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I grew up as a perfectionist. You would think that would be a good thing, right? Wrong. It has made me one of the biggest procrastinators on Mother Earth. As a perfectionist, I can never get anything started unless I think that I can totally win and have an absolutely perfect outcome, so I am left with that, “Why bother?, feeling much of the time. When in doubt, I just put off anything that needs to be done. In short, I freeze.
You’re probably wondering what this has to do with email marketing, or any marketing, for that matter. It seems to be an epidemic – this “procrastinating” thing. Maybe everyone is a perfectionist, like me. It’s possible that some of you are. Everyone else, though, simply fears getting started on something they don’t know. Even if you are shown exactly how to do it, you need to do it yourself to get better at it. It’s that old adage about “teaching a man to fish” all over again.
Fix It and Forget It
The good thing is, it can be fixed, even for someone like me. I have to admit, once I get writing, it goes along fairly smoothly. Luckily, I can type almost as fast as I can think these days, thanks to computers. (Remember those old manual typewriters?)
Here’s my best advice: simply start with email #1. Just do it. Once it is sent, and you start to hear positive feedback from clients, friends, and others, you will, hopefully, have the power to go on with another one.
Here are a couple more helpful hints:
Try to come up with a schedule that works and stick to it. The schedule should include approximate dates that you wish to send emails throughout the year, as well as a few timely topic suggestions. Ryan Pinkham from Constant Contact says it best, “Creating a schedule and sticking to it is important for business”. This advice goes for email marketing as well as social media marketing.
When you have a bit of “down time”, take a tablet and write down some topics of interest that you might write about. Really drill deep and try to think outside the box. What do you know that your audience doesn’t? How can you be seen as an expert?
Don’t be afraid to fail. Problems with using Constant Contact? Feel free to call that "little number at the top of your screen when you are in your Constant Contact account" as much as you like. There is a big group of nice people just waiting to talk to you until you get it right. Or maybe sign up for a Boot Camp Class – a great way to get hands on experience in a classroom setting.
Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. I may write something, or even design something, that I’m not sure is exactly perfect – others absolutely love it! What was I worried about? Nothing!
Is Time The Enemy?
Time is not likely the enemy, but procrastination is. When you haven’t put your first email together, it seems like it might be too big a job to tackle. I get that, and you might be right. One of the smartest ways to begin promoting your business, though, is email marketing.
Does it seem like there are too many tasks to complete so why not keep putting “this one thing” off? Because this is “the one thing” that can help your business grow, that’s why! It will always seem like there isn’t enough time for the things that we want to put off.
Baby steps. We really want to help you get the ball rolling. By the way, this is a “no judgement zone”. You can’t get it wrong.
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Hi, Kathryn! Two things: 1. I don't really notice the name of your comapny anywhere. A potential recipeint might not remember asking for your email and might wonder who is is from and (horrors!) call it SPAM. 2. For me, it's all about the links. You will want to be sure to link all of the images (especially the header!) to your website. One of the reasons to send an email - other than staying in touch with customers or potential customers - is to drive traffice to your website, which can help with optimization (i.e. Google finding you!). You want to give your readers plenty of options to "click". If I can help with anything else, please let me know.
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How one measures success of an email campaign can vary from company to company, but it generally revolves around statistics. Are potential readers opening your emails? If not, then why? Let’s explore five easy-to-fix reasons that you can improve on with your very next email. 1. You are in a perpetual “sellabration” mode Although it is called “email marketing”, we are really talking about “engaging” in today’s world. If you are in a continuous sales cycle (i.e., marketing, which is defined as, ”to sell or promote”), you will eventually wear out even your most loyal followers. What you can do about it: Provide engaging content in your emails that a reader will find interesting, informative, and useful. 2. “Sell the sizzle, not the steak” It was the “original” salesman Elmer Wheeler, who used the phrase, “sell the sizzle not the steak”. According to Elmer, “hidden in everything in life is the sizzle; the sizzle is the tang in the cheese, the crunch in the cracker and the pucker in the pickle.” I used to own a store that sold things for people who feed wild birds. When they came in, I sold them on the birds they would see if they purchased a certain bird feeder. After all, that’s what they really wanted. If you are selling nuts and bolts, what one really wants is a working (something). The nuts and bolts are simply what can get the customer there. What you can do: Think about what your customer really wants, not what you are actually selling. 3. Are you always thinking about money when you write? If so, you may come off as disingenuine, and customers can spot a phony. Writing only with sales and money in mind will likely not give you too much success. What you can do about it: Be your authentic self, and share what you know, that others might like to know. As an example, you might be a plumber who can share exactly how to fix a toilet. Some will read it and fix it themselves, others (like me) will read it and at least know how, even if I won’t do it myself. Best of all, you’ll be seen as the trusted expert that you are. 4. You’re emailing to the “wrong crowd” Once a week someone calls me who would like to purchase a mailing list. Not only is this against the CAN-SPAM Act to do so, but it simply does not make good marketing sense. If you purchase a list, you are likely not hitting your target audience, which consists of people who really want to hear from you. The list is simply random email addresses. What you can do about it: start your list with people who already know you and trust you – friends, current customers, etc. and grow from there. Your email open rates will be higher because you will be targeting people who already want to read what you have to share. 5. How long is your subject line? I received an email recently from Amazon with this subject line: “Freshware CB-114RD 30-Cavity... and more”. The subject line was too long to show in its entirety. What was I supposed to get from that? Well, it turns out they were referring to some candy molds that I purchased, and they wondered if I wanted more of them. (I did not.) The point is, the subject line really left me with no idea what they were talking about. Maybe they were branching out into dentistry? What you can do about it: If this is you, keep your subject line at a maximum of about five words, and test it on your smartphone. If you can’t read it properly on your smartphone, then no one else will be able to either. A final note to keep in mind is that, according to a Pew Research study, 88% of respondents used their smartphones to read email, “making email a more widely-used smartphone feature than social networking, watching video, or using maps and navigation, among others". Making just a small change in how you prepare your emails may make a big difference in whether or not a customer, or potential customer, will actually see your message, and increase your success. Marsha Pearson is owner of emailmarketing.guru, and offers a popular free Wednesday Webinar Series featuring tips in email marketing, social media and WordPress. Questions? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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I may be a combination of things but here are three: 1. It's Memorial Day weekend. There are a lot of things pulling at folks attention, as you already know. The subject line tells them what to expect, so they don't need to open it if they know they have other plans. 2. About the subject line. When inserted into the headline analyzer, it gets a score of only 28.57% Emotional Marketing Value. Whereas, if you play around with it a bit, I found "Are You Ready for a Wool-y Adventure?" got a score of 42.86%, which means it may hit more emotional chords with the general population. In fact, it might make readers a bit more curious, so they may be apt to open it. (headline analyzer: http://www.aminstitute.com/headline/ ) 3. I wouldn't delete any emails for folks who haven't opened an email in a while. If they haven't unsubscribed, they want to hear from you. The question is, what might they be looking for? Maybe consider segmenting your list and sending an espesically enticing email to that group. By the way, one other thought with regard to that particular group, do you have any demographic information? That is, where do they live? You are an attraction with not only local draw, but people visit from all over. It is possible that some on your list may live in areas around the counrty, or around the world. So, just a bit of "food for thought". Please feel free to reach out to me via email, if you like, and I can offer you a free phone consultation. email@example.com.
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This is a very nicely done email. Videos in emails get a lot more action, so it's such a nice idea that you have included one. You have done a nice job on keeping with your branding, and you have focused on one thing that is happening at the Village - Wool Days - rather than a lot of events, which could water things down. PS Better get this out! Hope this helps - and have a wonderful Wooly weekend!
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They look the same, essentially, just with different products. I clicked on a few of the products and noted that they do not click through to the same product (at least the image was not the same). It is really important, since you only have images in the email with no pricing or other information, that the images click through properly. On the first one, it says "Memorial Weekend is Near" - if you did not send the email yet, well, the weekend is here. Lastly - try to find a catchy subject line that is not too long. It will be truncated on smartphones, which is the device that many use to view emails nowadays. Hope this helps. Take care.
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Hi Jesus! The email looks good, but, if all of your emails are like this, they are a bit "sales-y". Although we call it "email marketing", it is really "email engaging", so that you will get a better response on a consistant basis if some of your emails are simply for engagement, and not geared towards selling something. This will also begin to build the trust factor between you and your email recipients. Hope this helps you out!
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Hi Christine! As soon as your email goes out, you will also recieve a confirmation email from Constant Contact saying that your campaign has been sent. If you schedule a campaign to "send now", it usually goes out within about 15-20 minutes, unless you have an unusually large list. I hope this helps to answer your question.
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I am using the CCSFG. I would like those who submit their information on the form to be added to the selected list, regardless of whether they may be on another list or not, so that an autoresponder for the desired list will go out to them. I would be grateful if someone could help me with the proper changes to the code. Here it is, as of now: <form id="ccsfg" name="ccsfg" method="post" action="/sbt/CCSFG_0.0.6/signup/index.php" target="_blank"> <h4>Just complete the information below to receive your coupon.</h4> <!-- ########## Email Address ########## --> <label for="EmailAddress">Email Address</label> <input type="text" name="EmailAddress" value="" id="EmailAddress" /><br /> <!-- ########## First Name ########## --> <label for="FirstName">First Name</label> <input type="text" name="FirstName" value="" id="FirstName" /><br /> <!-- ########## Last Name ########## --> <label for="LastName">Last Name</label> <input type="text" name="LastName" value="" id="LastName" /><br /> <!-- ########## Company Name ########## --> <label for="CompanyName">Company Name</label> <input type="text" name="CompanyName" value="" id="CompanyName" /><br /> <!-- ########## Contact Lists ########## --> <input type="hidden" checked="checked" value="Facebook Fans" name="Lists" id="list_Facebook Fans" /> <!-- ########## Success / Failure Redirects ########## --> <input type="hidden" name="SuccessURL" value="http://www.signsbytomorrow.com/flourtown/1freesign/fanpage_discount_coupon.aspx" /> <input type="hidden" name="FailureURL" value="http://www.signsbytomorrow.com/flourtown/1freesign/fanpage_discount_coupon.aspx" /> <input type="submit" name="signup" id="signup" value="Submit" /> </form> Many thanks in advance!
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