Eliminate The Biggest Headache In Email Marketing

Email marketing is no longer what it used to be. It has a low conversion rate, which means that we need to have a huge email list to make up for the small percentage and drive sales.

Finding prospects is also incredibly tedious. Before I created my tool, there were generally 3 ways to find prospects:

  1. Networking events
  2. Email lists
  3. Manual search on Google

 

Networking Events

To build our network, we go to conferences, trade shows, networking lunches, business networking events and seminars. There, we hope to find people who are interested in our product. And usually we do. These events tend to give us a higher chance to close a deal, but they are very expensive and time-consuming.

 

Email Lists

The alternative to networking events is to buy email lists. However, email lists also come with their own problems.

  • They are ridiculously overpriced
  • They are obsolete or completely incorrect (Out of 10,000 emails, at least 6,000 bounce because they are no longer in use.)
  • These emails are so flooded with emails from hundreds if not thousands of people that the receivers are either stop bothering with unknown emails or have implemented strong filters that auto-junk emails

 

THE BIGGEST HEADACHE

The biggest headache in email marketing is COST. For anyone who has tried to find email leads without burning cash, you probably tried to manually search for emails on Google. You search for your industry and click on every single search result and scroll through the chunk of text to find an email address. But that is not effective.

I used to source for emails manually from Google, which took me 4 hours to get 50 emails. But now, I take 4 minutes to get 50 emails.

Now that I have eliminated the entire process, I save over 100 hours to focus on important tasks like meeting prospects and clients.

To explain without the technical details, I built a tool that extracts every single email within a single Google Search.

 

So here is how it works. For example, if I search “Property Agency Singapore”, I will do this:

If I want to manually select results to add, I click:

This tool is completely FREE for you to use.

 

We originally built this tool to recruit >40,000 vendors for our e-procurement marketplace. But now we are making it available for everyone. If you do sales or merchant acquisition, this tool is for you. Seeing is believing. Experience the difference HERE.

 

ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.

How To Reduce Unsubscribers For Your Email Marketing

When people unsubscribe from our email marketing, it can be extremely painful and demotivating. It feels like a form of rejection, especially when you truly believe in the value you provide to people and they just don’t see it.

But that is the reality of sales and marketing. You and I do not meet EVERYONE’s needs. We have a target group of prospects and we want to capture as much market share as possible. Sometimes it takes a longer process of persuading, but getting a “no” does not really mean “no”. It just means “not now, maybe later.”

Understanding why your prospects unsubscribe is important to learning how to keep them on your mailing list. I have compiled some ideas for you to refine your email marketing strategy and keep your subscribers engaged.

 

State Your Objectives Clearly

It is not enough to simply say “sign up for our newsletter.” What are your subscribers going to get out of it? You need to be very clear about what you are offering, otherwise you will have mismatched expectations or worse people feel like you are just spamming them.

 

Segment Your Subscribers

Do your subscribers only want to learn about a particular topic or product out of an entire range you cover? Do varying demographics and geographies affect your readers’ expectations? How committed are your customers? Are they loyal, sceptical, deal finders or just window shoppers? Segment your email list by meaningful categories.

 

Test Email Frequency

Do your subscribers appreciate daily, weekly or monthly updates? It depends on the industry and value you are offering. Which day of the week do you receive a higher open-rate and conversion rate? Test that too.

 

Test Subject Lines

Do clickbait subject lines work well? Or do they frustrate your readers? I wrote a full-length article about the new expectations of email marketing that your readers never told you. Hope it is useful.

 

Be Personal

Rather than going “Hey friend” or worse still “Dear valued subscriber”, use your subscriber’s name! Collect names along with emails. A simple guideline is to mention your subscriber’s name once in every paragraph or so.

 

Offer Real Value

Give useful and relevant information that value-adds to your readers. Give offers, discounts and promotions exclusively to subscribers to make them feel appreciated.

 

Use Creative Formatting

Get un-boring. Refresh your style continually for visual appeal.

 

Optimise For Mobile

Why are we still saying this? Most of us read emails on mobile, so if you haven’t already considered this step, please do it. It will really help you to engage >70% of your audience reading on mobile.

 

OH NOOO! THEY STILL UNSUBSCRIBE!

This is inevitable. Rejections are a harsh reality. BUT we can do our best to minimise unsubscribes. The following techniques can help you save some prospects from flying out of your nest.

 

Allow More Options

You need to get out of the mindset that subscription is binary, either “Subscribe” or “Unsubscribe”. Think of it as a full spectrum. Your subscribers have different levels of relationships with you, and it is important to treat them differently to minimise total “unsubscribes”.

The following Email Subscriber Relationship Spectrum was developed by ThunderQuote inhouse to help us with relationship management.

 

Recognise Unsubscribe Trends

You need to be sensitive to patterns especially when they cause people to unsubscribe from your newsletter. Often it is clickbait subject lines, routine and ugly formats and poor value offered. Pay special attention to the feedback you get.

 

Building relationships with your subscribers is not easy, but we can definitely use some of these ideas to improve and give subscribers what they really need.

BONUS: We built a FREE tool that helps you find 200 email leads in 10 minutes. If you want to supercharge your email marketing campaign, click on this link.

 

ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.

21 Ways To Get Your First 100 Customers

Starting out is always the hardest. When you are new in the market, you need to build your startup brand awareness and know how to get customers to trust you before they are willing to buy your product. If you are struggling with how to get your first 100 customers, you are not alone. We entrepreneurs know the difficulty. Here are 21 proven strategies to build your brand and get your first 100 customers.

 

Start with Friends and Family

When you are a new entrepreneur with a startup, perhaps you are a bit embarrassed to let your loved ones know that you are entering a business venture. Look in the mirror. There’s an entrepreneur in you. Own it. Share with your family and friends. Hold a party to celebrate your new journey and pitch to them. You will be amazed how supportive your loved ones are and how much they adore your bravery. Your first customers may be people you know very well.

 

Get to Friends of Friends

Once you have let all your loved ones know the value of your business, ask for a favour.  Ask them to refer your business to their friends. That way, you will have already reached your 2nd degree contacts to know your startup. Ask them to share a social media post, a hashtag, a flyer or your website. Who knows, perhaps your friends’ friends would spread the word.

 

Start an Email Marketing Campaign

You need to quickly get publicity for your small business beyond your immediate circle. You need to know how to get customers online. To start an email marketing campaigns, I suggest that you first begin with 50,000 emails. I don’t suggest that you buy email lists. They are super overpriced and 50% or more of the emails are outdated.

At the same time, you don’t want to manually search websites for emails. If I did that, I would take 4 hours to find 50 emails. I recommend that you use TQ Prospector. It helped me find 50 emails in 4 minutes. It automates the entire lead generation process for you and it’s absolutely free for your first 200 emails! There’s nothing to lose except 200 potential customers if you don’t give it a shot!

 

Blog, Blog, Blog

At first you may be wondering how blogging can help you get customers in a short time. The truth is that blogging is useful to show to the world that you are an expert in your field. Your knowledge in your domain will help others understand what you do and respect you as a thought leader. This is especially important to build credibility as a startup founder. Learn Search Engine Optimisation to maximise your reach. Use keywords that people normally search on Google. That way, your blog post will appear on the front page of the Google search results and you get free traffic to your website.

 

Create a Newsletter

Do you remember moving your mouse out of the webpage and suddenly a pop-up on the screen appears? What does it offer? A free toolkit? An ebook? A newsletter? A free trial? Exactly. Do that. Copy best practices and this will supercharge your startup’s growth.This will generate leads for your email marketing campaign to reach your initial customers.

 

Answer Quora

A great way to directly meet your potential customers’ needs is to find relevant questions on Quora to answer. Often people ask questions that they need an expert to advice on. Treat Quora like a blog. Share your expertise and build connections with a global audience. This will bring great long-term awareness to your startup.

 

Maximise Facebook

Create a Facebook page and post your blog content. I also suggest that you create a “like-and-share” contest to incentivise your fans to share your content with the rest of the world. Building a following on Facebook is quite tricky nowadays. You may need paid adverts to give your startup brand the awareness it needs.

 

Tweet in Droves

Hashtag-ing is most popular on Twitter and it is an amazing technique to get your brand in front of a relevant audience. I recommend tweeting 10-17 times a day. Create your own hashtag and use other common hashtags also. How do you get your brand in front of potential customers? Ride on viral hashtags to drive traffic to your Twitter account. Direct your followers to your startup website through images and blog posts.

 

Pin It on Pinterest

Pinterest is a visual blog. Convert all your blog posts into infographics and post them onto Pinterest regularly. When people click on your image, link them to your website. Honestly I find myself more inclined to read an infographic than a blog post. So it is also prudent to post your infographics in your blog too.

 

Link Up on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is your digital CV. Everything you share and do on LinkedIn will determine the success or failure of your business. Be professional. People go to LinkedIn like they go for a business networking event rather than a birthday party. Share valuable educational content and not cat pictures. Advertising on LinkedIn is definitely an effective way to generate solid leads and get your first 100 customers.

 

Write on Reddit

How do I describe Reddit? It is a discussion page for everything under the sun, and that includes discussing your startup business. Getting in relevant discussions and providing insights will definitely provide you with a good reputation as a passionate leader in your industry and bring you your first 100 customers. Reddit has a cult following that is smaller than other social media platforms, but if you stay committed to the platform, you will reap a handsome number of leads.

 

Contribute to Forums

There are online forums for everything. They are decentralised public discussion pages that passionate enthusiasts gather around. These forums tend to be less formal. So it is perfectly fine to offer the lighter side of your startup business. But people on these forums know their stuff. So they appreciate truly valuable insights that have educational value.

 

Connect with Your Subscribers

Your subscribers are fans, regardless of which social media platform they follow you from. They expect to be related to as friends. So it pays to interact with them over social media. Your aim shouldn’t be to figure out how to get them to become customers, but rather how to add value to them. It helps you build rapport, learn their needs, build trust and get referrals from them. Actually help them even if it is beyond your scope. Refer them to people who can help them.

 

Call to Action

You need to link every Social Media account, blog and print adverts to a single landing page. That landing page needs to be optimised to reduce barriers to purchasing your product. You should only have 1 button “Try for Free”, “Subscribe”, “Download Now” etc. Any other button on your landing page is a distraction. Remember that your landing page has 1 sole purpose, which is to convert your committed fans into your first 100 customers. Don’t ever forget that.

 

Go to Networking Events

Conferences, book launches, breakfast clubs, round tables, and talks are great places to meet like-minded people. Always have an elevator pitch in mind to stimulate a conversation about what your startup has to offer. Prepare name cards, promo codes, discount vouchers and flyers to give away. See my article about 12 money saving tips for start-ups for ideas about how to go for these events for free.

 

Dish out Deals and Discounts

Who doesn’t love a $10 voucher? Personally, once I receive one, I want to make the most of the voucher. I will spend just to use it. It’s a psychological tactic. The loss aversion I feel from not using a voucher makes me buy. So use that to your advantage (just don’t do it to me). I still want a voucher though.

 

Try for Free

Often software has a free plan and a paid plan. You will use the free plan until you realise that you are addicted to the product and need to use the paid version. For your free plan to work, you need to make sure that you offer enough free stuff for it to be sticky and people actually stay on the free product instead of deleting it. That’s how getting them to become paid customers becomes easier.

 

Get Free Publicity

Start connecting with influential people in your field who can share your startup story on their blogs or magazines. You can cold email them or message them on social media. But the best way to make the emotional connection is through meeting them in person. That means actually going to networking events to meet people. I didn’t say this yet but I’ll say it now. Networking is nerve-wreaking for an introvert like me. I love people, but meeting new people is exhausting. But it is worth it. You will meet new friends, help others and receive help. Being in community is good.

 

Paid Adverts

I generally avoid paying for adverts, unless it is for retargeting. Retargeting is how you get undecided visitors to become customers. Retargeting basically goes like this: a visitor enters your website but decides that he needs time to think about it. The adverts he sees subsequently will be about your website to persuade him that your product is really what he needs. There is a higher chance of getting a sale from him than from randomly placed adverts.

 

Affiliate Marketing

2 is better than 1, and 3 is better than 2. So why not get someone to be your brand ambassador for your startup! Offer your salesperson a commission for each sale to incentivise him to work hard for sales. You could approach bloggers to be affiliate marketers for you too. Then you don’t have to figure our how to get customers on your own. You have a team to synergise and figure out the best strategies together.

 

Fusion Marketing

Find a complementary product to partner and exchange advertisements. Why? That’s because you will benefit from targeting your partner’s network while your partner will benefit from targeting yours. That’s why I say find a “complementary” product, not a “competing” product. Get creative about bartering for publicity.

 

BONUS: Tell your Story

Once you have made it past your first 100 customers, it is time to share your story to inspire other entrepreneurs who want to be like you. How did you end up doing what you are doing? What was the journey like? What were your ups and downs? Frame the story into the Hero’s Journey. Every story has the following elements:

  1. Living ordinarily
  2. The Call to Adventure
  3. Taking the First Step
  4. Trials, Tribulations and Troubles
  5. Meeting the Mentor (or guru)
  6. Confronting Your Biggest Fears
  7. Crippling Despair
  8. Slaying the Dragon
  9. Journey Home
  10. The Heroic Return

 

I hope this article helps you with many ideas find your first 100 customers. It is honestly not easy at the beginning, but that is the life of a startup founder. Entrepreneurs all go through these same problems as you. Keep pressing on and let us know any ideas you have too or surprising methods which worked!

 

ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.

10 Ways to Increase Email Marketing Sales

You need a killer strategy for your email marketing campaign. Many mediocre marketing emails do not even get opened because your readers’ expectations have changed. To make full use of this platform, you also need to ensure that you do not fall into the trap of getting into the Promotions Tab.

If you struggle to make sales through your email marketing campaign, you are not alone. Here are email marketing best practices that will maximise your click-through and conversion rate. So let’s dive in.

 

Send a Welcome Email

Sending a welcome email is important. Often it determines if your subscriber decides to immediately unsubscribe. Here is what you need to have in your welcome email:

  1. Explain clearly what your business is about
  2. Build instant rapport with a personal touch
  3. It is good practice to impress your new subscriber with a good deal or gift

Make the welcome email so valuable that your reader feels like he struck the lottery with your business.

 

Understand Your Subscribers’ Needs

Meeting your subscribers’ expectations are crucial to keep them on your mailing list. Meeting their emotional needs lets them know that you empathise and care for them.

Emotional Need How to Meet Them
Self-Expression Make each email a good talking point and conversation starter. Give them something to share with their peers.

E.g. Give them a promo code that only they have and only they can share.

E.g. Give them the most current news and bite-sized insights that they can talk about.

Help your subscribers be helpful, and help them be smart.

Belonging Create a sense of community by using your face and your name in your emails.

If possible, feature the names and faces of satisfied subscribers who are willing to contribute testimonials and helpful articles.

Control Give your subscribers the option to decide the frequency of your email newsletter. You can learn more about this in How To Reduce Unsubscribers.
Growth Upgrade your subscribers by giving them insights into your products.

Be the expert and give bite-sized commentary about your industry trends that they can chew on.

Recognition Personalise your email. Greet your subscribers by name and mention their names once in the first sentence of each paragraph.

Quote their names when answering questions or featuring testimonials. They will feel appreciated.

Care Remember your subscribers’ special days just like how you remember your anniversary. (Did you?) Send birthday deals, Christmas gift cards and suggestions for New Year Resolutions.

Send emails just to ask for feedback and answer previous questions.

Take the effort to give a timely and empathetic response.

 

Test Your Emails

Which subject line works? What content sticks? How frequent should you email your subscribers? There is no fixed answer. It varies from business to business. Do A/B testing to find out what works for you. And PLEASE… ensure that your emails work well on mobile.

 

Write Focused Emails

Keep your emails short. Use minimal pictures, 1 or 2 at max. Plain text emails with a lot of white space reduces distractions. Your subscribers will also appreciate that you do not overwhelm them with so many “BUY” buttons. Just 1 Call-To-Action button will do. Overdoing that will just create a lot of hate.

 

Blast Off With A Landing Page

Your Call-To-Action button should lead directly to a landing page that has nothing else but the product you are selling. You can learn more about the features of great landing pages in this article:______________.

 

Invent A Sale Day

There is nothing wrong with offering deals during the Super Bowl, Black Friday or China’s Singles’ Day. But these days are so crowded and small businesses just don’t stand a chance to gain publicity on such mega events. So create your own and let your subscribers anticipate it every year. Using a consistent date helps your subscribers spontaneously mark their calendar.

 

Push Abandoned Carts (For E-Commerce Businesses)

Often during online window shopping, your reader will add items to their carts only to consider them later. After that, they may hesitate and decide that they are unsure about committing to the purchase. Rather than just letting them walk away, push the cart into their inbox so that they can reconsider your products.

 

Make Purchasing A Habit

If your subscriber purchased a perishable product like dog food or scented candles, send a follow up email to re-purchase the product. To make the deal more juicy, offer a bulk discount that drives volume sales.

If your product is non-perishable like clothes and bikes, promote accessories like matching necklaces and tactical tail lights. This helps you to upsell and anticipate your subscriber’s needs. In the case of bikes, promote tyre replacements to anticipate wear-and-tear.

 

Scarcity Sells

Offer limited time deals and one-off promotions that are available only through email subscription. Having a subscribers’ promo code adds to the exclusivity of the sale and shows appreciation to your readers.

 

Repeat Successful Emails

After sending emails consistently, you need to check on the success rate of each email and decide which format and content works. If you find a particular email drives insane sales volume, do not hesitate to repeat the email.

 

BONUS: We built a FREE tool that helps you find 200 email leads in 10 minutes. If you want to supercharge your email marketing campaign, click on this link.

 

ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.

The Next Big Thing In Digital Marketing And How It could Cost You Your Job

Technological disruption is upon us. The world is changing too fast for us to be comfortable with our jobs. Every industry is being disrupted. Transport, finance, law, medicine, manufacturing, you name it. Everything is changing.

We are long past the dawn of Industry 4.0. Early adopters of these technologies are already reaping the benefits even at the cost of jobs. Just a few years ago, Artificial Intelligence, IoT, blockchain, 5G and cloud computing were cliché buzzwords.

But now they are here to stay. And they are disrupting every industry, including yours.

 

Disruptive Marketing Technologies

In the field of marketing, processes have undergone a radical transformation at breakneck speeds. Marketing Technology or Martech is transforming the industry in multiple ways.

  • Reach Maximisation. Companies are looking for exponential virality to reach global fame in a shorter amount of time.
  • Cross-Channel Campaign Marketing. The trend towards integrating multiple platforms helps to create greater impact with their campaigns.
  • Work Flow Automation. Many platforms now offer the option to put marketing campaigns on autopilot.
  • Personalised Advertising. Sales are shown to increase when tailored to individuals’ preferences and past purchasing habits.
  • Conversion Optimisation. Data analytics offers a comprehensive look into the levels of effectiveness of various marketing messages and tools.

 

These marketing technology trends are shaping every corner of the industry

Technology Trend Industrial Application
Reach Maximisation Search Engine Optimisation – Using relevant keywords in web content to increase search engine traffic

Content Management System – Monitoring websites and blogs to track engagement levels

Cross-Channel Marketing Cross-Channel Campaign Marketing Software – Centralised management software that syncs multiple marketing platforms

Social Media Calendar – Centralised management of social media marketing platforms

Work Flow Automation Email Marketing Automation – Technology that automates email marketing campaigns with scheduling, tracking and follow-up tools
Personalised Marketing Retargeting – Online advertising based on web history (often managed by online advertising agencies)

Cookies-Based Advertising – Similar to Retargeting, except that it is often employed by individual websites and its applications can be extended to email marketing

Conversion Optimisation Web Analytics – Analysis of web traffic, including sources of traffic, length of time spent on website, bounce rates and conversion rates

A/B Testing – Experimentation of the effectiveness of marketing messages (often used in email marketing)

 

 

The Next Email Marketing Disruption

The next big step for email marketing involves a thorough automation of customer relationship management with artificial intelligence. We already see artificial intelligence being used in self-driving cars, Alexa and China’s robot news anchor.

The area of artificial intelligence that is most relevant to email marketing is Natural Language Processing. Natural Language Processing or NLP for short is already capable of creating email marketing content without the need of a content writer.

To illustrate this reality, look at a recent example from China. In the technological hub of Guangzhou, the newspaper company Southern Metropolis Daily launched its robot journalist that is capable of writing a coherent 300-word story in just 1 second. This threatens to uproot professional journalism as a profession, and can be directly applied to content writing for email marketing.

Artificial intelligence experts working on natural language processing are still trying to find the right mix of rules-based and statistical-based modelling. Currently, the technology is capable of categorising customer requests and providing accurate answers to frequently asked questions.

Right now, we see this in chatbots all over the internet. These chatbots are limited in their functions as they try to match customer requests to standardised answers. However, chatbots are just the beginning of artificial intelligence, and we will see its application in all areas of email marketing in the near future.

We will expect content writing to become automated. Robots will extract information directly from the internet and put them together into blog posts and email newsletters.

We will also expect to see robots capable of answering email subscribers beyond a standardised answer. They will be able to generate their own answers by sourcing information on the internet independently.

 

What We Should Do

Artificial intelligence is still in its infancy, but we should stay updated about the development trends around this technology.

There is a way to stay ahead in the marketing industry. To stay relevant with the technological disruption we are facing, we need to start learning how to adopt technologies into our work.

There are email marketing technologies that are already transforming the way we generate leads. Take the TQ Prospector Tool for example, which extracts every single email and phone number from your Google search results with just one click.

If we fall behind the industry, we will quickly be replaced by tech-savvy competitors. That is why we need to continually upgrade our skills and the tools we work with to ensure we stay ahead of the competition. You can read more about other marketing automation tools I recommend in this article here.

But my top recommendation to work smarter is TQ Prospector! It’s free and it helps you extract as many as 200 emails in 10 minutes or so. So get this tool now to help you stay ahead of the competition!

ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.

5 Free Tools To Make Email Marketing Work Harder For You

Email marketing can become a laborious process that can seriously suck the joy out of your passion. Let’s keep things simple here. I have a few email marketing software tools that I highly recommend for any marketer to use. Coming from a start-up background, a lean team really needs some serious automation firepower. Let’s fire away.

 

TQ Prospector

If you are doing email marketing, you will either buy email lists that are ridiculously overpriced and 50% outdated or you will manually extract emails one at a time from Google. Both aren’t the best options on the market.

If you are someone like me who takes 4 hours to source 50 emails, TQ Prospector cuts that down to 8 minutes. Yup you read that right. This Chrome extension can source every single email from your Google search results without you even having to click on the websites. Add this to your arsenal. It’s free by the way.

 

Hello Bar

Apart from sourcing emails automatically, you will definitely want to convert your web traffic into email leads before they leave the site. Too often, your visitors scroll through your website and go “I guess I’ll think about it, but not now.” Then you lose your chance funnel them into your email marketing campaign.

What Hello Bar does for you is to add sticky bars to catch your visitors’ attention before they leave. You can offer a free newsletter or a free ebook through subscribing to the free mailing list. This helps you follow up with your prospects and funnel them into your email campaign. Grab this low-hanging fruit.

 

POWr

Sticky bars may not always do the trick for your website visitors. Sometimes you need a pop-up that communicates the value of your freebie in a bolder and louder voice. By just offering their email, your visitors can get your free gift plus plenty of other offers? Why not?

POWr really powers your lead generation and drives more traffic to your webpage. The full suite includes plugins like social media icons, form builders, chat functions, maps and much more. Take a look and shop for what you need. I mean free shopping.

 

Campaign Monitor

Now that you got your email list generated, it’s time to put it to work. Once again, you could manually email your leads and read each reply and follow up with another email. Or you can simply automate it.

Campaign monitor is a killer at email automation. This email marketing platform helps you schedule emails, email blast, autoreply and track your progress on your email marketing campaign. It is more than an email blast software. It is seamless, intuitive and reliable. It is a free subscription with upgradable features. It is very affordable relative to its competitors so far, and considering the time you save to focus on other things that matter, I think this tool is a must-have. Lock and load.

 

Agile CRM

There comes a point in your email marketing campaign that you need to build relationships with prospects more personally and automation just won’t cut it. There are a lot of CRM software available in the market, but Agile is free (yep I love free stuff) and it syncs well with Campaign monitor. It is probably the best customer relationship management software available in the market.

You will definitely appreciate the wealth of resources they uploaded to supercharge your email marketing. And not surprisingly for a customer relationship management system, their customer service is pretty good!

 

These free email marketing software tools are among many that are available in the market. I highly recommend that you take time to research your company needs and continue to source for other alternative tools or look into the paid tiers of these tools as your needs grow.

 

ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.

 

Trends That Will Dominate Email Marketing

The email marketing trend is shifting again. The strategies used 5 years ago will definitely not work today. The email marketing landscape is quickly shifting and unless you are staying ahead of the curve and keeping up with the next big thing, you will fall behind and quickly become the next Kodak.

Here are some of the key determinants of the huge upcoming changes in email marketing that we will see in the next 2 years.

 

Customer Cynicism Towards Email Marketing

Your readers increasingly find themselves flooded with marketing emails everyday and it frustrates them. Often these emails do not even speak to their needs. Marketing emails that only scream their call-to-action buttons will find themselves receiving zero interest and lots of hate.

 

Cliché Clickbait Subject Lines

Your readers have definitely become wiser about detecting marketing emails. So what some email marketers try to do is to trick their readers into thinking that their marketing emails are actually work-related. The following subject lines will get you instantly blacklisted by your desired audience:

  • ACTION REQUIRED. Check Your Account Details
  • Reminder for Scheduled Meeting
  • Re: Perhaps you missed my email

If you are using any of these cheap tricks, please stop it! No doubt you will get a high email open rate. But your “Report Spam” rate will be just as high. Don’t kill your email marketing campaign.

 

Gmail Filters

Gmail filters out emails into “Primary”, “Social” and “Promotions”. The last thing you want is for your marketing email to be thrown into the “Social” or “Promotions” tabs. It is as good as a waste basket. There are no definite ways to define Google’s algorithms to know how promotions are detected, but there are a few patterns we found that we compiled in Decode the Gmail Promotions Tab.

 

 

So now what?

In light of these trends, I believe that you will find it harder to maximise your email marketing reach and conversion.

But customer cynicism does not mean that you need to resort to trashing your email marketing campaign, but it does mean that you need to be more raw and authentic.

Having more discerning readers does not mean that you need to figure out new tricks to get them to read your marketing emails, but it does mean that you need to be tactful and provide value.

And Gmail filters does not mean that you should resign to being stuck in the “Promotions” tab, but it does mean that you have to be personal.

 

Be Raw and Authentic

It is impossible to remain anonymous anymore and still expect to connect with your readers. They expect more than the sterile and professional emails that they commonly receive from colleagues.

Get real about the pains and joys of work. Share your personal experiences in an informal way. Don’t be rigid. Using emoticons, GIFs and memes are fine if your business is a B2C business, and sometimes even if you are a B2B business in the right context!

The key is to get your readers to relax rather than tense up when reading your email.

 

Be Tactful and Interesting

This takes a great deal of creativity. Knowing how to create a subject line in your marketing email that people want to open is challenging. And the best way to be interesting is to provide value they find interesting such as free gifts and offerings like:

  • Joe, just for you: an exclusive free ticket to…
  • Tired of manually searching for emails online? Here’s 200 free contacts for you – no strings attached with our TQ Prospector! (Shameless self-insert but absolutely real value!)
  • Need help with… Here’s 5 free tips on…

Please do offer a free gift which is of real value to your readers and not just something to hook them. Because that’s when your recipient will even share your email with friends who may benefit from your product. What’s better than getting 100% conversion from your email campaign? How about 1000% when your audience find it so valuable they share it with even more people!

Be Personal

One way to bypass Google’s email filter is to mention your recipient’s name in the Subject Line. You saw an example above, so here are a few more:

  • Henry, We got 35% Off for You!
  • Sarah, I found 4 ways to increase your sales conversion
  • Linda, lunch meeting on me

You will find a lot more ways to bypass Google’s email filter on our article Decode the Gmail Promotions Tab.

 

BONUS: How do you find 50 email leads within 5 minutes? Try the TQ Prospector Tool FREE to supercharge your lead generation today!

 

ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.

Decode the Gmail Promotions Tab

Gmail has an incredibly smart filter that divides emails into Primary, Social and Promotions Tabs. The algorithms that go into determining the type of email uses multiple criteria which you need to look out for.

The Promotions Tab is pretty much a trash bin that hardly gets any attention. All your money that goes into paid subscription for email marketing tools will go to waste if you are unable to overcome Gmail’s promotions tab filter.

Here are the observed criteria that Gmail uses to categorize emails:

 

Personalised Names

If you greet your recipient by name, there is a higher chance that your email is a personal email rather than a promotional email. It is important to collect your subscribers’ names along with the emails so that you will avoid greeting them by their email ID which is a dead giveaway.

 

Pain Text

A personal email will normally use only 1 font type and size. After all, in my other post about Trends That Will Dominate Email Marketing, I mentioned that your readers are increasingly weary and cynical about email marketing. You should go for authenticity and plain text to lower your readers’ defences and speak personally to their emotions. Use up to 50 words per email only.

You will commonly find multiple font types in promotional emails due to their fancy formatting, but that is a huge red flag for Gmail.

 

Multiple Images

Besides using plain text, you need to use very few images to convey your message. Ensure that a single GIF or image is sufficient to illustrate your product.

Kill your company logo, fax icon, mobile icon, address icon etc. Avoid them completely. Make your email look completely like a personal email that you send to your friend.

 

Hyperlinks

Use only 1 hyperlink. There should only be 1 Call-To-Action link that leads to your landing page. Avoid all other links to avoid suspicion. Your “Unsubscribe” button should only be at the bottom of the email.

 

Sales Talk

Do not talk directly about your product. Instead share casually. The following phrases will immediately get detected by Gmail “Buy now and save 35%” or “Limited time offer” or “Click here to buy”.

You stand a better chance if you choose your words carefully, for example “Want to share this tool with you” or “I think this will help” or “consider this option”.

The whole idea is that you write like writing to your friend. Avoid pushing the sale, but present an option. The selling should be done on the landing page.

 

HOWEVER…

Gmail’s algorithm is always changing. There are some really intelligent guys at Google covering every single loophole in their algorithm. There is no permanent answer to this email marketing problem but we do have some tips!

DISCLAIMER: Even if you follow our guidelines, you may still end up in the Promotions Tab.

 

SO HOW…

There a few options for you. It is increasingly difficult to find loopholes in the algorithm and I think it is not productive to do so. You can do A/B testing to see what works, but I have a better idea.

During your welcome email (which likely ends up in the Promotions Tab), ask your subscribers to click and drag your email into the Primary Tab.

Incentivise them by telling them that you will give out a free gift in the second email that is available only to the first 100 clickers. That will create a sense of urgency from FOMO (fear of missing out).

But beyond the second email, you need to provide real value to your subscribers. You need to give relevant insights in your blog posts, free gifts periodically and a tightknit community on your website that your subscribers feel belonging to.

 

Concluding Thoughts

Quite clearly email marketing is getting tougher with Gmail’s strict algorithm. But that only filters out your spammy competitors, keep providing value and striving to make a real connection and you will succeed… just keep trying!

But to keep trying, you need more leads and this makes email lead generation all the more vital yet it’s never easy… We know and that’s why we built a solution – If you want to find 200 email leads in 5 minutes, use TQ Prospector Tool for FREE!

ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.