Email Marketing

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How to Avoid Getting Blacklisted

We have all heard of it. Getting blacklisted is the Boogie Man of Digital Marketing, with the only difference that this is completely real (based on my assumption that the boogie man is not!). But what exactly is this powerful force, how can we prevent it and what to do if you ignore all my advice, is to follow. What is it? Blacklisting is usually the result of bad email marketing, or 'spamming'. SPAM is basically any kind of unsolicited email. By sending email to only to those who have requested to receive it, you are following accepted permission-based email guidelines. In other words, SPAM is any non-consensual email communication from a company to a prospective customer. Certain online entities like mxtoolbox.com police the quality of email marketing with certain rules, and breaking those rules is penalized with the blacklisting of you server. Most email marketing tools will also notify you somehow if you are in danger of getting blacklisted.   How to prevent it? Just like in most civilized societies, there is a set of rules that as long as you follow, you will stay out of trouble, email  marketing has a very simple and clear set of rules that will keep the Spam Police away. Here are the most important ones: You should always have consent from everyone in your targeted list.  Buying a list from a vendor and emailing them IS considered spam. Make sure you are not sending emails to group aliases in companies like: info@yourcompany.com Be honest with your subject line.  You will find a lot hype on things like "Do not use the word 'free' in your subject line." While that is important advice to heed, the most important thing is to deliver [...]

How to Choose an Email Automation Tool

I have been lucky enough to work with most email automation tools out there, large and small. From the entry level tools such as MailChimp and Campayn, to the more "robust" systems of Eloqua and Marketo, and those in between like Silverpop, HubSpot, Pardot  and Manticore (now Sales Engine), I've used them all. And from all that self-taught knowledge, I gained one basic understanding; they all do the same thing, which is empower your marketing strategy. With that said, the answer to "Which email marketing tool should I choose?" is very simple: the one that fits your strategy (and budget). Simple enough, right? Maybe. Do you know what your marketing strategy is, and what type of strategy you intend to achieve? If so, then close your browser, have a beverage of your choosing and go on with your already booming business. If not, keep reading. If you don't have a fully structured campaign, the best email automation tool will do absolutely nothing for you other than sending email blasts one at a time. The first step is to think of what you want to accomplish with the email campaign. These are the questions you need to ask yourself before you sit and "strategize" about your email nurturing/automation tool decision: Do you need to educate the market before they purchase? How many emails do you estimate would take to engage in a conversation? How long is your sales cycle? How much are you willing to spend on each lead? How many Digital Marketing formats will you use? How long are you willing to wait before your first email goes out? How big is your company and your pockets? You should also think about and prepare the following: A specific segmentation of your database (hopefully you [...]