For this month’s installment, I am going to pass along a few articles of interest and tools to help you make better use of email for marketing purposes. These are things I’ve come across and think they’d be useful to anyone reading this, which tends to be folks who are proponents of email marketing.
Launching an e-newsletter program
If you haven’t started an email newsletter program, I bet you’ve come across many of the issues addressed in this article: How to get your own email newsletter off the ground. From finding a topic and your own voice to picking out software, this article covers thoroughly and succinctly.
Zapier: Automate your life
Here’s a tool I’ve recommended to quite a few folks: zapier.com. It’s a third-party program that can link to sites together to automate processes. I use it to send reminder notices of invoices coming due as well as create a running spreadsheet to track inquiries from prospective clients. How does this work with email marketing? Well, their platform can help you sync contacts in one program (QuickBooks or Salesforce, for example) with an ESP to make sure all of your contacts get your e-newsletters. You could also trigger emails to go out based upon other actions, such as web contact form submissions or converting landing page sales leads to prospects. They’ve also written “The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing Apps”, which includes A/B testing and setting up drip campaigns. Say “Good bye!” to forgetting to do things manually when you say hello to automating processes with Zapier. (I’m not getting a kickback for this post.)
Clean up your list!
Another handy tool I’ve used with a couple of clients recently is Data Validation – http://www.datavalidation.com. I’ve needed it when my client’s mailing list got the red flag from MailChimp. This happened when they uploaded a large list of names and MailChimp’s system detected that a large portion of these addresses had a high possibility of being spam traps or bad addresses. The Data Validation tool will scan your list and remove the bad apples so you can get back into compliance with your email service provider (ESP). This is not a paid endorsement, FYI. But maintaining a healthy list is important for ensuring the deliverability of your messages, so keep this in mind if you run afoul of your ESP’s spam threshold.
Speaking of deliverability…
This article by Massimo Arrigoni of MailUp summarizes a panel discussion at the Email Experience Conference that included representatives of the big 4 ISPs: Comcast, AOL, Gmail and Outlook.com. It’s a great read about email engagement and sender reputation.
How snow days help email marketers
Now I’m going to toot my own horn and pass along this link to a post I wrote on LinkedIn titled “How can snow days help us become better email marketers?” In a nutshell, a lot of what affects the performance of our email campaigns is out of our control.