3 Things You Should NOT Let Your Email Marketing Service Do For You
Email marketing services like MailChimp, Aweber, Constant Contact, etc. are a great tool for managing your business’ email marketing program. However, they shouldn’t be doing everything for you – here’s three things you should not let your email marketing service do for you.
1 – Host Your Sign Up Forms
Some email marketing services will offer to host your newsletter sign up forms. What do I mean by host? I mean that when your prospective subscriber clicks your ‘sign me up’ button, he or she is taken to your form or your ‘almost finished – check your email to confirm your address’ page but the address bar does NOT read www.yourdomainname.com/yourownlink. INSTEAD it reads some garbled address generated by your email service provider because the form/page is hosted on their domain, not yours.
Reasons why this is bad: it completely disables your ability to track your sign-up funnel yourself. Abandoned sign up process? Where are those visitors coming from? How long are they on the page? What’s going wrong with the process? When you host these forms or pages yourself, you can track this data on your own when you have Google Analytics installed (how to set up Google Analytics).
How do you host these yourself? Simply tell your email service provider to direct the subscriber to your newly designated page. You can even copy and paste the text from your old service provider’s forms to use as the text for your new web pages.
Head over to your Lists Dashboard and click Forms. Go to ‘For Your Website – Sign Up Form Embed Code’ to grab the code to copy and paste to your own site.
To host the rest of the process on your site, simply head back to Create Forms. From the drop down menu, select ‘Sign Up Thank You Page’ and copy and paste your newly created Thank You web page URL in the field that starts ‘Instead of showing this…’ Do the same for the ‘Confirmation Thank You Page.’
Voilá. Email marketing subscription process hosted on your domain! Great job
For extra credit, set up each part of this process as a Google Analytics conversion funnel.
2 – Serve Only as Storage Space for Email Addresses
Don’t commit one of those email marketing sins by collecting perfectly primed doubly-opted in email addresses BEFORE you’re ready to deliver on what you promised (your content plan and delivery schedule that is).
What happens when you’re using an email marketing service to just collect addresses and not communicate with them? Your subscribers get stale – they forget they signed up for your newsletter, much less who you are and immediately unsubscribe or -worse- hit that REPORT SPAM button at the top of your screen. Get enough of those, and you could be blacklisted from sending emails.
If you have a live subscription form on the web, you have a live email marketing program – get to delivering! Those subscribers are live leads raising their hands to hear more from you – keep those prospects warm! A best practice is to prepare a few weeks’ of email marketing content so when you have your first subscriber you are ready to go.
3 – Be The Only Place Your List Lives
If your Constant Contact or MailChimp or Aweber or whatever email service provider just up and disappeared tomorrow, where would your email list be? That list you’ve worked so hard to grow. It would be nowhere…UNLESS
You backed it up.
Be sure to back up your list. How do you do this? Very easy process here.
Under Account, select Export My Data. Once on this page, click the Build My Data Backup button and MailChimp will generate a spreadsheet of data for you and email it to the address associated with the account.
How often should you do this? Depends on your subscriber growth rate. I’d say once a month is a good stand-by.
How about you? Did you find this article helpful? Is there anything you’d recommend not using your email marketing service for? Let me know in the comments!