to try out:

xonbi
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

I’m a Linux and Mac user, but if I were on Windows I’d certainly give Xobni a try (here’s the NY Times piece on it) since Outlook can become quite the beast with the flood of affiliate network emails!