Increasing Sales Webinar Series: Email Marketing

This free webinar was presented by Attracta on September 10th, 2014.

The sixth in our “Increasing Sales” series, this webinar will review email marketing and how you can use email to reach out to your existing customer base. We’ll review techniques for building your list, as well as creative email content and template ideas that can drive sales.

Presented By

Joe Knipp Attracta Managed Services Team

Greg Webb Attracta Managed Services Team

Important Links & Resources from this Webinar

  • SendUser

    SendUser is an easy-to-use system that allows you to send newsletters and marketing messages to your customers & user list.

  • IsNotSpam

    IsNotSpam is a simple, free tool to check your email messages for deliverability & spam filter compatibility.

Webinar Transcript

Joe:                 Thanks for joining us for today’s webinar.  Today’s webinar is on e-mail marketing.  We’ll start from the ground up and work our way up in how you can build an effective e-mail marketing campaign for your business.  My name is Joe Knip.  I’ve been in web development for the last fifteen years, with a focus on the marketing side for about the last six years.  With me today is Greg Web.

Greg:               Hey guys.  My name is Greg Web.  I’m an expert SCO consultant.  Been doing this for about five years.  By the way, we will take some time at the end to answer all of your questions.  If you have any questions as we go along just go ahead and jot them down and we’ll try to get to them as quick as we can towards the end here.

Joe:                 Keep in mind we will be posting this webinar on our site after it is done.  Probably about a couple of hours after it’s done.  So if you miss anything or you want to review anything you’ll be able to go through the whole thing again.  We’ll also include any links to any relevant resources or products, anything that we discuss that might be of use to you we’ll include links to those.  Let’s get started.

E-mail marketing, done properly, can be a very effective and profitable solution for your business.  Your customers are certain to already be using e-mail, probably on a regular basis.  E-mail campaigns can be a very, very low cost.  This allows for serious ROI potential, return on investment.

In today’s webinar we’re going to discuss the following topics: building an e-mail list, designing effective e-mails, creatinve effective content, and then some strategies on and ideas on how you can maximize your results for your e-mail campaign.  Also, you’ll want to use some type of e-mail marketing software or platform to manage your campaign.  You don’t want to just go into your Hotmail, Gmail address, build up a bunch of contacts and send them messages.  You’re not going to get metrics for that kind of thing.  It’s just not a good way to run an e-mail marketing campaign.

There’s several good options available to you.  I tend to recommend  It’s free to get started, if you have less than 100 people on your e-mail list it doesn’t cost you anything to run your campaign.  As you gain users, the different higher level accounts are … The pricing is as good as it gets.  Again, we’ll include any link to any resources once we post this online.

Greg:               The first part of any e-mailing campaign is obviously to put your list together of who you’re actually going to target.  How do you go about doing this?  It all starts by asking for permission first.  Who doesn’t like to get e-mails that are totally unwanted?  Everybody hates getting those types of e-mails.  The last thing that you want to do is to just spam people with unwanted solicitations.  Obviously that’s not going to help your engagement at all, and it’s simply going to turn people off from actually using your service.  Make sure that whatever you do, that subscribers do have a way to opt-in to your service.  It also will help with your delivery rate of these e-mails, too.

A few other things when you’re building an effective e-mail list.  Not only do you want to make sure that you get permission, but there’s a few other things that you ought to do too.  There’s no shortage of resources available for you to be able to buy e-mail lists.  Sending e-mails to complete strangers, technically it’s not illegal to do that.  You’re just going to get a lot more complaints than sales if you do that.

Just make sure that you take the time to build this out, make sure that anybody who’s getting constant updates or e-mails is somebody who is actually interested in learning more about your business.

Joe:                 Let’s go over some different types of permission.  Different types and levels of permission you should be aware of when building an e-mail list.  First there’s implied permission.  This can be existing or previous customers, or maybe even somebody who’s just handed you their business card with their e-mail address on it.  With implied permission it’s probably a good idea to send a message to confirm that they do wish to continue to receive e-mails, as opposed to just automatically including them in your marketing campaign.  That way you know they’re actually opting in.

Explicit permission is another type of permission.  These are people who have filled out a form to actually join your e-mail list, or maybe checked a box that they do wish to receive your updates when they’re purchasing something.  You’ve probably seen this before as you’re either signing up for a website or you’ve purchased something.  There’s a check box there that says keep me up to date, or allow this site to send me updates.  That’s a good way to get users on your e-mail address.

There’s confirmed permission.  In that case, where somebody has actually given you permission to include themselves on your e-mail address, this is you send them an actual e-mail to confirm that they do wish to be included.  This can also be called double-opt-in.  These subscribers are by far the most likely to engage your e-mails and patronize your business.  Not only have they signed up for it, they’ve confirmed yes I want these messages.  These are the users you want on your list.

Greg:               Obviously you know that you need to actually build an effective e-mail before you get started.  How do you actually do this?  There are many ways that you can basically collect e-mail addresses from customers and potential customers.  One of the most fundamental ways to collect e-mail addresses is to include a form on the website where visitors can go, fill it out, and basically adds them to your e-mail list.  Subscribes them, and signs them up for it.  Putting that on your website is probably the first and most popular way that people will go about doing this.

If you’ve been keeping up with our increasing sales webinar series, you will remember that each form field that you add to your sign up form will greatly reduce the likelihood that a customer will fill out the form.  Just keep that in mind as you guys are doing this.  You want to keep these forms as simple as possible, and keep them as clutter free as possible.  Don’t just have multiple forms on the same website.

Maybe even just the first name and e-mail address is enough, and it requires less information so people are going to be a lot more likely to fill that out because it’s not asking them for a million pieces of personal information.  Make sure that you include on your signup form at least a link to the signup form on every page of your website.  This is really important.  If you have an e-mail list, on every page of your website you do want to place a link for people to actually click on to sign up for that.  It’s just going to help you increase that list even more.

You can even include an opt-in checkbox for users when they’re purchasing a product or making an inquiry on your website.  Before they click that buy button, just have a check button that says hey, would you like to sign up and receive regular e-mails from us.  I know that a lot of times when I’ve been signing up for products and services, 99% of the time I’m actually going to sign up for that e-mail list if it’s something that I’m interested in.

A few other things that you can do to help you with collecting these e-mails, you can do it over the phone.  You can collect e-mail addresses either over the phone or in person, whatever’s easier for you to do.  If a customer comes into your store and they’re purchasing something, just maybe have an e-mail signup list right there at the counter.  That’s a great time for them to sign up again because they’re purchasing something, they’re very interested in your business so much more likely to sign up.

Joe:                 Last but not least you’ll want to include signup forms or links to signup forms on all of your social media profiles that you run for your business.  Anything that’s like Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, whatever you use for your social media, just make sure that there’s a link for people to click on and signup.  They allow you to create applications, sorry, say it’s Facebook will actually allow you to create applications for signing up for e-mail lists.  If you’re not using social media for your business yet, or maybe you’re just not sure how you properly leverage this for your business, make sure you go on our website and view our previous webinar that we did on social media.  That was also in the increasing sales series, so we have a lot of great tips on ways you can get your business out there a little more.

Now that we’ve covered some methods for collecting e-mail address, let’s give you some different ideas for how do you increase the amount of users that actually sign up for your e-mail list.

One way to do this is to offer an incentive for people to sign up for your e-mail list.  Maybe a discount on the user’s next purchase if they sign up for your e-mail address.  That’s a pretty good incentive for people to sign up.  An example I could provide you with is there’s a small mom and pop Italian restaurant that I go to quite a bit.  The owner comes out to every single table, meets everyone, asks them about their experience, and then he lets them know that if you give him your e-mail address he’ll give you 10% off the meal that they just ate.  Very, very few people refuse to give him their e-mail address.  I can tell you from experience, his campaigns constantly remind me to return to his restaurant. It’s a little bit out of the way, so sometimes I don’t think about it.  I’ll see an e-mail, sometimes I don’t even read the e-mail, I just see that I got the e-mail and the next thing you know I’m thinking about their marinara sauce that they make, and end up there for lunch or dinner before you know it.

Another way to increase signups is to create exclusivity.  By this I mean let your visitors know that there are special deals, maybe discounts or some product offerings, that they’ll only be able to receive if they do sign up for your e-mail list.  Again, using my favorite Italian restaurant as an example, he sends out e-mails that say something like present this e-mail and receive half off wine with your next e-mail, or present this e-mail and receive a free appetizer.  All you have to do is print out the e-mail, and it creates the feeling that I was going to eat anyway, and I was going to get an appetizer, so if I go to this restaurant tonight I’ll actually be saving money.  So there’s some different ways you can create exclusivity and offer incentives for people to join your e-mail list.

Greg:               Great example.  With all aspects of marketing, when it comes to creating an effective e-mail campaign, branding is extremely important.  You need to make sure that your customers recognize you easily, whenever they open up your e-mails make sure that you have a very colorful logo or scheme, and make sure that you stick to that all the time so that you develop some consistency across your campaigns.

This may seem very fundamental to many of you guys out there, but unfortunately we see lots of marketers making this very simple mistake, we just thought that this is worth mentioning.  You need to maximize the sense of familiarity that users have whenever they open your e-mails.  This can also greatly increase your engagement, and just help the overall effectiveness of your e-mail campaign.

In this day and age you also want to consider that many people are viewing e-mails on their mobile devices.  Whether it’s iPhone, Android, whatever they use your message is going to have to be optimized for being viewed on a mobile device.  This rings especially true for e-mail marketing campaigns.  Your message may actually lose effectiveness with anybody who happens to look it up on their phone, if it’s not optimized for that device.  If this is a little too technical for you, just don’t worry.  We’ve got your back.  There are a lot of e-mail templates that are out there that we can give you links to.  Many of them are already optimized for viewing on mobile devices, and they’re very easily customization for your own brand and business out there.  We’ll link out to a few of those resources at the end of this webinar.

Joe:                 Let’s talk about e-mail marketing formats for a little bit.  You need your e-mail marketing campaigns to function as a unit.  The content and purpose of the e-mail need to work together both visually and functionally.  To do this there are a variety of formats you can use for your e-mail.  It’s important to utilize enough e-mail formats to fit the different reasons that you might be communicating with your subscribers.

For example, you may want to send out periodic e-mails to keep your subscribers up to date.  For this type of communication you’ll want to use a newsletter format.  Newsletters, if you’re sending out periodic newsletters, this should be focused on information as opposed to promotion.  It’s kind of the same with social media, you’ll want less than 20% of your newsletter to be promotional.

Here’s an example.  If you’re a sporting good store and winter is just starting, maybe the focus of your newsletter could be tips on good locations for snow skiing, or even tips on how to get started with snow skiing.  Something like that, something informational that provides users with value that way.  Then maybe you can include a small section, within this message, that includes related products.  If you sell snow skis, snow suits, stuff like that.  To create that exclusivity that we talked about earlier maybe you can include a coupon or discount in each of your newsletters.  This will also increase engagement.  If people know that there’s going to be a coupon every time they open your monthly newsletter that might benefit them, you’re much more likely for your users to actually open your newsletter e-mails.

Promotional e-mails, this is altogether a different animal.  You’ll want to use a different format for these messages.  Promotional e-mails are generally event-driven.  They can be about a sale you’re offering, maybe a new product you have in stock, something like that.  You’ll also want to keep in mind, this is another great place to create exclusivity for your subscribers.  Using subject lines like “E-mail only offer”, “20% off” or something along those lines can help increase engagement.  If they can only get that deal through reading that e-mail they’re much more likely to open that.  Also when sending promotional e-mails it’s best to only include the basic information of the promotion, and then link to a webpage that provides the rest of the information, as well as the opportunity to sign up or purchase the promotional offer.  This allows you to better attract the engagement of your e-mail campaign.  If you have your analytics set up, obviously you can track who came to those pages through your e-mail campaign.  Something to consider with that.

Event invitations.  That’s something else to consider.  These can be as simple as an appointment reminder.  If you run an appointment-driven business, appointment reminders can help reduce the amount of missed appointments, and in turn reduce lost or wasted time for your business.  I’ve actually set up e-mail appointment reminders for a doctor’s office a few years ago.  To this day, this doctor still thanks me for how much this has helped reduce missed appointments.  He says this was a big help to his business.  Something to consider that way, if you are an appointment-driven business.

Another way to use event invitations is if you’re having a sales event, maybe a grand opening, any type of event you can create that fits your business.  We kind of mentioned some of these in the promotional format.  The difference here is with an event invitation you’ll want to encourage your users to actually sign up and say yes, I’m attending the event.  Another way you can kind of just engage your users, you can also track the effectiveness of your campaign.  One way to maybe create that exclusivity is to say limited space available, reserve your spot now.  Encourage people to feel like they’re getting something not everybody can have.  Another thing to create that incentive, show your invitation at the register for a discount.  Something like that.  Again, you have to use these things to fit your business.  Not everybody’s going to have a store front, that kind of thing.  Get creative with this stuff and take these examples and try to fit them to your business.

Greg:               Let’s talk about creating effective content.  When it comes to the content of your e-mails and some of the strategies that you’re using for creating content, it’s really important that you focus on a few different things here.  In this section of the webinar we’re going to break down some of the elements of a market e-mail, and just give you guys some suggestions on things that you can do to maximize the interest of your messages.  Let’s just go over subject lines, from addresses, information, offers, and links.

Subject line.  This is the first impression that people are going to get of your e-mail.  You want to create compelling subject lines that are going to actually encourage your users to open the e-mail and start reading it right away.  Something you’ll want to avoid here is using subject lines that might be too generic.  Things like news from whatever your company name is, or just November newsletter.  Something very generic like that.  That’s not likely to compel a subscriber to open the e-mail.  You’ll want something that tells the user what is the value of opening this e-mail.  You’ll want to keep in mind what is the value words in this subject line.  Something like limited time offer, or $50 savings is much more likely to elicit clicks on your e-mail than something as simple as November newsletter, stuff like that.  Keep your subject lines … Again, value.  What is the value of opening this e-mail?  That’s the key to your subject lines.

Also you want to keep in mind that you are limited to the number of characters that will be displayed.  This is going to vary between the different e-mail platforms, different e-mail clients.  If you stay in the 40 to 50 character range you should be okay.  That’s about the average.  Again, it’s going to vary greatly.  Some e-mail clients are going to let you see 100 characters.  You’ll want to keep that in mind.  Keep the value words early in your subject lines.  I see a lot of people make this mistake.  Some people put way too long of a subject line, and then the value in their subject line actually gets truncated and therefore is unseen.

Joe:                 The from address.  Setting up a proper from address in your messages is critical to the success of your campaign.  The from address is another area that will be among the user’s first impressions when they see the e-mail.  You’ll want this from address to be obviously familiar to your customers.  This means that it’s important to set it up so that whatever happens your message is not going to end up in their spam folder, or it’s going to get filtered out because it’s coming from an unknown address that doesn’t have the permissions that they’re already giving you on your main e-mail address.  Just make sure that whatever you do it’s based upon something that your customer knows.  If you’re a small business and you have personal relationships with all of your customers, maybe it’s probably a good idea to use your first and last name as your from address.  If you’re stores a local branch of an organization, make sure to include your location in the from address.  Anything that’s going to help differentiate your message from the messages of the corporate office that people tune out.

Ultimately you could also ask your customers how they know you.  Maybe your business uses an acronym.  If people are more familiar to the acronym as opposed to the full name, just go with that acronym and use it all the time.  Or vice versa, if they’re maybe familiar with your full name instead of the acronym.  Those are just a few ideas of things that you guys can do when it comes to setting up your from addresses properly.  Once you decide on a from address, just make sure that you’re using that all the time and develop some consistency there.

Greg:               You’ll want to be sure to include information in your e-mails that is valuable to your users.  Creating valuable content for your e-mails is one of the largest keys in e-mail marketing.  You’ll need to create content that is much more than just buy my product now.  That’s not going to be an effective campaign.  If you ever go through your spam folder on your e-mail list you’d be shocked at how many people just simply say buy this now with a link to click there.  It doesn’t work, you’re not going to get good results.  People will quickly become unsubscribers of your e-mail if you send ineffective e-mails without good value to them.

Some ideas for including value in the information that you are sending customers are things like include tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your product or your service.  That could be valuable information.  Maybe facts or research.  Maybe that could help potential customers feel like they’re making an informed decision about your purpose.  You can even use entertaining content to increase the value in your messages.  Maybe include some humor or include a compelling story if you’ve got one, or maybe a professional performance of someone using that product or that service, something like that if that’s available to you.

You do have to make sure that any of this kind of content, any entertainment content is appropriate for your audience, and it’s also in some way relevant to the product or service you’re offering.  Otherwise there won’t be that conenction there that will encourage the users to actually buy or use your service.

Creating valuable offers in your e-mail messages can help with generating direct sales through your e-mail marketing campaign.  This can help you overcome issues like initial purchase hesitation or something like that.  With any e-mail marketing campaign it’s always important to know your audience.  While seeing the word discount may lead some people to think that you’re trying to help them save money, other people see this and they may associate it with maybe a cheap service or a cheap business.  Just make sure that wherever you’re using the word discount, make sure that it’s appropriate and make sure that it’s not comparing you to the dollar store, or an outlet store or something like that.  If you’re a jewelry store you offer something a little bit on the higher end side.

If you want to get advanced with your e-mail marketing efforts you could also do some data tracking, or create groups or segments of users, and then maybe cater your message towards them and tailor it for each segment of your groups out there.  We’ll get into tracking in a little bit, but this is just something for you guys to keep in mind.

You’ll also want to be sure that you include a call-to-action in your e-mail messages.  A call-to-action can be placed just about anywhere in your message, but usually it is somewhere towards the bottom of the e-mail.  An example of this is maybe in the subject line you could say something like, “Read this e-mail before purchasing a product or service”, or “Read this e-mail before purchasing a Playstation 4” or something like that.  This can be effective if you think a lot about how people are familiar or the name of the service that you are comparing it to.

Another thing to consider is you can use multiple call-to-actions within your message, but you’ll want to be very wise about how you do it.  If you’re going to go this route and you’re going to have multiple call-to-actions, an effective method for doing this is to create three different levels of commitment to your subscribers.  What I mean by this is on one section of your message you can maybe include a call-to-action that says “Purchase this product now.”  Than maybe you can include one that says “Send this message to a friend.”  And then maybe your last, final message says “Like us on Facebook” or something like that.  This creates a few different options for users who maybe aren’t quite ready to buy something yet, but they still do have a call to action.  It allows you to see that this person is actually interested in purchasing something in the future, but maybe at this moment in time they’re just not ready to pull the trigger yet.

Joe:                 Something else to consider is links in your content.  Links can be very, very effective for your content.  Links are another element.  You want to make sure that the users that are reading your e-mail are able to access the pages you are trying to direct them to easily, as well as easily navigate through your message if necessary.  If they have to scroll to read the whole message you can include navigational links that will take them directly to the content or the message that they’re actually interested in.  Several different types of links, so let’s go over them real quickly here.

First are text links.  You’re probably already familiar with what I mean when I say a text link.  In case you’re not a text link is just text within your message that triggers some sort of action when it is actually clicked.  Text links in an e-mail message can be used to open a web browser to send the user to a specific page that has more information about the message you’re conveying.  Again, they can also be used for those navigational purposes.  An example of navigation, if you have several sections, again, I’ve already went over this, but if someone has to scroll to find those sections keep some navigational items in there that helps them just get right to the information that they want.

With text links you want to make sure it’s very clear what will happen when the user clicks on it.  It used to be very, very common for people to use click here, but maybe if you’re trying to get them to download some information, download this paper here.  Something like that, something a little bit better than just click here for more information.  Something that very directly tells them what will happen when they click on that link.  A text link can also be an e-mail address, and this might open the e-mail client when it’s clicked on.

You can also use image links.  One way to use an image link as a link is to have your logo link to your website.  That’s a really good practice, a very common practice that you’ve probably seen.  If you’re logo is at the top of the e-mail probably link that directly to your website, just in case somebody clicks on it.  Another example would be if you want to link your users to a video, you’ll want to use a screen shot of that video in your message, and link to that page.  Maybe a screen shot with that play button kind of over the top of it, so it makes it obvious that if somebody clicks there, that video will play.

That actually reminds me of something we should mention here.  Don’t use attachments in your e-mail messages.  Don’t attach a video to the message, don’t attach a PDF, anything really.  There’s really no exception that I can think of here.  Link to the content as opposed to attaching it, because attachments are a surefire way to get your messages blocked or filtered.  Some people, even if it does get to them, it doesn’t get blocked or filtered, there’s a good chance the user won’t even open it just for fear of a virus or malware.  Again, not a single exception I can think to that rule, no attachments in your e-mail marketing campaign.

Back to links.  Another thing to consider is mobile optimized links.  Properly formatted, phone numbers can make it so with one tap on the user’s phone, it will actually dial the number.  Very, very useful.  Addresses, physical address, street addresses can also automatically link the user to their navigation application, so that they can get directions to the address that’s listed in the message.  Most smart phones are smart enough to recognize these kinds of links automatically, but you just have to make sure that you do format them correctly.  Definitely something to keep in mind when formatting your content.

Greg:               Let’s get into the last part of our presentation here.  We’ve covered a bit of ground so far.  If we’ve missed anything, this is where you have a chance to maybe ask us a question after this, otherwise feel free to just check back on our website later after we post this, and maybe you can review it and find some links in the resources or examples that we talked about in the webinar.

The last part.  Let’s talk about advanced techniques for e-mail marketing.  This webinar is intended as more of an introduction to e-mail marketing, so we’re not trying to go too far down the rabbit hole here and get you lost with some advanced techniques.  There are a few worth mentioning, and we encourage you guys to check these out through your own research, if you’re ready to dive in and take things a little bit more advanced.

For these advanced techniques, it’s recommended that you have a fairly large subscriber base first.  If you have maybe 50 to 100 subscribers, and you’re doing some e-mails out to them, maybe the data that you get from these teqniques is not going to be large enough sample for you to really get any really strong benefit from this information.

Let’s talk about segmenting first.  Segmenting is all about grouping your subscribers according to their behavior.  One example of segmenting is maybe new signups for your service.  Having a welcome e-mail ready for whenever new users come in and sign up is a great practice.  This is another message where the bulk of your content is supposed to be non-promotional, so maybe just thank them for making their purchase and say hey, maybe later on down the road here’s what you can expect from us.  Just be on the lookout for this and that, and maybe give them a coupon or some sort of incentive in the message to help them come back and maybe open up future messages from you.  Just don’t hit them over the head with too salesy of an e-mail right away.

Another example of segmenting users, people that made a purchase in the past and they haven’t purchased anything in the last six months.  This is a great group of people to target here.  You can use any time frame you want, but the idea is that you’re sending your message to previous customers, and you’re offering them a new incentive to return to your website and do business with you, that maybe they haven’t been keeping up with all the latest happenings in your business.  This is a great time to maybe touch base with them, let them know what you’ve been working on, and let them know that it’s a great time for them to come back.

Perhaps maybe you guys want to create a segment for recent purchases and just simply send them a message asking them to review their purchase, and make sure everything looks good.  You can get creative and use your imagination.  There’s a lot of different ways that you can employ segmenting here.  Whatever you do you just want to make sure you have proper analytics in place for your site, and make sure that you’re getting all the data that you can from these segments.  These are just a few of the tried and true techniques out there, but if you want to take this a little bit further just let us know and we can give you a hand.

The last thing I’d like to touch on is A/B testing.  A/B testing is a practice of sending out two different versions of your message to different subscribers.  Another term for A/B testing is split testing.  This is a great way to track the measurables of the message that you send out and see which version of the message performs better.  You just want to be smart with how you do this, and keep your variations fairly subtle so that you can get an accurate picture as to what’s going on.

One really common A/B split test is try and use different colored buttons in your message.  It may sound really, really simple, but you’d actually be surprised how much of a difference the changing of one simple color can make in the percentage of users that actually click on that button.  Very subtle change, but you can easily measure how that’s actually being interpreted by your users out there.

Another familiar A/B test in e-mail marketing is just trying different subject lines.  Really simple, just maybe switch up your subject and see which percentage of users click on your e-mail depending on what subject line you say.  Maybe it’s a funny subject line versus a serious message, or maybe you take a more personalized approach towards a very general approach.  Just experiment with different subjects and I’m sure you can get some really good results out of that.

Joe:                 Now we’re going to open up for some questions.  Hopefully that was some useful information for you guys to start your e-mail marketing campaigns.  Real quick, this is actually going to close my presentation.  If anybody’s got any questions, please feel free to to type in the chat box and we’ll do our best to answer it.  I see we already have a couple questions here.

The first one is “Is there a limit to the amount of segments I can create for an e-mail marketing campaign?”

Greg:               No.

Joe:                 Absolutely not.  This is completely up to you.  You’re in complete control of this, if you’re controlling your marketing campaign.  However you want to divide the segments up.  Say it’s people that went to your page and maybe put an item in their shopping cart, but then didn’t purchase.  That can be a segment.  Maybe somebody who has purchased three items from you, you can set a certain number of items, that can create a segment.  Again, I think it was Greg mentioned, somebody who maybe purchased something hasn’t purchased in a set amount of time, six months, a year.  Whatever it is.  Re-target those people as a segment.  There’s really no limit.  You can get real creative with this, too.  Even a simple, if you tie this in with your analytics of your website, even as simple as somebody who’s visited three different pages of my website in one visit.  That can be a segment of users.  There’s no limit to this, you can get as creative as you want.  Again, there are some tried and true techniques out there, so research those.  Anything that you can think of that helps your e-mail marking you can create a segment for that.

The second question.  This is probably a good one for Greg.  “How can I prevent my messages from ending up in spam?”

Greg:               Okay, Blake.  There are a couple different things that you can do, I’m glad you asked.  Sorry we didn’t touch on this before.  This is really important, I think Joe mentioned earlier that the most important thing that you can do is to avoid using attachments in your e-mails.  Obviously that’s really important, having any sort of attachments, whether their large or small is going to increase the likelihood that your e-mail is going to end up in spam.  Just don’t do it, don’t get in the habit of doing that at all.

Another thing that you can do is try and keep a good ratio of text to images in your e-mail.  Don’t have way too many images and not enough text that’s maybe explaining what your e-mail is about.  Just try to keep things as informative as possible, and less image heavy in those e-mails.  Let me think, what else can you do.

Here’s a great tip.  There are a few different spam checking services out there on the web.  There’s one that I used the other day, I think it’s called  Don’t quote me on that, but something along those lines.  It’s a great website.  What it allows you to do is actually e-mail them you’re template e-mail, and they’ll let you know what the likelihood is of that message actually getting delivered or ending up in spam.  Great service, isnotspam.

Avoid spam trigger words.  I would avoid using words like sale or promotion in the subject line.  Anything that’s trying to make it sound like you’re giving them some sort of promotion.  I know that obviously you guys are going to use these e-mails for promotions, we’re not saying don’t do that.  There are some words that if you use maybe too much in the e-mail, it’s going to look like it’s way too salesy and too spammy.  It’s going to go right to the spam.  Whatever you do, just try to keep the user experience as positive as you can, and make sure that it’s as informative as possible without being too salesy.  Those are four or five things that you can do, but hopefully that’ll get you started and help you get your delivery rate up there.

Joe:                 One last question we got from Derek is what was the e-mail provider we mentioned earlier?  That was  Again we’ll post this webinar on the site and links to any resources, any products that we offer that may help you with this, will be included on that.  Thanks for joining us today.  We hope this information has been helpful for you.  We do have more webinars coming up in our Increasing Sales series.  You can also go to our website and view previous webinars.  We’ve gone over social media, retargetting, pay per click, there’s a really good information from a colleagues on pay per click.  So check out those previous webinars.  Hope this information was helpful for you, and have a great day.

Greg:   Take care, bye.