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12 Essential Email and Marketing Automation Tools for Marketers

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As mentioned in yesterday’s post, this is a big week for us. The new edition of How to Make Money with Social Media is now in stores and we’re getting a lot of great feedback about the book. Comments range from “This is a great read!” from Zachary Ferguson on Amazon to “This is better than Shakespeare!” from my mom.

One of the things that seems to be working is that we provide real insights from real case studies in real language. By “real language” I mean that we don’t use dense, stuffy words that get in the way of the concepts. Instead, we use plain English so that it sounds as if you’re having a conversation with two marketing experts at Starbucks.

We cover a lot of topics in the book, ranging from how to calculate the ROI of a social media campaign to understanding the conversion rates you can expect from your landing pages.

Here’s an excerpt from the book that discusses the benchmarks for conversion rates for an e-book vs. the benchmarks for conversion rates for a product or service:

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That excerpt comes from a chapter we wrote called “Closing the Loop with Email and Marketing Automation.” In that chapter, we discuss how most effective social media campaigns will use email or marketing automation in order to convert a prospect into a customer.

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All that begs an important question:

What Are the Top Email and Marketing Automation Tools You Should Know About?

Here’s the list of some of the email and marketing automation tools we discuss in How to Make Money with Social Media. (For the complete list, along with hundreds of other insights and resources, feel free to mosey on down to your local bookstore and grab yourself a copy.)

Email Marketing Platforms:

  • AWeber: These guys have strict guidelines in place for their customers that are designed to keep them whitelisted and off the dreaded SPAM blacklists.
  • Emma: Do you take great pride in your design and creative skills? Then Emma (found at MyEmma.com) might be right for you. Well-designed templates and a creative flair are what differentiate Emma from other e-mail service providers.
  • iContact: If you’re looking for a lot of bells and whistles without the added expense of marketing automation, then iContact may be just what you’re looking for.
  • MailChimp: How can you not love an e-mail service provider that uses a chimp as its mascot? Their clean, uncluttered web interface and their devotion to customer service are just two of the many reasons so many people put MailChimp high on the list of top e-mail service providers.

Marketing Automation Platforms:

  • Act-On: These guys focus on the “Fortune 5,000,000,” which means they’re perfect for the 99.99 percent of all businesses that aren’t members of the Fortune 500. They’re well respected and offer a simple-to-use platform that has everything most businesses need.
  • Eloqua: Now part of the Oracle Marketing Cloud, Eloqua is one of the original members of the marketing automation industry. It’s a clean, well-run platform that delivers the goods for many well-known brands around the globe.
  • ExactTarget: Now part of Salesforce.com, ExactTarget is one of the best-known members of the marketing automation industry. They started out as an e-mail service provider and have buffed-up their offerings to the point where they’re one of the more prominent members of the marketing automation space.
  • HubSpot: Think of HubSpot as marketing automation software,plus a blogging platform, plus an analytics platform—all on steroids. HubSpot has done a great job updating their platform so that it continuously offers more and more options without becoming so complex as to be unusable.
  • InfusionSoft: Best known for a visual campaign manager that lets you drag and drop your next campaign quickly and easily, InfusionSoft is used by more than 72,000 people around the globe. They have a good reputation and are the favorite of manythought leaders in the marketing industry.
  • LeadLife: Founded by Richard Brock, one of the grandfathers of marketing automation, LeadLife is perfect for small- to mid-sized businesses interested in a seamless, easy-to-use platform. They also offer a “white list” version for agencies that want to offer an agency-branded marketing automation platform to their clients.
  • Marketo: A very well-known marketing automation platform that provides a lot of bells and whistles at a very competitive cost. Customers include Hyundai, the American Kennel Club, and Curves. Oh, and Harvard Business School uses them, too. Enough said.
  • Silverpop: Recently acquired by IBM, this is a robust, full-featured platform that takes behavioral marketing to some new and interesting places.

There are a number of reasonably good options out there for email marketing and marketing automation that aren’t included in this summary list, but the list above should give you the lay of the land to help you get started.

Action Steps for You.

Your first step is to decide whether you simply need an email marketing platform or a more robust marketing automation platform.

Once you’ve made that decision, take a look at the options mentioned above and narrow down your choices. When you get to 2 or 3 different options, it never hurts to call their sales team or their customer service team — a lot of times, you can learn more from talking on the phone than you can by reading the sales materials on their website.

Good luck. And keep me posted on your outcome!

Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, a marketing communications agency that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

Book by Jamie Turner

The post 12 Essential Email and Marketing Automation Tools for Marketers appeared first on @AskJamieTurner.

What teenage social media usage says about future consumers

(Image Courtesy of Shutterstock) Teens are valuable customers, and they’re not like the generations of teenagers that have come before. Traditionally teens are early adopters with disposable income. In the past, if a brand wanted a few of those disposable pounds they would need to saturate the market with slick advertisements and marketing messages. Today’s […]

The post What teenage social media usage says about future consumers appeared first on Online Media Directs Internet Marketing Blog.

Email Marketing By the Numbers: How to Use the World’s Greatest Marketing Tool to Take Any Organization to the Next Level

Email Marketing By the Numbers: How to Use the World's Greatest Marketing Tool to Take Any Organization to the Next Level

Praise for EMAIL MARKETING by the NUM8ERS

“At last-a book that marketers can use to gain real respect from CFOs and CEOs who care about the bottom line. Baggott, author of the award-winning blog ‘Email Marketing Best Practices,’ clearly explains how to make your campaigns perform measurably better. The secret’s in your test results.”
—Anne Holland, President, MarketingSherpa

“Despite its proven power, email marketing receives a fraction of the attention given to other, fancier media. This week you’ll probably hear far more about mobile videocasting (or some such fashion) than you will about email marketing. You can help correct this imbalance by reading this book.”
—Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy Group, London, UK

“Baggott’s wonderful new direct marketing book is loaded with practical advice and recommendations from some of the best minds in the industry. Email Marketing by the Numbers should be read by everyone in the industry who wants to profit from acquiring and retaining customers.”
—Arthur Middleton Hughes, Vice President/Solutions Architect, Knowledge Base Marketing, and author of Strategic Database Marketing

“Amidst the confusion and changing landscape of the Web, Baggott is one of the clear thinkers who can cut through the hype and help you understand how to drive revenues through the use of marketing technology.”
—Scott Burkey, Business Development Executive, Definition 6

“Baggott is the ultimate Web 2.0 entrepreneur who takes Email 2.0 to a new level. In Email Marketing by the Numbers, he gives marketers instructions for creating one-to-one conversations with prospects and customers. This book should be on the desk of every marketer in every company, big or small.”
—Scott Maxwell, founder, OpenView Venture Partners

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Ecommerce, Mobile and Video: September 2014 Apps Roundup

Email is a vital part of growing your business online, but it shouldn’t be your only marketing channel.

To connect with more customers, you may be using a mix of mobile marketing, video and ecommerce tools already — or trying to figure out how they fit your business plan.

Great news: Four more services now integrate directly with AWeber, making it even easier to build up your audience with those channels.

We’ve asked our partners to briefly explain how their services can help you (and provide exclusive discounts for AWeber customers), so read on to learn more about these new integrations.

1. Selz

Geoff Austin, Chief Marketing Officer at Selz. Twitter: @selzdotcom

Who is Selz best suited for?

Selz is designed for bloggers, digital creators, entrepreneurs and small business owners who want ecommerce to be affordable and as simple as using a PayPal button.

What sets Selz apart from other, similar apps?

Selz is a simpler way to sell physical products, digital downloads or services from your own online store, blog or existing website.

It gives you the tools you need to take your online sales to the next level, including a checkout that is mobile optimized and streamlined to maximize sales conversions.

What benefits/results can marketers expect from using this integration?

Email remains one of the most powerful marketing tools available. Growing your list is easy with this free app. Connect your AWeber and Selz account to automatically export your customer’s contact details and sales data to your AWeber list, so you can expand your marketing and sales efforts with customers.

Why should AWeber customers connect to Selz right now?

This free app is one of the easiest ways to build a customer email list and to increase ecommerce sales.

What’s the pricing model?

Selz is free to use, with only a small fee per sale. There are a range of free and low priced plug-and-play apps available. There are no additional credit card or PayPal transaction fees.

How to get started with Selz today:

Get your Selz account
Get step-by-step help integrating AWeber with Selz

2. MEG

Jed Singer, VP of Product Marketing at Stuzo. Twitter: @GetMEG

Who is MEG best suited for?

MEG is best suited for digital marketers, content marketers, and any business with web conversions — such as newsletter sign ups, appointment setting, shopping carts.

What sets MEG apart from other, similar apps?

MEG is a stand alone suite of marketing apps designed to boost mobile conversions across the web, social media, within native mobile apps, and in the real world through iBeacons.

What benefits/results can marketers expect from using this integration?

MEG Apps are designed to boost mobile conversion rates, decrease mobile bounce rates, and increase mobile engagement with your brand’s content, products, and services. MEG Apps can help businesses increase leads and conversions with always-on apps or with campaign apps, both of which are turnkey and take seconds to set up.

Why should AWeber customers connect to MEG right now?

If you’re getting web traffic from mobile devices, you’re probably also losing some leads, as conversion rates on mobile devices can be lower than on desktop. MEG helps you recapture those leads and increase your conversion rates on mobile. Plus, MEG Apps don’t require designers or developers to set up or launch, and they are easy to customize.

What’s the pricing model? Is there a special offer for AWeber clients?

MEG is currently free for all users, with monthly paid plans launching in October. A free model will also be available, with limited access to features. Customers that sign up through AWeber will get free access to the Pro plan through December 31, 2014.

How to get started with MEG today:

Get your MEG account
Get step-by-step help integrating AWeber with MEG

3. vzaar

Hayley Dixon, Marketing Executive at vzaar. Twitter: @vzaar

Who is this app best suited for?

vzaar is a video hosting service that helps businesses drive revenue with video. That includes online educators selling video lectures, ecommerce brands marketing products or publishers using video advertising to monetize content.

What sets vzaar apart from other, similar apps?

vzaar makes it incredibly easy to get started with video: there’s no complicated infrastructure and you don’t need a huge IT team to implement it. vzaar has an advanced set of video security features which ensure that your brand’s content is always working for you, and not somebody else.

What benefits/results can marketers expect from using this integration?

The vzaar-AWeber integration turns your video into a powerful lead generation tool. Gone are the days when people viewed your videos and you had no idea who they were. By inserting an email capture form at the beginning, middle, or end of your video you can collect viewers email addresses and stay in touch with high quality leads. vzaar automatically sends viewer information to your AWeber list so there’s no need to juggle two different lists.

Why should AWeber customers connect to vzaar right now?

You don’t want to let all your video views go to waste. The sooner you start capturing your viewers’ email addresses and adding them to your lists, the more leads you’ll generate.

What’s the pricing model? Is there a special offer for AWeber clients?

vzaar offers an unlimited, fully featured 30-day free trial. Plans start at $20 per month, with no long-term contracts, and you can change plans at any time. Through September 30, AWeber customers can get 20% off a monthly subscription with code AWEBER20.

How to get started with vzaar today:

Get your vzaar account
Get step-by-step help integrating AWeber with vzaar

4. Ez Texting

Albert Cann, Product Manager at Ez Texting. Twitter: @eztexting

Who is Ez Texting best suited for?

Ez Texting allows organizations of any size to manage their SMS mobile marketing campaigns and stay in touch with contacts, employees, prospects, customers, and other stakeholders.

What sets Ez Texting apart from other, similar apps?

Ez Texting provides a user-friendly way to send and receive messages, and run a variety of more advanced campaigns, such as drip campaigns and autoresponders. If you need help, our client success managers are available via phone, email, and live chat.

What benefits/results can marketers expect from using this integration?

Marketers can include an effective SMS channel into existing marketing campaigns, or launch new SMS campaigns to their lists. Since over 95% of text messages are read within the first five minutes of receipt, this is an outstanding way to communicate with contacts effectively.

Why should AWeber customers connect to Ez Texting right now?

To harness the power of an efficient, effective and minimally priced marketing channel within minutes.

What’s the pricing model? Is there a special offer for AWeber clients?

Ez Texting’s pricing options range from a Pay & Go model to a variety of monthly plans. Pricing starts at 5 cents per message (volume discounts are available) with no set up fees, contracts or commitment. AWeber customers can receive a 30% discount on their first purchase by using code AWEBER30 at checkout.

How to get started with Ez Texting today:

Get your EZ Texting account
Get step-by-step help integrating AWeber with EZ Texting

What’s next?

Didn’t catch last month’s roundup? Get caught up on our recent announcements (August, July, June, May) or browse the App Showcase to see all of our third-party integrations.

What do you think of these services? Have you gotten results with any of them? What other apps are on your radar? Let us know in the comments.

Olivia Dello Buono contributed to this post.

Inbound Marketing: Attract, Engage, and Delight Customers Online

Inbound Marketing: Attract, Engage, and Delight Customers Online

Attract, engage, and delight customers online

Inbound Marketing: Attract, Engage, and Delight Customers Online is a comprehensive guide to increasing online visibility and engagement. Written by top marketing and startup bloggers, the book contains the latest information about customer behavior and preferred digital experiences. From the latest insights on lead nurturing and visual marketing to advice on producing remarkable content by building tools, readers will gain the information they need to transform their marketing online.

With outbound marketing methods becoming less effective, the time to embrace inbound marketing is now. Cold calling, e-mail blasts, and direct mail are turning consumers off to an ever-greater extent, so consumers are increasingly doing research online to choose companies and products that meet their needs. Inbound Marketing recognizes these behavioral changes as opportunities, and explains how marketers can make the most of this shift online. This not only addresses turning strangers into website visitors, but explains how best to convert those visitors to leads, and to nurture those leads to the point of becoming delighted customers.

Gain the insight that can increase marketing value with topics like:

  • Inbound marketing – strategy, reputation, and tracking progress
  • Visibility – getting found, and why content matters
  • Converting customers – turning prospects into leads and leads into customers
  • Better decisions – picking people, agencies, and campaigns

The book also contains essential tools and resources that help build an effective marketing strategy, and tips for organizations of all sizes looking to build a reputation. When consumer behaviors change, marketing must change with them. Inbound Marketing: Attract, Engage, and Delight Customers Online is a complete guide to attracting, engaging, and delighting customers online.

List price: $20.00

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How to Make Money with Social Media

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Did you know that some social media campaigns aren’t designed to make money as much as they’re designed to save money?

That’s just one of the insights in the new edition of my book, How to Make Money with Social Media, which, as of today, is now available in bookstores and on Amazon.

The book, co-authored with Dr. Reshma Shah of Emory University, highlights some key concepts about social media that every marketer should know.

Here’s just one of the concepts that we discuss throughout the book:

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If that’s music to your ears, then you might be interested in downloading a free chapter on the 60 Second Communications website. There are no forms to fill out or email addresses to provide — just a PDF of the first chapter from the book. Go on — check it out.

We cover a lot of ground in this new edition of the book. One of the topics we discuss is that, while all roads in social media should lead to ROI, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all social media campaigns should generate revenue.

That may be surprising, but it’s true.

Here’s an excerpt from the book that drives home that point:

Some very successful social media campaigns aren’t designed to generate sales as much as they’re designed to generate satisfied customers.

Dan Gingiss, the Director of Digital Customer Experience and Social Media for Discover Card, has a team of social media experts who monitor and review tweets and Facebook posts from customers.

Discover is in a highly regulated industry, which makes responding to account specific inquiries a challenge. But Discover has found ways to monitor the conversations and to take care of the customer’s concerns either via a Twitter direct message or in a secure online chat environment.

The response has been very positive, with customers responding with praise for Discover’s use of social media to handle customer service issues.

The idea behind this initiative is that Discover wanted to be able to answer customer questions in the channels in which the customer initiated the request. They also found that by participating in the online conversations in a personalized and genuine way, they were able to a) quickly solve the customer’s problems, b) demonstrate their superior customer service in a public ways, and c) minimize the negative commentary from disgruntled cardholders, who often end up posting positive commentary after being serviced.

In this particular case, Discover is using social media as a customer service tool. Although it’s difficult to assign a dollar amount to the value of a social customer service campaign, it’s not impossible. For starters, you can track how much it costs to manage a customer complaint using traditional media and compare it to the cost of managing it via social media.

In the old days, customer service complaints were handled almost exclusively via an 800 number. That meant manning an entire bank of phones with operators who could only handle one customer complaint at a time. 

If the operators got busy, customers were put on hold. When an angry customer gets put on hold, they grow increasingly frustrated. By the time the operator gets to the now-frustrated customer, the operator has to spend time easing them back into a civil and productive conversation.

It was an expensive way to manage customer service.

By comparing the cost of traditional customer service to the cost of social media customer service, companies such as Discover can make a calculation of whether or not they have improved efficiencies by using social media customer service.

If the cost of having a traditional customer service department is, say, $1 million per year, but the cost of having a blended traditional and social customer service department is $900,000, then their social media efforts “made” the company $100,000.

Of course, that’s a simplified view of the costs associated with a customer service department, but it highlights a larger issue—not all social media campaigns are designed to make money, some are designed to save money.Stamp.001

Interested in learning more about how to use social media to grow your business?

If so, stick around. Next week is How to Make Money with Social Media Week. We’re devoting an entire week to guest posts from famous authors and social media experts from around the globe. It’s all designed to help people like you learn cutting-edge techniques to use social media to grow your business.

Interested in learning more? Terrific. Come back tomorrow (and the next day and the next day). Or, sign up for our e-newsletter so that you can have links to the posts dropped into your in-box. It’s just one of the many benefits we provide to members of the 60 Second Nation.

See you tomorrow!

Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, a marketing communications agency that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

Book by Jamie Turner

The post How to Make Money with Social Media appeared first on @AskJamieTurner.

E-Mail Marketing For Dummies

E-Mail Marketing For Dummies

Updated to reflect the hottest new trends, technologies, and strategies!

Much has happened in e-mail marketing since the first edition of this book appeared in 2007. With the dramatic rise of social media and mobile devices, there are more ways than ever to target campaigns and maximize your e-mail marketing dollars. The new edition of this helpful book is full of practical advice, whether you?re an enterprise-level marketer using a third-party e-mail marketing company or small business owner handling everything yourself.

  • Helps you map out an e-mail marketing strategy with reachable objectives
  • Simplifies the process of list-building, message-creation, and results-tracking
  • Offers legal guidance, so you stay compliant with anti-spam laws
  • Shows you how to deliver your message and incorporate social media
  • Explains how to track and interpret results
  • Includes the top ten things you should not put in your messages, and much more

Get more out of your e-mail marketing campaigns with this easy-to-follow guide.

List price: $24.99

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Marketing Management (14th Edition)

Marketing Management (14th Edition)

Stay on the cutting-edge with the gold standard text that reflects the latest in marketing theory and practice.

 

Marketing Management is the gold standard marketing text because its content and organization consistently reflect the latest changes in today’s marketing theory and practice.

 

Remaining true to its gold-standard status, the fourteenth edition includes an overhaul of new material and updated information, and now is available with mymarketinglab–Pearson’s online tutorial and assessment platform.

List price: $264.20

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Using A Click To Tweet For Your Live Events – Pro Blogging Tip

This post will show a cool tip to gain the most from your extended Twitter connections for those of you that run or speak at either live or recorded events such as Google Hangouts on Air (HoA), speaking events, podcasts or webinars. I believe most of you probably understand what a pre-populated tweet is but...

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Taming The Email Beast

Taming The Email Beast

45 Key Strategies for Better Managing Your E-mail Overload (and Regaining Your E-mail Sanity!)Foreword by bestselling author, Tony Rubleski

List price: $17.95

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