How To Get Your Emails Opened

mail-566337_1280Email marketing is one of the best options for communicating with your target audience. Many consumers prefer to accept promotional material via their email inboxes and it is known to be one of the best online sellers.

Yet the problem for many businesses is to ensure that their emails get opened by their audience. Open rates vary from industry to industry. Online coupon and discount services often have very poor open rates, averaging below 5%. Other industries do better with some reaching 20-30% on average, though many only achieve half of this.

To increase the open rates of your business’ emails there are several key elements to your campaigns that you can adjust for better results. Here are some of those elements for you to experiment with and gain better email marketing traction.

Subject Line

The first thing that most people look at is the subject of the email. It has been proven that a good email subject line will increase the open rate of your emails. Some of the best email subject lines are quirky and grab the attention and imagination of the receiver. For instance:

“Are you sitting comfortably?” is a good line for selling chairs.

“We’re sorry” if you haven’t sent an email for a while.

Take Action:

  • Consider what subject lines you could use in your email marketing campaigns.

The Sender

While many people may recognise your brand name, they are less likely to open the mail if it is sent from your company email address. It is better to send it from a named individual; this is more personable and makes it look less spammy.

Consider sending it the name of a senior person in your organisation, instead of just the administrator who creates the content and sends it off. A senior person in the organisation is more recognisable and makes your audience feel more valued.

Take Action:

  • Send emails from a senior member of your management team.

The Right Time And Day

23% of your emails will be opened within 60 minutes of you sending out your email. Therefore, you will want to be sending your content on the right day and time to ensure that you maximise the open rate.

There are some typical statistics that you should know:

1. Monday’s are the worst day because most people are often trying to catch up from the weekend and are too busy to open their emails.

2. Weekends are when people are out doing chores. Emails are not opened regularly on these dates.

3. While emails are regularly opened quickly, you still need to email contacts within plenty of time if you want contacts to participate in an event.

4. Tuesday and Thursday are favourite days for businesses to send their email campaigns. These days often generate the most interest and the best results.

5. Early mornings are also the best time to send emails and they get the best response.

Take Action:

  • Adjust the timing of your email marketing campaigns so they are sent at the most appropriate times.

Send To Those Who Have Opted In

If you have collected addresses from people who have not opted in you are going to get poor results – and it is illegal.

Take Action:

  • Only send emails to those who have opted in to receiving content.
  • Remove the contact details from those who have not signed up from your database.

Conclusion

Email marketing is one of the most effective means for generating sales online. To get better results you need to optimise your emails so that they are more attractive to your audience. Use the above ideas to perfect your email marketing campaigns and have more opened.

How have you improved the open rate of your emails? What do you recommend?

Let us know in the comments below.

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Effective Email Campaigns: What You Can Learn From The Experts

spider-monkey-637062_1280Email marketing can be one of the most effective marketing platforms for your business. Consumers prefer receiving advertising via their email inboxes and more online sales are made via email marketing content than by social media or other digital marketing efforts. Additionally, you can create content that is only relevant to your audience.

Unfortunately, spamming has tarnished the reputation of email marketing and as spamming is easier than more complex campaigns, its lure is often too much to avoid. However, spamming your audience will never generate long lasting, financially viable relationships. More effective best practices and tactics must be found.

There are many organisations and individuals who are using email marketing content to generate the majority of their sales. Their tactics are an important lesson for all small businesses. So what lessons can be learnt and how can you implement them in your campaigns?

1. Effective Database Maintenance

If you want a successful and cost effective email marketing campaign, you have to ensure that the contact database you are using is maintained. You should remove contacts that aren’t going to spend any money and update those on your list so it is properly segregated.

Maintenance of your list needs to happen after every email has been sent out. The first step is to remove any contacts that have opted out, then any contacts which have bounced back before finally removing contacts that haven’t opened an email for the last 10 reports.

Then you need to move contacts depending on what actions they have taken. If for instance they have made a purchase, move them to a current customer list.

2. Target Your Campaigns

With a segregated contacts list you can create content that is highly targeted towards different types of contacts. This has several advantages, firstly it means that content can be better received and have a higher chance of being acted upon by the receiver. In addition, it allows you to reduce costs of your email marketing campaigns by only sending content to those who are likely to respond to it.

How do you target your campaigns? Each segregation must have a unique but unifying marketable quality about it. For instance, you could have marketing material for those who are only close to certain geographical areas or those who have bought other products that you offer.

Segregation doesn’t have to be based on just one element. It can have two cross referenced elements, for instance, those close to a geographical area who are also a past customer.

3. Keeping It Simple

One of the best tips for email marketing campaigns is to keep your emails simple. The idea of the message is to display your one key message: whether that is to buy a specific product or to get the contact to perform an action. Therefore, that message must take precedence in the email, not its design or a pretty picture.

Keeping it simple can also help you increase the deliverability of your messages to inboxes and not promotional or spam boxes. Many large email providers (Gmail, Yahoo!, etc) have filters that lock out messages that have lots of images, links or fancy designs. Also, too much design can be very distracting to your audience.

Consider using simple designs with at most one picture. If you need to include more information, use one link to send the reader to a page on your site to convey it.

Conclusion

Email marketing is an effective marketing platform for your small business. To get the best results you should take some of the key tactics from the best email marketers out there. The above three tips are some of the best to help you refine your campaigns and achieve financially rewarding results.

What tips do you have for running a successful email marketing campaign? What have been your best results?

Let us know in the comments below.

Take action:

  • Start maintaining your email contacts list.
  • Segregate your contacts.
  • Re-design your emails so they are simpler.

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How To Optimize Your Subscription Forms

ID-100287069Signing new people up to your mailing list is an important task of your email list maintenance routine. Offering something of value to potential email contacts and including a sign up form on landing pages, have both proven to be highly effective.

By optimising your subscription forms, you can improve your business’ website conversion ratio and generate more leads. This should then lead to greater sales and the potential for business growth.

Here are several tips on how you can optimise your subscription forms and see better results:

1. Move Your Form

Many of your website visitors will not read all the page’s content. Most will abandon the page before they have to scroll down the page. So while your visitors may share your content or even move to another page; if you don’t have visitors completing the signup form, the page has failed.

Therefore, the first option is to move the form so that it is above the fold and more visible to everyone who lands on the page.

2. Headline

There are a number of different ways you can encourage individuals to complete your forms. Calls to action are extremely powerful at helping guide your visitors. To make these more effective; make the call to action the headline on the webpage.

3. The Number Of Fields

The shorter your signup form, the more conversions you will have. At the same time, you’ll decrease the value of your offer if you don’t request enough information. So when designing your subscription form, think carefully about what information you really need and what the consumer will expect you to request.

There are a couple of aspects which can also help you decide how long the form should be:

a. The offer’s position in the buying cycle: the further down the sales funnel the more information you’ll want. If you are requesting information towards the top of the funnel, you’ll only need a name and email. Later on in the sales process you might want more information like company size and revenue.

b. How many leads you generate: if you have too many leads to process, then you should use lengthen your forms to decrease the response but increase the value of each lead.

4. Required Fields

Not all your signup fields are likely to be required. Nor will all your visitors want to complete every field, especially if they are short on time. You can encourage those short on time by highlighting what fields they need to complete and which are optional.

One of the easiest ways to identify important fields is to include an asterisk (*) next to the tags of those required fields.

5. Don’t Use Submit

The button your visitors use to send their information to you is more than a submission button – it is an opportunity to further sell your offer and prevent form abandonment. So make this button another call to action to encourage the visitor to complete the offer and signup to your email list.

6. Privacy Policy

Ensure you are providing your visitors with a chance to read your privacy policy so they can be reassured that you have their best interests at heart. This not only helps convert visitors to email subscribers, but it can also help with your site’s search engine optimisation as Google considers this very important and will rank sites with these pages higher than those without.

Conclusion

Optimising your email subscription signup form is an important part of your maintenance task. It is also an essential task for generating leads, as the more leads you generate from your site, the more chances you have to sell. This will allow you to grow your business and gain a better return on your email marketing investment.

What tips do you have for your email sign up forms? What have you tried to improve the conversion rates?

Let us know in the comments.

Take Action:

  • Using the tips above optimise your email sign up subscription pages.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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How To Use Email Opt-In Offers To Attract More Subscribers

Free gifts for email details can grow your mailing list.

Free gifts for email details can grow your mailing list.

You email subscription list needs constant maintenance. Part of that job is removing old subscribers from your list so that those who are hard bouncing or not responding to your emails are no longer receiving your content.

The problem is that when you remove contacts from your list, your contacts list shrinks, giving you less opportunity to make a return on your email marketing campaigns. To avoid this you should look into adding names to your list. This is mostly done via an opt-in form that is either embedded on a web page or ‘pop-ups’ after an action has occurred.

Simply requesting the users details may persuade some people to sign up to your email list, but the vast majority of people will not just sign up. Instead you should look into giving something away for their contact details. This is a much better way to entice your website visitors to sign up.

Why Are Offers So Effective?

Email addresses are valuable. When businesses are sold, the number of addresses on their contacts list can form part of the valuation. Consumers know this and they have a vested interest in keeping the number of organisations who have their contact details down to a minimum.

Therefore, you need to give them a reason why they should sign up to your mailing list. Simply stating that they’ll receive more information every so often is not going to be highly effective – every business could offer that promise. You need something unique; an offer that will invoke their imagination and will be highly valuable to them.

What Can Be Offered?

There are a variety of options for your opt-in offer. Many organisations offer a free quote. This can be good for those businesses where customers have bespoke prices depending on the work that needs to be done.

An uncommitted potential customer now could be a loyal customer in the future, but only 30% of those who land on your website will ever find their way back.

Therefore, consider creating information you are willing to provide in exchange for their contact details. This information can be presented to the subscriber in many different formats such as:

  • An auto-responder email system.
  • A whitepaper.
  • An ebook.
  • A locked area of your website.
  • A free application (or a lite version)
  • A trial of your service.

The latter of these is very inefficient and should only be considered as a last resort. However, any of the other three options are very common. The first option, an auto-responder series is highly effective as it regularly reminds your audience of your brand.

However, the real power of the offer is that the audience will find it valuable. Therefore, giving advice like “how to…” and “X number of ways to…” are perfect options.

How Can You Deliver Ebooks, Whitepapers Or Apps?

If you decide to offer your subscribers an ebook, whitepaper o app there are various options for delivering on your offer. The first is through an autoresponder. That is, when the visitor signs up for your email you automatically send them an email to confirm their subscription and provide an attachment of the ebook or whitepaper.

If you use this option you should also include a confirmation link, so they confirm they have signed up to your email marketing list. Otherwise you may breech CAN-SPAM laws.

Another option is to send the visitor back to a secure page on your website where your customer can download the document. This can be effective as it is a double opt-in (where two actions have to be taken to confirm sign-up) and therefore conforms with best practices and CAN-SPAM laws.

Conclusion

Email marketing lists need constant maintenance. Removing old contacts is important, but so is the process of adding new contacts. One of the most efficient ways of adding new subscribers is to offer something valuable in exchange for contact details. This could be a free quote, but more than often it is an ebook or whitepaper. These are highly effective and can really grow your marketing list. The more on your email list – the higher chance you have to make a return on your email campaigns.

What offer do your new subscribers have? How many offers do you have?

Let us know in the comments below:

Take Action:

  • Create more offers for your website to encourage more sign-ups.

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Why You Need To Make It Easy For Your Subscribers To Unsubscribe

ID-100241063No marketer wants to think about unsubscribers. After all, a person removing themselves off the mailing list is a lost opportunity for a sale and spread word about the brand. However, there will always be subscribers who want to leave your mailing list.

When, not if, they want to unsubscribe, you will have to be prepared and make it as easy for the subscriber as it is for yourself. There shouldn’t be any lengthy process nor should the subscriber have to jump through hoops.

But why is this the case and what makes a subscriber want to leave your mailing list?

Why Would A Subscriber Want To Leave Your List?

There are numerous reasons why a subscriber might want to leave your mailing list. Here are the main reasons:

  • They are no longer interested in your products: There are several reasons why this might be. They might not have the funds anymore or their priorities have changed. Alternatively, they have bought your product or a similar one from a competitor. There is no way to tell the true reason for this as these de-listings will happen sporadically.
  • They think you are sending too many emails: This is when you send too many emails to your list and annoy them.
  • They don’t remember subscribing to your list: This happens when you haven’t sent an email for a long time. Therefore, while it is important not to communicate too often; you should also ensure you keep in contact regularly enough that they remember who you are.
  • Your content is not relevant: If you are not providing them with valuable content they can use, then they are likely to leave your list. In this case, you must adjust your strategy to provide something of worth.

In many of the cases you might not realise why they have left your list. However, if you’ve changed tactics recently, this can be a good indicator. Ensure that when you are adjusting campaigns that you check for changes in your standard statistics. For comparison, your email unsubscribe rate should be roughly 0.5% to meet industry standards.

How Can You Make It Easy For Your Subscribers?

There are several options to make it easy for your subscribers to leave your mailing list. The first is by stating that they could email you a request to be taken off the list. However, there are certain problems with this option. Namely that requests might be missed (i.e. sent to the spam folder) or lost and it requires effort on the subscriber’s behalf.

The second option is for them to go onto your website and fill in a form to remove themselves from your list. This is better because the form is less likely to go missing. However, there will still be work for the subscriber to do.

The final option is to have an unsubscribe button in your email messages that automatically completes the action. For most businesses, this is the preferred method.

Why Should You Make It Easy For Subscribers To Leave?

There are numerous reasons why you should make the unsubscription process easy. Firstly, and the most important reason, is that many nations enforce laws where it is required to make unsubscription easy. For instance, in the US the regulation is within the CAN-SPAM legislation. In the United Kingdom it is a series of marketing acts.

Breaking these laws can result in a large fine, which would make it hard to justify using email as a sustainable marketing avenue.

In addition, unsubscribers, while no longer financial productive, are still work. If you made the task difficult, it is likely you would have to do some manual operation to remove them from the list. And this would cost you money indirectly.

On the other hand, by using an automated system you don’t have any hard work and there is no chance a request has been missed. This leaves you free to concentrate on those who are engaged with your content.

Conclusion

There are two main reasons why unsubscribing from your list should be made easy. Firstly it is to comply with email marketing laws across the world. The second is to make it easier for you to manage; leaving you with more time to concentrate on those who do want to receive your messages.

Action Steps:

  • Insert an unsubscribe button on your email marketing content.

How do you manage your unsubscribers? Have you had any problems in the past?

Let us know in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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3 Email Etiquette Rules To Observe

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Email marketing is one of the best ways for your business to sell to its target audience. If used correctly, it is highly trusted by those who have opted-in to receive your marketing messages. Research has shown that those who have already interacted with your brand are likely to buy from your email content.

To be able to achieve these results however, you need to be following strict email marketing etiquette. Some of these rules are not just because consumers will dislike your content and perhaps remove themselves from your list, but also because they would violate laws in various countries.

So what are three of the most important email marketing etiquette rules you must observe?

1. Use A Third Party Email Provider

When you are creating an email list for your party or family newsletter, creating a long blind-copy or group list is fine. However, when you want to engage your target audience, you need to use a professional email marketing service.

There are several reasons for this which will impact how professional your marketing content will look to the receiver. For instance:

  • An email marketing provider allows you to include an opt-out link for those who want to unsubscribe.
  • You can’t scale up your email marketing campaigns when you have a successful business or a large list.
  • It is easier to make mistakes when using a general mail client rather than an email marketing software program.

A professional service will also provide you with more functionality such as email list segregation, stylish templates, monitoring of campaign success and automation. While these can be done manually, it would take valuable time away from your business and subsequently lower the return of investment in your email marketing campaigns.

2. Gain Permission Before Emailing A Contact

Don’t assume you have permission because you have received contact details via a business card, telephone call or because they have followed you on social media. Instead seek permission by either having them sign up through your website or getting them to write down their permission on a sign-up sheet.

This isn’t just polite, because no-one likes to receive something they don’t want to but it can also be a legal requirement. According to marketing laws, you must have sought permission from any individual you email. An individual is counted as anyone who is not attached to a business, is not in a limited company or if the email address has identifiable information included within it.

Therefore, legally, you can only send cold-emails to addresses like sales@website.com or customerservice@website.com. There is no telling who will be monitoring these email addresses and it is unlikely to be a decision maker.

3. Give Subscribers The Opportunity To Opt-Out At Any Time And Easily

The final rule is another legal requirement, especially in America where it is part of the CAN-SPAM laws. You must give subscribers the opportunity to say they no longer want to receive your email marketing messages. This can easily be done by your email marketing provider with a simple link to automatically unsubscribe them from the list.

In addition, you should also manually remove those who request via email that you remove them from your mailing list. This may take some time, but is a legal requirement.

It is also important because if too many people report you for sending spam, your server can be blacklisted and this will make it harder for you to send marketing emails.

Conclusion

These email marketing etiquette rules are to protect the customer and build trust with them. Significant benefits can be had from following them, mainly that your company’s server will not be blacklisted allowing you to send content to all your contacts. This in turn will improve the return on investment from your email marketing campaigns.

Take Action:

  • Assess your email marketing behaviours against these rules.
  • Make changes that are required.

Do you have any other email marketing etiquette rules to suggest? What mistakes do you often see from other companies?

Let us know in the comments below.

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How To Build Your Email Marketing Momentum In 2015

Email marketing strategy for 2015

Email marketing strategy for 2015

2015 could be your small business’ year to make email marketing one of your best sales avenues. With an increase in email marketing results you will see an improvement in revenue and profits without spending a significant increase in costs.

If you want your email marketing to be a triumph this year, then you need to be prepared and build your marketing processes for success. Here is a process to do just that and create momentum that will carry you through 2015 and beyond.

1. Segregate Your Email Marketing List

The first thing you should do is to split your current email marketing contacts list into several sub-lists. Not everyone who is interested in receiving mail from you will be interested in the same thing: some will be new to your small business, others will be old customers or some will have bought certain products that have potential add-ons.

You need to establish which sub-groups your email marketing strategy could utilise and then place members into these groups. This doesn’t mean that you can’t send an email to everyone, but this should be rarely done as you target your contacts based on their behaviours and their position in your sales funnel.

2. Plan What You Want To Publish

Email marketing is not something that you can just create quickly and send off. It takes careful planning and strategising. You don’t want to be sending too many emails with the same subject or topic in a short space of time; nor do you want to be leaving off popular topics.

To avoid this, you need to plan in advance what topics you are going to publish and when. It should also include which sub-list you would like to send the content to.

3. Create Content

To ensure you don’t fall behind on your email marketing campaigns, your content should be created at least two or three weeks in advance. This gives you time to strategise, create, edit and schedule in your emails. It also lowers the stress from having a tight deadline and allows your creativity to be better.

You can start to create content in Microsoft Word or another word processor and then edit it. After this, drop it into your email marketing management program and create the template.

4. Create A Template And Schedule Emails

If you haven’t already, creating a template is really important. It creates a sense of consistency with your email marketing list and this can be more beneficial than you realise. Consistency will instil a professional image for your small business and people will become accustomed with your email’s design. Eventually they may look forward to receiving your content.

Once you have designed your email template, you can create your emails in advance and schedule them to go out at a specific time.

5. List Generation

Next you need to maintain the momentum by continuously growing your list. There are several ways you can do this including using a static form to requests details when visitors land on your website. Alternatively, you can use a pop-up to appear after about 15 seconds to request details from your visitors.

Finally, there is the option to offer your visitors a free gift in exchange for their contact details. The gift can be anything from free content on the website, a downloadable e-book, a free review or something else. For this you can be really imaginative. As long as you are providing something of value, and generating traffic, you will have new contacts to your list.

6. Maintain Your List

At the same time as generating contacts for your list, you should be maintaining those already signed up. This might mean moving them to a different sub-group or removing them because they haven’t responded or interacted with your email for some time.

Removing contacts isn’t a bad option as it allows you to concentrate on those who are really interested and provides better statistical analysis of whether your email content is desired by your email marketing list.

Conclusion

These processes will help you supercharge your email marketing campaigns for 2015. Then you can better process your email marketing leads to achieve good sales, high revenue and better profits.

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5 New Ways Small Businesses Can Spice Up Email Newsletters

 Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Email marketing is one of the best ways to connect with your target audience. The only problem is that the majority of businesses online are now using email to contact and sell to the same people you are contacting. These can be direct competitors or businesses offering substitute goods. This can be bad news for your email marketing campaigns as it limits the effectiveness of your message; unless, you find a way to stand apart from these competitors and spice up your email newsletter.

There are several ways you can do this. Here are five options for you to consider.

1. Using A Preview Image For A Video

Videos are very intensive to send via email. To avoid this, most businesses use a simple link to a video on YouTube or another video sharing website. This can often lead to a poor video viewing numbers. Yet, videos can be highly effectively in the sales process. Therefore, use an image from the video that looks impressive to entice your audience to click on it and find out more.

You should also consider hosting the video on your website. This way you can set up better monitoring to see how effective the video was at increasing page views.

2. Keep Your Text Short And Snappy

If you really want your audience to read your emails and then click through to your website, don’t place all your content within the email. This only encourages the audience to read the email copy and then either click off your email or delete it. You want them to visit your site and therefore, the best option is to get them there to read the content.

Use teaser paragraphs or descriptions of the content on your email copy and then link them to the full article on your blog or on a landing page.

3. Humour

Comedy is not used frequently enough within the online marketing realm; yet it is one of the best tactics for engaging your audience. Emails containing humour are often shared more via email and social media than those without. This can grow your brand’s online footprint and email marketing list.

Ensure all jokes are clean, short and funny. They cannot be sexual, sexist, racist or in any other way offensive – otherwise you may grab headlines, but not for the right reasons.

4. Competitions

People love to win and entering a competition is one way to achieve that. By offering them that chance through your email marketing campaigns is a way your brand can satisfy their need to compete. The prize doesn’t need to be expensive as long as it something that will have value to the customer.

Ensure that your competition isn’t just related to one email. Promote it over several emails and encourage people to share the emails with their friends and family to gain more tickets or chances to win the prize.

5. Quotes To Inspire And Motivate

Whether you are engaging customers who are already buying or attempting to attract new customers, using quotes from famous people is likely to grab their attention. Quote sites are very popular and are often categorised by industry and type of quote, so finding a good quote for your business is not going to be difficult.

Don’t go overboard, but if you include one good quote from an inspirational person you will be sure to grab some attention. Experiment with where to place the quote as different audience may prefer different placement.

Conclusion

The email marketing landscape is becoming a very busy place. Many of your competitors are likely to delivering their content to your target audiences at the same time as you. Therefore, you need to create content that is highly effective and a little different. One of the best ways: use techniques that will add a little spice to the content and allow your emails to look different to your competitors’.

Take Action:

  • Add a new element into your email marketing design.

What do you use to spice up your content? How effective has it been?

Let us know in the comments below.

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5 Places To Get Better Email Marketing Images

Image courtesy of Boians Cho Joo Young at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Boians Cho Joo Young at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Email marketing is more successful if you are able to include a highly relevant and professional photo. Research has shown that the majority of consumers prefer receiving emails that contain mostly images rather than text. It isn’t just including images that are important; the image has to be highly professional, relevant and interesting while being quick to download.

To get an image for your email marketing campaigns you will probably need to find a reliable source.

There are many places available to obtain better email marketing images. Some of these are free, others will provide the image for a credit and many will charge for the best images. Here is a list of options where you can obtain email marketing images.

1. Taking Them Yourself

Sometimes this can be the best option for your small business. This would mean buying a good quality camera and a tripod as a mobile phone or simply camera will not produce ideal results. You’ll also need to take your image in the right environment. Here are some suggestions:

  • Use a white background.
  • Use a room with a lot of natural light.
  • A large room where you can take images from different angles.

Taking the images yourself can be cost effective in the long term, but is really only sensible if you are selling products. Taking images for a service could be complicated and you might need to have the permission of any clients that are also in the shots. In addition, achieving the correct environment while delivering a service can be tough and this could lower the quality, and therefore the impact, your images would have.

2. Professional Photographer

If you want to have professional images on your site that are completely unique but do not have the skills to take them yourself, consider hiring a professional photographer. This can be an expensive option but it can give you excellent images for your email marketing campaigns.

You can tell your photographer exactly what you are after; whether this is action shots of your service being delivered or a product and they should deliver them without a problem. These images can then be delivered directly to you in digital and print – demonstrating exactly how the images will look in many formats.

One of the biggest problems with this method is that there may be a long lead time between requesting and gaining access to the images. Therefore, you either have to do them in bulk and be well planned or pay a premium rate for quick delivery.

3. Graphics Artist

Sometimes you don’t need a photograph but would like an illustration. This can be provided to you by a graphics designer or artist. Sometimes these individuals can be expensive, however they can provide unique images that can be tailored exactly for your needs.

If you have not used a graphics artist before, you can find some on elance.com, odesk or People Per Hour. These sites also allow you assess the quality of the images being created by the graphics designer before you sign a contract with them. Therefore you can be more assured you are getting quality images.

4. Strategic Business Partners

This can be a highly effective way to gain access to quality images and is particularly useful if you are selling products manufactured by another company. Always ask your partners if there are images which they would be happy to share and consider offering an artist credit and a link to their site, if it is applicable.

5. Stock Image Sites

There are hundreds of stock image sites where you can buy images for small one off fees per image, on a subscription basis or for free (providing you credit the artist). These sites can be good because the images will nearly always be high quality and there are thousands of options for every topic.

However, product images are not often on the site and it can be hard to find the most relevant image for your email marketing message. Also, sometimes the images have specific restrictions on them such as; limited impressions, placement or usage. Therefore, check the terms and conditions before buying or downloading the image.

Here are some of the best places to obtain new email marketing images:

Conclusion

Getting the best images for your email marketing campaigns is easy with the numerous options available to your business. With the right image you can increase the interaction your readers have with your small business emails and the revenue each message can generate.

Take Action:

  • Take some images of your products.
  • Hire a graphics artist for some images.
  • Look at some stock image websites.

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How To Get More Email Subscribers Offline

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Most businesses concentrate their entire email list building activities online. These, for example, can include using ebook downloads, pop-ups or sign up forms.  However, you don’t just have to concentrate your efforts on the internet. Most people in the world have an email address, but not everyone actively read blogs or use social media.

You need to consider other ways to sign up potential customers to your email marketing list. Here are some of the ways to subscribe potential customers to your email marketing list without the need to be online.

1. Business Cards

Business cards are still very popular, especially with small business owners. They are a great way to pass on contact details and provide information to the receiver as well as a medium for collecting email addresses for your list. There are two ways you could get people to sign up to your small business email list with their cards.

The first option is to include a URL on the card where they can directly sign up to the email list. This might have a very small uptake as your potential list members will have to manually enter the URL and look at your site. This creates a second barrier for your potential customers, something which facilitates abandonment.

However, if you do use this option, you can find that you can increase your list quickly, as long as you hand out a significant number of cards. Leave your business card with new people you meet and even when you use services like restaurants, health clubs, etc.

The other option is collect business cards and ask those giving you their card is if they are willing for you to add them to your mailing list. Some people will refuse, but often people don’t want to seem negative so will accept. To remember who has said yes or no, place a simple tick or cross in the corner of the card.

2. At Networking Meetings

Another way to grow your list is to attend business networking events. These events are held locally and nationally and can be a great help for you to discover new suppliers and potential clients. They are also good for increasing your small business email marketing list.

There are several chances for you to collect email addresses at these events. The first option is for you to hand out and collect business cards as described above.

The second option is to take a sign-up sheet and ask people to fill it out. These can be good as you can collect further information which can then support your segregation of the email marketing list.

This can have a high uptake, but your new contacts might not be very active. That is why your sign-up sheet should have additional questions so you can ascertain if the contact is worth your attention.

3. Offline Competitions

Hold a competition offline and ask your entrants to include an email contact address. Make sure you are informing your audience you are going to include their mailing address to your database, otherwise you could be breaking CAN SPAM and other regional laws.

4. At Conferences

If you attend several conferences or trade shows a year then you can use those to gain new members for your small business email marketing list. To sign up people at your next conference take several of your business cards with the email sign up page URL printed on it and / or a sign-up sheet.

You might also want to run a competition or raffle, for example: win some free products or online shopping vouchers.  These can attract people to your stand or to converse with you. The more you talk to your audience, the more knowledge you gain. You could potentially make a sale immediately as well.

Conclusion

Signing up new contacts to your email marketing list is often done online. However, you can grow your list quicker by using offline events and strategies. The biggest piece of advice, no matter how you go about signing up offline members of your community to your email marketing list is to ensure you have a thick skin. Some people will reject you, but those that don’t are highly interested in your products and will be easy to market to.

Take Action:

  • Design some business cards that include your email sign-up form.
  • Take some email contacts from your next networking meeting.
  • Organise a raffle or competition and ask for the contents’ email addresses when they enter.

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