E-Commerce Company Founder Found that Display Ads Weren’t Getting the Results She Wanted

small business email marketingSusan Baker is proud to be an independent businesswoman and a distributor of dry-erase markers, whiteboards, and related materials for over 13 years. When she started www.GoDryErase.com her competition was tough, but not nearly as fierce as it is today. At the time, small office supply stores were still common and she competed on a level playing field. Today however, the giant big-box stores dominate the market and their internet advertising is so entrenched that it is hard to compete for space and attention.

“I used to spend part of my marketing budget on pay per click and the orders rolled in. But recently the results were more and more disappointing, and I realized it was time to be more creative and more pro-active.”

Small Business Email Marketing

Susan looked for help in the email marketing industry, and quickly found that there were a lot of big companies with glossy templates, but their prices were high and results questionable. “I heard about GMass from a colleague and decided that becoming hands-on with the process would be more my style.”

Susan started with a free trial, wrote some email copy, and learned how to insert pictures and links. She especially liked the fact that messages seem more personal with GMass, right from her to her customers. They responded.

“I sent messages to new customers as well as prospects, and I could quickly see who opened the small business email marketingemails and who clicked on my links. Those that read my email received a follow-up phone call, not high-pressure, just a hello. Hello’s turned into new sales and re-orders.”

The GMass Main Campaign Report allows users to see who opened each message and who clicked on the links inside. This allows Susan and all GMass users to immediately see the results of each campaign and is excellent feedback for possible changes to messages, timing, or targets. Email marketing is truly a reactive channel for businesses because you can track results in real time and make adjustments to boost response and sales.

Digital Marketing That Works

So far, Susan is thrilled with the results. “I’m getting more interested customers, and I’m able to decide who to target and when. I launched a ‘Start the New Year with a Clean Slate’ campaign to small colleges after New Year’s Day, and it’s a winner.”

GoDryErase is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise and their most popular product is called Whiteboard-in-a-Box, a self-stick dry-erase roll that can be placed on a wall, the front of a refrigerator, anywhere you want to express yourself. It is commonly used to resurface old dry-erase boards which is a huge savings over replacement. Susan can be reached at 941-474-1991 or www.godryerase.com

 

 

 

 

 

Spam filters have become so sophisticated that they sometimes will trap legitimate email, but there are ways to reduce the chances of that happening.

spam filtersThere are thousands of different kinds of filters; most are designed according to a particular set of needs. Spam filters are located either on a server where email is received, on an individual PC, or “in the cloud” where they work according to different directions and algorithms that are set according to the mail recipient’s needs and goals.

The most common types of spam filters are:

Content Filters – these look for certain words or phrases and block email that contains them.
Blacklist Filters – these filters scan incoming mail from sources which have a known pattern for sending spam.
Rules-Based Filters – these examine email for specific criteria the recipient wants to block.
Permission Filters – these filters only allow email to pass where the recipient has given specific permission to the sender.
Challenge-Response Filters – the sender must answer a question or give a code in order to have their message delivered.

Administrators can also manually filter specific words or phrases, resulting in any email containing those elements, regardless of the sender, being filtered to spam.

How Can I Avoid Spam Filters?

There are some basics to follow if you don’t want your legitimate email to go to spam. To highlight a few:

• Don’t write in all CAPITAL LETTERS. It’s a huge red flag for spam filters and you’ll likely be blocked.
• Don’t use spammy expressions like “click here” and don’t use extra-large fonts. These are spam signals.
• If you need to copy and paste content, don’t do it directly from Microsoft Word, as the content will also contain style tags and other things the spam filters don’t like.

In GMass: Set up a tracking domain for your account (link to http://www.gmass.co/blog/now-you-can-set-or-request-your-own-tracking-domain-in-gmass/). GMass is an unmonitored system, and when you send emails with open and click tracking, the domain that gets inserted into your emails is the same domain that gets inserted when a spammer sends. If you set up your own tracking domain, you improve your deliver-ability significantly.

Because spam filters often check the IP address of the sender and the sending mail server, this is onespam filters of many advantages of using GMass. When you send a campaign through GMass, it’s going out from your existing Gmail account, one of the most trusted sources for mail in the world.

It’s also prudent to include a physical mailing address and an unsubscribe link, as required by the CAN-Spam Act. Both are easy to do with GMass.

Nothing can guarantee a 100% deliver-ability rate, but finding the right tool is a crucial element.

To review subscription plans for GMass, please click here.

A few years ago, I attended a marketing conference designed to help physicians boost their visibility online, where I met several enthusiastic medical professionals. To this day, one interaction with a doctor stays with me. After I explained our goal of luring more customers to their website and to their offices, he retorted indignantly, “They’re not customers, they are patients.” And indeed, he was correct.
Doctors serve patients in the most important commercial transaction there is: human healthcare. Advertising, money, and marketing metrics are not the focus in their industry.
At one time, doctors didn’t advertise at all. From the Journal of Medical Ethics, January, 2006: For generations following the first American Medical Association (AMA) Code of Ethics in 1847, the relationship between doctors and advertising remained unambiguous—advertising was forbidden. In 1975, however, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accused the profession of “restraint of trade” and legally persuaded doctors to permit advertising amongst their clan.
Today, almost every doctor has a website. Many use their sites to lure more patients, but some are interested only in having a place to post their credentials and contact information. Because websites like Angie’s List, Google, and even Yelp regularly post reviews for doctors, many see the potential benefit of having influence on their online presence and a place to post assurances of their legitimacy and qualifications to prospective patients.
Email Marketing is a valuable tool for physicians when communicating with existing patients. It’s a great way to remind people of health information that’s currently making news, like the spread of a new disease. The sudden and concerning spread of Zika is just one example of an opportunity for physicians to notify patients of precautions and new information.
However, email marketing can be used for simple administrative purposes as well, such as  changes in office personnel. Patients are often interested in this information, especially the addition of a new doctor or nurse. Many doctors utilize email marketing to send regular communications or newsletters to their patients.
Why is GMass a great platform for medical professionals? GMass emails come directly from the sender’s Gmail account, via Gmail servers, resulting in much higher delivery rates than those from the other email marketing companies such as Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, and IContact. The email messages sent from those providers are often perceived by email filters as spam, and they do not reach the recipient’s inbox.
GMass permits our users to inject (no pun intended) the patient’s name directly into the subject line and greeting, making the message more personal and private, something patients will appreciate.
Of course, it is important for any healthcare professional to be aware of certain restraints when it comes to medical marketing, and they should always check to make sure they within boundaries of their state medical society, board, or any hospital guidelines.
GMass has a YouTube channel with videos showing how to install and use our email marketing platform; subscribe or visit gmass.co for more details.

Click here to sign up for GMass now.

Make your Email Stand out as Relevant and Valuable

First things first – and this cannot be emphasized enough – subject line is crucial. Subject lines not only introduce the tone and contents of your message, but they will also determine if your recipient even opens your mail.
Which of these subject lines sounds best to you?
1) Avocados on Sale
2) Football Season Means Guacamole and Chips • Coupon for Ripe Avocados
The second option communicates relevance and value up front. If the marketer has planned properly,

this subject line will accompany a recipient list targeted to football fans, and the email will have a

strong likelihood of high open rates.

Another school of thought argues that shorter subject lines yield the most success. Hillary Clinton

once sent out an email blast inviting people to attend a $500-a-plate fundraiser with the subject line “Lunch?”. This type of succinctness is appealing and generates successful open rates. 

For this product, I believe that #2 would have a great open rate.
The best advice for choosing a subject line is to ask yourself, “Would I open this email?” If not, it is time to re-think. It is also prudent to experiment with different subject lines. If you’re sending 5000 emails, you have a great opportunity. First, send two sets of 500 – each with a different subject line. Your open rates will determine the subject line which should accompany the remaining emails.

Content

Think about these four concepts when writing an email: Brevity • Empathy • Value • Action • Pictures
Whether short or long, remember that the subject line should be designed to communicate value catered specifically to the targeted recipients. Using the avocado example, this might be a good message:

Everyone loves fresh guacamole! Delicious, low in saturated fat and cholesterol-free…how could you go wrong? We know you want to please your guests when they stop by to watch the big game, so take advantage of the lowest prices this year on ripe, flavorful avocados. Click this link to get an additional 10% off your next purchase at Bob’s Fruits and Vegetables. And now, since you have those avocados on your hands…click here for this amazing guac recipe! Happy snacking!
This message is brief, relates to the reader, includes 2 value statements, makes calls for action, and has a great picture, but it could always be improved. Now is the time to experiment. Try a version with bullet points and a different picture; let the open rate make the decision for you.
Once again, do some testing. Try a version with bullet points and perhaps a different picture and then see if you click rate improves.
GMass has one of the highest delivery rates in the email marketing industry, but delivery is only one component of a successful email campaign.
Email marketing proves time and again to yield the most reliable results of any marketing channel.

Through the next several blog posts we will offer advice that has helped many of our users
experience campaign successes not seen before through other email marketing practices.

The next several posts will offer tips on how to construct campaigns that have worked very well for our users.
If you’re an experienced email marketer then you’re in the right place, and you’ll find that our delivery rates are much higher than what you’ve experienced in the past. Features like mail-merge, automatic follow up, email scheduling, automatic follow-up and more will allow you to build impressive, high-performing campaigns.
If you’re new to email marketing, you’re in the right place. GMass is easy to install, learn, and use to reach out to customers, colleagues, prospects and friends. You’ll use an existing Gmail account and the Chrome browser to build effective email marketing campaigns.
GMass is easy to install, learn, and use to reach out to customers, colleagues, prospects or even friends.

Why Email Marketing is the Right Choice

If you have a limited marketing budget and you want the best return on your investment (ROI), then the choice is clear. Email marketing produces more revenue per dollar spent than pay-per-click ads, direct mail, and social media advertising, as illustrated in this graphic:

Get Started

 

To get started, visit www.gmass.co, download the GMass extension, and connect it to your Gmail account. A free account allows you to send up to 50 emails in a 24-hour period, but the affordability and performance of the tool will speak for itself.

Please follow us on Twitter, where we post each time there is a new blog post.

Conventional Wisdom on Email Timing is Evolving

A 2016 email marketing study concluded that Emails sent on Saturdays generate 60% higher-than-average conversion rates.

Wow! Everyone should start mailing on Saturdays, right?

Not necessarily.

email marketing
Think about your target. Are you emailing to businesses or consumers? Are your prospects senior citizens, or are they college students? Are you sending emails to “C” level executives or to small business owners?

Now, put yourself into the position of your target and ask “when would I be most likely to open an email if I were that person?

College students do over 80% of their internet activity on mobile devices and that’s something to keep in mind. They are not likely to read long-winded content and they are probably not receptive to emails on weekends when they’re engaged in social activities.
Mid-level management people will probably open their email at work during business hours. 

Early morning or after lunch might be the best time. “C” level executives may have their emails screened by an assistant and so you might want to slant the content for that possibility and deliver early morning during the work week.

Senior citizens? They have more time than people who work 40+ hours per week and they are looking for interesting content. You may want to avoid small type fonts for obvious reasons, and seniors generally wake up early so early morning might be an effective strategy.

A Brief Case Study

A software service marketed a new product to physicians and sent large quantities of mail on Tuesdays because that was the conventional wisdom at the time. The open rates were abysmal for the first few days but then they suddenly shot up on the weekends, especially Sunday.

Doctors simply do not have the time to open email during the work week when they’re occupied with exams, hospital rounds, or surgery. When the weekend comes and they have a few hours of free time they will often open their email.

Knowing what doctors had opened on Sunday but not converted, the sales team started a follow-up reminder campaign for the following Sunday morning so it email would be on top of their list. Opens, clicks, and conversions to sales all increased and the campaign achieved their goals!

When to Send?

The answer is to run tests. Fortunately GMass makes it easy to track clicks and opens in the Main Campaign Report. Run the report at various intervals and you will know who opened your emails and when. Here are a video and an article on that feature.


It can be a challenge to find the perfect combination, but try experimenting with different content, subject lines, and timing until you reach just the right combination. GMass is an excellent hands-on platform that is perfect for business owners and managers to use as they build and customize a successful marketing strategy!

Personal, Direct Messages Sway Voters

2016 is shaping up to be one of the most contentious and important election years in history. Local, state, and federal races are heating up and campaigns for candidates and causes are gearing up to garner votes.

Many voters remain undecided until the moment they step into the voting booth, so it behooves campaigners to be persistent, consistent, and responsive right up to the finish line. 

Experienced marketing professionals and winning campaign managers know that the campaign that wins the race is the one that does the best job delivering their message to undecided voters.
An article from NPR.org “Political Campaigns Go Social, But Email Is Still King” said that “on the Democratic side, the Obama camp took 90 percent of their online money from emails in 2012.” That’s impressive, and indicates the high impact of email marketing.
GMass is the ideal platform for savvy political campaign strategists to design, build, and deploy email blasts. Some of the features that are particularly effective for reaching voters are:
Tracking – You’ll know who opens your emails and who clicks on your calls to action.
Personalization – Placing your recipient’s name into the subject line and body of the email boosts the open and click rates for your campaigns. GMass makes this an easy step.
Automatic Follow-Up – Set a campaign once, and let it run. Voters who don’t open or click your

message after the first send will be sent automatic reminders if you wish. This feature saves time and increases overall effectiveness.

Mail-Merge – Connecting your list of donors to GMass is seamless and makes setting up campaigns easy.
GMass is a ★★★★★ reviewed extension on the Chrome Web Store and works with any active Gmail account. One of the best GMass features is that because the emails are sent through your Gmail account, they are less likely to be stopped with spam filters. GMass users enjoy the highest delivery, open, and click rates in the email marketing industry.
Timely Messages Focused on a Particular Needs Net Great Results

There are so many wonderful organizations helping people and animals around the world, it’s hard to narrow your choices to the ones that fit your needs. What makes people give in the first place?

Researchers have looked into why people donate, why they don’t do it as much as they would hope to, and how to bridge this gap. The explanations for charitable giving range from the purely altruistic “I donate because I value the social good done by the charity” to the not-at-all altruistic “I donate because I want to show off to people how rich I am.”

Whatever the reason a person chooses to give, marketing research shows that giving is more frequent when people are reminded of current and specific needs.

Lori Miller, Donor Relations Manager for an animal shelter in western Tennessee says the most effective means for sparking donations is to highlight one particular case and quickly send out an email campaign to regular donors. “When we have a dog or cat come in with special needs, we know it’s going to be expensive, and we know we’ll need help,” she told us. “I can put together an email campaign using GMass in less than an hour and send it out using our list and personalizing the message to each donor.”

Prior to GMass the shelter used an outside marketing firm to build full-color templates, but it took too long and was too expensive. “Our donors appreciate a personal message, straight from our manager, with a brief description of what we need and why we need it. They also appreciate that we’re not spending a ton of money on marketing.”

The email campaign open rates for the shelter average 75% per campaign, and since switching to GMass the shelter’s donor list has grown 18%. “We ask people who visit the shelter to sign up for our newsletter and we use GMass to send it on the first of every month,” said Lori. “It has worked out very well, and about half the people turn into regular donors.”

Right now GMass is free, but Lori says they will be happy to pay for the service if and when that day comes. “GMass is easy to manage, easy to use, and easy to track our results,” said Miller.

In addition to features like tracking and automatic follow-up, GMass allows users to insert the recipient’s name right into the subject line, which is a very effective means to boost open rates.

Many other charitable organizations are using GMass for their scheduled contacts to donors, ranging from national non-profits to small, local affiliates and religious organizations. GMass is an extension for the Chrome browser, and works with Gmail. You can download GMass here: www.gmass.co
Auto Repair Business Beats the Internet Coupons with Targeted Email Marketing
Larry Miller is a 30-year veteran of the auto repair business in south Florida. While the large dealerships and auto-repair chains called him a “technician,” he prefers “wrench turner” or even “grease monkey.” He told us recently that he worked very hard for others for too long, and always dreamed of someday being his own boss. A greasy entrepreneur, I asked him? He said he’s ok with that.
Larry took the leap and started his own business in 2014, taking many customers with him. He is a rare breed of tradesmen who follow the “always do the right thing” philosophy and his customers appreciate that….most of the time.
In his first two years in business Larry would occasionally run into a customer who hadn’t visited his

shop for a while and he would ask where he or she had been. Invariably the customer would reply “well, I saw a coupon on the internet from the big dealership for a cheap oil change, so I dropped by over there.” Dismayed but undaunted, Larry tried to figure out how to stop losing his customers to his former employers.

A friend told him about email marketing, so Larry started collecting email addresses from every customer with the promise that he would send news about special deals on repairs and promised to beat any coupon.
Larry tried one of the big email marketing companies, but had a tough time trying to use the graphic design templates. He also couldn’t figure out the tracking and other tools and was about to give up when he found GMass.
“Keeping a running list on Google sheets is easy, and typing up my monthly messages takes about 10 minutes,” he told us. “I keep it simple, the customers get my mail, and it’s really easy.”
Larry figured out how to add a column on the spreadsheet for dates-of-service and now he sends a mass email each month to customers who are due for an oil change or check-up.
“Basically I’m doing the same thing the big guys do, but on a smaller scale,” Larry said. I feel like I’m controlling my business, which is satisfying.”


Larry loves that GMass is free, but says he will gladly pay whatever it costs when the day comes there is a fee. “It’s a business expense,” Larry said. “But this one brings me a lot more more business.” 

GMass is an extension for Chrome and Gmail. It installs easily and is a very robust and versatile platform for sending mass-email messages. Click here to watch a video on YouTube that will guide you through the set-up.

Powerful Mail Merge Tool Works for Small Businesses, Students, Everyone!

GMass is a new email marketing extension that works with any Gmail account. It was designed by a talented programmer and email expert who wanted to something with email marketing that was different than all the other programs, something that would get real results for users.

Many people have a negative feeling about email marketing because of one word: spam. A survey asking people what they hate the most put spam in third place after robo-calls and traffic.

GMass is geared toward sending targeted e-mail designed to reach people with a personal message about a business, event, or personal message. While it is designed to send large numbers of email messages at the same time, we encourage our users to use personal greetings and include an opt-out button so people can stop receiving messages if they choose.

We asked some of our regular users why GMass works for them, and we received a wide range of responses.

A Student from Berkeley, California told us he loves GMass because it’s fast and easy to set up a campaign, and he gets great response. “I use GMass for communicating with all the members of a club I organized,” business student Fred told us. “I love being able to build my list of members in Excel, then I just add it to my personalized message, and push send.”
Fred uses tracking to see who responds and he loves being able to follow up quickly and easily.

Linda, a florist in Chicago uses GMass to tell customers what flowers and plants are in season, and to offer discounts on seasonal plants. “Every customer who comes in to my shop is invited to fill out a card for a chance to win a dozen roses,” Linda told us. “Who doesn’t love roses?” People write down their email address and then Linda adds them to her customer list. “I make my messages very personal, with tips on how to keep their homes bright with flowers even in the dead of winter, and I get great feedback. People love it.” Linda has built her customer email list from 24 to over 1200 in just two years. “There is no doubt that email marketing has boosted my business.”

The travel agent business is a tough one these days, with most travelers using the Internet to book their trips. But Arlene, a travel agent in Boca Raton, Florida knows that many people still like the personal touch of a travel professional. “I respect my customer’s time and their privacy,” said Arleen. “I ask them upfront if they will permit me to send them occasional emails about really special packages that I become aware of,” and if they opt out of my monthly campaigns, I delete them from my list, but that rarely happens.”

A pastor in Mobil, Alabama uses GMass to deliver his monthly newsletter to recipients and he loves it because it’s easy to quickly set up a new massage and easy to merge with his congregation list. “I’m not a very technical person, so I need something that’s easy to use,” he told us recently. “I like the fact that the mails are personalized and come right from my personal email address. People like that.”


GMass is rated ★★★★★ on the Chrome Web Store

GMass is easy to install, easy to use, and is getting rave reviews from users across the country and around the world. A YouTube video shows you how to get started, and the GMass website and Twitter account keep you up-to-date with the latest features.

Email Marketing Remains the Best Channel to Reach Customers – if it’s Done Right
You look at your email inbox, and there are 8 unread messages. Four look like spam, three are from companies you do business with, and one is from a friend. Which one gets opened first?
Pretty easy choice.
An old adage says “people do business with people they like,” and another of my favorites is “people will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” Make your customers feel good!
So, here are a few tips to help your emails get opened, read, and then hopefully converted to sales.

General Tips
1.     Don’t waste people’s time. Never send an email unless it will benefit the reader. Offer something – a discount, a freebie, even a tip that might help make them healthy, wealthy or wise.
2.    Use your name as the “from” address – it’s more personal than a company name and most people appreciate that.
3.   Personalize the email with the recipient’s first name. “Dear Bob” is better than “Mr. Smith” but don’t overdo the name in the content of the message. You don’t want to come across as creepy.
4.     Respect your reader’s time and intelligence. Keep it short, to the point, and friendly.

Subject Lines
Again, keep it short, and be different. I sent out a campaign once with the subject line “You’ll be Happy if You Open This.” It worked! Hillary Clinton once sent out an email blast inviting people to attend a $500-a-plate fundraiser and her subject line was “Lunch?” It was very successful.

Experiment, and track results.


Content
It’s a good idea to start by stating the purpose of the mail, then write 3-4 bullet points and a summation. Include a call to action, and always, always, always thank the customer!

GMass
If you’re using GMass you probably already know that personalizing is easy with the mail-merge function, and you can see who opens the emails with Tracking and then follow-up with Automatic Reply Management. We are always adding new features and functionality.

We get the message to the reader, it’s up to you after that!
Email Marketing Works Wonders for Gaining New and Keeping Current Customers

Russell Nohelty is an LA-based writer, director, producer, and successful businessman. With a resume like that you wonder how he also finds time to help others operate and grow their businesses. 
He’s an entrepreneur who shares his experience and expertise with other aspiring writers and business owners, which is nice to see in today’s competitive business environment.

Nohelty has owned and operated cell phone companies and other businesses, and currently owns the publishing company www.wannabepress.com. He also produces a podcast series called “The Business of Art” which is available through iTunes. Russell says “the Business of Art aims to demystify business for artists and art for businessmen, though we really only do the former. Every week a new guest talks about how they run successful businesses.”

Wannabe Press occupies the bulk of Russell’s time, and he grows that company using several digital channels including email marketing and social media.

“Email marketing is an art unto itself,” Russell told us recently. “There are different approaches to different targeted customers, depending on the message and the goal.” Nohelty uses one of the large bulk-email services for sending his newsletter every month, which cultivates readers through a contact form on his website. These are usually sent to large numbers of recipients and the average open rates is about 25%.

Mr. Nohelty uses GMass for more personalized campaigns, and the number of recipients for these campaigns runs from 100 to 500 people. “GMass works great for smaller, targeted campaigns, and one of the reasons I love it is the response rate, said Russell. “Fifty to sixty percent open rates are common, which is unheard of in the email marketing business, but that’s what I see on a regular basis.”

The energetic entrepreneur uses short subject lines and keeps the messages brief as well. “The
personalization feature and the fact that the email is coming directly from me to my customer creates an intimate business connection that is effective beyond anything I would have expected,” said Russell.

The other GMass features like tracking, scheduling, and automatic reply management help Nohelty manage his campaigns efficiently and while GMass is free right now, he is confident he’ll keep using the Chrome extension if they eventually do begin charging a monthly or usage fee.


“Being an entrepreneur means being aware of every tool available to help me grow, and there will always be a place in my marketing toolbox for GMass.”