iMarket Solutions Blog : Archive for the ‘Email Marketing’ Category

Landing (and Staying) in Your Customer’s Inbox

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021

It’s no secret that reputation can make or break a business. The opinions of your customers can have a large impact on your business. The same idea applies to your email reputation. Retaining current customers and growing customer loyalty are two main benefits of email marketing. Without a strong email reputation, you could be losing out on customer engagement and added revenue. Let’s learn more about the importance of email reputation and how that applies to deliverability, what good or bad deliverability looks like, and some tips to maximize the deliverability of email marketing for contractors.

What Is Email Deliverability?

Writing a good email is only part of the equation. Email deliverability is the ability to deliver your email to a customer’s inbox. Globally, the average inbox placement rate (IPR) was 83% in 2019—meaning one out of every six messages failed to reach their target inbox. We’re going to focus on how to make sure your emails reach their destination the right way.

Email Terminology

Before we get into the dos and don’ts of email marketing, it’s important to get some basic terminology out of the way.


  • Email provider. The company hosting email accounts (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc.)
  • Email service provider. A tool for email marketing services or bulk email services (MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc.)
  • Domain. A name used for either personal or business use after the @ sign in an email address. A domain is also your URL. The domain is after “www” and before “.com.”
  • ISP. Also known as the internet service provider, they’re companies that provide internet services. (AT&T, Verizon, etc.)
  • Email Reputation. A complex mixture of logic that ISPs and email providers use as a measurement to deliver email.


The important thing to remember from these definitions is that a good email reputation is what we’re aiming for. So, it’s going to take some work with all of these terms to achieve that goal.

The Mailman Scenario

Imagine that a mailman had to deliver mail to an entire block of 50 homes, each with their own mailbox. However, this gets cut down to 28 homes because the other 22 had scary dogs barking and chasing him within reach of the mailbox. A lot of mail in this neighborhood isn’t going to reach its destination.

This is an analogy for email marketing. The mailman is the email reputation, the dog is the ISP and email provider, and the mailbox is the email recipient. In order for our emails to reach their intended recipients, they need to have a great email reputation so the ISP and email providers don’t chase them away!

How Email Reputation Is Measured

Email reputation is measured by a sender reputation score, which is given by the ISP and email provider. Each one scores differently, which is why this can be so complicated. Here are three factors that ISPs and email providers use to determine whether an email is reputable or not.

Internet Protocol Reputation (IP Reputation)

This is the address that your email is coming from. IP addresses are just one tool that these systems use to find out if your business sends out reputable emails. If you’re using an email service provider, such as MailChimp, you will be using a shared IP address that many other companies use. However, MailChimp is very protective of its reputation and will suspend, or ban an account that may not be following a set of standards they’ve put in place.

Domain Reputation

What is the domain of your email address? If you’re sending emails from a Gmail or Yahoo account, it looks less reputable than an email address that belongs to a company domain. Basically, is more reputable than

Email Metrics

Your email metrics are a recipe of ingredients that show the overall reputation of your email address. These ingredients can range from spam complaints, to bounce rates that show how likely it is that your email gets flagged.


  • Open rate. This is simply the percentage of customers that opened your email campaign in relation to the number of customers it was delivered to. The higher this is, the better off your email reputation is. A strong rate is usually between 18-22% and anything above that is excellent! Anything below 18% is a great opportunity for improvement.
  • Spam complaints. Every time your email gets marked or flagged as spam, this gets logged as a spam complaint. If there are a lot of spam complaints for a single email campaign, they can cause email deliverability issues, hurt your email reputation and sender score, and they can be the quickest way for an email marketing campaign to tank.
  • Bounce rates. This is when your email cannot reach the inbox of the desired recipient. This can be due to a lack of inbox space, a nonexistent domain, or an email size limitation.
  • Spam traps. These are emails used by ISPs to find spammers and companies using poor list hygiene practices.


Improve Your Email Reputation

Now that we’ve navigated the email minefield a little bit, it’s time to talk about some practices that can help keep your business in the clear.


  • List segmentation. Target customers with a specific email campaign. Or follow-up with customers who already requested an estimate. This will keep your email list short but effective.
  • Improve subject lines. Don’t use all caps or more than one exclamation mark in your subject line. Also, be careful when using the words “deal” or “free,” these are called spam triggers and email providers may send these to the spam folder.
  • Send a final re-engagement email campaign. Sending an email titled “We Miss You!” or “Are You Still With Us?” to anyone that has never opened an email campaign is a great last attempt to re-engage previous customers before removing them from your email list.


Keep Your Email List Clean!

Your email reputation can be greatly affected by your email list. This is why it’s so important to clean your email list regularly as to avoid being suspended or banned from an email service provider, avoid spam traps, and also stop your business from becoming irrelevant.

We Can Help

Here at iMarket Solutions, we manage your email deliverability to ensure a healthy email reputation. Being dedicated to contractor success doesn’t just mean helping businesses grow, it also means solidifying the relationship between customers and businesses. Your next email campaign can thrive with our help!

Contact iMarket Solutions if you’re ready to take your email campaign to the next level. Dedicated to contractor success.

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Q4 Marketing Tips Part 2: Building Your Digital Brand

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020

What does your contracting business need to build your digital brand? At iMarket Solutions, we have a vested interest in your digital marketing strategies. But we will be the first to admit you’re not going to get everything you need from your marketing efforts using just digital strategies.

You’ll need to consider your marketing plan as a whole, which we covered in Part 1 of this 2-part blog series. We’ve provided a basic overview below!

SEO Blog Posts

As part of our process, iMarket provides new clients with an overview of on-page and off-page SEO best practices. Part of this includes your SEO blog posts. These blog posts should be keyword-driven while also providing value and interest to the reader.

Well placed blog posts that focus on local events, how your services will benefit the reader and why YOU are the best contractor to provide those services is one of the many important facets of a digital marketing plan.

Social Media Ads

Do you know where your customers live? No, we aren’t talking about their home address. They live on social media! Many contractors still dismiss the power of social media, thinking it doesn’t apply to them or their marketing plans. The reality is, this is where your customers are, and you need to go there in order to monetize your customer base.

Social media engagement is not just about posting funny memes or celebrating employee birthdays and milestones—although there are certainly arguments for doing this on your Facebook and Twitter pages, etc. You should also be taking advantage of social media advertising.

Paid Ads

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) or PPC (Pay-Per-Click) focuses on bringing traffic to your website through paid ads. Google and Microsoft Advertising utilize a bidding strategy to help contractors control their advertising budget and bid on keywords relevant to their services they offer while targeting the customers they want. 

Social Media Retargeting

Also called remarketing, this keeps your company visible to website visitors by ensuring that your online ads follow potential customers around the internet—including their social media pages. We would love to discuss with you how you can put the power of Google remarketing and social media retargeting to work for you!

Local Service Ads by Google

Local Service Ads by Google, also called Google Guaranteed, is one of the more recent developments in contractor digital marketing, and only available for certain industries—including yours! Google is always making changes, and low-cost leads will change as the Google model changes too. But it will serve you well to take advantage of this, and iMarket stays abreast of all these changes as they’re happening to help our clients make the best moves for their digital marketing plan.

Targeted Email Marketing

Email marketing is going to bring you one of the best costs-per-lead in the contracting industry. As long as your content is interesting and informative, your customers will open the email and read it. Of course, there is a lot more to email marketing than simply that, and we’re here to help you figure it all out.

Email is the medium that today’s web users are most comfortable with—they’d rather do their own research online before picking up a phone to call you. So this is another case of “meeting your customers where they’re at”!

Partner with the Right Marketing Team

Haven’t partnered with iMarket yet? We work only in the home services industry, so we are the experts when it comes to the complexities of contracting businesses. We want you to succeed and we’re here to help you do just that!

When you’re ready to upgrade your marketing, reach out to the team “Dedicated to Contractor Success”—contact iMarket Solutions!

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Email Marketing: Breaking Down Your Emails to Build Up Your Client Engagement

Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

The average human has an attention span of about eight seconds. When it comes to emails though, it often feels like that attention span shrinks. The key to email marketing for contractors, therefore, is making the most of that short span of time—and keeping your emails out of spam folders.

Email segmentation helps you use those few seconds to open a door for both you and your customers. How? It does this by helping you connect with quality leads and personalize your messages, all while keeping your customers fully engaged. And it does so with data that you already have on hand.

What is Email Segmentation?

The first step to making the most of your email marketing strategy is to learn what exactly email segmentation is. Email segmentation refers to how you break up your emails into different groups and then break up those groups into sub-groups, and so on.

The goal of email segmentation is threefold: helping to engage customers, allowing you to easily personalize your email messages, and optimizing your email content to meet your customers where they are in their buyer journey. In short, it helps you to more accurately target what to send in your email, when to send it, and who to send it to.

Segmentation Strategies

There are two key strategies for email segmentation that you can incorporate into your marketing approach. Remember how we said you can utilize data you already have on hand to employ segmentation? This is where that data comes in handy. The two strategies you should know about are:

Strategy 1: Membership Status

This will involve the people who are signed up as a part of any membership programs you have such as your maintenance plan. As you can imagine, you aren’t going to send the same email content to someone who is a part of your maintenance program and one who isn’t, even if they are both meant to remind the recipient to schedule their yearly heater maintenance appointment.

Following this example, you can use email segmentation to personalize your content to your membership holders with content that serves as a simple reminder. Likewise, you can send an email to your non-membership clientele encouraging them to 1) schedule their maintenance and 2) consider a maintenance program as it will save them some cash.

Strategy 2: Recency, Frequency, Monetary

This second strategy requires a bit more data, but it allows for much more precise segmentation. As you may have already guessed, this second category is focused on breaking down your emails based on how recently a customer has purchased a product or service, how often they purchase and how much they spend.

One example of this strategy would be finding those customers who purchase annual services but may not have done so in the past year and sending them a reminder email that results in their scheduling maintenance or repairs. Another example would be sending an email to a long-time customer whose AC you installed over 10 years ago an informational email that prompts them to schedule a system replacement.

Get Started Today

As you can see, segmentation allows you a better grasp of the content your clients are most likely to engage with and respond to. Like we said before, this means you have a better chance of capturing your customers’ attention, engaging them more thoroughly, and meeting them exactly where they are on their customer journey, whether they are only being introduced to your company or they are a long time customer.

You may be wondering how exactly you need to get started:

  • First, determine what challenges you’re facing as a business and how email marketing could help you. (Ex: Maybe you noticed that your Maintenance Program membership shrunk this year)
  • Second, collect data and store it in your CRM database. (Ex: Start flagging Maintenance Program members and the date they joined/the date their membership expires)
  • Lastly, break down your data into groups and sub-groups. (Ex: Pull a group of Maintenance Program members who did not renew their membership last year)

The sooner you start collecting your data the sooner you can optimize your email marketing strategy. We can help! With our marketing prowess, we will work with you to create an email marketing plan that meets the goals you have for your business. All you have to do is reach out.

Contact iMarket Solutions today to give your email marketing strategy the boost you need. We are dedicated to contractor success.

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Why Should Contractors Utilize Digital Marketing?

Wednesday, September 25th, 2019

When it comes to getting your name out there and converting local homeowners into loyal customers, there are many marketing methods that can help you along. Creating the right overall marketing strategy is an essential part in helping your contracting business grow. These days, this means creating a solid digital marketing strategy.

Digital marketing is, in the simplest terms, the marketing of your products and services using digital technologies, both on the internet and other forms of digital media. In the last few decades, digital marketing has drastically changed the way brands and businesses utilize technology in their marketing efforts.

At iMarket Solutions, we are dedicated to contractor success. This means we believe in helping contractors form a reputable digital footprint in today’s online and mobile environment. This isn’t optional anymore—it’s what your contracting business needs to separate itself from your competitors. What exactly does this look like?

The Benefits of Digital Marketing for Contractors

Today’s consumers are increasingly becoming more mobile and web-based than ever before. Sure, marketing efforts such as advertising products and services through direct mail, or from a booth at a home or trade show is still valuable. But, to truly reach homeowners and even business owners where they’re at, you need to be visible online. There are a number of benefits to this, including:

Brand Development: A beautifully designed website, reputable social media presence, and solid online reviews are just a few of the ways you can garner attention for your contracting business. Building a brand from the ground up, or even entering a new vertical, can be overwhelming. But with the right support, you can quickly gain leads and conversions.

Lead Generation: If you want to enable your business to create enormous traffic and subsequent sales and conversion, the best way to do so is with digital marketing. Digital agencies can bring in leads through content marketing, email and social media marketing, optimized web forms, A/B testing, and more.

Low Cost, High ROI: Marketing and advertising your brand is one of the biggest financial burdens you’ll never need to take on. But marketing through digital platforms provides you with an affordable alternative to traditional marketing such as cold calling or advertising in magazines and direct mail. The best part is, digital marketing offers a substantial return on investment.

Reputation: The idea behind a careful digital marketing strategy is to gain the attention of potential customers and current customers long enough to build a credible reputation that keeps them coming back. Online reviews, social media presence, and how your company communicates using these digital mediums can help build and maintain a great company reputation in the communities you serve.

Our Comprehensive Products

Not all digital marketing products are right for each and every contractor. It’s important that you work with a qualified team with a specialty in marketing for contractors to determine the best strategy for your specific needs as a contracting business. Contact a member of our team today to learn more about any of the following services we provide!

  • Website Design
  • Digital Brand Management with SEO
  • Review Generation & Management
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Management
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Local Services by Google Support
  • Remarketing
  • Live Chat

“How Can I Get Started?”

Digital marketing can seem overwhelming to a contractor who’s never had a solid online presence. Fortunately, that’s what iMarket Solutions is here for. Getting started with digital marketing means first creating a well-designed website with great, unique content and a strong town-by-town strategy for your service areas—and ensuring that the whole site provides a positive user experience.

Or rather, it means contacting a digital agency with the purpose of delivering HVAC, plumbing, and electrical contracting businesses with the best solutions for their digital marketing strategy to design that website. And your company’s website is just the beginning!

iMarket Co-Owner and Co-Founder Gary Elekes has found that the contractors with the most successful digital strategies have followed this model for getting started in digital marketing:

  • Have your provider publish blog posts at least 1-2 times each month.
  • Encourage and drive customer reviews as much as you can to all review engines—not just Google.
  • Get busy with collecting emails, and launch a solid email campaign strategy that targets existing customers.
  • Tie in your social media accounts with a strategy for community and cause marketing, using Facebook ads, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, and Retargeting.
  • Check to see if Local Services by Google is available in your area, and if it is, don’t wait! Sign up, get vetted, and tie in your ads to your customer reviews.
  • Invest in a paid search model through Google paid ads.

Gary Elekes Co–Founded iMarket Solutions in 2010 with Andrew Allen. Gary is also the Founder and CEO of EPC Equity, a private equity group established to acquire, operate, and grow businesses in the home services trade. Additionally, Gary serves as President of EPC, Inc., EPC Training, Inc., two companies he has sold to EGIA and operates them for EGIA.  He still maintains and operates EPC Consulting independently, and has also been an active contractor since 2002, currently owning and operating HVAC and Plumbing companies in Arizona.

To learn more about how to get started, simply reach out to our team. We’ve been working with contractors for years, and we understand the unique needs you face when getting your name out and attracting leads.

iMarket Solutions is your resource for leading digital solutions. Please allow us to assess your current digital strategy and see where your lead opportunities are. Contact us today!

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What Contractors Need to Know about Email Marketing

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

Email marketing is an extremely effective customer conversion method for contractors to have in their marketing toolbox, but what makes a good email marketing campaign?

It is about so much more than simply blasting your customers and potential leads with the same, templated email. Your email marketing messages should provide value, through personalization. Of course, your technicians visit many different customers on any given day and you have hundreds of contacts to follow up with, so how do you personalize messages on a larger scale to achieve the results you want?

Send the Right Message to the Right Person at the Right Time

What type of people should you be targeting with your email marketing campaign? When should you contact them? What data should you be collecting? Knowing the answers to these questions speaks volumes to the type of customer service and value you provide as a contractor.

Creating a customer persona is one way to know who you are speaking to. For instance, the average HVAC customer is looking for one of 3 things when they contact an HVAC contractor:

  1. HVAC system repairs
  2. HVAC system installation
  3. Professional HVAC maintenance

The general customer is looking for exceptional customer service, convenience, and solid, trustworthy communication from the technicians in their home. But these are just the basics–your email marketing messages should go beyond this to truly meet the unique needs of your individual customers.

Marketers see an average increase of 20% in sales when using personalized experiences.

The goal of this kind of personalized marketing is to truly engage customers by communicating with each as an individual. This starts with the data that you are collecting. Your service technicians do this already right from the start at the customer’s front door, but it doesn’t end there.

For instance, if your technicians notice that a customer is a dog owner, they may recommend an indoor air quality system for that customer, such as an air scrubber, and your email would benefit from being sent right before allergy season.

Knowing how long your customers have been with you is a vital tool for email marketing as well. In fact, it can be 6-7 times harder to obtain new customers than to retain the ones you have, through email marketing–and increasing your customer retention rate by as little as 5% could boost your profits by 25%.

So if you knew you had a customer whose HVAC system was installed over 12 years ago, the right message would be that systems over this age will see a dramatic drop in efficiency, and the right time to send that message may be every 2 months before conversion.

Utilizing Email Marketing for Annual Maintenance Agreements

How can you use this method of sending “the right message to the right people at the right time” in renewing annual maintenance agreements (AMA’s)? By focusing on retention and thanking the customer for their loyalty. When you look at your customers, the “right people” are those who are currently subscribed to your AMA program. The “right time” will typically be 30-60 days before their renewal date. The “right message” is particularly important here.

Sure, you could send a standard, “it’s time to renew your AMA agreement!” to these customers, but this is not utilizing the personalization techniques we’ve outlined above. A more appropriate message will vary by contractor, but an example of how to make this message stick out to the reader is by truly honing in on the personalization aspect:

“Dear [*first name*],

Thank you for your continued loyalty. We’ve noticed you’ve been a customer with us for 10 years, and we’d love to have you for another one. We noticed your maintenance program renewal date is coming up. Please contact us to renew!

What If Your Customer Isn’t Already an AMA Member?

Whether you are contacting a long-time customer or emailing someone who has never enrolled in your AMA program before, remember that in all your messaging, you’re looking for a unique solution to meet their needs and budget. When contacting a customer not already enrolled in your AMA program, you’ll want a long term email marketing strategy. Let’s look at a common example for a new customer who is not a current AMA Member.

Introduction Email > Explanation of AMA Benefits > “Still Not Convinced?” > “You’re Due for a Tune-Up!” > AMA Promotion > 2nd “Still Not Convinced?” Email with Explanation of Benefits > AMA Promotion #2 > Ideally, a Conversion of Customer Investing in AMA or Scheduling a Tune-Up

Essentially, the goal of email marketing for contractors is to develop an omnichannel customer experience driven by hyper-personalization big data, through marketing automation. This is marketing speak for: You want to create a one-on-one experience!

74% of online consumers get frustrated when targeted online content has nothing to do with their interests. 78% of online consumers are more likely to be a repeat customer if a brand provides targeted, personalized, offers.

By anticipating your customer’s needs and giving them the experience they want, you maintain credibility and relevance, thereby increasing customer retention and improving your sales.

For email marketing solutions and to learn more about our full suite of contractor marketing products, contact iMarket Solutions.

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Upgrade Your Marketing: Digital Marketing Tips for Contractors

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

You have many options when it comes to developing a marketing plan for your contracting business. Creating the right strategy is a vital part to helping your business thrive. This includes traditional marketing methods as well as newer, digital marketing strategies.

We mentioned this briefly in our last blog post about selling in the shoulder season, though it applies year round—forming a reputable digital footprint in today’s online and mobile environment is not optional. It’s key to helping you build your brand, attract leads, and build customer relationships.

If It’s Not Digital, Is It Even Marketing?

There is of course still value in traditional marketing practices, such as sending direct mail pieces that advertise your products and services, promoting your business and services from a booth at a home show, or even setting up charity events in your local area. But there is no denying that today’s consumers are increasingly mobile and web-based. Therefore, it’s essential to have a solid digital marketing plan in place.

What does this look like? Here are just a few digital marketing tips for you to keep in mind:

  1. Create a Well-Designed Website: It’s not enough to simply have a website up—it must be well designed. This means creating a site that is visually appealing, allows site visitors and customers to figure out what you’re about right away, is user-friendly (customers can find what they’re looking for instantly), and properly optimized. Don’t forget that it has to be fast and responsive—this means it works on any online and mobile device.  
  2. Optimize Your Web Pages and Blog: Weak keywords are the worst enemy to a well-designed website and blog. Choosing the right keywords to attract your target demographic requires a long-term strategy that includes understanding your competition and knowing exactly what web visitors are searching for. Trusting an experienced marketing company to create your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy will ensure that this is done correctly and that you avoid what’s known as “black hat” SEO practices—tactics that can get your website flagged by Google and other major search engines.
  3. Invest in Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads: Also called “paid advertising,” PPC ads are an essential component of any effective digital marketing plan, especially in highly-competitive markets. A PPC ad is what you see on the top and right sides of search engine results pages. They’re named as such because advertisers pay each time a web visitor conducting a search clicks on one of those ads.
  4. Have a Social Media and Email Marketing Plan in Place: There’s a lot still to be said for “word-of-mouth” advertising. Social media has taken this form of marketing and amplified it. Businesses can now easily reach customers where they’re at, not necessarily to make a sale, but to engage directly with potential consumers in order to build a relationship. Email marketing is another way to effectively get the word out about your business to leads and members of your community. From eNewsletters to promotional announcements, email allows you to get your business top of mind when the recipient needs a home services contractor down the road.

Not all products are right for each and every contractor. You’ll want to work closely with a qualified professional who specializes in marketing for contractors to help determine the right mix of products for your particular contracting business. When you work with our team, you don’t have to worry about your knowledge of the digital marketing space—that’s what we are here for!

iMarket Solutions is your resource for the leading digital solutions, and other great marketing tips. We would love the opportunity to assess your current digital campaign and see where your lead opportunities are. Contact us today!

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How to Avoid the Spam Folder

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

The million dollar question for email marketers is “How do I avoid the Spam folder?” It’s the one question on every marketer’s mind but in order to avoid facing this issue there are a few things one must know first. I will be covering some basic information about spam filters, 3rd party services that can help, as well as abuse reports. The inbox is much like a person’s trust: it is much easier to maintain peoples trust in you than to lose it and have to gain it back.

What Is SPAM?

To start with, what is considered SPAM? SPAM = sending unsolicited or irrelevant emails. Additionally, depending on the country you’re sending emails to, there are also laws that the marketer must follow. For instance, the United States created the “CAN-SPAM Act of 2003,” which took effect Jan. 1, 2004. The details of the law include basic best practices that most good marketers would see as common sense, such as getting permission before sending emails, including a link for users to opt-out, etc. You can read the full details of the law here. Information about the Canadian anti-spam laws can be found here .

SPAM Filters

So what are SPAM filters? To keep it simple, your email’s fate rests on the SPAM filter because it will ultimately determine whether your email will be delivered, and if delivered whether it will hit the spam folder or inbox. The filters have a large list of requirements that they look into when determining your “spam score”. They go through their list and assign you a score based on their list of requirements. Based on that score, you will either hit the inbox or spam folder.

Computer screen with email inbox

Third-party Services That Can Help

There are two main services that can greatly help you avoid acting like a spammer.

  1. First one would be list scrubbing services. What they do is go through your email lists and remove all invalid email addresses and those that might be a spam trap.
  2. Another great service to include in your email marketing tool belt would be email deliverability monitoring services. These services will give you a good idea of what percent of emails are actually hitting the inbox. It also breaks it down into the various major domains. This is an absolutely crucial tool for those who have a larger list size.

Dealing with Complaints

The one thing everyone should already expect with every email blast that goes out are users who unsubscribe and/or complain. What I mean by “complain” is when they mark your email as “spam” in the inbox. This generates an automated complaint against the sender that alerts the spam filters. This ultimately raises your spam score (the higher your spam score, the worse it is). The most important KPI for email deliverability is hands down the complaint rate. If your complaint rate is high, you are essentially handcuffing yourself and limiting your email campaign performance.

Overall, avoiding the spam folder can be easy if you follow basic best practices. Unfortunately, this is sometimes easier said than done so if you find yourself running into issues or questions, I highly encourage you to email me at I will be happy to assist you with any questions or concerns you might have.

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4 Steps to Creating a Powerful Win-Back Program

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Many have heard the saying “a dollar saved is a dollar earned.” Using that logic, an email address saved would be equivalent to an email address earned. Watching people become inactive in your mailing list is a normal thing. Attempting to spark the interest of someone who once was interested but now is not is no easy task. That is exactly why I’m going to discuss how to create the ideal win-back program to help rekindle that spark in your customers eye when they think of your brand.


A Large Discount

If there is ever a good time to offer a large discount and settle for a minimal profit margin, this is the time. I always recommend leaving the best for last and users who no longer have an interest in you and your brand would fall in the “worst case scenario” category. Although I typically recommend creating a design that matches your brand and your website, this would be an exception. The recipient has obviously seen your previous emails and has yet to engage. Though promotions and newsletters, they have received it all and got no sign of interest in the process. Being creative with the design and throwing a large discount in the process might be that “something new” that will get them to click and reunite with your website once again.

A Personalized Touch

A large discount will not work for everyone. Most people need something more than an in-personal email that clearly looks like a marketing email. This is exactly the reason why my next step is to create a personalized “human-touch”. In other words, create a text only email that looks like it was sent from someone’s outlook. The idea of having someone personally take the time out of their day to write you an email shows that they care. Include the discount to have the incentive still be part of the persuasion.

A Video Message

By this point, if they still haven’t engaged you need to try something different. An idea that is completely unexpected and creative. I find that a video message from the CEO/Founder speaking directly to the inactive user will show that there are real people behind the messages and might just be enough to get the connection the customer seeks.

Final Notice

This is where we determine who is truly committed to quality and relevant content. At this point in the process, the customer has received numerous emails from you, including the 3 previous steps to this win-back program and has yet to engage. This simply tells me that the customer is either no longer interested in receiving your emails or no longer checks their email account. Either way, I recommend that you send a courtesy notice letting them know that this will be the last email contact you make. Be sure to mention the reason to why you no longer will be sending them emails and if they were wish to continue receiving future emails they can either click on a link you provide to update their mailing preferences or reply to the email for you to do it manually. Either way, you send them the email and follow up by unsubscribing them as a user. This will ensure your email list is populated with active people who genuinely want to receive your emails.

Creating a successful email campaign is full of making difficult decisions, none harder than deciding to keep a list that has only the most interested and willing recipients. Sending an email that is continuously ignored not only brings you no money but affects your reputation in a negative way that could impact whether or not the next person you send an email to receives it.

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6 Golden Rules of Email Marketing

Monday, March 21st, 2016

Like any other digital marketing channel, email marketing can either positively impact your business or become a colossal pain if you do not follow certain basic rules. Today I’m going to help clarify what those basic rules are and explain the importance of each. This will hopefully give you a better understanding of these golden rules to drive your email results to new heights.


First Rule: Identify Yourself

People should never have to read your email to determine who you are and why you have sent them an email. Therefore, creating an identity and answering the two questions “who” and “why” are the first steps toward succeeding in email marketing. When you send emails to your customers, make sure your “from” line is always consistent. For example, if you put “ABC Company,” make sure all emails send come from ABC Company. Changing the “from” line might confuse your customers and ultimately lead them to ask one of those two questions you don’t ever want them ever ask.

Second Rule: Keep It Short and to the Point

A Rule of thumb with emails: you have exactly one second to catch a reader’s attention this and three seconds to hold it. You can add as much content as you would like, just keep those two things in mind. My personal preference is to keep the content short and to the point because I find helps maximize my click through rate. If you have any doubt about how much content to include, I would encourage you to do an A|B test. If you have any questions on how to do an A|B test, please contact me directly at

Third Rule: Develop Trust

Trust is the most important aspect in all relationships, and the one between business and client base is no exception. Building trust with your customers is easy but takes time. I typically recommend “setting the expectations” when the customer signs up for your emails. Let them know how often they should expect an email and what type of content the email will contain. Building trust is all about staying true to your word so if you promised an email twice a week, send an email twice a week. If you mentioned that you’ll be providing discounts and tips, be sure to keep a good balance between promotional emails and the tips you promised.

Fourth Rule: Look Pretty!

First impressions are crucial. A poorly designed email doesn’t really entice the recipient to read the email at all. Going back to my rule regarding a reader’s attention, you have one second to catch it and three seconds to hold it. You are far more likely to grab someone’s attention with a nice image rather than a headline. This is even truer today with the rise in smart phone and tablet users. I always recommend grabbing a user’s attention with a nice graphic and keep it with relevant and quality content.

Fifth Rule: Segment Your List

Not everyone on your email list is in the same place in developing a business relationship with you.  What this means is, in order to send the “right message” to the “right person.” you can’t simply have a single message for everyone on your list. You have to create certain segments to allow for different messaging. For example, someone who just subscribed to your email list won’t be able to relate to the content that you send to someone who has been on your email list for many years. Another example would be separating your active users from your inactive users. A customer who loves your brand and always participates in your promotions doesn’t require the same messaging as someone who sees your promotional email and still doesn’t engage. Those inactive users need more than just a discount sometimes, so creating a separate segment with content that caters to them will help maximize your overall click-through rate.

Sixth Rule: Provide a Clear Call to Action

The main purpose of sending an email is to get the user to your website. Whether you want them to submit a lead or read your latest tips to them, you always want them on your site. With that said, keep the following formula in mind when creating a layout for your next email. First, you want to, deliver the message to your reader. What was the original reason you were emailing them? If it’s for a promotion, than inform them of the promotion. Once you’ve delivered your message to your reader, you want to then tell them what you want them to do with that message. For example, if you’re offering 20% off when callers mention a promo code, letting them know about the discount is the first step. Telling them to pick up the phone and call would the follow up.

Another thing to keep in mind with Call-to-Action buttons is that it’s always best practice to keep the button “above the fold”. What this means is, a reader should be able to look at your email and see the button to click on without actually having to scroll down.

Keeping these six golden rules in mind, you’ll take your first steps to creating a rock star email marketing program for your customers. That said, there is far more to email marketing than just these six rules so stay tuned for more helpful blogs. For questions or recommendations on what blog you want to see next, please feel free to send me an email at

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4 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Subject Lines

Sunday, March 13th, 2016


Consider how much time and effort you put into creating the perfect email. Now compare that to the amount of time you spend writing your subject line. Because a poorly written subject line can deter the recipient from even wanting to see that perfect email, you might want to take a second glance at that subject line to make sure it’s the one you want to go with. If you’re thinking to yourself “I need a better subject line”, then these 4 tips are just what you need. They will help you create effective subject lines that will boost open rates and get more eyes on that perfect email you’ve designed.


Keep your subject line short!

With the rise of mobile users comes the rise of new things to think in mind when creating the perfect subject line. Mobile devices limit how long we can make the subject line and ones that do run long are simply cut-off. Keeping your subject line between 30-50 characters will avoid that risk completely.


Personalize it when you can

With the average user having their inbox flooded with emails on a regular basis, it sometimes get easy to miss an email. According to a study done by Marketing Sherpa, personalizing a subject line can improve your open rate but as much as 29.3%. I wouldn’t recommend starting every email you send with their name but it should definitely be in the mix.


Avoid “salesy” language

Nobody likes a cheesy used car salesman. Don’t be the cheesy used car salesman of the email marketing world. So do yourself a favor and avoid ending your subject lines with a bunch of explanation points!!!!!!!! While you’re at it, you might want to avoid writing in all caps: IT REALLY ISN’T NECESSARY. Saying things like “You’re a winner” in your subject line is frustrating when people open the email just to find out they didn’t win anything. Lastly, you don’t need to say things like “act now!” or “Don’t hesitate” in your subject lines.


Use powerful words

I saved the best for last, powerful words. Using certain words or phrases can really help boost your open rates. For example, starting your subject line with the word “Get” and follow it with what it is they are getting in the email, is a surefire bet to get you a respectable open rate almost every time. Words like “invitation”, “introducing”, “new”, “update”, “we”, and “special” are also great words to include. When it comes to power words, it’s important to monitor which words are consistently working for you.

People often underestimate the power the subject line holds. First impressions are everything and with these 4 easy tips, we’re confident your next first impression will be a great one. Send me an email and tell me how it goes at, I would love to hear your story.



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