With all of the hoopla about Twitter and Facebook, a lot of people and gone out and added little widgets to their sites to help build a following online. This is great and I want to encourage people to keep this up.
Letting people follow and participate in your business online through sites like Twitter and Facebook allows people to connect with you when they want and how they want.
Do not overlook the importance of building your email list. Email is still the cornerstone of a powerful internet marketing campaign.
Yes, you want people to be able to follow you when they want, but it is vital that you are able to occasionally push content to people who are interested in your products and services.
You also have people who sign up with you and expect materials to be pushed to them just as they once anticipated the next issue of their favorite magazine.
Advanced Marketing Tip: Smart marketers are adding email newsletter subscription forms to their Facebook fan pages.
Marketers are using their Twitter and Facebook following to drive people to squeeze pages that feature a subscription form. Simply offer a free ebook, video, white paper or report and give the user access with subscription to your newsletter.
There are a variety of 3rd party email marketing services online that manage all of your online subscriptions. With the current CAN-SPAM laws and the variety of the state laws in place in the United States, it’s very important that you understand the advantages of using a 3rd party emailer.
Services like iContact not only provide you with a variety of reporting and management tools, but they automatically handle unsubscribes and bounced emails. The last thing you want to do is get fined because someone asked to be unsubscribed and you failed to do so within the legal standard of 10 days.
I’ve tried several 3rd party email marketing services out there and I’ve got to tell you, I prefer iContact.
iContact has built in newsletter templates, blogging import, auto-responders, and a whole range of amazing features. Plus the most important part is that it’s very easy to use.
I’ve tried competitors to iContact and I just do not like them. Sometimes they reveal all of your available lists and they do not have the blogging and profile options that iContact has.
They have a free 15 day trial, and you can get started for less than $10 a month.
For fairness sake, I’m going to list some of the icontact alternatives. I’d hate for you to think that I just wrote the post to promote iContact… even though I love them, they have an affiliate program, and I have a banner ad on my site. :)
The purpose of the blog was to talk about email marketing with twitter and facebook and what I use. So here are some alternatives.
- aWEBER.com – Probably one of the first auto-responder services out there. They are a little more restrictive than icontact by requiring a double-opt in for every email. But still a good service.
- ConstantContact.com – a very popular service, but I find it restrictive and cumbersome
- GetResponse.com – Almost as old as aweber.com, this service has been around a while.
- Express Email Marketing - These guys pay me to promote their service and I still recommend iContact! – But… they are cheaper than just about everybody else. So if you’re on a budget and do not need a bunch of frills, this service will work just fine for newsletters, tracking, etc.
Let me know about your email marketing experiences!
- Tony Darrick Baker