Friday, December 11, 2009


Design an email newsletter for Viral Marketing------

The term ‘viral marketing’ was originally referenced in Greek Athenian histories, to be finally coined in the late 1990s by venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson. The term ‘viral marketing’ is commonly defined as network-enhanced word-of-mouth.

Viral marketing is considered to be very similar to network marketing. It is proven that the typical Internet user is very vocal about their online experiences. So in this way, for each person you reach, you will be reaching a group of friends. Viral marketing is all based on their vocal online experiences. A typical example of viral marketing is a reputed firm sending out, say birthday greeting cards. At the bottom of the card will be the option of giving the card to the sender or to anyone else you might like. This is viral marketing in action! Or if perhaps you have a newsletter, or write articles for some newsletter, you could add a line at the bottom of the article saying,” Know someone who would be interested in this? Click here to email it to them!” the prospective client is sure to click on this icon.

Viral marketing is considered to be a virus that is carried over the Internet to various web hosts or people. This virus is stealthy, patient and cunning, and is a very cost-effective way to generate awareness of a product or service to the audience. Basically, a viral campaign is said to scale easily from small to very large. This means that the campaign starts with only about ten people knowing about the product to be marketed. These ten people then in turn tell another ten people each, making it a hundred people who know about the product. This is sure a cheap means of advertisement as no money is used for advertisement. There is no need of making a new form of communication network for viral marketing as it usually utilizes the existing communication networks existing for the product and the computer. Viral marketing is indeed a great means of giving away seemingly valuable products, series or content to the general audience. Not only that, the virus takes advantage of other’s resources, without having to have any resource of their own.

Now learning about viral marketing, you may feel like creating your own virus for marketing. However to create your own virus, you have to understand what exactly constitutes a successful virus. To create a successful virus, you have to have creativity and originality to make the virus authentic. Now that the virus has been created, knowledge of how viruses are spread has to be learned. The most important thing to remember sit that if the email, website, application or video of the virus being shared is not unique and informative, it will never become viral. The virus has to originate from a credible entity otherwise it will be mistaken as blatant advertising and thus be immediately discredited. Finally, if the leave-behind message on the website does not resonate with the target audience, then it will be a waste of time.

Viral campaigns usually have three stages, seed, germination and growth. Just like plants need the seed to be of quality genetic material to thrive and then successfully get germinated and receive proper nutrients to grow, online viruses too need this same treatment. Viral marketing has to start with a great campaign that grows with its advertisement through word of mouth of the people. However, there are situations wherein viral marketing too fails. The reasons for failure are usually incompatibility with the brand, irrelevance to target audience, unrealistic expectations and lack of sustainability. So remember, if the campaign is inconsistent with core brand attributes, or doesn’t map to existing marketing objectives, the viral marketing is sure to fail. If the message of the product does not resonate with the target audience, then there is sure to be some failure on the campaign here.

Then of course for all this, one can design an email newsletter for the marketing if needed. The newsletter has to, like other newsletters, have a detailed description of the product to be marketed. Then there can be graphics to enhance the look of the newsletter, but in reality, black text on a white background gives terrific response from the audience. There should also be a subscription link in the newsletter so that the prospective buyer can subscribe to the newsletter if interested. The contact information too is important for you as you can then send emails telling the customers abut any new product that you may have!

Designing Strong Direct Mail Letters------

Direct mail is one of the world's venerable advertising systems, a spin-off from the text-heavy ads that used to appear in magazines. Reduced to almost a pure science through obsessive list management and refined copywriting techniques, it remains an amazingly effective means of branding, acquisition and retention. (Look no further than Citibank, who distributes tens of billions of acquisition pieces every year.)

Advertising agencies know what works and what doesn't. Those who deal in producing direct mail often specialize in direct mail, and they have teams of writers, creative directors and designers working in tandem to produce exhaustive campaigns.
Design Tips for Non-Agency Types

For the lonely freelancer who may not have agency experience, there are some guides to get your design off the ground and help your client see strong results.

1. Color -- Use It, But Use It Well.
A consumer opening an envelope to find a sheet of white paper with blocks of small black text is an invitation to the circular file. Consider using colored type in the headlines. Try borders, gradients, even pictures if the design is full-color. It will make the piece look decidedly more "direct mail," but 99.99% of the time, the consumer knew that opening the letter anyway.

2. Explore Beyond Letter Size.
To make the piece a bit more interesting, and if you can squeeze a few more dollars out of the budget, try going beyond 8.5"x11". Maybe smaller is better -- 7"x10"? Or push larger -- go legal size and spread things out a bit more.

3. Smart Typography.
This point is really split. First, make headline copy interesting and second, make the body copy ultra-readable. Readability is absolutely imperative -- people need to pick up the paper and quickly understand the material just by scanning. Making the reader squint, turn the paper sideways, or generally forcing them to think about the words will put them off quickly. Serif fonts are best for readability in the body. Keep the point size decent, around 11 or 12, with generous leading to help scanning without interference.

4. Bullet the Points. Break up paragraphs with short, bulleted points highlighting the features and benefits. Readers will absorb this material better than paragraphs.

5. Break It. If the document goes front and back, break the copy in the middle of a sentence. This helps iterate that there's more to read, and makes them more inclined to keep reading.

6. Vary the text. Use italics and bolds to highlight key terms. Don't go too crazy with this one -- maybe three or four bolds at most.

7. Make the ending PostScript copy large and readable.
Try a handwriting font to give it more credence.

8. Lose the Clipart. Unless a picture directly reinforces a major point in the copy, avoid it. Don't use random shinies or tacky clipart. It detracts from what matters (the copy) and can confuse the masses. Save the stock photography for your next PowerPoint presentation.

9. Be careful in the placement of logos. If it works with the headline, or if it is for a household company (Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson), it may be appropriate on the front. However, the logo or letterhead cannot compete with the headline, since the headline -- and not the logo -- will lead the reader into the body copy.

The Copy

For projects like this, content is king. This is important to understand. Even the best design can't save bad copy, and the best copy can't save a bad headline.

There are also many, many important points about copywriting for direct mail letters that designers should be aware of. Short sentences, short words, crisp and clear language, a clear call to action (very important) and copy that shows the benefits to the consumer, not tells them about the company, are all very important. If you're freelancing, you may often find yourself asked to proofread or edit copy, and raising concerns to the client before the piece is launched will benefit them far more than having the project fail in the real world.

As a designer, your job is not copywriting. But remaining aware of what constitutes successful sales copy will only enhance your delivered product.

The Final Tip: The Three Most Read Items (in order):

1. Headline
2. First Sentence
3. Postscript

Ninja Design

Crafting effective letters needs something I like to call "ninja design." The design should enhance the writing but submit to clarity; the design should make the reader notice the content, not the avant-garde color palette and complicated headline font. It should be invisible when present but conspicuously absent when removed. It should be used to sell, but not glorify.

Diamonds in the Spam-----

There are those who turn apoplectic at the receipt of unsolicited commercial email, commonly dubbed spam. These are the same people who receive hundreds of bulk letters addressed to "Occupant" without batting an eye.

Getting rid of unwanted mail means sorting through the stack to pull out the important pieces and then dumping the remainder in the trash bin. The garbage piles up in landfills and ocean dumping grounds while the trees continue to fall to produce more and more paper.

Electronic mail can be quickly scanned and then deleted, disappearing forever into cyberspace, causing no pollution or build-up, and requiring no consumption of non-renewable resources.

My inbox is my conduit to the world, scanned daily with eager eyes for those unexpected morsels that appear out of nowhere. I have found delightful offers, developed new areas of interest, and have followed seductive links to websites that have become perennial favorites - all because of unsolicited messages.

My response is that, barring blatantly pornographic material, I like spam, and I hope it keeps coming. Unfortunately, those who feel the purity of the Internet has somehow been violated, have led to a cyber world where everything requires confirmation, double or triple opt-in lists, bouncing of incoming messages by non-intelligent filters, and evokes multiple complaints to ISPs who are forced to investigate and respond.

The Internet is so wonderful because it is highly resistant to the urge for co-option by the government, large corporations, and the rich and powerful. It is the great leveler where even the most humble can connect to the world.

Let's fight to keep it that way, even if it means 30 minutes of our precious daily time is spent deleting unwanted messages.

Direct Email Marketing Keeps You Linked To Your Customers----

Direct email marketing is the solution to a very big problem for online retailers. Ask anyone looking at the traffic reports for their online store and they will tell you that nothing drives them more crazy than getting someone to their site (either naturally or through an advertisement) and then seeing them leave. They’re gone into the abyss that is the online market place, possibly never to return again. At this point they’re pretty much gone. This represents another lost customer, lost revenue, and increased frustration. If only there was some way you could stay linked in with that customer. You know they had some interest in your offering (after all, they ended up at your site in the first place) and maybe their next trip is the one that converts. Introduce a direct email marketing solution as part of your marketing and strategic mix and you might be able to lure those lost patrons back.

It’s a proven fact that it can take up to 6 touch points before a customer trusts you enough to make a purchase. Are you planning on achieving all 6 touch points on one visit? That is a very ambitious goal. Chances are you’ll get some touch points in on the first visit, but those are only the first steps. You can easily add a signup box to your website from any major email marketing company and collect visitors’ addresses. Once you have that, it’s a path to getting the necessary touch points to seal the deal.

Once you have a person’s permission to contact them (remember, do not spam as it will hurt your business in the long run!) you can easily create snazzy email marketing promotion to get them back to your site. Whether you’re selling T-shirts, office furniture, or DVDs, you know that certain deals just can’t be passed up. Why not put one of those deals in front of your customers and get their mouth a little wet. Even if it’s been weeks since they visited your t-shirt site, for example, if you offer a “buy 1 shirt, get 1 free” deal, you’ll see an instant spike in traffic and a boost in conversions. Reaching out to customer has always been the role of direct marketing, but now, with email marketing, it all happens electronically.

Direct email marketing is a powerful tool that can boost your sales, but don’t expect that to happen without a little effort on your part. You need to take the time to understand your customers, know what interests them, figure out how to pique their curiosity and make an offer based on all that. The more you target your email marketing message effectively, the greater your response rates will be, and the faster people will come back to your online store.

The online retail marketing place is fiercely aggressive and there are tons of competitors just a click away from your site. You need to outperform the competition by making sure your store is in front of the customer a lot more. With direct email marketing campaigns you can get your store information and special offers right in their inbox. You will ingrain your online brand in their minds so that come purchase time, they’ve racked up enough touch points that their decision is easy.

Direct email marketing is a gateway to building the relationships with your customers that will make them want to buy from you. By staying linked with your customers, you will develop an edge, because your offers will extend beyond your website and into the inbox of potential buyers.

Direct Email Marketing Made Easy-----

Forget direct email marketing for a second, and tell me if this has ever happened to you. You go outside and open your mailbox. You get the usual: bills, bank statements, maybe a phoney million-dollar offer. But then, in the middle of it all, you see an envelope from your favourite restaurant. “Thanks for being a loyal customer,” it says. “Next time you come by, let us treat you to a free dessert.”

Now I’m not exactly the coupon-clipping kind of guy, but when I run into an offer that’s so relevant to me, I simply can’t resist it. Millions of you are like that too. And guess what? Millions of you check your email more often than your actual mailboxes.

That’s where direct email marketing comes in. Forget spam. Spam’s just the phoney million-dollar offer, and direct email marketing is miles away from that. Direct email marketing is reaching the right customers, with the right offers.

Let’s go back to that coupon you received from your favourite restaurant, and let’s think about it from the restaurant’s point of view. If you clip that coupon and come into the restaurant, their direct marketing efforts were successful.

However, to get that coupon into your hands, the restaurant had to pay for printing, buy and stuff envelopes, address them to you and then pay for postage. And chances are the restaurant hired someone to do the printing, maybe someone else to the design, the envelope stuffing, etc. If you’ve ever sent flyers or coupons in the mail, you’ll know it’s both expensive and time-consuming.

Here’s the beauty of direct email marketing. First of all, direct email marketing programs are packaged so you can do it yourself. The emails are all pre-designed, and the backend is already taken care of for you. All you have to do is sit on your computer for about 10 minutes and click a few buttons. There’s no postage, no stuffing, no expensive printing fees.

And as small business owners have begun to discover the power of email, many direct email marketing programs are now built for non-technical folk. So even if all you can do on your computer is check your email and browse the web, you can still be an expert in these programs right away.

What’s more is you’ll still get access to the most advanced functionality. Let’s get back into the restaurant owner’s shoes. We’ve just sent a Free Dessert email coupon to all the customers who filled out our customer satisfaction survey and gave us their email addresses. We also included a “Forward to a Friend” link, so our customers can email the Free Dessert coupon to their friends.

Now (and here comes my favorite part about direct email marketing), we can go into the Reports and Stats section of our direct email marketing program and get deep into our campaign. We can see exactly who opened our messages, and when they did it. We can even see who forwarded their coupons to their friends.

And we don’t have to stop there. We can group all our readers who forwarded their coupons to a friend and offer them an extra incentive (We know they like to tell their friends about us, so why not offer them 25% Off when they bring in two or more friends?).

Information is power, and direct email marketing is one of the most effective ways to gather that information and put it to good use. So next time you get that flyer for your favorite restaurant, think about how much unnecessary money and time that restaurant owner is spending. Think about how much information he’s missing out on, and think about how much better things would be if he sent that flyer through direct email marketing.

Do Your Potential Customers Forget About You?-----

Your web business probably gets product inquiries from potential customers around the globe. Inquiries come via e-mail and your web site, and you try to send information to each hot prospect as quickly as you can. You know that you can drastically increase the likelihood of making a sale by satisfying each person's need for information quickly!

But, after you've delivered that first bit of information to your prospect, do you send him any further information?

If you are like most Internet marketers, you don't.

When you don't follow that initial message with additional information later on, you let a valuable prospect slip from your grasp! This is a potential customer who may have been very interested in your products, but who lost your contact information, or was too busy to make a purchase when your first message reached him. Often, a prospect will purposely put off making a purchase, to see if you find him important enough to follow up with later. When he doesn't receive a follow up message from you, he will take his business elsewhere.

Are you losing profits due to inconsistent and ineffective follow up?
Following up with leads is more than just a process - it's an art. In order to be effective, you need to design a follow up system, and stick to it, EVERY DAY! If you don't follow up with your prospects consistently, INDIVIDUALLY, and in a timely fashion, then you might as well forget the whole follow up process.

Consistent follow up gets results!
When I first started marketing and following up with prospects, I used a follow up method that I now call the "List Technique." I had a large database containing the names and e-mail addresses of people who had specifically requested information about my products and services. These prospects had already received my first letter by the time they requested more information, so I used the company's latest news as a follow up piece. I would write follow up newsletters every now and then, and send them, in one mass mailing, to everyone who had previously requested information from me. While this probably did help me win a few additional orders, it wasn't a very good follow up method. Why isn't the "List Technique" very effective?

The List Technique isn't consistent. Proponents of the List Technique tend to only send out follow up messages when their companies have "big news".

List Technique messages don't give the potential customer any additional information about the product or service in question. He can't make a more informed buying decision after receiving a newsletter! If someone is wondering whether your company sells the best knick-knacks, what does he care that you've just moved your headquarters?

List Technique messages convey a "big list" mentality to your potential customers. When I used to write follow up messages using the List Technique, I was writing news bulletins to everyone I knew! I should have been sending a personal message to each individual who wanted to know more about my products.

What follow up method really works?
Following up with each lead individually, multiple times, but at set intervals, and with pre-written messages, will dramatically increase sales! Others who use this same technique confirm that they have all at least doubled the sales of various products! In order to set this system up, though, you need to do some planning.

First, you'll need to develop your follow up messages. If you've been marketing on the Internet for any length of time, then you should already have a first informative letter. Your second letter marks the beginning of the follow up process, and should go into more detail than the first letter. Fill this letter with details that you didn't have the space to add to the first letter. Stress the BENEFITS of your products or services!

Your next 2-3 follow up messages should be rather short. Include lists of the benefits and potential uses of your products and services. Write each letter so that your prospects can skim the contents, and still see the full force of your message.

The next couple of follow up messages should create a sense of urgency in your prospect's mind. Make a special offer, giving him a reason to order NOW instead of waiting any longer. After reading these follow up messages, your prospect should want to order immediately!

Phrase each of your final 1 or 2 follow up messages in the form of a question. Ask your prospect why he hasn't yet placed an order? Try to get him to actually respond. Ask if the price is to high, the product isn't the right color or doesn't have the right features, or if he is looking for something else entirely. (By this time, it's unlikely that this person will order from you. However, his feedback can help you modify your follow up letters or products, so that other prospects will order from you.)

The timing of your follow up letters is just as important as their content. You don't want one prospect to receive a follow up the day after he gets your initial informative letter, while another prospect waits weeks for a follow up!

Always send an initial, informative letter as soon as it is requested, and send the first follow up 24 hours afterwards. You want your hot prospects to have information quickly, so that they can make informed buying decisions!

Send the next 2-3 follow up messages between 1 and 3 days apart. Your prospect is still hot, and is probably still shopping around! Tell him about the benefits of your products and services, as opposed to your competitors'. You will make the sale!

Send the final follow up messages later on. You certainly don't want to annoy your prospect! Make sure that these last letters are at least 4 days apart.

Following up effectively seems complicated, but it doesn't have to be! So many potential customers are lost because of poor follow up - don't you want to be one of the few to get it right?

Does Everyone Ignore Your Newsletter?-----

As Internet marketers we all know how important it is to have a successful newsletter to help us keep in touch with our customers. But it can be pretty frustrating to spend all those hours developing content and campaigns only to have the program flop. Open rates can dive into the single-digits and click-through rates can fall to mere fractions of a percent.

So if this happens, what do you do?

First of all, don't panic. Usually, if you spend a few minutes looking at your data you can identify the problems pretty easily.

Determine Which Problem to Fix

Take a look at where your leads are coming from. If you are purchasing lists from other websites or publishers, make sure you segregate each source in your reporting so you can measure the quality of each list. You want to make sure you have a way of determining the quality of a list source before you merge the purchased group into your master list.

Also, if it has been around for a while, try segregating your opt-in list into three groups by age:

* Under 6 months
* 6 months to 1 year
* Over 1 year

It is normal for open and click through rates to be highest for the "Under 6 Month" category, and lowest for those who have been on your list for over a year. However, there should not be a significant drop off as people move from one category to the next.

Look for anomalies in the data. Here are a few things I look for when I'm troubleshooting a client's campaign:

* Is there a significant drop-off behind the first mailing? If the first mailing that a recipient gets typically achieves a 35% open rate, but the second has a 7% open rate, then the problem is not with the list source, or the header information (subject line, "From" address, etc.) it is with the content of the newsletter itself. If the drop off is 35% to 29%, then one might consider that to be normal.
* Has there been a change in frequency? We all get busy, and one of the first activities that can get forgotten is the newsletter. Unfortunately, absence in the Email marketing realm does NOT make the heart grow fonder. In fact, a prolonged period of non-communication is one of the leading causes of opt-outs.
* Are your articles relevant to the demographic? It is a good idea to survey your house list periodically to test your assumptions about their levels of expertise and interest in different subjects.

Wake Up Your Sleepy Optin List

Look at how you approach the people who have subscribed to your list. Remember that with email newsletters the permission your subscribers have given you to send email to them is not permanent; they can opt out at any time if they lose confidence or interest in your newsletter.

More often than not, however, people don't actually opt-out. They simply stop opening and reading your email. I call these "sleepy" subscribers. They are getting your messages, but since they are "asleep" they can't read them. Although there's no way to know for sure, I would guess that your "sleep" rate is probably about 4 to 5 times the size of your opt-out rate. So your opt-out rate is an indicator of your "sleep" rate.

It is vital to understand what your subscribers think of your publication. Again, surveys are a great way to get feedback on your program. You can also provide an open link on each newsletter that asks for general feedback. Very few people will take the time to provide feedback on a feedback form, but you can bet that those who do represent a large chunk of your audience. Take their feedback seriously, and learn from it.

Five Steps to Improve Your Performance

Following are five steps that have always lifted the performance of my campaigns.

* Get in touch immediately – From the moment someone signs up for your newsletter, they start to forget you. If you take three weeks to send something to them, then they won't remember signing up and they will reject your email as spam. Make sure they get an issue of your newsletter (or an ebook, or a free report; something that is relevant to them and has value) immediately after they sign up.
* Make it personal and entertaining – Email marketing is a one-to-one communication, it is almost always best to keep the tone personal and entertaining. Try telling a few stories about yourself or your company. Let people get to "know" you, and feel like an "insider" with your company. This increases their personal equity in your brand.
* Make all emails "high-value" – Every time you send an email it should be valuable to the recipient, not just to you. Straight sales letters with no "meat" can dampen open rates for future mailings. Train your recipients to view each email you send as a valuable piece of information they cannot afford to miss.
* Test multiple article types – You can write all kinds of articles, and depending on your industry and demographics of your subscribers, they may prefer instructional and how-to articles; others may prefer current industry events, or breaking news. Test these out and see what works best.
* Test different formats – Try splitting your list and send half your recipients an HTML newsletter and the other half a "text-looking" email. Make sure that the "text-looking" email really does have HTML in it, or else you won't be able to track the open rates!

Keep Your Chin UP

All newsletters can experience a blow to their response rates. If this happens to you, it is important to identify the problems and fix them before you lose too much of your list to opt-outs and list fatigue. Variety is the spice of life, and it can "wake up" a sleepy list by injecting some excitement. Make sure each communication you send is high value, and provides something new. And keep the lines of communication open so your subscribers can help you improve the quality of your content.

Don't Leave Your Email Naked-----

No matter how high tech the world becomes, there are still many old-fashioned problems regarding communication. With email, you face the same challenge as you do with regular mail -- convincing the recipient to open the message (or envelope).

Many email recipients delete messages without ever opening them. How do you avoid ending up in the electronic equivalent of “File Thirteen”? The answer is: by using a good subject line.

A subject line allows the reader to see at a glance what the message is regarding. It serves as gatekeeper, determining whether the message will be opened. Here are three methods for writing an effective subject line.

1. Say Something Useful

Leaving the subject line blank isn’t an option. People don’t open messages when they don’t know what they’re about. For one reason, they don’t have time to be bothered. For another, the threat of email viruses makes people nervous.

Almost as useless as leaving the subject line blank is typing the word “Hi” or “Greetings.” Those are fine for messages to your best friend or mom. But, in the professional world, it tells the recipient absolutely nothing.

2. Be Specific

People receive lots of email. To cut through the clutter and get your message read, be specific about the topic. The more information you provide in the subject line, the better chance you have of getting the person’s attention.

For example, instead of typing “Question,” try, “Question about ABC event.” Instead of typing “Proposal,” try, “Proposal for event on 7/5.”

3. Be Creative

Using a specific subject line is most appropriate when corresponding with people you know or who are expecting your message. How do you get the attention of someone who does not know you? Be creative.

In this instance, the subject line isn’t used to describe the contents of the message. Instead, it conveys some other type of information. The exact content will vary, based on the message and recipient. The key question is – what can you tell the recipient that will convince him/her to open the message and read it?

Here are a few examples that demonstrate various goals.

• To identify yourself, try “Local Meeting Planner.”
• To tell how you met the person, try “Chamber Networking B’fast.”
• To explain why you’re contacting him/her, try “MPI Fundraiser.”
• To exploit a common bond with recipient, try “Fellow IU grad.”
• To distinguish yourself from others, try “Spanish Speaking Realtor.”

There is one more challenge to overcome when crafting an effective subject line – length. Although your screen will allow you to type as many words as you want, most recipients can only view 25-35 characters of a subject line. A “character” is defined as a letter, space, or punctuation. Whenever your cursor moves a space, that is considered a character.

Since space is limited, don’t type a complete sentence. Use a phrase or series of words. Even abbreviations are acceptable, if you are certain the recipient will understand them.

Don’t leave your email messages naked. Use an effective subject line.

Don’t Lose Email Leads in Your Spam Filter----

Chances are you could be missing important business opportunities if your email Inbox utilizes a spam filter. Take a few minutes now to investigate your email screening procedures for messages received from unknown senders. You might even discover a new client hiding among the spam!

Email inquiries from new business prospects, which by definition are unknown and unexpected when they arrive in your Inbox, can take a detour to your spam box without your knowledge.

When was the last time you did not receive an email sent by a client or friend? Failed email delivery can be quite common. Usually the sender just emails you again until you receive the message.

Now imagine a situation where somebody (like a prospective legal client) sends you an email that you don’t receive, but they don’t tell you about it. Attorneys or paralegals frequently contact a number of experts via email and engage the most qualified candidate who responds first. You miss out on a potential engagement if the email inquiry does not show up in your inbox.

Here are five easy steps to protect your email, receive incoming leads and avoid technical nightmares:

1. Check your spam box often if you use automated email filtering. Microsoft Outlook 2003 and AOL give you the ability to control the settings and security levels for your incoming email.

2. Add a response form to your Website. Your Webmaster can set this up so that you are automatically alerted with an email recognized by your server.

3. Update your “safe” and “blocked” sender lists often, especially if delivery is controlled at the ISP level. Add a law firm’s email domain to your approved email list when you get a new client from the firm.

4. Separate business from personal correspondence by using two different email accounts.

5. Avoid downloading free software or clicking on unsolicited ads. If you do, you may find yourself subject to a virus or malicious Adware attack.

Don't Make This Idiotic Mistake-Build Your List-----

Don't follow my idiotic mistake!

Yes it took me 2 yeas of trying to market online until I finally got this concept brutaly pounded into my head. BUILD YOUR DARN LIST! If you have heard of this and haven't gotten around to doing it, you just spinning your wheels.

I worked my rear off marketing for 2 straight years nonstop and built sizeable downlines in multiple programs. Sure I made a few bucks here and there but what was digging myself a deep grave. Today, all these programs I built downlines are gone and had nothing to show for it. I was promoting somebody else and not myselft. I am not saying promoting affiliate links is a bad thing but just remember... would you rather promote affiliate links from you optin list or promote these same links with hard work?

So before you do anything else: build a website, create and newsletter, and start promoting your site and newsletter. This will save you tons of time and headaches in the long run. Build your list by giving away free software, ebooks, and offers. I would recommend giving away a viral e-book to new subscribers personally.

I don't know about you but I don't want to work nonstop all day long marketing. If I wanted to do that I would just go out and find a job right? You probably want to be lazy like me and wake up late and go to bed early knowing your gonna make money either way. So 25,000+ subscribers later I can feel comfortable doing that. I am not saying you can be lazy but you get the point :)

It is much easier to promote affiliate programs or your own programs for that matter when you can e-mail several thousand subscribers about it.

So heres some extra benefits of building a list will bring you....

1. offer paid ads in your newsletter
2. promoting affiliate links or your programs mentioned above
3. potential viral sales
4. days, weeks, months, and years of residual income potential
5. future Joint Ventures with your subscribers or other webmasters affiliated with your business

Those are just a few of the benefits of building a list offers, I am sure you can find other good reasons if you put your mind to work.

Be careful! Once you have a list its up to your to maintain it. Watch what you promote or recommend. For the most part stick to your "newsletters theme." Its okay to go off topic every once in awhile but keep that to a minimum. Remember that you have a good reputation to keep and if you start angering your subscibers or flood their e-mail box with offers your business will start to sink.

Build your list right and build your list smart! If you don't know how to build a list properly feel free to check out my signature for the "Optin Master Course."

I hope that this sheds some light on the importance of building your list and stop you from following my idiotic mistake!

Effective Direct Mail Campaigns----

It is not that difficult to have an effective direct mail campaign that draws in customers both new and old. It only takes a little bit of work to create an effective system for your company.

The first and most important concept to make sure to take care of when having a direct mail listing is to have a clear objective of what you want to accomplish with your mailing. Do you want more customers or do you want to offer an incentive to get the customers that you have already to come back to purchase more? Having an idea of what you want to accomplish with your mailings will help conserve money and make your direct mailing campaign effective.

Make your direct mailing campaign personal. People like to receive letters in the mail from friends and relatives and not junk mail. Making your direct mailing campaign more like a letter to a friend than a junk mail add will keep your advertisement from being thrown away.

Give incentives everyone loves to get something whether it be a discount or a free item. An incentive can be aimed at returning customers to keep them coming back for more or to new customers not yet familiar with your company. Incentives can work for either customer category.

Why should they use your company? Put in the direct mail campaign the benefits and reasons why they should come back to use your again or use you for the first time. Make sure they know why you are better than any of your competitors out there. However, keep this relatively humble. No one likes an inflated ego.

Never forget to leave a way for them to contact your business. Should they come into a store, call your over the phone or visit your website. It would be a travesty to have a customer that wants to use your product and is sold on your advertisement but has absolutely no way to reach you to take advantage of that new found knowledge.

Taking these steps will help make your direct mail campaign effective in bringing in customers to your business. Not only to save you money but to also increase your profits. With these things in mind you too can run an effectively keep your business in the minds of the average consumer, bringing your business to the next level.

Effectively Monitor The Progress of Your Email Communications With Mail Tracking Tools!----

The rise of Internet accessibility to the masses has revolutionized the way people work, play and communicate. Email communication has become the most popular means of information exchange in business and personal use. Personal computers, notebook, hand held devices and cellular telephones all allow you to communicate via email.

Email has rapidly grown to rival the telephone as the centerpiece of effective communication. Although email tends to be less personal than a voice conversation, it has become a preferred means of exchanging data such as quotations, invoices, literature, references, contact information, pictures, URLs, files and many other online resources. This phenomenon has given rise to the misuse and malicious use of email.

Many of us spend countless hours weeding through Spam messages. Those with tight email filters wake up in a cold sweat wondering if that one important message got sent to the Spam folder. Even though some governments have taken steps to curb Spam, most people spend about 20 minutes a day deleting messages offering better mortgage rates, free vacations or cheap Viagra. It is no wonder that many businesses are turning to email tracking services to ensure that their valuable information is being delivered to the right person and read.

I am sure you would not be surprised that not every email that you send is received or read by the intended recipient. There are many reasons for these lost communication nuggets including Spam filtering, overloaded inbox, forwarding rules or simple avoidance. The solution is email tracking!

What is email tracking?

Email tracking is a means of ensuring that your email is matched with its intended recipient. It utilizes secure, digitally time-stamped certificates to reveal the exact time and date that your e-mail was received – and read.

Additional notification options may include how long it was read for, who read it, the approximate physical location of the reader, whether or not your email was forwarded to someone else, what kind of computer was used to read it, what file formats the reader can accept (eg. PDF, MS Word, Excel), whether or not your email has been published on the Internet and countless other tracking mechanisms.

Why track your email?

Many businesses find it imperative to determine if prospective customers receive and read their messages from email promotions, request for quotations or product information. Email tracking is the most effective way of identifying whether the campaign was effective. Sales managers often wonder if their sales representatives are being thorough in their email communication. Email tracking provides a tool for accountability. Special reports can identify number of messages sent and amount of time spent by the recipient reading the message.

What if you sent a quotation with the wrong numbers? If the email has not been read, you may even be able to retract or delete the email. Some tracking services even allow you to create self-destruct or email that can be retracted after a period of time. If the email is never opened or assumed to be lost, you could retract the old message and/or send a new message.

Tagging messages and watching their progress adds to secure communications. Many medical, law enforcement and legal firms utilize this service to enhance security of sensitive information. Email tracking helps ensure information is read by the right person!

Some companies may opt to set up their own servers in order to keep control internally and others may use an online service. Both options are available from a number of providers. I recently visited to take a test drive. It was very simple to use this service.

Do you want to try email tracking yourself?

Email and Fax Broadcasting----

Looking for a new twist on an old concept? Fax broadcasting has been used in marketing for several years, but now there is something new. Using email and fax broadcasting to communicate with employees, customers, and associates is the latest rave in business. Along with speeding up your communication it also reduces the amount of time your employees need to spend around the fax machine either waiting to send or receive a document.

Of course having employees costs you money, but in turn the profit they generate should out weigh the cost. With Email faxing you increase your time management, reducing waiting time in the office not only for the fax machine, but also by reducing the chances of an employee getting tied up in another activity while they're away from their desk. For only a few extra dollars you can invest in an email and fax broadcasting service that will allow workers to do everything right from their desktop. Faxes can be sent by email to one or multiple recipients, and incoming faxes are accepted by email.

Beyond fax broadcasting services your business can benefit even greater by the bundled services some companies offer. You can get voice mail, added email address, fax logs, all on one easy to understand invoice. Think all from a desktop computer your employees can remain productive; this truly is the step towards the paperless office. By cutting down on paper, service fees, and wasted time wandering in the office the services pay for them selves, not to mention the savings in long distance fax numbers.

Think how easy it could be for a single person to create the monthly newsletter for customers and with the click of a single button fax it off to all of your valued clients. No more dialing, and feeding paper into a fax machine. Email fax broadcasting allows it all to be done from one spot. But let's get off the productivity advantages of this service for a second. What about the advantages of tracking?

It never fails that at some point in time you wish you had printed the fax confirmation sheet after something was sent. Someone one is telling you a document was never sent, but you're sure it was. It's the he said she said game. Using Email and fax broadcasting relieves this stress. Because you're using an email based system to send your documents you always have a detailed record of what was sent and to what number. Foolproof backup systems to ensure you have well documented records of faxes sent to suppliers, customers, and employees.

Of course this is all just an overview of fax and email broadcasting services, but if you aren't beginning to see the advantages of this new technology you probably never will. But don't worry your old fax machine will be waiting for you to send that next document, of course that is until it runs out of toner. Investigate email to fax services today for you business you won't be sorry.

Email and Online Marketing Copywriting Secrets----

My copywriters and I have written hundreds of breakthrough response, money-making emails and online Marketing promotions.

Here’s what we’ve found works best. Use these tips properly and your results will skyrocket.

1. Your email “from” sender line should be your brand name or company name and stay consistent. Use your own personal name only if that is your brand image.

2. Send emails only when you have something to say that will benefit the reader. No fluff. No filler. You must be relevant. If you can’t be, don’t send an email until you have something beneficial to say.

3. Start your emails with the specific benefit the reader can get from your message. You have no more than 3 seconds to pass the crucial “what’s in it for me?” test.

4. The copywriting tone and language should be personal and conversational, instead of stuffy and “corporate”.

5. Make a specific offer to the reader and, if possible, include a short deadline by which he must respond to get it.

6. Use as much copy as is needed to fully pile on all the benefits the reader will get by ordering, answer objections, create urgency, and close the sale.

7. Test your subject lines and offers on small segments of your list before you send the email to your entire list.

8. Include “Email this to a friend” service in all your communications for pass along and viral marketing.

9. Tell your recipients to “white list” your email address so your future emails don’t end up in the “spam” filter.

10. Remail non-opens again one week later. This works great if your email service can pinpoint this information.

11. Copywriting of your emails and online marketing is your #1 key to much higher leads, sales and profits. So don’t entrust it to anyone other than an experienced successful copywriter and the best one you can afford. This is not the time to be penny-wise and pound-foolish.

There are many other email and online copywriting topics that are too variable to give you hard and fast answers to. They need to be studied first by a professional based on your specific business. These include text vs. html and best days to email.

Email Automatic Responders. Automating Your Business----

If you want to take control of your online business and automate your business tasks, you need a fully functional automatic response system. This will handle all of your email tasks and deliver your messages to your leads 24/7 with ease.

Setting up your fully functional autoresponder system on your own domain is very easy, this is how you will avoid paying another monthly fee to those big companies that charge high prices for their services. Email automatic responders give you the power to streamline your business and free up more time to concentrate on your marketing efforts instead of spending hours replying to customer responses and follow up emails.

This will definitely help you to potentially explode your mailing list to thousands of leads in a very short time. We all know that the moneys in the list. If you have no list, then chances are pretty good that your sales will be somewhat of a disappointment.

Subscription boxes on your homepage offers the visitor to subscribe to your list, ezine, marketing course or whatever you are offering, eliminating the chances of SPAM. As a result, helping you effortlessly build your mailing list. Surviving in the online business world almost always require you to build a list. Email automatic responders help you to do just that.

Email Courses And Autoresponders----

Offering free things to your website visitors is one marketing method that often results in a lot of sales. Free courses that are delivered via email are very popular, and people sign up for such courses on a regular basis to learn more about a topic of interest to them. These courses are best maintained and delivered with the use of autoresponders.

An autoresponder can be set up to send out a series of lessons for an email course. The lessons can be set for distribution at specific intervals. You determine how often the lessons for the course are sent to the people who have signed up for it. Email courses are very different from traditional courses, web based courses, or any other type of course.

There is no student and instructor interaction. The instructor writes the information out, puts each lesson in an autoresponder series, sets the timing for the lessons, and the rest is automated. You can opt to have lessons delivered daily, every other day, every three days, or any other time frame that you think works best for your email students.

Email courses are commonly used to sell products and services. For instance, if you sell widgets, you might develop a course that teaches people how to use widgets or how to care for their widget. Experts agree that an email course can be written for almost any product that you can imagine – if you put enough thought into it.

Start by determining what your course will be about, and how long it should be. If the course should be delivered every other day for two weeks, you know that you would need seven lessons. Write the lessons, and load them in the autoresponder. Set the interval for each lesson, which in this case would be 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13.

This means that the first lesson would be delivered one day after the person has requested the course, and the second lesson would be delivered three days after the person has requested the course, and so on. The interval for each lesson is set for the number of days after the person has signed up Make sure that everything is spelled right, and that your sentences are grammatically correct. You want the lessons to look and sound as professional as possible.

Next, simply advertise the email address that will activate the autoresponder. Make sure that you run a test first, sending each lesson to yourself. This will allow you to see what your email students will see when they sign up!

Email etiquette-losing business when you miss manners----

Network etiquette is understood to be one basic rule: show consideration for the other party online. Until now, the edict has been written mostly from the point of view of relationships between individuals, or between businesses and consumers. One important group has often been overlooked: business-to-business (B2B). Business-to-business etiquette is a growing, evolving behaviour model for how to present oneself and represent one's company when networking online. It is for this group that etiquette plays the most crucial part. The slightest improper behaviour online can ruin a good business opportunity. The guidelines were established from no central source but through a collaborative process that grew along with the Internet
Where businesses fail

Requesting reciprocal links

Asking for free advice

Requesting business services
Where businesses fail

Business operators new to the Web are eager to solicit prospects and partnerships online but are generally ignorant about how to go about it professionally. Without knowledge of B2B etiquette, your actions can be taken for rudeness or incompetence, leaving the other party with a poor impression of your company.

Whether you solicit new partnerships or seek to maintain and build relationships with current businesses, the key is to prevent misunderstanding and not give offence.

When sending email:

Fight the urge to be creative Avoid using multiple fonts, size and colours. No HTML or rich media, either. Keep it all in plain text.

Keep it punctual. Do not write a lengthy email and do not use jargon or talk with an overly hip attitude. For your signature file, do not use cute quotes (unless it happens to be the slogan of your business).

Watch your tone. Don't speak in terms of how great you think your company is. Speak from the point of view of the other business to say, "Look what we can do for you."

Size matters. Don't tie up people's email by sending large, unsolicited attachments. If you have to send a large file, give warning, check on a time most appropriate to send it, such as before or after regular working hours, or send it in segments.

Use discretion. Something that might seem funny to you might be patently offensive to someone else. Even if the person on the other end has no problem with what you're sending, other people in their office could glance at the offending message. If you're that inclined to show or tell the person what you have, ask for a non business email address you can send it to where they can review it with more privacy.

Requesting reciprocal links

Planning to feature a hyperlink on your page to a business site? Proper etiquette involves giving the site owners notice. Explain why you would like to feature them on your site, where you plan to feature them, and the description you plan on using with their link.

If you're soliciting another company to link to your site, provide some background information. Give a brief introduction, a description on your company, and how your site would be a benefit to the prospect's audience.

Make sure your link has relevance to the other company's site. If yours is a car company, you shouldn't solicit a Web design company for a link. Offer something in return, such as a reciprocal link, that is, you linking to the other site as well, and/or some specific comments about that site.

It doesn't leave the solicited with a good impression if you expect something and offer nothing. A generic link request is about the worst thing you can do. It shows you have nothing to say about the site, and yet you expect its operator to do something for you.

Asking for free advice

There's nothing wrong with asking your colleagues for advice. However, expecting free business advice from people you don't know personally - and for your own business gain - is a very touchy issue.

If you are set on asking a company or an individual whom you have never met for advice, handle yourself with the greatest care.

1. Introduce yourself.
2. Give your profession and or skill background. If you are a student, mention where and what you are studying.
3. Explain why you need the advice and how you plan to use it

To make a better impression, mention an interest in the person's site or works, and what you found there to be helpful or interesting.

Most importantly, before you ask people for advice, search that person's Web sites first - then the search engines and directories - to see if the answer is already available to you.

Even if the business does not have the answer readily available, showing that you put in an effort will make its owners more open to referring you to another site that might have the information you seek.

Requesting business services

If you are soliciting another business to provide you with services, it is incredibly rude to expect a work commitment without a contractual arrangement. Some common examples are:

Telling a business owner to look at your Web site or your other online works, and asking what would improve them

Expecting business owners to create a few samples so they can wait for your decision

Offering to pay for work based on increased revenue, such as pay for performance. If you want some assurance as to work and service quality, look at a portfolio and ask for references

B2B etiquette means knowing how to present yourself online with the same degree of formality and professionalism you would in a face-to-face meeting.

The next time you attempt relations with a new business, stop to think how the person on the other end is likely to receive your communication. Put yourself in those shoes and ask, "What kind of impression do I make?"
Email Marketing----

Technology with its advent has taken a toll even in the field of marketing at last. E-mail also known as electronic mail, is now turning out as an indispensable medium of marketing on internet.

Internet as whole has a wide marketing area because of the fact that it is spread whole and wide over the whole word. This makes it accessible to almost every country and eventually to the people in the country. E-mails are very techno-savvy and more effective and fast. This is the reason that we can now see e-mails developing as an indispensable media of marketing.

Over the years people and corporate houses have started realizing the advantages of e-mail marketing. E-mail marketing carries a lot of advantages along with it. Some of the benefits are:

a) Speed:

This is the main factor as to why e-mail marketing is considered better and over the other Medias of marketing. E-mail marketing along with it brings the advantage of high speed. E-mail marketing has a very high speed of information transfer. It just takes a second for the person to transfer information from his working place to the internet worldwide, where everyone can view it worldwide.

b) Reach:

One another factor as to why e-mail marketing is considered a better option is because of the fact that it has a better reach to the people worldwide than the other medias of marketing. E-mail marketing knows no boundaries and this helps the people to continue or conduct their marketing work in larger scale. The higher reach of e-mail marketing, attracts more people towards it and thereby assists the whole marketing process.

c) Inexpensive:

E-mail marketing is comparatively much and more cheap than that of the other medias of marketing. The people do not have to incur any special or extra cost to market their product or point of view. Being inexpensive it suits the people and they thereby resort to e-mail marketing than the other Medias.

d) Effective:

E-mail marketing is very effective than the other medias of marketing. The reason being, that they are very techno-savvy, very fast and still pretty cost effective. This whole package makes e-mail marketing very cheap and pretty attractive. This is the reason that e-mail marketing is pretty effective and thus more approachable.

e) Personalized marketing:

E-mail marketing avails the people the opportunity to avail and conduct personalized marketing. In this the people can send mails only to people whom they think that they would be interested in it. In this the mails will only be forwarded to people on whom the concern is interested.

Thus we see that why and how e-mail marketing has turned out to be an indispensable tool in marketing.

E-mail Marketing----

Out of all the most crafty marketers you know, the one that just about everyone hates is the spammer, the good news is that Spam is almost dead. It has been greatly taken over by the use of e-mail marketing. It is said that Spam is on the decline, contrary to popular belief. The rate that it is falling is approximately 13% per year. Why? Because the marketer now sees that e-mail is the marketing choice for the pros. By the year 2010 they say that Spam will in fact be a thing of the past. It is also interesting to note that the market spending in this fashion will grow from $885 million, to $1.1 billion dollars in as little time as well.

It is said that the bulk of the e-mailing for businesses in the year 2010 will be of the transactional, acquisitioned, and retention methods. With the remainder of e-mail leveling out between customers gain and personal e-mails heading up the rest. It is clear to see why the Spam is diminishing at such a rapid rate; the e-mail filtering system is getting stronger almost monthly. The amount of Spam that the average everyday user will receive will be cut in half from 2005 to 2010. This will set the pace for the e-mail marketing to take over. With new technology in place, it is easy for someone to recognize the difference between Spam and an actual e-mail from a company that is doing a follow up for business purposes.

It is clear by consumer reports that individuals will stay clear from e-mail servers that do not offer top of the line Spam filters. This is not to say that there are not still a plethora of servers available to the open market. The reason for the big concern right now is the cost of incorrectly blocked e-mails. This rate is at approximately $107 million dollars right now; it is expected to fall to approximately $88 million by 2010. In turn this will make for a much easier time to reach out to the consumer, by way of e-mail marketing once the Spam is truly eradicated. It is the idea that there will be a very organized arena for e-mail marketing that has business owners in fits of joy. They truly know the potential for this wonderful and inexpensive medium.

The improvement of the practices in list management will be stronger, and the ISP will have a stranglehold on the Spam. With all this technology, and the will to make the marketplace a safer business realm, it is clear that e-mail marketing can easily be allowed into the fold as one of the most productive marketing and business tools for the future. For now we still have to deal with all this junk called Spam.

Email Marketing: Affordable Internet Marketing Technique----

Email marketing is labeled as a killer method when it comes to effective low-cost Internet marketing endeavors. This is because it is the most widely-used and has the best reputation in bringing targeted traffic to websites. It is used to stay in touch with your customers or prospective customers, send out invitations, or make special offers.

It's as easy as writing an e-mail that may be in a form of a newsletter or a plain announcement, and sending that to as many targeted recipients as possible. However, there's an ideal way of going about it. Email marketing is not just about writing any email that you will be sending to anybody. To clarify that, here are some simple tips in doing email marketing the best way possible.

1. Join the "Can Spam" campaign.

Email marketing is not at any rate tantamount to spamming. You are not supposed to send information that your email list will not have any valuable use for.

2. Make your email list open it.

Your email might get lost together with the hundreds of emails that inbox owners are confronted with everyday. Improve your subject line by using extra white space creatively, adding text symbols, starting each word with a capital letter, asking compelling questions, not making any unbelievable claims, and not using the word FREE.

3. Keep it real.

Not including any too good to be true statements is not only applicable to your subject line. Your email content must never embody any promise your business can't keep. Make your offer genuinely of value to your recipients.

4. Don't go too low.

If you inform your customers regarding discounts, minimal discounts are not that effective compared with substantial discounts. But never offer discounts that are lower than your profit. It will defeat the purpose of this email marketing effort.

5. Make it eventful.

It's not about contradicting the advice that you should keep an email short and sweet. This tip is on including seminars, conferences and other events in your email. Businesses that require training benefit much from this method. With these RSVP-requiring emails, repetition is important. Just make sure that an ample interval is considered before sending out a reminder email.

6. Post news.

Sending newsletters and postcards provides useful information for your subscribers. These are the best forms of reaching out to your customers or prospects. You should keep the information short, simple and direct to the point for this feat to be effective.

With these simple ways of going about your email marketing endeavor, your business will prosper in no time.

Email Marketing: design tips to improve your open rates.------

Many email marketers frequently fail to realize that their subscriber’s email application preview pane is the first opportunity their content has to attract the attention they require. And unfortunately those that don’t allow for a snapshot preview in their content design fall victim to lower than expected open rates as their subscribers are less likely to open the message in full.

Here are four simple steps you can to take to ensure your next email message preview pane design gets all the attention it should:

First, be aware that prior to Outlook 2003, the preview your subscriber sees runs horizontally along the foot of their screen. In Outlook 2003, this view is a vertical slice showing the left hand side of your content.

As a tip take a blank sheet of paper and then reveal the top third of your next message and then the left third. Does what you see in both instances seem interesting enough to entice your subscribers to click on?

Second, by allowing for the thinnest of newsletter mastheads, you should cram into these viewable snippets as much content as you can. Plus, if this content tells your subscriber exactly what your message contains, then the chances of them opening it increase even further.

Third, don't have too many images cluttering the preview space. By default, my version of Outlook 2003 suppresses all images sent to me in HTML messages. All I see is a sea of red crosses, which tells me nothing about the message. (I tend to leave these messages until later, which CAN become NEVER! Your subscribers may well do the same.)

And finally the smart newsletter designers use images sparingly in this top part. Even better, they build their masthead using not images, but HTML text and colour to effectively get across their message. As a consumer, I’m far more tempted to break my train of thought and dig down deeper into that juicy piece of content I can see.

Thus, by treating the preview pane of your newsletter as a quick-peek mini-summary for your subscribers, you are on the right track to grab a new client!

It’s simple really--the quicker your readers are intrigued by the very first lines of your email, the more they will read them.

Email Marketing - The Lifeline Of Your Internet Business------

It is not unusual to have high ranking at the Search engines yet see low
conversion rates. In fact, someone else whose ranking is lower than yours may be making a killing online with his products. How could that happen? With all other things being almost equal, good web design, good sales copy, quality products, it is highly probable the other person has an effective email marketing campaign set
in place.

It is a so-called ‘known secret’ of successful online marketers that the lifeline of any Internet business is email marketing. It brings longevity to your business. If you hope to make a long term living off your Internet business, you need to give serious thought to email marketing if you haven’t done so.

I started off my Internet business without seeing the need for email marketing. I spent a lot of time on SEO. Then one day this question dawned upon me. What am I to do with the traffic that would show up at my door?

It is a known fact that not many people will buy your product or service on their first visit to your website. Yes, some may buy the products that you are promoting but the majority won’t. The vast majority may never come this way again. You stand to lose substantial traffic in this way. Then what about those who bought something? How can they become your lifelong customers?

No wonder, successful online marketers have an effective follow-up system that allows them to touch base with their visitors. What better cost effective way to do so than through email.

4 Benefits of Email Marketing:

1.Gives visitors a personal touch to your online business. Email communication is the most cost effective way at present to touch base with your website visitors.

In a highly impersonalized world of Internet marketing, simple personalized email communiqués can do wonders for your Internet business.

2.Allows you to build credibility and trust with your visitors. You can achieve this by conducting short courses in the area of your expertise through email. The courses you conduct must be relevant to the products or services you are promoting on your website.

For example, if you are promoting weight loss products, you may conduct a short course like 30 days to lose weight. People are more disposed to buy your product or service if they gain confidence through the information you have provided.

3.Exposes visitors to your product or service. Sales statistics reveal that most people need to be exposed to an offer 7 times or more before they buy. You have no way of exposing your products or services before your website visitors except through Email marketing.

4.Turns first time buyers into lifelong customers. Email marketing is an effective way to update your customers of your latest products and services.

Follow-up with your customers immediately after they made a purchase with an offer of a free gift or special discounts on products that are related to what they have bought. This is good marketing practice. You will endear first time buyers to you, and turn them into lifelong customers.

After all been said, how to get visitors to leave behind their email address? Nobody will give something in exchange for nothing. Offer a free e-book, or software, or email course, or newsletter in exchange for your visitors’ names and email addresses. This is by no means tricking people into giving their email address. In the first place, your visitors have some expressed interest when they came by your website. Your job is to continue to arouse their interest that they want to know more about what you have to offer them.

The names and email addresses you collect is called an opt-in email list. With it you can touch base with your visitors without being accused of spamming.

Follow-up with personalized email communiqué, offer relevant information and leads. Don’t turn your email communiqué into one big sales letter. It puts people off. If they unsubscribe from your mailing list, it’s your loss. Say goodbye to your potential customers.

You cannot maintain the number one spot at the Search engines all the time. Other webmasters will overtake you sooner or later. However, this does not diminish the importance of Search Engine Optimization. For long-term success, SEO and an effective email marketing campaign are needful.

Email Marketing Basics----

A crucial part of any online business is keeping in contact with your customers. The only way you can do that is with email. In these days of massive bulk emails, email certainly has its disadvantages, but it’s still one of your most effective tools in the battle for your customer’s business. While we would all love to have such a killer website and product that every visitor would purchase our stuff on their first visit, the reality is that just ain’t gonna happen.

Email marketing has earned a bad reputation in the last few years mostly because of the actions of indiscriminate bulk-emailers. You know the type. They send spam after spam of offers for of questionable pharmaceutical products, watches, software, and um, how shall we say…um, personal enhancement. They are easily recognizable by their misspelled subject lines and undecipherable “from” addresses. For good reason, most people are now extremely wary of handing our their email address.

So to get them to sign up on your email list you need to win their trust, and pique their interest. You can win their trust by calling your emails an “e-newsletter”. Make it sound warm and friendly. Pique their interest by offering them some type of exclusive info of the kind that they came to your website for in the first place.

Promise your customers that their email will never, EVER be sold or given away. This is an absolute MUST. And stick to your promise. This means that you must always carefully scrutinize every e-newsletter that you send to your list to make sure it is within the bounds of your customer agreement. Your customers are trusting you, expecting your emails to them to be relevant to their interests and useful in some way to them. Otherwise, they’ll certainly stop reading them, and most likely will start unsubscribing from your list.

One thing you most certainly don’t want to do is to start sending them emails with commercial offers that are unrelated to your core business. This is suicide and will cost you dearly in the long run. For example, if you run an e-newsletter pertaining to your real-estate development course, don’t start bombarding your customers with emails, or even ads in your e-newsletter, pitching your latest auto-detailing info course to them.

You also want to make sure your e-newsletter doesn’t degenerate into nothing more than a glorified sales pitch for your stuff. Your customers are savvy and will know when they’re being hyped-to. Keep your promotions and links to your website subtle, yet still present, and you’ll build trust with your customers. Eventually they’ll realize you’re not just a fly-by-night course-pusher wanting to make a quick buck, and you’ll start to see more sales as a result.

Your email list is a potential gold mine for you, but you must treat it with care and caution. Do so, and it will reward you many times over.

Till next time…Success to you!

Email Marketing Campaigns----

Email marketing campaigns allow you to get in front of your clients time and time again, at a fraction of the cost of printed mailings. E-newsletters also add value to your web site, can boost holiday sales and can make your marketing job easier.

Added Value to Your Web Site

Providing an informative newsletter adds value to your site and gives users another reason to visit. Posting archives of previous mailings provides your site visitors with a library of information - one more reason for them to come back to your site. Adding content also gives search engines more to index.

Stay In Front of Your Customers

Newsletters allow your company to stay in front of your clients and leads. A site visitor may only come to your web site one time, yet if you convince them of the value of signing up for your newsletter, the single visit surfer is much more likely to return. Staying in front of your customers and prospects in this way increases the chances that your company is remembered when the time to buy comes.

Holiday Sales Booster

Newsletters are an excellent holiday sales booster. Sending a newsletter during the holiday season offering special discounts reminds gift-buying people the value and appropriateness of your product.

Easy to Use Software

Getting the right newsletter software can make newsletter mailings a snap or a nightmare. Here are some features to look for when choosing email newsletter software.

Opt In and Out Easily - This process should be automated so that clicking on a simple link will allow users to opt-in or out of a newsletter without additional administrative intervention. It is no fun and a waste of time to have to manually add and remove names and emails from your list and also opens the door to human error.

Double Confirmation - To ensure that your subscribers really did in fact subscribe to your newsletter, double confirmation can be used. What this means is that after someone signs up to you newsletter, they must also click a link sent to their email address to confirm that it was actually the owner of the email address that signed up. This can be particularly useful as an added level of security, especially with newsletters of controversial content that may offend some readers.

Scheduled Emails - Advanced email software programs will allow you to schedule your mailing in advance. So while you are in Aruba sipping cocktails on the beach, your server can be working for you sending out preprogrammed material without you having to be there. For daily or weekly newsletters, this allows business owners or webmasters to send multiple mailings while only having to attend to administrative duties one time, saving time and effort.

Auto Responders - Auto responders allow you to follow up with clients and leads effortlessly. For example, perhaps you have a free e-book download that requires a user to enter his or her email address. Several days after the e book has been downloaded, you could send an auto responder asking if the reader has any questions or requires any professional services the company offers that relate to the e book.

Allow Recipients to Automatically Update Their Contact Information - By allowing recipients of your email newsletter to update their own contact information via an automated form system, the work of keeping your list up to date is partially transferred to the recipient, saving you work and time. Also, many newsletter recipients will appreciate that you have the correct spelling of their name and that updating their information is an easy task.

In conclusion, email newsletters can be some work to do right, yet the reward can be huge. Email newsletters can increase your sales dramatically and also help get your company name out into the minds' of buyers. Carefully choosing your email newsletter software before you embark on starting an e-newsletter of you own can save you countless hours of frustration. Choosing the right e newsletter tool can make the task pleasant and rewarding.

Email Marketing For Your Small Business - Selecting The Right Server----

There are many different methods for promoting your business online, but one of the most effective is still the email campaign.

Weighing Your Options

For emails, you have three choices of software, each with distinct benefits and drawbacks. You can install software on your desktop and be your own server. You can install software on the web server you’re using. Or you can join an ASP hosted service.

The most obvious benefit of a hosted server is that getting your emails delivered is your host’s concern. Says Dr. Ralph Wilson, of Wilson Internet Services, “With desktop or web server software, basically you’re responsible to get them delivered… Whereas if you’re paying someone else for that service, it’s their job, and many of them take it very seriously.” A hosted server starts with a monthly fee for 500 or 1,000 emails and the price builds as your email database grows.

With desktop server software, the biggest advantage is the price. You can pay a one-time fee for a desktop server and run it forever. Leasing a web server is also fairly inexpensive.

Beating the Blockers

If you use desktop or server based software, there are some general guidelines you can follow to help your emails make it to your customers’ inboxes.

1. Avoid signs of spam. There are specific characteristics that trigger spam filters. You can increase your deliverability by avoiding certain pitfalls in your subject lines:

• Don’t use all caps.
• Don’t use HTML messages that are primarily graphics.
• Don’t try to trick filters by replacing letters with asterisks or breaking words up with punctuation marks. Filters are getting smarter, and you could end up on a black list.
• Don’t use sloppy HTML.
• Don’t use large or small fonts. Stick with H1, H2, or H3 heading tags.

2. Consider sender certification

What to Look for in a Hosted Server

If you choose to use a hosted service, there are a number of things you should ask before joining:

• What precautions do they take to prevent spammers from enrolling? A good host company will have measures in place, such as confirmed opt-in, to make sure that they’re not allowing spammers to join.

• Do they offer conversion tracking? Similar to an ad tracking program, many hosted servers now let you see how many of your e-mail recipients clicked through to your site, how many click-throughs resulted in sales, and how much money you made from your campaign.

• What kind of customer service do they provide? You can often tell the answer to that question simply by how long it takes them to respond to your inquiries. Ask if they offer full phone support and if they charge extra for the service.

However you choose to promote your business, don’t overlook the power of email marketing to increase your customer base and improve your sales volume.

Email Marketing is Still Hot for Small Business-----

How do you communicate with your customers? We all know that there's getting to be more and more online activity. How much? According to the Pew Research Center:

The proportion of Americans online on a typical day grew from 36% of the entire adult population in January 2002 to 44% in December 2005. The number of adults who said they logged on at least once a day from home rose from 27% of American adults in January 2002 to 35% in late 2005.

On top of that, Americans don't feel overloaded by the information they're getting on the web. Pew Research stated:

Just 15% said they sometimes felt overwhelmed by the amount of information they had, while 71% said they had all the information they needed and thought it was manageable, and 11% said they were missing information that they wish they had.

It makes me further think about how we communicate with our customers. Some businesses have jumped into the blog world in hopes that their customers will come and engage with them online. That works for some but this strategy doesn't work well for many small businesses because their business just isn't the type to draw attention to itself such that a customer would want to come and read about them in the normal course of the day. Do you want to know what's going on in the world of sandwich making, hair cutting, or pool/spa maintenance? Me either, not so much that I would return again and again to hear it.

The good news is that I would like to hear about special offers my hair cutting place has or new sandwiches my favorite sub place has coming out. And I, like most people, would like to hear about it through email. There continues to be more techie ways to send information out there (like RSS), but email is THE killer application... the most used, it allows you to push your message to your customers when you wish and they pick it up when they wish. It is effective and personal because it comes from you, allowing you to share offers and news. What's more, it allows you to develop a relationship with your customers.

This is all good and true, but knowing this and doing nothing about it will not help you grow your business. Here's my shameless plug for PromoterZ(tm), a system that automates the sending of special offers through email. It doesn't require more time from an already busy small business owner either, in fact it's kind of like having a really cheap employee that talks to your customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It also encourages your customers to send referrals about you to their friends, making it a word of mouth marketing tool. Additionally, it gives you feedback from your customers about the most important thing they can tell you about your business.

Email Marketing Software Helps You Keep Track of Your Marketing Campaign----

For an advertising or marketing campaign to run smoothly and effectively good organization is required; for larger emailing campaigns this usually requires some kind of email marketing software. However, email marketing software has a lot more to offer than you would probably imagine.

Prospect Finder

Finding prospects can be a very time consuming activity. Some email marketing tools allow you to collect targeted email addresses from visitors to your web site. Creating a newsletter for visitors adds value to your site and keeps your company in front of your prospects.


Responding to your prospective clients with a well-written and partial sales email is vital to winning business and gaining repeated business. Using email-marketing software you can set up autoresponders that will send these emails for you as soon as your visitors or customers complete certain actions, which are predefined by you.

Verify, Verify, Verify.

With modern legislation on spamming it is common practice to verify email addresses; getting prospects to click on a verification link makes them an opt in lead, meaning you can contact them as you will regarding your service or your product. Don’t forget, though, you must always offer them the opportunity to stop receiving communication from you.

Removal Service

Once you have your bulk email list up and running and you’ve been contacting people on a regular basis to forge a good relationship and sell your products you will undoubtedly get emails that become dead links. You should be removing these to save time, effort and space in your email.

Spamming policies mean you should also always offer your prospects the chance to stop receiving your targeted emails. Even though you won’t want to let go, sometimes you have to.


Obviously, email marketing software offers you the capability to send targeted emails to everyone on your email lists. That’s what this software was originally intended for and what it is most commonly used for to this day. You can organize your prospects into categories and even status. You could run several campaigns at once and your email marketing software will keep track of which prospects belong to which campaign and therefore, send the correct email to them.

Most email marketing software will be able to schedule emails for you, so you could for instance send an email to new prospects that contains a link to your catalogue. After a week you may wish to contact them to answer any questions. This technique will put your company name back in their minds and possibly produce more sales. Or, perhaps you sell a consumable good that most people buy once a month. You can set your email marketing software to contact your customers one month after purchase, perhaps offering them a discount for repeated business.

All of these are genuine ways to use email marketing software. Bearing in mind that some estimate as many as 70% of Internet users from the USA have made purchases on the back of an email marketing campaign, most agree they are useful tools to help your website or business succeed.

Email marketing the easy way----

What is email marketing?

Basically, in plain English, email marketing is a targeted mass mailing done via email. The purpose of email marketing could be advertising in order to recruit new clients, introducing a new set of products or services to an existing client base, keeping your clients informed by means of a newsletter, etc. All of the before mentioned activities are very legitimate business efforts, as long as you respect some unwritten rules and as long as the list of emails you use is what is called 'targeted', in other words the names came from a database generated by your marketing division and represents your existing client base, a carefully selected list of potential prospects or a list of people who opted in to receive your messages.

If instead of the above you use a list that you bought (you know, "25 million guaranteed AOL email addresses for only 19.95 - plus shipping"), or are doing it without warning the people on your list, or using other shady methods, then you are considered a spammer and what you are sending is spam, bulk mail, unsolicited email, basically, the main enemy of all things virtue and life in general. Yes folks, it is that easy to be labeled as a spammer, and very hard to get out of it.
Once your message is considered unsolicited, you will immediately be put on zillions of black lists, side by side with those who promise inches and inches of extra extremities and hours and hours of ecstatic pleasures (for only 3 easy payments and some handling fees).

Sound pretty risky, so why bother?

Obviously, opt-in email advertising is far more cost effective than direct marketing via regular mail, door-to-door sales, or telemarketing. Paper, printing, envelopes, and postage can add up quickly. Door to door sales require paying out commissions. Telemarketing results in high long distance bills, often without great results, as people become more and more blood thirsty toward the people on the other end of the so called cold call.

So why not just use my personal email or my company's mail server and some mailing software?

In the early days of email marketing (that is, before the art of penile enlargement was crafted), that's exactly what people did. They would gather all their emails into some primitive version of a spreadsheet, fire up some mail merging program, hook it up to their corporate mail system and voila, thousands of emails were flying away.

Today, the scenario is certainly possible, but let me tell you in a simple set of scenarios what can happen:

One of the many not-for-profit groups that decided to police the internet will intercept that a large number of emails were generated and sent by a server near you (yep, they can do that). In order to protect the civilized world from those who spread spam, viruses and other vermin, they will put you on a list of threats to humanity. Those other nice corporate folks who were your indented recipients, have an IT department that gets constantly yelled at by angry users who get emails with naked people. Well - Mel, their IT guy decides to put up an anti-spam system that links to that not-for-profit's database of known spammers (oh yeah, did I mention you are now a 'known spammer'?) and block your emails. Your emails might actually be blocked so well that your company will have a real trouble communicating via email and your IT folks will all go nuts and/or get fired.

Basically, not so good. Other things that can happen are: you'll have to build some opt-in / opt-out system, in some states there are laws that require that you make it very easy for your audience to unsubscribe, you'll have a hard time formatting your emails in a decent, eye pleasing way, etc.

Lastly, the process of sending thousands of emails and managing lists, subscribing and unsubscribing people is tedious and just plain annoying. The only way to do it is with a maximum degree of automation, or, the better solution - to outsource to a company that does it professionally.

Folks, I am known for promoting the "do it in house" concept, and am not that big on outsourcing. But when it comes to mass mailing... I say stay away from it and let the professionals do what they do.

If you are worried about cost, know that the fee you pay for email marketing services, will still cost less than the continued overhead and expenses of the traditional options, not to mention the great possibilities of reaching a much larger audience, much faster (practically instantly).

What to look for in an email marketing company?

1. Automating Your Subscribe and Unsubscribe Requests

Many email marketing companies will provide you with exact HTML code you need to paste to your site to have a subscription form on your web site. The better services also provide a link at the bottom of each email that enables subscribers to update their information or unsubscribe from a list, automating everything for you.

2. Personalization of Emails

Another powerful feature of many email marketing services is the ability to use mail merge capabilities to personalize each email that you send. The better services allow to have custom fields, additional to the standard first name and last name.

3. Bounceback email handling

Bouncebacks are emails that are sent to email accounts that no longer exist or are full, blocked, etc. Essentially, you'll get a response stating that your message did not make it. All email list management software programs are able to manage subscribe and unsubscribe requests and send out messages, however without integrated bounceback email handling all the non-deliverable emails will be sent back to you, a rather big nuisance if your list is large. Ideally, the email software you use will be able to manage your bouncebacks for you. Whenever a bounceback is received, the software makes a note of the address and if another bounceback is received the email address will be sent to a list of dead addresses.

This remove capability is extremely important since if you continuously send out emails with many bouncebacks you may be blacklisted as a spammer. This is something you really want to avoid at all cost.

4. HTML email

The ability to send out HTML emails has been around for quite some time. Most email marketing companies support the ability to send out messages that include graphics and formatted text. This is surely something you'll want to look for.

However, not all of your users have the ability to view email messages in HTML format. This percentage is usually between 10-20%. Instead of seeing your aesthetically pleasing email they might see a string of meaningless code. Using most email list management programs, these 10-20% of users will open up emails from you and be very inclined to call you a spammer.

To avoid this, look for companies that use multi-part MIME to send out messages. When you send an HTML email in multi-part MIME, users who do not have the ability to view HTML messages will receive the email in the usual text format.

So who should you use?

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