Mailchimp offers a forever free plan which allows you to send 12,000 emails for up to 2,000 subscribers. This plan is fairly limited because you don’t get features like send-time optimization, advanced segmentation, multi-variate testing, etc. You are also required to display their branding in your email. Last but not least, support is restricted to email only which is fine if you’re a hobbyist but as a serious business, you need reliable support that you can count on.
When creating an offer, a landing page, subscription/sign up form, ask only for necessary information. People really don’t want to be bothered to fill in infinite spaces; in most cases, an email address and a name are more than enough. Ask for more info, and people won’t take time to fill it out, let alone leave their email. To successfully collect email addresses, keep it short and straightforward.
For example, we found a few obscenely high-traffic posts on the Todaymade blog, and created a pop-up that encouraged people to sign up for an ebook that was related to the topic of the post. These were posts that had high bounce rates, meaning people came in, read what they wanted, and left. We figured we might as well offer them related content, since they were going to leave anyway. (Click here to see what I mean.) Imagine if you did that for your email autoresponder course? If you know people are going to those posts, why not offer them useful related content? They’re already primed for the topic. Nuthin’ to lose.
When you meet people face to face for any reason, ask for their business card. Offer yours. Set a glass bowl on the counter in your store or the reception desk in your office, and ask visitors to drop their cards in it. Offer some incentive to do so — a free product or service, gift card, etc. Use your own business cards to further drum up emails; add an offer on the back of your card that encourages people to sign up to receive your emails.
If you’re a business owner who wants a powerful marketing automation tool that combines email marketing, SMTP bulk emails, and SMS messages, then we recommend using SendinBlue. Their platform is easy to use, and they allow you to manage both email and SMS from a single interface. They also offer a fairly generous forever free plan which makes them the best free email marketing software.
Your blog provides a great way to build a personal relationship with customers and prospects — and to gather their email addresses. Consistently end blogs with a call to action that encourages readers to sign up for your email messages. Require blog visitors to provide an email list in order to leave comments, and set it up so that they have to actively opt out if they don’t want their email address included on your mailing list.
Search terms: You can find out the specific terms people are using to find your site, which will help you decide what the most popular topics for your readers are. However, Google searches are increasingly not providing the specific search terms that they used to, going with “not provided” instead, so this ability may decrease in the future (at least with the Google search engine).
The biggest issue I have yet to resolve is the majority of clients I work with have customer lists in the the THOUSANDS, but have never embraced email marketing. Through personal experience with several of the platforms listed here they will not let you load your current customer list and start emailing. Even if the lists are validated and cleaned through a source like NeverBounce. With the new GDPR rules, they only want emails that have current, ongoing engagement. So in other words, even though you have been in business for years and have a list of current emails from current and past customers, you cannot load them in to these platforms with any success. This makes it very difficult for legacy businesses that now want to start communicating with all their prospects and customers.
But the real joy here for me, is not the money. It’s that now, because I learned how to turn my readers into subscribers, I now have an AMAZING community of people around me. I can ask them any question and they'll respond. I can start a Facebook group and they'll come join me. I can issue a challenge and they'll rise to it! They can make nearly any endeavor successful because there are so many and they are so engaged. And that is a feeling like none other.