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How to Get Started with Email Marketing

Some would say email marketing has grown stagnant in recent years and some critics predict that the rise of Facebook and smartphone technology may someday make email irrelevant. The truth is that nothing could be further from the truth.
Email is here to stay.

Email marketing is a HUGE and growing business.

Some statistics on email usage and marketing via EmailStatCenter.com:

Email is the preferred form of communication by 74% of adults online.
63% of email mobile users check their account at minimum of once per day.
72% of companies that use email marketing reported it as an excellent or good for return on investment.
47% of marketers plan on spending more on email marketing in 2011 than in 2010.

Email marketing works for B2B, B2C, and nonprofit businesses and can be fitted to any marketing budget. The fact is that there’s very little excuse to not be using some type of email marketing.

Some low cost tools to get help you get started:

Mail Chimp

A personal favorite, Mail Chimp is an affordable and easy to use email marketing solution. It’s free for up to 2000 subscribers and a send limit of up to 12,000. Mail Chimp has some great custom templates and makes it easy to create your own. The a/b testing is straight forward and it’s hard not to appreciate their approach to integrating social with email. The ability to add a Facebook “like” to emails is a nice extra.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact has been around longer than most of the other options and has thus earned a reputation as one the leading email marketing providers. It starts at $15 per month and comes with a 60 day trial period. There’s a wide selection of preset templates that could be useful for those who want to start sending a newsletter with as little work required as possible. It’s worth noting that they have an analytics feature that lets you track the success of your emails against other businesses in similar industries.

Aweber

Aweber comes in at an entry level price of $19 per month. A lot of online marketing professionals have relied on Aweber for building up massive subscriber lists. As expected, the service offers templates and analytics that provide data on who opened each email and clicked on links within the email.

Starting tips

The success of an email marketing campaign largely depends on the size of your list. The first thing to do is to focus on collecting emails. This can be done by offering a piece of content, such as a whitepaper or ebook. Another option would be to run a contest or giveaway to entice website visitors to provide their email. There are different approaches on how to best market your list and a lot can be learned through a/b testing and adding variety to the frequency of messages that are sent out.

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