Category Archives: Email marketing lists

email marketing secrets

The 10 Best Kept Email Marketing Secrets

One of the biggest mistakes most business owners make is not placing enough emphasis on email marketing. I would venture to guess that the primary reason people are reticent to dive into an email marketing campaign is the “spam” stigma attached to it. I’m not going to talk about spam in this post; we’ve gone over it extensively in posts past. I am going to give you some best-kept email marketing secrets, however, because you really do need to include emailing in your marketing repertoire. Customers prefer email to any other channel when it comes to giving you permission to market to them.

Sign-up Logistics

Ah! But that is the key. You need to have your customers’ permission to send them email-marketing material, so make sure you get it – easily. It doesn’t matter if you have an online business, a brick-and-mortar store, or both, you need to ensure your email mailing list sign-up process is a piece of cake; otherwise your customers aren’t going to bother. Have a mailing list sign-up sheet with plenty of pens at your store checkouts, and train your staff to ask customers if they’d like to receive “special deals” via email – see how I just enticed your customer to sign up? Special deals! Make sure your website also offers easy access to sign up for your emailing list; a non-intrusive pop-up sign-up form is a good idea.

Your Sign-up Form

So, let’s talk about this non-intrusive sign-up form for just a second. One thing I’ve been preaching from blog post number one is to keep things basic – a little goes a long way, and this is true with your electronic email sign-up form, too. Save your sales pitch for your emails; don’t clutter your sign-up form with a bunch of mumbo-jumbo your customer doesn’t need to read to simply sign up for your emailing list. Keep it simple by asking for your customer’s name – only insist upon the first name, many people don’t like to include their last name – email address, and include links to your social networking pages so your customer can sign up for those at the same time.

Get Excited About Them Signing Up

I’ve written a blog post on this but it bears repeating. If your customers sign up for your emailing list and you don’t send them a new subscriber thank you email within 24 hours, you’ve just lost their interest… and it’s just plain rude. The power of common courtesy has not fallen by the wayside, contrary to popular belief, and you need to thank your customers for their interest in your business. While you’re at it, give them a bonus in your thank you email to get them shopping right away.

Once They’ve Signed Up… Think Mobile!

I’ve given a few secret tips to get your customer’s to sign up for your email marketing campaigns and now that they’ve signed up you need to think mobile. Recent studies confirm that most people read their emails on their mobile devices; I know I have my nose in front of mine 24/7, much to my wife’s dismay. So, when you begin formatting your marketing emails, you need to keep mobile devices in mind. A couple of things to help you out are to keep your email margins left aligned and use links instead of buttons. Both show up better on smartphones and tablets.

Get Personal

While you’re personalizing your emails to your customer’s devices, personalize the actual emails too. Take a moment to learn more about your customers and what they purchase from you, and then make certain your marketing campaign addresses that… directly… to them. For example, if you’re running a pet supply business, you definitely do not want to send dog supply coupons to cat owners and vice versa. Customize your marketing emails to each customer and you’ll get better results.

Make Certain Your Emails Get Opened

Picture this, in today’s world of cyber-insecurity you get an email in your inbox that doesn’t identify who it’s from. It just says “” What would you do with that email if it hit your inbox (changes are it’ll be spammed)? You’d delete it without opening it. I would too. This is why you need to get personal in the sender’s address also. If your customers know you by name, have your name as the sender’s name, i.e., If they are assigned to specific sales reps, have their name. Whatever you do, have a name! Otherwise, your marketing email won’t be opened at all.

Time Your Solicitations

Don’t overlook the importance of timing in your email marketing campaigns. Sit down with your employees and hash out some ideas as to the best time to send out your emails; talk to your customers, too, and ask them how often they really want to hear from you. Keep in mind your business. If you own a restaurant, for example, sometimes the best time to send a marketing email is in the afternoon, because your customer just might be at work listening to his or her growling stomach and thinking about dinner. You send them a coupon and, voila! Dinner plans are set!

Keep Track!

I know I’ve said this a million times but email marketing campaigns are no different from any other marketing campaign, and you need to track their success. Make sure you set up your marketing campaigns to track click-through, printed coupons, and resulting sales progress. That way, you can find out which email campaigns are working the best and run your future campaigns based on their logistics. If you see the afternoon emailed dinner special coupon is bringing tons of customers through your door, keep it up! That’s the point of email marketing.

Be Unique in Getting New Email Signees

The Internet is an amazing tool, and we are all learning the numerous ways to use it to build businesses, so here’s a suggestion: Use this Internet to build your emailing list by hosting free webinars about your business. It really doesn’t matter what you do. You can still host a webinar to teach people about you, why you went into your own business, and why they should become your customers. Send an email to your current list encouraging them to attend and to forward the email to their family and friends to attend. Advertise your webinar on your website and using local advertising resources. Get people to sign up for your email list by teaching them about your business.

Keep an Open Mind

Whatever you do to increase the success of your email marketing campaigns, keep your mind open. Yes, there are some hard-fast rules to email marketing, and if you break them, you might have to answer to the federal government! But, this doesn’t mean that everything about email marketing is cut and dry. Things that don’t work for other businesses might just work for you. And your customers might not mind if you break some commonly understood email-marketing dos and don’ts. Maybe your customers want their email font in hot pink, who knows? Okay… maybe not hot pink. But, my point is to use different approaches, test them, ask your customers for feedback, and then stick with what works. That’s the best kept email marketing secret of all!


Targeted Email Lists Make for Higher Response Rates

It may make sense in theory to cast a broad net with email marketing and try to cater to the largest audience possible. However, studies have shown that the opposite is actually true: targeted email lists are far more effective. In most cases, the type of product you are marketing will dictate exactly what email list or database you should purchase, rent or segment.
For example, if you are marketing to a specific region, buying a national or international database would not be as effective as purchasing one targeted toward that specific region. Similarly, marketing a product such as medical equipment to non-doctors or healthcare practitioners is more likely to raise red flags in terms of spam than to actually convert to sales. Make sure that you know your audience while you prepare your marketing campaign.
While many marketing firms nowadays cater to social media presence, it has been consistently proven that a large properly targeted email list can result in a much higher CTR (click-through rate). Research also seems to indicate that coordinating your email marketing with your social marketing is an even better solution. Be sure to include social media links in the footer of your marketing emails. Since you are already aiming your emails at people in the industry or region you are catering to, let them know that your site might have more content that they might be interested in. Maybe they aren’t ready for your marketing promotion but they want to check out your blog. This is a great way to increase the open rate and conversion rate of your mailing lists.


By Alec Wilcox

Follow me on:

How to Ask For Permission for Your Email Lists

When you are getting started with email marketing and an email marketing list, it is important to gauge customer interest in the product or service that you are selling. When you get permission from your subscribers to send them emails, your conversion rates will increase. If people are ok with receiving your message, then they won’t mark it as spam and they will be more apt to open them. In most cases, using a targeted email list will allow you to aim your marketing emails at a very select and specific person or industry. In many cases, it’s a good idea to verify that the recipient is interested in your product. The best way to do so is to include a link at the bottom of the email to your website where the user can:

1)      Respond directly to confirm or deny interest
2)      Go to your website and fill out a contact form to the same effect
3)      Fill out a survey to give your more information on why they are or are not interested in your marketing emails

Don’t forget that because of the CAN-SPAM act you must include an unsubscribe choice for anyone you send emails too, except transactional ones. Within the body of your email, you should make it clear that you will cease marketing emails upon request (an opt out or unsubscribe link at the bottom of your email is often the best way). It’s also a good idea to include instructions to “Whitelist” your email address to make sure that your marketing emails are being received as they should be and not caught in spam filters. It is always good to reaffirm permission at least once a year and don’t be afraid to include a specific message in periodic emails clarifying the method you choose to verify interest.
If you follow these steps you can be sure that your emails will only continue to be sent to those that are interested and in return you will see your sales and audience grow!

By Alec Wilcox

Follow me on:


How to Quickly Build Your Email List

In the field of email marketing, it is usually very helpful and advantageous to have a curated, precompiled list of valid recipient email addresses. But if you are just starting out with email marketing, it can be difficult to quickly build an email list. So the question arises: where do I get one of these lists? In years past, renting an email list was the preferred method of acquiring one, but many think that this way is outdated and purchasing a list is a much more popular option.

Renting a list means that you will only be able to use the contact information once (and only see the contact information of respondents). You will also likely never actually see the list; in this type of situation it is common to email the list owner and have the message broadcasted to the list.

Purchasing a list is widely considered the best option for many reasons. For one, you will have permanent access to the addresses included therein and databases can be purchased based on criteria (such as location or industry). Purchased lists are a great way to expand the profile of your company in an efficient way, and a really great way to build up your marketing profile quickly. It is far more cost-effective to purchase a list once instead of repeatedly renting the same names every time a new marketing is ready.

When you don’t have the luxury of developing your email list, take advantage of some of the email list databases you can buy instead of paying the price for renting the same lists over and over.

By Alec Wilcox

Follow me on:


What’s the Best Day and Time to Send Your Emails?

Email marketing can be a fickle undertaking: many different factors can affect the success rate and expectations. One of the primary factors in keeping your marketing strategy successful is to optimize the timing of your emails. Of course, you have already optimized the content, the wording, and the links, so it follows that you should make sure that your emails are reaching your potential clients at the moment they are ready to click and purchase your product.

So how do you know when the time is right? First of all, you want to optimize your emails to go out around the time you are starting a promotion or around the time of the event for which you are raising awareness. The common misconception is that possible leads won’t see your emails the day they are sent, most people open these types of emails right away. The best email marketers expect about 85-90% of total opens to happen within 24 hours. This means: time your emails near or on the day of promotions, but also test the send times with multiples emails spread throughout the campaign.

Second, make sure that your emails aren’t sent between 8 and 9 AM (EST). Studies have shown that this window of time has the lowest open rate of received email all day long. Nobody is ready for marketing at this point in his or her day. Common wisdom recommends shooting for the Eastern Time zone, typically late in the day or right around lunch.

Additionally, what day of the week is best for email marketing? Once again, the common “best practices” has an opinion: the worst day of the week is Monday; with people recovering from their weekends, many don’t have the energy or interest in marketing this early in the week. Most people delete things that seem like junk (even if they aren’t) on Monday to clear their inboxes for the rest of the week. On the weekend, emails are largely ignored (just like work). Marketing best practices say: midweek emails are optimal. People are far more receptive when they are in the middle of things, especially to pertinent marketing (things that they might be dealing with at that very moment).

The most cardinal rule of timing your email marketing, however, is that all rules can be bent or broken depending. Experiment with your marketing timing and other procedures. Find what works best for your industry. This is the best way to ensure that you are seeing the best results for you.  

By Alec Wilcox

Follow me on: