E-Mail Marketing – The First Social Network

Email -- The First Social NetworkE-mail has been around since before the dawn of the internet.  That’s right, in the early 1970’s, the Federal Government was sending messages through the United States Department of Defense network, which handled over 30 million messages per month.

As we began to move more onto the information super-highway, services like Compuserve, Prodigy, and America On-Line began to proliferate, making it incredibly easy for everyone to have an e-mail address.  In fact, at the height of AOL’s dominance, they had over 30 million members worldwide (they only serve about 2.9 million subscribers, as of October 2012).  In contrast, Facebook has over 1 billion members, as of September 2012.

What made e-mail so “social” was the ease at which your messages could be forwarded to your entire address book.  If you wanted to share with friends and family, all you had to do was hit the “forward” button, and they were all able to participate in the discussion.

Fast forward to today, and most businesses are marketing through e-mail, but that doesn’t mean that they are “doing it right.”  Just using this “social network” isn’t enough.  We need to ensure that our e-mail marketing is accomplishing its goals of increased business, increased lead generation, and increased market share.  The big question, then, is what are some best practices in e-mail marketing?

Best Practices

1. Write compelling Subject Lines

  • Keep it short and simple and incorporate the benefit of opening the e-mail.

2. Set your objective and then choose the appropriate frequency

  • Are you trying to promote, inform, or relate to your audience?

3. Call your audience to action

  • You are sending the e-mail for a reason.  Make sure they know it.

4. Make sure they recognize the “From” address

  • They may know your company name, but not yours.  Make sure the email comes from someone they “know.”

5. Keep your main message and call to action “above the fold”

  • This is “news speak” for making sure that the important information is seen without scrolling the message.

6. Be mindful of mobile devices

  • Statistics say that 38% of email is opened on a mobile device and only 33% is opened on a desktop, so make sure the fonts and images will look good on your recipients mobile devices.

7.  Make sure to use alt-text for your logo and pictures

  • This is text that describes the pictures and logos should images be turned-off on your web browser, smart phone or e-mail client.  That way your recipient knows what should be in the image’s place.

In addition to the tips above, always make sure that you are abiding by the “Can-Spam Act”, which requires the following:

  1. Don’t use false or misleading header information;
  2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines;
  3. Tell recipients where you are located;
  4. Honor opt-out requests;
  5. There needs to be a relationship between the sender and receiver.

If you follow these best practices and requirements, then your e-mail marketing is on the right track to continuing the social nature of e-mail marketing.

What subject lines to you find work the best? The worst?  Do you feel that you get too much e-mail?  Sound off in the comments below.

 

Resources:

Wikipedia – Email

Wikipedia – AOL

Constant Contact – The Value of E-Mail Marketing Video

9 Email Marketing Best Practices to generate More Leads

CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business

Constant Contact

AWeber

MailChimp

Mobile email usage statistics

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

Ways to Build Up Your Email List Using Facebook

Internet marketing is not what it used to be, experts like Guy Kawasaki say. If you were dealing with internet marketing before Facebook, you know it was all about emails. Obtaining prospects, finding the leads and hoping for conversions.

Email marketing, when done right, is personal and not stuffed with ads and commercial. It does help build followers and stay in touch with them. The White House, Barack Obama and Michele Obama, separately are using this method. It works not only in commerce.

But Internet Marketing is changing fast, as do our habits and ways we connect with friends, family and business associates. Today we are building groups – extended families, tribes if you will. And we are doing it on social media.

And it goes without saying that the most popular place to do so is Facebook. As of the end of 2011, Facebook has over 800 million active users with more than 50% of them logging on to Facebook every given day. The question is how to use this resource to build a great marketing campaign?

It can take a lot of time and money to build a big following (100,000+). It is not as easy as it sounds and even when you do manage to build a huge base, it will not necessarily increase your profits.

A savvy social media marketer knows how to transform his following into a very responsive email list.

Here are a few tricks of the trade:

Facebook Connect – Using it on a Squeeze Page is worth a test against traditional Squeeze Page. It’ll show you if Facebook is a faster and cheaper way to build your community. Most of the traffic you’ll get will be from social media sources or paid ad on Facebook. It might be easier to get personal information through Facebook and have more people you can email and your articles, blog posts, podcasts, videos or webinars.

Like Button – Put a “Like” button on your Facebook ads, and the ‘call for action’ would be to press that button. This way, when they click on the picture in your new ad, you already have the Like.

One Time Offer – Drive people to your website page by posting a link to it instead of posting the video directly on Facebook. Give them a one-time offer that is really worth their while. Why? Because this way you have the “Like” and you have their name and email address. The deal you gave will pay for itself with the new customers you just got. Apply it to any special report or newsletter. After they opt in, explain they will be receiving an email very shortly and subsequent email with links to new videos or special reports.

Ads for followers – Making an ad to your Facebook ‘friends’ is very cheap. You should do it often. You’ll get more info very inexpensively compared with other systems.

The Blurred Method – Create something entertaining for your fans, a special – just for them for joining your Facebook page. Create a fan page for this purpose only. Blur out parts of the video, unless they input their information. Put a Like button with the content and a direct responder. When they press the Like button it will reveal a way to get access to the content, with an opt-in. That is how you get their contact info. After that, show them your content. Use Facebook to post information about what you have created. You can also create a Facebook ad for this purpose.

Autoresponder – You have to have a built-in auto responder for at least 30 days. Find out what you are most interested in; videos, blog posts, other Facebook groups or other created content. Be consistent. Write emails every day for 30 days and drop that into the autoresponder sequence. Add p.s. to your emails with your site’s address for services or products.

Direct Response Blog – Create a loop between social media, email, and Facebook. Your social activity will grow your email, the emails will drive revenue. But if you have a blog to tie it all in, you give them a whole new aspect of the business – it’s all about you. If you prove to be a source they like, a leader in your field, they will bring others into the group. More email addresses, more leads to turn into buyers.

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

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