Succeed @ Email Marketing Sat, 20 Mar 2010 23:00:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Email Marketing Tip OTW: Reusing Blog Posts for Newsletters /email-marketing-tip-otw-reusing-blog-posts-for-newsletters/ /email-marketing-tip-otw-reusing-blog-posts-for-newsletters/#comments Thu, 13 Aug 2009 21:49:00 +0000 /?p=282 In this email marketing tip of the week, I’m going to focus on a topic that’s near and dear to anybody who has tried to manage their own email campaign before: finding good material for your email newsletters. One of the hardest aspects of maintaining a consistently timely set of email marketing newsletters is filling them out with quality, targeted content.

You can save yourself a lot of time and frustration if you opt not to create completely fresh material for your email newsletters. Instead, you can reuse blog posts or articles from your website for the content of your newsletters, filling them out with high quality, interesting and engaging material without needing to come up with new topics.

Reusing previous content for email marketing newsletters

Now I certainly suggest that you do more than just copy and paste a random blog post into an email. You certainly won’t be showing much effort, originality or enthusiasm on your end. Instead, you can do any number of things that helps to make your newsletter engaging:

Showcase your latest material: If you frequently update your blog or your website then you already produce a great deal of content. Just because someone is on your email list, it does not mean that they religiously check out your website. Additionally, even if they do, they may not read each and every article or post.

Therefore, a great and simple idea for an email marketing newsletter is to include all of the posts from the last week or two. Include an introduction that talks about some of the important issues you’ve been covering, and then provide an intro blurb to each article, linking back to the article on your website for full reading.

Highlight older classics: We all have some of that content somewhere on our website that we are especially proud of. Maybe when it first was released it made a huge splash in your industry or niche and you received a ton of positive feedback. Or maybe it helped you create a good deal of fresh new customers and sales.

If you haven’t done anything with those gems from yesteryear, bring them back up into the mix. If they had a big impact then, they will still have a big impact now. If the information in the content was extremely time sensitive, just update it to reflect the latest news, information or trends.

Include an introduction with your newsletter about why these articles were so important when they were first released, and why they still apply today. You can even do a “lessons learned” update about something that was once accurate or successful and has since proven out to be flawed.

Make a theme: When you have a lot of content build up on your website or blog you can easily sort them into specific themes. If I was a guy writing about high school football coaching strategy, I could make a theme around unique defensive zone schemes or motivation techniques. If I was a home improvement expert, one newsletter could have a theme of upgrading your kitchen and another could be on cheap landscaping tips.

When you create a theme for one of your email marketing newsletters, you are showcasing each individual piece of content as well as showcasing your entire collection. They all will receive more attention and feed off the attention and interest that each one of them creates.

Additionally, the benefit of themed newsletters is that you can then create a series of newsletters separate themes, and you’ll be set on your content for quite some time. You can even turn the newsletters into pieces of a larger, all encompassing guide or tutorial program.

So for this email marketing tip of the week, I want you to stop worrying about how to fill out your newsletters with fresh content. Turn to the content you already have on your blog or your website, and fit it into one of the above strategies for easy and effective email marketing newsletters.

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6 Insider Secrets to Email Marketing /6-insider-secrets-to-email-marketing/ /6-insider-secrets-to-email-marketing/#comments Fri, 07 Aug 2009 18:12:28 +0000 /?p=278 Everyone is looking for some great insider secrets to email marketing. If only you could just find out that one great piece of advice, or that one miraculous tip, then surely you and your campaigns would be soaring towards success as we speak, right? The good news is that you don’t have to spend an extravagant amount of money on fancy email marketing consultants to help figure out how to improve your results.

Instead, you can take a peek at these 6 quick fire insider secrets to email marketing. You’ll immediately be able to improve your campaigns, or begin a brand new campaign without having to struggle or stumble.

Quick Fire Insider Secrets to Email Marketing

1. Personality is better than a sales pitch: We all deal with sales pitches all day long. The commercials we see and hear, the advertisements we read, the pushy salespeople at stores we visit and of course the emails we receive. It’s hard to differentiate yourself from the crowd when all you’re doing is offering a sales pitch. Instead, inject some honest personality into your email campaigns. Your list members will be more engaged, you’ll build up more trust with them and you’ll stand out from the pack.

2. Too much of a good thing is bad: This is coming from a person who normally doesn’t agree with this statement. If we’re talking too much of a good thing, like pizza, or Italian sandwiches, then I don’t think that’s possible. But if we’re talking about the frequency of your email newsletters and communications, then it certainly is.

I don’t care if I’m the founder of the company in question, if I’m receiving an email once a day and I thought I was going to be getting a once per week newsletter, I’m deleting your email, skimming past it or unsubscribing. Set up expectations for your email frequency and don’t push the boundary towards excessive communication.

3. 20% of emails don’t get delivered: I’m not talking about bounces here, I’m talking about 20% of emails that you thought were delivered. It’s a startling number, and it speaks to the importance of not making any assumptions about the success of your campaign. Always find concrete evidence to the effectiveness of your campaigns and always work on improving your list quality. Not blindly trusting the stats you receive or hear about is one of the huge insider secrets to email marketing that you should know.

4. 94% of email is spam: Not like any of us needed a statistic to be reminded of this fact, but we all are inundated with spam messages in our inbox. That means that if you want your emails to be read by your list members you really have to work hard on following established best practices. That means short, concise and accurate subject lines, displayed “from” information, qualified, permission based list members and more.

5. Cheap email marketing exists: Yes, there is such a thing as cheap email marketing and it’s one of the best insider secrets to email marketing that you can be given. In fact, many of the best email marketing providers are extremely affordable for any sized business or operation. Even better, they all allow for free trials so you can make the final call based on experience. For example, you can sign up for an iContact free trial with plans starting at $9.95 per month, a Constant Contact free trial with plans starting at $15 per month, a Stream Send free trial with plans starting at $20 per month or an AWeber free trial with plans starting at $19 per month.

6. You’re not done with tests when you’re finished with college: But don’t worry, these tests are certainly a good thing. You should be segmenting your list and sending out emails with slight variations. Compare the results and track which variables perform better so that you can optimize your campaigns to the best of your ability. One-size-fits-all email newsletters and campaigns simply don’t cut it anymore. You’ll be missing out on a wealth of valuable data. Start segmenting, testing and optimizing immediately.

If you didn’t know… now you do. Use these insider secrets to email marketing wisely.

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Free List of Email Addresses for Marketing! /free-list-of-email-addresses-for-marketing/ /free-list-of-email-addresses-for-marketing/#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2009 19:17:34 +0000 /?p=273 If you’re looking for a free list of email addresses for marketing, then you’ve come to the right place! It’s time to get that bulk email marketing campaign underway. The beautiful thing is that by acquiring thousands of email addresses at once, your chances for success go through the roof! Would you rather convert 5% of your prospects starting from 100, or starting from 10,000? That’s what I thought. Get your bulk email marketing campaign underway right now with the free list of email addresses for marketing below!

Ahem, if you’re still reading this far and you haven’t caught on, then I’m afraid you’re out of luck. There will be no free list of email addresses for marketing given away here today. But since I have your attention and you’re here on the site, I might as well offer you something else, something far better.

Instead of giving you a list filled with thousands of worthless addresses and watching you flush your campaign down the drain, I’ll teach you how to create and manage your own natural email list growth. As the saying goes:

Give a man free spam lunch, and he’ll run an email campaign for a day. But teach him to circumvent spam altogether and he’ll be an email marketer for life. Or something like that.

Creating Natural Email List Growth

In this past I’ve offered up some tips for acquiring more email marketing leads, so be sure to check those at as well before your done here. Right now I wanted to take a fresh approach towards creating your own natural email list growth.

One of the best approaches towards SEO for your website is natural link building, which now has the far snazzier name of link baiting. Link baiting is just the process of creating valuable, interesting and worthwhile content that people naturally want to link to. In other words, your content is so interesting or informative that people just have to share the wealth and post a link up on their own website or blog.

When you’re looking to create natural email list growth for your campaigns, apply the concept of link baiting towards acquiring new email marketing leads. Basically, give people such a great reason to join your list that they’ll do so genuinely – and in large numbers – rather than being pressured, scammed or trickling in on their own.

How can you apply link building to natural email list growth? Here are some ways you can go “email baiting” to build up your list to be bigger and stronger than ever before.

  • Contests
  • Tip/Guide Newsletters
  • eBook & Mini Report Giveaways
  • Members Only Website Access
  • Discounts & Deals
  • Exclusive News or Information
  • Limited Event Registrations

Instead of clicking on the next search result for that free list of email addresses for marketing, consider dropping the bulk email campaign and opting for natural email list growth. And please, put down the spam sandwiches.

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What is Email Marketing; and What it Should Be /what-is-email-marketing-and-what-it-should-be/ /what-is-email-marketing-and-what-it-should-be/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2009 21:36:43 +0000 /?p=227 Lots of people new to the world of online promotion end up asking, what is email marketing? Well, taken from Wikipedia, email marketing is, “A form of direct marketing which uses electronic mail as a means of communicating commercial or fundraising messages to an audience.” OK, that’s great, but I think just about anybody could have figured out the literal definition of what email marketing is.

More important than that is understanding the answer to the question “what is email marketing?” in the real world. We all receive plenty of email marketing messages each and every day, most of them we lump into the SPAM category. They are wastes of time and space, they slow down and infect our computers, they try to sell us enhancement creams or steal our bank account information and of course they give the rest of us a bad name.

Therefore email marketing in the real world has fast taken on the definition of SPAM.  Again from Wikipedia, SPAM is, “The abuse of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately.”

In other words, email marketing for consumers is fast becoming aligned with fraudulent garbage. For sketchy, illicit or downright illegal business operations, email marketing has taken on the definition of the cheapest way to exploit loads of money from the unsuspecting public at large by poking and prodding repeatedly ad nauseam until somebody purposely or inadvertently caves in.

Now, what should email marketing be? I.M.P.O.R.T.A.N.T.

Now that we know what email marketing really is, by the literal definition and by the interpretations of both consumers and spammers, we should take a look at what email marketing should be. Email marketing should be I.M.P.O.R.T.A.N.T.

  • Insightful
  • Marketing
  • (that’s)
  • Personalized
  • Optimized
  • Relevant
  • Targeted
  • And
  • Never
  • Tired

Let’s break this down piece by piece so we have as clear a definition as we can. Email marketing should be insightful marketing. In other words, we should be using all of our judgment, knowledge, expertise and experience to deliver quality, handcrafted messages that not only will produce results, but also speak to the desires of our audience.

Email marketing should be personalized. First, that means building a permission based list of people who really want to hear from you. From there, it means using your name and showing pictures of yourself so your audience knows who you are. It means segmenting your list so that different people receive messages containing what they are most interested in, rather than a generic message of no real value.

Email marketing should be optimized. You should be testing every aspect of your email campaigns to see what works the best. Try different subject lines, content, layouts, color schemes, delivery times and more.

Email marketing should be relevant and targeted. Once again, segment your list into groups and learn what your audience is really interested in. Make your messages timely and full of valuable information that people can really use. Don’t just send what you feel like talking about; send what people want to hear.

Finally, email marketing should never be tired. This means that you shouldn’t keep sending out the same retread emails over and over again and you shouldn’t keep using that same template you had from your first email campaign in 2002.

Refresh your campaigns…bring in guests from other websites or companies to write on special topics…change your layouts so that they are more visually appealing and convert better in the process…think of new, fresh ideas for every email and always be trying new things… stay ahead of the curve and integrate new technology, services and methods instead of playing catch-up down the road.

So how can I answer the question, “what is email marketing”? How about, I.M.P.O.R.T.A.N.T.

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Reducing Email List Size with Customer Satisfaction Surveys /reducing-email-list-size-with-customer-satisfaction-surveys/ /reducing-email-list-size-with-customer-satisfaction-surveys/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2009 20:59:06 +0000 /?p=224 One of the best reasons to use customer satisfaction surveys is to actually reduce your email list size. This might sound counterintuitive to you, but if you use your Internet survey software in the right manner than you can produce a far superior list to what you had prior to your efforts. Here’s a quick primer for getting started with customer satisfaction surveys specifically for reducing your email list size.

Why reduce your email list size?

There are actually several reasons why you may want to reduce your email list size. To begin with, with a smaller list you will be spending less money on your campaigns. You won’t be earning any less revenue however, because the names you eliminated using customer satisfaction surveys were the ones you weren’t converting in any event. Remember, with email marketing and the list you maintain, quality is far superior to quantity.

When you reduce list size using customer satisfaction surveys you’re of course finding out much more information along the process. Yes, you could shrink down your list size by sorting through stats to see which names have been the least active and engaged with your messages. However, you won’t be gaining any of the additional insight that can be so crucial to your overall efforts.

By asking the right questions with your Internet survey software you can get to the root of the problem. Why are the disengaged people unhappy with what you’re sending them? What could you do to make people happier? What kinds of people are the least involved with your messages? And much more.

The result is that your list may be smaller, but you’ll also know exactly what your list members want to be seeing, hearing about and reading. You’ll be able to see a much higher conversion rate because your information will be more targeted, and you’ll be spending less on your campaigns because your list is smaller. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

How to do it

To get started in your efforts towards creating a happier, smaller list for your organization, first you should be using Internet survey software that’s directly connected to your email software. The majority of email service providers allow this now, including two of the most cost effective, iContact at $9.95 per month and Constant Contact for $15 per month.

The sole purpose of your customer satisfaction surveys shouldn’t be to reduce list size, that’s more like a side mission. The main objective of course is to diagnose your campaigns to spot weaknesses and problems, and to get the pulse of your prospects and customers to see what they are really interested in.

At the top of your survey, include a link to unsubscribe, or ask if they would like to stop receiving communications from you, at which point you could manually remove them from your list. Then work your way into the meat of the survey. After all of the questions have been asked, again ask if they would like to continue receiving your communications. Include a text box after a no answer to give people a chance to say why.

Now in addition to utilizing Internet survey software to improve the effectiveness of your campaigns, you should have also leaned yourself out a bit. When you’re on the fence between two different costing areas, in some cases a list of 499 names gets one fee structure and 500 names gets another, you can instantly reduce your costs without any negative consequences.

If you send out customer satisfaction surveys once every six months or so, you’ll be continually able to weak out some of the worthless names on your list, keeping costs down, eliminating overhead and improving your efforts in the process.

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Contest Finished /contest-finished/ /contest-finished/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2009 20:04:10 +0000 /?p=221 Here at Succeed @ Email Marketing we had been running a “Race to 50 New RSS Subscribers” contest. While I received some positive feedback, there were ultimately a few problems in the way I was trying to track the results that made things difficult, as well as a few trouble makers trying to mess with the results.

Therefore, the contest is now finished, at least temporarily. Sometime in the future there is going to be a bigger and better contest, and it’s going to be very exciting for everyone so please stay tuned!

I’m going to keep plugging away at the site, adding more content that helps you all run your email campaigns and once I’ve reached a certain threshold that I’m trying to get to I’ll release the details of the next contest.

A few things I’ve learned that can be applied to running successful email marketing campaigns:

  • You can’t force anything – While you can push and market yourself all you want, you can’t force something on people that they just aren’t interested in.
  • Some things need time to develop – Just like building up a permission based email marketing list, you can’t expect to show up one morning and have a massive list just waiting to read what you have to say. Things have to develop over a period of time in some instances.
  • Rebounding from missed opportunities – After an unsuccessful run, like this attempted contest, it’s important that you bounce back and learn from your mistakes. As mentioned, I’ll do just that and before too long we’ll have a much improved, much more exciting contest running.
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Email Marketing Tip OTW – Connecting with Social Media /email-marketing-tip-otw-connecting-with-social-media/ /email-marketing-tip-otw-connecting-with-social-media/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2009 22:10:47 +0000 /?p=215 In this email marketing tip of the week, I want to talk about effectively connecting your email marketing campaign with your social media strategies. The two don’t have to be separate, discontinuous entities and in fact to maximize the success of both, they shouldn’t be. However, just quickly throwing out a link at the bottom of your email mentioning Facebook or Twitter isn’t enough. (Andrew at The Scrappy Email Marketer does a great job at pointing out some corporate blunders in this exact realm.)

In this email marketing tip the point I’d like to drive home is that you can take this on from two approaches.

Starting with social media – If used correctly, your social media platform can serve as a great tool for producing email marketing leads, and drawing people into your overall campaign efforts.

Starting with email campaigns – For the email marketing lead you already have, you can effectively work on converting them into paying customers by including them in some of your more personal outreach efforts.

Let’s start with the second half of this equation, taking an email marketing lead and converting him or her with your more personalized approach on social networking sites. You have to remember that signing up for an account and creating a uniform, empty page doesn’t give you any “street cred”. If you are trying to send your prospects to your social media sites, you have to make it worth their time.

In other words, don’t make the mistake of saying the same things in the same ways on all of your different outlets. I like taking the approach of keeping email marketing campaigns personal, but focused on the task at hand, whether that’s selling a product or promoting an event. Then, I think it’s great to use social media sites for a softer approach, focusing on core values and missions.

I’d like you all to meet Bob from Bob’s Chicken Shack, he’s a small business owner and he’s delving into the world of email marketing and social media. Here’s how Bob can effectively tie together his email marketing campaigns with his social media platforms.

  • Bob can focus his email messages on promoting next Friday’s buy one bucket, get one bucket free promotion.
  • His Facebook page however can talk about how Bob always loved animals and therefore thinks they deserve proper treatment, which is why he only uses organic products and local produce and yadda yadda.
  • His Twitter page can include quick blasts like, just talked with a customer about her stance on using eggs from caged chickens. I don’t do it, but what do you all think?

Throughout all of this he tied his business together and additionally, all of the outlets served a purpose rather than being repetitious, wasted rehashes. Well done, Bob.

Making the Connections

Now you’ve seen how you can differentiate your different strategies while still keeping them related and worthwhile, but how can you actually translate this into an effective strategy for cross-promotion?

Let’s go back to the two ways we looked at this in the beginning.

Starting with social media to find email marketing leads – On Bob’s Facebook page, instead of saying “Sign up for my email list,” Bob could talk about how if people in the local area are looking for a healthy food establishment that treats animals correctly, they should look you up and they can receive discounts if they receive your email updates.

Starting with email campaigns and converting an email marketing lead – Instead of just including a link on the bottom of his email saying “Visit Bob’s Chicken Shack on Facebook”, Bob could place a blurb at the top of the sidebar in his email inviting people to learn more about Bob’s passion for organic products and animal welfare on his Facebook page.

Hey, take the analogy for what it’s worth. The point I’m making with this email marketing tip of the week is that you can effectively tie together your different online promotional strategies, including email marketing and social media.

When you do it the right way, you’ll be successful at producing more email marketing leads while also more effectively converting the email marketing lead you already have in your pocket.

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20% of B2B Email Marketing Messages Never Get Delivered /20-percent-of-b2b-email-marketing-messages-never-get-delivered/ /20-percent-of-b2b-email-marketing-messages-never-get-delivered/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2009 22:47:21 +0000 /?p=208 An alarming 20% of B2B email marketing messages never get delivered, according to a new study put out by Return Path. Even more concerning is that figure is for emails which have permission to be sent. This isn’t spam we’re talking about here, these are legitimate emails that businesses are sending to other businesses and to consumers, that never reach their intended destination.

That means that 1 in 5 of the people on your list never even have a chance to open your message, because it never reaches their inbox at all.

This study also featured some other email marketing statistics that might come as an unwelcome surprise to you and your organization. But like with anything else, and all of the latest email marketing trends, if you learn from the wealth of information that’s available, you can improve your results.

B2B Email Marketing Coming up Short

To be exact, the study states that only 79.3% of messages are delivered. Of the 20.7% which are not delivered, only 3.3% get sent to the junk box. That means that 17.4% of the emails you send out aren’t delivered, and you don’t even know it most of the time. They don’t show up as bounces or as SPAM, they just are lost in the fold.

Study Shows Some Nuts Are Tougher to Crack

The 5 most strict ISPs– meaning they don’t deliver the highest percentage of your B2B email marketing messages –are:

  • Gmail – 23%
  • Hotmail – 20%
  • MSN – 20 %
  • Comcast – 17%
  • AOL – 16%

Additionally, when you’re sending B2B email marketing messages you’re much more likely to run into security and firewall programs such as Symantec, which only deliver about 72% of your messages.

You can view the press release download the full study here.

What Can you Learn?

So how can you effectively promote your small business using email marketing? Or for that matter, your medium or large sized corporation? The moral of the story is that you have to cover all of your bases, you can’t assume anything and you always have to be monitoring your results. Here are a few ideas to help you improve your email campaign deliverability:

1. Don’t Settle for an Average ESP – Don’t settle for an average email service provider. Find one that you know you can trust, and that is proven to deliver the results you are looking for.

2. Don’t assume anything – Never assume that anything that doesn’t show up as a bounce is a delivered email. From now on all emails you send out are guilty until being proven innocent.

3. Always clean your list – The cleaner you keep your list, the more you will improve your deliverability and the sooner you will catch any glaring holes or problems with your campaign or your list as a whole.

4. Talk to clients – Pick a random sampling of 10 or 20 names from your list for which you also have their full contact information. Spend half an hour calling all of them to see if they have been receiving your emails or not. If not, be sure to find out if the address you have is correct, who their ISP is and if they use any security firewalls. The more information at your disposal, the easier it will be to spot your own campaign email marketing trends.

5. Strive for perfection – Everything you do with your email campaigns can end up affecting your deliverability. Strive for perfection, and spend the necessary time to create effective, high quality campaigns and then to analyze and optimize them down the road.

As the above new email marketing statistics show, nothing is guaranteed in the world of B2B email marketing. However, if you take the time to understand the issues at hand and how you can to improve upon your shortcomings, you’ll still come out for the better on the other side.

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Best Email Marketing Software for Small Businesses /best-email-marketing-software-for-small-businesses/ /best-email-marketing-software-for-small-businesses/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2009 20:08:45 +0000 /?p=203 Which companies currently provide the best email marketing software for small businesses? That’s a loaded question, because you have to come to your own conclusion for what “best” really is. Are you focused strictly on cost savings, or is deliverability your number one goal? Are you looking for step by step instructions and guides, or are looking for something with more customization ability?

Consider some of these various factors and then get ready to dive headfirst into picking the best email marketing software for you and your company or organization. All of the best email marketing programs for small businesses should enable you to do the following:

1. Work within your budget: Obviously if you are a small business it’s especially important for you to stay within your budgetary constraints. First you have to determine how much you are willing to spend on any of the email marketing programs that you choose. Do you have $10 a month to spend or $50 a month to spend? Ultimately, how much you are charged depends on the size of your list and/or the number of emails you send.

The good news is that many of the best email marketing software providers for small businesses have extremely cheap offers. For example you can

Both of these email service providers provide low cost solutions that meet all of the expectations talked about below.

Considering they are free trials, you can try them or any of the other email marketing programs with free trials that we list with no hesitation, because there is nothing to lose.

2. Easily Create and Customize: Depending on the level of experience or comfort you have with running email campaigns, you may be looking for a different level of control or customization. If you’re just starting out, working with the given templates provided by companies is an easy way to allow you to create high quality, professional emails.

If you have more experience however you may be looking for tools that allow for more customization or for the importing of your own templates, to help differentiate you and your organization even more.

The best email marketing software providers will allow you to do both. Templates are a wonderful way to dive in to the world of email campaigns, but having that added oomph of customization is always beneficial as well.

3. Track and Optimize: Running an email campaign would be a rather futile effort if there was no way to track your results. The tracking capabilities of the best email marketing programs is what makes email one of the most effective forms of advertising and promotion across any medium or spectrum.

You should be able to find out information such as bounces, open rates, click throughs and more. Of course you also need to think about deliverability, which is something that you have control over but also rests in the hands of the email service provider that you choose.

Because of your only partial control over this matter, it elevates the importance of choosing one of the best email marketing software providers out there, which will ensure a high deliverability based on their longstanding reputation and the reputation of their many clients.

4. Experiment with other services: For some people, all they need from their email service provider is a platform to send out their basic newsletters. Many other people though enjoy incorporating customer survey software into their email programs. Other people like being able to automatically post old newsletters to their website, or set up feature rich autoresponders. Be sure the email marketing programs you are looking at have the features that you will wish to experiment with in the future.

Take a look at our articles on the most important email marketing statistics, segmenting your email list and tracking email campaigns for more information.

–Don’t forget about our Race to 50 New RSS Subscribers with a chance to win a free B2B email marketing consulting package.–

This is just an overview meant to give you an idea about how you can pick the best email marketing software for your company or organization. Cost isn’t everything, but it certainly is important. You may prefer to have more customization or an easier platform to work between, and you must be able to track and optimize your campaigns. There is no one best email marketing software, just the one that’s the best fit for your company.

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Choosing the Right Questions with Web Survey Tools /choosing-the-right-questions-with-web-survey-tools/ /choosing-the-right-questions-with-web-survey-tools/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2009 19:22:40 +0000 /?p=199 When using web survey tools you want to ensure that you are asking the right questions in the right way. Even small mistakes in terms of the usability and intuitiveness of your customer survey software can lead to dramatically worst results than you would otherwise be receiving.

Learn how to ask the right questions, in the right way at the right time and you’ll see far more success. The best way to take full advantage of your web survey tools is by integrating several different types of questions in the same survey to keep things flowing smoothly and to elicit the best responses from your survey takers.

Mixing in Question Types with Web Survey Tools

I think too many people get bogged down in trying to project a “consistent” image and only asking one type of question, for example only multiple choice questions on this survey and only short answer questions on that survey.

But in doing so, the people using your customer survey software are going to be lulled to sleep and you won’t get the best out of them. Mix up the questions you ask to see better results. Use this guide to help you distinguish which types of questions to use when with your web survey tools.

When to use multiple choice questions: Use multiple choice questions when the answers fit into general categories, you are only looking for one answer and your survey takers will only have one answer. This kind of question is the easiest to complete, and generally is best used in the beginning of surveys, almost like a warm up.

A sample question would be, “How did you hear about our new promotion?” With answers including told from a friend, browsing the web, email advertisement, and others.

When to use check box questions: Check box questions are best used when you expect people to have more than one response to a question you are asking.

A sample question would be, “why did you purchase our new product?” with check box results including options such as price, brand name, new features, came recommended, and so on.

When to use rating questions: Rating questions are best when you want to get a clear understanding of something that took place, and a person’s happiness or displeasure with it. You could be general or very specific with the questions depending on your needs.

A general rating question would be, “How satisfied are you with your relationship with our company?” Specific questions could proceed that general question, asking the customer survey software taker to rate their satisfaction with your customer service team, with your email newsletters, with your new product line and so forth.

When to use short answer questions: I love using short answer questions as follow-ups to multiple choice questions or rating questions. They are great when you have a general answer from the responder already, and now want to gain more specific details using your customer survey software.

Today’s web survey tools make it easy with their logic systems to display certain questions specifically based on the responses given from a previous question. Leave short answer questions towards the end of a survey, when a person has a clearer idea of what the survey is about and when they are more in touch with their thoughts on the issue.

For example, after asking a person to rate the ease of their transaction on your new website, popup a short answer text box that corresponds with the result. If they answered “confusing” or “difficult”, the short answer could read, “How could our current system be improved to make the process easier?” If they answered “quick and easy” you could ask why they thought so, or you could skip the short answer question altogether.

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Is this the only way you can use your web survey tools? Of course not! To begin with, there are many more types of questions than the ones listed above, and you shouldn’t try to use a formula- but that’s the point. Instead of being rigid in your development, learn to mix in different questions and different styles of questions to elicit better responses from the responders to your customer survey software.

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