Email Marketing Bootcamp Part 1

Email is part of every entrepreneur’s life. But, email marketing remains a mystery for most. Why? Because to do it cost-effectively and to achieve the right business objectives has become increasingly complex. That’s where our guest comes in…

In BusinessCast podcast episode #93 Email Marketing for Entrepreneurs – Bootcamp Part 1 our guest Matthew Vernhout, email guru and voice behind the authority EmailKarma.net spells out how entrepreneurs — of all sizes and across industries — can develop email marketing campaigns that truly work. In Email Marketing for Entrepreneurs – Bootcamp Part 1 Matthew addresses:

  • The key players involved in any successful email marketing campaign
  • How to establish relevant and measurable goals
  • How to build and grow your database of email subscribers

In a few weeks, Matthew will be back to address the final stages of any profitable and effective email marketing campaign. So, in Email Marketing for Entrepreneurs – Bootcamp Part 2, Matthew discusses how entrepreneurs can optimize their campaigns by:

  • Ensuring that email actually arrives after you send it
  • Getting your emails opened
  • Ensuring your email is acted upon
  • Measuring success and improving follow up campaigns

You’ll enjoy this, our first ‘bootcamp’ series because it mixes some high-level approaches and some practical to-do’s — all of which will help your email marketing campaigns work better for you. Chances are you’ll also be inspired by Matthew because he shares our philosophy of business which is: “by sharing best practices and tools, every entrepreneur wins!”

Make sure that you listen to next week’s episode as well — particularly if you’ve ever thought about franchising your business or investing in a franchise. Robert and I chat with Lorraine MacLachlan, President and CEO of the Canadian Franchise Association (www.cfa.ca). Lorraine brings passion and excitement to the topic of franchising. And, the timing couldn’t be better because the CFA is hosing the Canadian Franchise Show on February 21 and 22. FYI, Robert and I will be at the show gathering compelling stories, lessons and insights for you from franchisors and franchisees.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

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B2B Lead Generation – Conference Announcement

Marketing Sherpa positions itself as one of the leading authorities on marketing — B2B and B2C. As a result, they are hosting the 2008 B-2-B Demand Generation Summit on October 5th to 7th. Keep in mind that if you don’t make it to the event, Marketing Sherpa does sell many related resources.

**Make sure you check out the BusinessCast Podcast ‘Blog Review’ Episode where we outline how you can get some practical business books for free!**

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

New Research: Speed is Critical When Nurturing Leads

Robert and I speak frequently about the best ways to attract and retain customers. In fact, the subject is so topical now and so often written about that a new(ish) term is being used — “lead nurturing”. The good people at Marketing Sherpa, who we sourced yesterday about a recent email study, have conducted some research about best practices for effectively nurturing leads. Here are their key findings:

1) Use several media to establish and maintain relationships with leads. While this finding isn’t anything new, it confirms that, if you want to have a meaningful impact, you need to use different channels and methods. Email, telemarketing and direct mail are the media that the study highlights.

2) Respond to leads generated online quickly…in fact, very quickly. While many organizations contact online leads within 24 hours, it turns that to ‘establish contact’ you need to follow up within minutes!

While the study focused on “calling” leads, unfortunately, it did not cover other ways of following up. One way that many entrepreneurs are using is email confirmation/follow up that is triggered immediately upon receiving a request. This method serves as a quick, personalized and cost-effective form of contact that isn’t as intrusive as phone calls can be.

3) Assess the quality of your leads. Surprisingly, the study found that few organizations actually evaluate or rate their leads. Of course, this provides a great opportunity for you, the entrepreneur. Specifically, if your competitors aren’t applying this type of discipline, here’s your chance to leapfrog ahead of them.

Robert and I will be devoting future podcasts to the different stages of lead nurturing. In the mean time, check out the Business Cast Podcast archives for a several shows devoted to attracting and retaining new leads and customers.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Email Marketing for Entrepreneurs: Focus on the Content

Email. Regardless of the business you’re in, it is a critical means of communicating – and, it remains one of the most consistently effective marketing tools around — if done properly.

Marketing Sherpa, a research house that delves into many common marketing tools, recently conducted a study about SPAM and email. And, as an entrepreneur, you need to apply one of the study’s key lessons if you want to get the most ‘bang’ out of your email marketing buck:

Recipients of your email will define your message negatively as SPAM based on the content of the email more so than on the fact that you are sending it.

That means: You cannot assume that your email will be automatically welcomed, opened, valued or acted upon just because it came from you. As a result, you have to work extra hard at making sure that every email you send achieves a consistently high level of quality. For most entrepreneurs, that means making sure that the email is personalized, has targeted content and that it arrives when the content matters most to the recipients.

Quick Reminderr: In the next few weeks, we’re going to have Matthew Vernhout (email guru from www.EmailKarma.net) back in the BusinessCast bagel shop to walk through what’s involved in building an effective email marketing campaign from the ground up!

So, if you’re planning an email marketing campaign, looking to hone your existing campaign or if you’ve been looking for an excuse to launch your first campaign, send us your questions. We’ll answer them in this very hands-on practical session. Also, make sure you also listen to the BusinessCast Podcast #57 – Email Marketing for Entrepreneurs when we first interviewed Matthew.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Email Marketing for Entrepreneurs

When Robert and I had Matthew Vernhout from Email Karma (www.emailkarma.net) on the BusinessCast, we tackled the very “hot” topic of Email Marketing for Entrepreneurs.

We wanted to better understand how email can help entrepreneurs establish and build strong business relationships online.

With Matt’s help, we unearthed some of the key issues and misperceptions about email and email marketing. Moreover, we got a handle on just how complex effective email marketing can be along with plenty of practical tips and advice from an email marketing guru.

So, here are a handful of some critical lessons in a Q&A format:

Q: Why should an entrepreneur consider/use email as part of their marketing efforts?

A: Email, when developed and delivered responsibly, is: 

  • Efficient (i.e. it can deliver marketing results)
  • Cost-effective
  • Immediate
  • Measurable
  • Easy to use

Q: What are some of the critical issues that entrepreneurs should be aware of so that they can hone their email marketing efforts?

A: Entrepreneurs need to address ways of:

  • Ensuring email actually lands in the intended email box
  • Building and sustaining a database of people who look forward to receiving email
  • Setting and maintaining a deployment schedule that provides the best results
  • Periodically testing elements of email to achieve the best results

Q: What are some of the greatest misperceptions about email marketing that can potentially damage an entrepreneur’s relationship building efforts?

A: Just because you send out email, you can not assume that your email:

  • Always gets delivered to the email boxes you are targeting
  • Always arrives when you need it to arrive
  • Recipients see the email the way you designed it
  • Recipients will always actively engage with your email

Matthew strongly recommends using the services of responsible email marketing services – which allow you to delegate the tasks of developing and delivering email to companies that can do it most cost-effectively. Find a list of email marketing services (organized by county) at a useful resource developed by the email marketer’s club.

In the next few weeks, we’re going to have Matt back in the BusinessCast bagel shop and we’re going to run through a very practical ‘soup to nuts’ scenario – whereby we cover the main points of an effective campaign in case-study format. So, if you’re planning an email marketing campaign, looking to hone your existing campaign or if you’ve been looking for an excuse to launch your first campaign, let us know. We could use your campaign as the focus for our discussion. Make sure you also listen to the show, Email Marketing for Entrepreneurs.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes