Internet Marketing Permission Based Email Marketing
Email Marketing Companies
Have you ever been asked to sign up for special offers when shopping at a store? Or what about asked for your email address while browsing the web? If so, chances are you have participated in another company's email marketing newsletter campaign. These email newsletters are the way many companies keep their existing clients coming back and also to invite new clients in.
Now small business owners can take part in email advertising by using nothing more than a personal computer and an internet connection. There are many companies out there offering these tools, but Ontrix has done the research for you and narrowed it down to two of the top companies. After signing up for their services Ontrix was able to compare the pro's and con's of both.
This service is at the top of the email marketing game, with the most dynamic features such as editors and anti-spam at a competitive price. They offer 300 easily customizable email templates, spell check in 12 languages and pre-set email scheduling.
The website is easy to navigate and visually appealing to users. They offer a tour of their email marketing features, as well as, a 60 day free trial to try it out.
Signing up for the free trial account is simple. Once the short form is completed and your email has been verified, you're set to go! You can begin by importing contacts from your computer via an Excel or text document, or by manually typing them in. You may also import contacts from address books that you already have established in your Microsoft Outlook or from QuickBooks. Creating your first email is easy, and there are resources (including videos) to walk you through the process.
This service offers about half of the amount of templates that Constant Contact does, but this may not be a deal breaker for those who plan on designing their own emails and would benefit from Vertical Response's library of 75,000 stock images ready to be inserted into your custom newsletter.
One option that sets Vertical Response apart from its competitors is the ability to pay as you go. This allows companies with small email volumes to save money. With this option, companies with a contact list of less than 500 email addresses can email their entire contact list 4 times a month for the flat fee of ten dollars a month, or buy email credits and only pay for what you use.
The vertical response website is also clearly laid out, but sorting through the large amount of information to find what you want can be a bit of a task. Adding contacts to email lists is also mildly confusing, especially to the non-technical person. They have an option to upload your contacts from your computer which they call "Append File". They only accept .CSV files which must be converted from an excel sheet or other similar spreadsheet program. In summary, Vertical Response has many of the same features as Constant Contact, but to put it simply: it's just not as easy to use.
The price difference between the two companies is minimal, so deciding
between them is based on preference. Now that we have passed on our experience to
you, we suggest you take advantage of both of their free trials and see which one
suits your company the best.
10 Ways to Get More Clicks in Your Email Marketing Newsletters
We all want our recipients to open our email advertising campaigns, right? But it's what happens after the open we're truly concerned about. We want our recipients to read our articles and take action whether it's buying a product, service or donating to our cause. Here are ten easy actions you can take and put to work in your email marketing campaigns that might just get them clickin'.
1. More Links - Obviously you'll link your call-to-action such as "Click Here", but try linking your words within your article or pitch. You might find that people will respond better to more links.
2. Link Your Headlines - If you write a newsletter and you've got headlines for your articles, try linking the entire headline. If you sell a product link the product name.
3. Link Your Images - People are used to being taken somewhere when they click on an image. If you've got an image that relates to your product or cause, link it!
4. Include a Table of Contents - Let people get to the content they want to see fast by using anchor tags in your table of contents at the top of your email. There are however, issues with anchor tags not working properly for Outlook 2007 and a few other email clients so those who read their emails using these clients won't be able to click.
5. Tease Them - Include half the story in your email and link off to the other half. Make sure in your link you tell them there is more to read. A good suggestion might be "Click to finish reading this fantastic article..." or something of that nature. Then on the page you direct them to, you can include offers that relate to your content.
6. Link Your Offer - If you've discounted a product make sure you link either the text or the image you use.
7. Free Gift - Give a free gift with purchase or donation, but only tell them what it is if they click on the link. Then you've got more real estate on the page to tell your story.
8. Give an Expiration Date - See how crazy Neiman Marcus went with their two-hour sale email. Make sure you link the date to where you want them to go.
9. Link to a Customer Video - Perhaps you've got a customer who made a video about your business. Why not link to it in your emails? Nothing sells you better than one of your customers plus your customer will tell all of his friends about it.
10. Personalize Your Links - If you've got a special
offer, why not try including your recipients name in the link. "John, click here
for your special discount" or "Stanley, click here to learn more about how you can
save the Bay."
The more clicks the better. Get linking!