How to Start an Email Marketing Program Today

It’s easy. If you follow these steps you’ll be able to start an email marketing program on the cheap. You’ll dip your toe into the water (very warm water for marketers), and give yourself something to build on as you get more advanced and more familiar with the strategy.

  1. Create an account with iContact

  2. Have your account manager help you set up a form that will automatically load people to your list

  3. Add a graphic or call out on your website announcing “Sign up to receive updates, special offers, and discounts”

  4. Direct those who click on the link to a signup form, using the form you created with iContact

  5. On the form, tell them what they are signing up for (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly emails offering exclusive content and special offers) and ask for their name and email. Reinforce that it’s free to sign up

  6. Send emails out on a schedule with information about the company, any news or content that month, and any discounts or specials you’re offering

It’s that simple to get started in a marketing channel that’s proven its value to marketers far and wide. Why haven’t you started yet?

How to Write a Tricky Subject Lines

I don’t know why but I’ve seen more tricky subject lines in my inbox in the past few weeks than usual. Halloween is over people!

When I say “tricky” subject lines, I mean subject lines that don’t have much to do with the content of your email. Subject lines that are clearly designed to get people to open the email no matter what.

The democrats were guilty of this in a big way, with subject lines like:

  1. Tomorrow
  3. You’ll never believe this
  4. How dare you
  5. (no subject)

When you trick people with subject lines, you may get them to open your emails. But when they do, if your content does not meet their expectations, you’re more lucky to anger them than get them to click. And angry subscribers leads to unsubscribes, or worse, complaints.

Need help crafting subject lines that work, without tricking your subscribers? Try my post on the perfect subject line, or iContact’s recent post on subject lines that get emails opened.

Email Marketing for Dummies

Are you not using email marketing because you think it’s too difficult? You don’t have time? There is no one to set it up or manage it?


My tip for you today is this: find someone to do it for you.

I don’t care how much it costs, it’s worth the money. Here are your options:

  1. Go to an email marketing firm like Experian Cheetahmail and have them set up and manage your email marketing programs from start to finish. You don’t have to touch it if you don’t want to. And when your budget or team grows, you can hire someone to manage it more actively through them.

  2. Hire a consultant, a marketer who specializes in email marketing, whose had proven success. And have them manage it through a cheaper, more self-service email marketing provider like iContact or Constant Contact. Find the right person and you could probably work out a contract where their payment is based on success. What do you have to lose there?

Email marketing IS for you. It’s for everyone. It can increase awareness, loyalty, and revenue.

Email marketing is for dummies and non-dummies. Get started today!

Top 5 Email Marketing Time Savers

When it comes to marketing your company efficiently, email marketing is a no-brainer. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you should already know that. But I do get some push back every now and again. And last week, I heard from someone I know that email marketing “takes too long to get right”.

Fair enough, I guess. But doesn’t any marketing program take time to get up and running and prove successful? I guess if you are just handing off PPC or social to an outside agency, you don’t have to spend much time on it yourself. But you’d do better to understand what they’re doing at the very least.

With email, a little bit of effort can go a long way. And you don’t have to master it in order to see results. But if you are one of those people looking to save time on their email marketing program, here are 5 ways to do it:

  1. Better list management – use a company like iContact and a plugin like Formstack in order to feed new signups directly into the appropriate list so that you don’t have to do much sorting and uploading each time you want to send out an email. And this doesn’t just apply to sales emails, iContact’s list management can be an effective software for fundraising purposes, email newsletters, and other outreach programs.

  2. Preset email templates – a little more time spent up front can make the time you have to dedicate to email design later that much less. Either hire an HTML designer or put your skills to work and create some basic templates that are quick and easy to update with each campaign.

  3. Let them decide the subject line – instead of agonizing over what the most enticing subject line will be, run an A/B test to a small percentage of your list, then come back later and send the winner to the rest.

  4. Track live results – track what works and what doesn’t with each email by setting up reports for yourself that come right to your inbox. The more you know about each email on the go, the less time you have to spend remembering that info when you go to create a new email.

  5. Automate sending – pick a day or a few hours of a day that you can devote to email marketing, and build your emails in advance. Most senders will allow you to set an email for deployment at some point in the future. Then you can sit back and forget about it until the next email marketing day.

Want a better solution? Hire me to manage it for you. I will be your email marketing consultant, and I will guarantee fast results.

Simple is Successful: iContact Email Review

In email marketing, simplicity goes a long way. Short emails, containing easy to view and read information are some of the most successful emails you can send. And I was reminded of that when I got iContact’s recent monthly newsletter.

Take a look:

I guess if anyone should know about sending successful emails it’s a company that sells email marketing software. But good for them for practicing what they preach.

If you look at the email above, they do many of the things that I prescribe for marketers who are looking to improve, or start an email newsletter. The subject line is clear and direct, the layout is simple and easy to look at, the content is solid, and there are numerous ways to consume and share the content provided.

We can all take a cue from the simplicity of this newsletter.

Overall Grade = A.

Bonus: Get your Free Trial of iContact today!