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Email Marketing – How to Make $100,000

Awarded the

“Rodinstar” Post 

of the week!!

According to Direct Marketing Association, for every $1 invested in Email, the return was $40, which makes it one of the most profitable Marketing channels with the Least Investment. You Don’t need an Office, you don’t need Employees, You don’t need to Pay for Expensive Servers – Just Need to Read On….  

Heads Up – This blog is divided into three Sections – 1) How to Build your Email list, 2) How to Set up Campaigns and 3) How to Make Money. After reading this article hopefully fellow Rodinhooders can get out and make some quick Bucks

SECTION 1 – HOW TO BUILD YOUR EMAIL LIST?

1) Make Your Website an Email Fishing Net – Most web pages today are designed with usability, Navigation & download speed in mind. This is great; however they fail to capture details of your most valuable customer who visited the site.  Design your website with a focus to capture Email addresses. Create Email subscription fields on vital touch points on the site across all pages – such as on the Header, Footer of the Page. Consider Including a Welcome pop up that captures Emails

2) Offer Incentive for Users to Sign up – Look at the below screen shot of a famous website. In this example FragranceNet offers a 20% discount for users to sign up. Once the user signs up, he has the potential to become a lifelong customer and ensure repeat visits / purchases. Make sure the sign up experience is not too intrusive

 

 3) Point of Sale – A user who has bought your item Online or at an offline store is of great value. Make sure to capture Email at the Point of Sale. Just because Email marketing is online, you don’t have to restrict yourself to online tactics alone, use your offline resources

4) Social Media – Leverage Social media to generate subscriptions. A well designed Email sign up box can be a great way to generate leads. In addition, Social media users are of greater value – more often than not they also spread the word for you

5) Search Marketing – If you have a little bit of money to spend, you can test paid search to generate Email leads. You pay per the lead you collect and bid the same way you would normally bid in search. Below is a screen shot

6) Create a Barter Market – Go into the market; talk to other companies and strike a Barter deal for sharing Email lists. It’s simple – you let them advertise to your Email customers and they let you do the same. Share Revenue as needed

7) Rent or Purchase a list – If you have money, this is a great option. There are lots of companies from which you can purchase or rent lists. But a word of caution – purchased or rented lists may not have the same quality as an owned Email list. If the quality of your Email is poor, you stand the risk of landing your Email in the Spam folder, or worse get black listed

SECTION 2- HOW TO SET UP CAMPAIGNS AND OPTIMIZE?

1) White List your Email – If you have a large Email list, the first thing you need to do is to White list your account. ESP or Email Service Providers like Yahoo and Gmail need to know that you are a legitimate company and not a spammer. The Email maybe yours, but ESPs need to “open the gate” for you. You can typically work with an Email Management company such as Responsys, SilverPop or MailChimp that can do the work for you (you pay a small fee, still cheapest compared to other paid media tactics). Remember it is very Important that you get White Listed, otherwise your emails will go to the Spam Folder, or worse not get delivered at all

2) Follow Local Regulation – If you are Emailing to a customer in the US, you need to adhere to CANSPAM regulations. CANSPM compliance includes such things as a “message cannot have a misleading subjectline” or labeling appropriately “if it contains adult content” etc. The user should have willingly Opted in to receive Emails. Most western countries have their own regulations. Check local laws for spam regulations. If you are in India there are no laws, or the laws, if at all any in the IT ACT 2000 is very loose

3) Avoid Spam Traps – Once you get white listed, start Emailing your customers. However note that White listing alone does not guarantee Successful Email Delivery. ESPs may work with 3rd party specialist companies (ex Spamhaus) to monitor the quality of your Email. Ex) Using “FREE” too often on your subjectline may trigger a spam trap and your Email may land in the spam folder. All the hard work you put in will simply be lost.

4) How Often Can You Email – There are no strict rules, but in general sending too many Emails will raise the eyebrows of the ESP (Gmail, Yahoo etc). They may think you are a spammer. Most ESP like Yahoo and MSN have a deliverability team who you can talk to, Gmail doesn’t even have one. If the Engagement Rate on your Emails is fairly high, you can send more Emails. The industry Send average is 2 to 3 Emails per week

5) Segment Your List – It is important to send the right offer to the right person at the right time. To do that you can segment (divide) your list. Some of the most popular ways to segment are by Price, Product, Behaviors (click pattern on previous Emails or your website), geography etc. For example, if you have a clothing company, sell warm clothing like woolen Jackets in December to people residing in Shimla

6) Image to Text Ratio – In the past Spammers have tried to scam or infect your PC with virus by sending Emails. ESPs got smart by scanning for words like “Viagra” and sending these Emails to the spam folder. Spammers got smarter by using only visuals (images) so ESPs could not read it. As a result, there are now some best practices around Content. As a general rule of thumb, there should be a good mix of images and text in an Email –around 1/3rd Images and 2/3rd text is most recommended

7) Optimize Your Campaign –You can optimize your Emails based on a number of metrics such as Email Delivery Rate, Open Rate, Click Rate, Conversion Rate etc. Ex, don’t send Emails to anyone in your database who has not opened your Email in six months. If he has not opened in six months, it is highly unlikely that he will open in the future. Keep your list fresh. The tighter your list is, the better your Email deliverability and ROI will be

8) Make it Easy to Unsubscribe – If a user does not want to receive your Email, he will unsubscribe. Don’t make it hard for a user to unsubscribe for two reasons – 1) If he has decided to unsubscribe, he will not buy your product anyways in the future 2) People who Unsubscribe are most likely to hit the “Spam” button within the Email inbox, which can get you black listed. ESPs look at how many people clicked on the spam button. For ex) 1/1000 Emails or more clicked as Spam can get you into trouble with ESPs

SECTION 3- HOW TO MAKE MONEY?

 1) Affiliate Marketing – If you have a large enough list, this is one of the most popular ways to make money. Work with an Affiliate, negotiate a deal (usually rev share) and send your Affiliate’s products to your subscribers. You make a profit from their sales. If you follow the principles outlined above (like segmentation and optimization) you should be able to make good money

2) Work with Companies Directly – Segment your list to match the company’s target audience and set up a campaign. You can either send dedicated newsletters on the company’s behalf, or simply sell them banner space within your Newsletter. Do not share the actual Email addresses with the company

3) Sell Your Own products – If you have your own Product line, sell them to your subscribers. Give them an Exclusive Discount they cannot get anywhere else

4) Build Your Own Groupon – Set up a Groupon / Living Social type business model. Partner with offline and online stores and send EXCLUSIVE deals. Brand yourself as “deal of the day” company. Your users will want to get your Emails

5) Sell Your List – This could be risky as once you sell your list you no longer have full control of it. The new owner can potentially bombard your list with his Offers and diminish its  value. Weather to Sell or Not depends upon your business objective. If you are out to build a Brand, selling will not work. But if your intention is to make quick money and move on to the next, this might be an option. For ex) If you have a list of 500K users and if you are able to sell an Email at $0.20, you can make a quick $100,000. Easier said than done – but you can take a shot at it now that you know how the Math works

All the points in this post are the various options available to you as an Email Marketer. You need to pick and choose whats best for you. In general, remember, you don’t need an OFFICE  or pay for Expensive servers to Host Your Email List.

Email Marketing can be complicated. But once you understand the rules and play by it, there is good opportunity to make money. Traffic from other Marketing tactics can Decrease or Increase, Advertisers can come or go, but Emails are for you to keep. It’s your Golden Egg laying Duck, don’t abuse it.

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93 Comments

  1. this is one valuable magnum opus aneja… many many rodinhooders are gonna thank you for this!

  2. Anytime Asha! Hope it helps our readers.

  3. as Asha said, its Magnum Opus emerging from the forest fire :). Aneja thanks a ton for putting this up, its a great insight.

  4. very helpful!Thanks Raj

  5. This is an Awesome Piece of Writing…..

    We all want to do it RIGHT, but some how dont know HOW! Now we do!

    Thanks a Ton for this Aneja jee!! 

    I will call it the Bible of Email Marketing.

    Sharing it with every one I know 🙂

  6. Well.. Nice summary of the term “email marketing” but I have some reservations about the way this concept has been presented. Email Marketing is a very broad term.. and certainly it is a billion dollar industry. But, as experienced first hand, it is like a rocket launcher handed over to a kid. If he doesn’t know “where” to fire it, then it can cause destruction. 

    The section how to make money is completely misleading to a newbie. I will never ever suggest to sell your list.. Affiliate marketing and all.. these are very superficial and generic ways. If you dont have an agenda or a point of view, then people will not subscribe to your list. And if you have a solid agenda of collecting emails, then making ‘money’ from that wont be an issue.. if people are subscribing, then they will ofcourse do what you are saying..!

    And one last point.. you cannot make money online.. you need to earn it 🙂

    PS: I would love Abey sir’s view on this.. !

  7. Wow!! Very well written about Email marketing. Thanks Raj

  8. Totally in agreement with Mohul Ghosh. Instead of wasting time and money getting past the ESP and the prospect’s spam filters, I find it a better option to create and market content by way of blogposts, podcasts, articles, etc.

    I can then employ seo, sem, and social media to optimize the content, and make it easier to find and share for my prospects. And I don’t have to worry about my ESP black listing or blocking me. Besides, I have a much larger audience than any email list could provide – and it’s Free. 

  9. Welcome pop to capture e-mails? half of the janta is lost there!

  10. This is FANTASTIC! Thank you so so much for sharing this! 

  11. Mohul, you call me sir one more time I’ll fly down to Delhi and kick your ass. No wait, I have a better idea I’ll charge you $500 per sir or jee.  Expect my invoice at the end of the month.  :))

    You’re right there are some caveats you need to careful of or you will end up in spammer hell.  

    6) Bartering is risky especially when you have a double opted, well segmented list.  The quality of what you get for the barter maybe the same as purchased lists.  You should only barter if you trust the guy and your privacy policy clearly spells it out.  

    7) Purchased lists should never be run off your own domain.  Send them an offer and move only the responsive/converting ones to your main list. aka email laundering 🙂

    5) Selling your list – if you are creating value for your subscriber base be very careful when selling.  Better is to rent.  Renting can be pretty lucrative if you get the audience – offer match right.

    The decision to barter/purchase/rent is not a straightforward yes or no decision.  It all depends on your market, your business objectives, and your short and long term revenue goals.  If you are in it for the long haul then bpr should be last on your list of choices.  There is a bigger down side to these methods compared to others long term.  

    The only thing you need to be mindful of in whatever you do: Don’t screw your subscribers.  You’ll throw out bad karma that will eventually come back and bite you in the ass.

  12. Spot on! Thanks for jumping in and providing additional details to our readers. One could write a whole post about managing Domains, IPs, shared vs fully owned IPs etc. You know it better Abey. May be I will write a part 2 onj advanced email management if it helps our readers:)

  13. This is good stuff man. Quality content.  Keep it up . Sharing this…

  14. Thank you for sharing it on Facebook Gurpreet

  15. Rohit,

    Appreciate your feedback. You have a valid point, but in my personal opinion, it all depends on what your marketing needs really are. There are no hard and fast rules around what to use and what not. One should base it on the results they see and decide for themselves. 

    In general though, it is ideal to have multiple touch points to engage with the user. Blog, Content would generally fall under Creating Awareness, or Changing Perception etc which are higher up on the Purchase funnel vs. Email, Paid Search etc that are further down that funnel. You use these more often to close the sale. One should have a 360 degree strategy and engage with the users at these different touch points.

    Again, there are no hard and fast rules, but one thing that stands apart for me with Email is that you can give it a “personal touch” and have a 1 to 1 relationship that other channels may not be able to offer

    Just my 2 cents…

  16. Thanks for taking the time to read Akash. Please feel free to share.

  17. Mohul, 

    A long time back in my first job in LA, I used to manage Email Marketing for an American firm. They did not have their own list, all they had was a purchased list – but a huge one at that. I used to send close to 50 Million emails a month selling all sorts of products – from flowers to “everything”. Not an easy task, but I had a bunch of smart kids on my team. We learnt Everything including how to trick Spam filters. We sold our list multiple times to multiple vendors and made a lot of money that way too – simply because the only objective of the company was to make quick money and move on to the next business.

    What I am saying is that at the end of the day, the tactic you want to adopt is dependent on the objectives of your company. Selling your list to multiple vendors may work in the above scenario, but if you are really trying to build a brand like Groupon, it may not work. 

    You have to take the article (liek any) with a grain of salt – adopt it the way it fits the need of your company. One thing I personally always do is “Test” a small portion of the list before you buy the whole list. Similar to how one would buy a Kilo of “Basmati” rice and test it first before you buy it for the whole Barat. The result will speak for itself.

    But your points are very valid – all readers must consider all aspects including Mohuls.

    Best.

  18. Excellent Article for sure ! 

  19. Thanks Sachin!

  20. I was avoiding going into the deep end seeing that we are primarily a startup crowd but now that the can of worms is open might as well lay it all on.  🙂

  21. GREAT! Aneja, Thank you very much for this.

  22. My 2 cents:
    Use email marketing services like Madmimi or MailChimp to send mails. Madmimi is quite good as they charge you on subscriber basis and not on the basis of mails you are sending. So you can send unlimited mails to your subscriber base. 

  23. Thats what Mailchimp also does http://mailchimp.com/pricing/. Same unlimited emails for fixed contacts. So the comparison doesn’t hold water which makes me wonder why you would plug Madmimi like that…which makes me want to jump all over you for makin a gratuitous comment just to stick in an affiliate link.  🙂  

    Hmmm.  Okay madmimi affiliate 25%.  Mailchimp $30 and no cash payout just account credit.  No brainer which to promote.  But then aiyyo amma you forgot the affiliate link on Madmimi… :))

    Oh wait.  Madmimi uses a dedicated affiliate server, so double redirect, first url expander didn’t catch the double redirect.  https://madmimi.com/r/8e941a227522ee1c1cd629384e9264a2

    So yeah.  Jump and stomp all over you Vivek.  Stop bein a troll.  Okay now that’s done.  Peace.  Let’s look at Madmimi.

    It looks like madmimi is cheaper but it doesnt have half the features that Mailchimp has…. 

    Okay – seems decent enough.  Composer looks easier than Mailchimp.  No A/B testing. Minus one point.  No local time zone support.  Minus two.  Autoresponder? Check.  +1.  Ok will do.  Rodinhoods can use it.  Though I would still recommend Mailchimp…

    Tell you what Vivek, why don’t you do an honest shoot out between the two and then write a post and stick in your affiliate links there.  Like what I did. 🙂 

  24. I’ve been using madmimi for 3 years without any complaints and it’s cheap compared to Mailchimp and other providers. Still very few people know about madmimi. It does it’s job very well and that’s the reason I love madmimi. It does miss on A-B testing, but that’s the feature I hardly use.

    http://email-marketing.choosewhat.com/email-marketing-reviews/mad-mimi

    P.S. I throw my affiliate link everywhere if I have one for the service.

  25. Throwing in the affiliate link is cool but trolling with false information is not.  

  26. You just put a smile on my face Abey 🙂

  27. 🙂

  28. Good post Aneja and  Abey got to meet you boss,so much to learn from you. Love your posts and replies.

    Recently I just put a Rs 500 off sign if you subscribe to our newsletter on my site PerfumeCrush.com and our subscribers list is growing like crazy. I will never sell my list. rather use i intelligently ly to grow my business. I agree hundred percent with Abey about karma.

  29. Exactly! 🙂

  30. 100% agree Suresh. In your case, the objective is to grow your brand perfumecrush. It would be a strategic mistake to sell your list. It will be short term money, but long term loss for your brand.

    By the way Congrats to you – your sites looks Awesome. SEO is spot on when I searched your brand. Love the horizontally scrolling tile which allows for multiple messages.

  31. Welcome pop to force sharing email? Bad idea. i would generally avoid. guess what is even worse, when that pop up does not have any close button or does not vanish on pressing ESC. i have seen one site and really dreaded going anywhere close to it.

    read the article twice. E-mail surely is one of the cheapest and most effective marketing strategy if and ONLY IF you know how to really do it. having worked earlier, you appear fully aware of all the nuances of it.

    but i, even after a last few years in e-com world and with a email list of about 10,000 most of whom have actually bought a product from us online, i am dead scared to send a group mail…. 

    regds Sanchita, (http://www.indiacod.com, http://www.gizmobhai.com)

  32. Hi Sanchita, Gaurav,

    This is great feedback! You are completely right in that pop ups have generally been considered intrusive. Simply because it interrupts with the user experience without providing value. However if presented in the right way, with the right value, these can be great asset for your customer.

    On the Fragrancenet screen above, you can see that the pop up is presented with a 20% discount. This can be highly valuable to the user. A lot of successful brands like Levi’s have been using the format. Check their site, the experience is seamless.

    Agree you should never should force anyone to share their emails and it goes without saying that an X button is a must. In addition, at what time in the user flow the pop up is served can also matter. For some brands it works when popped up instantly, for other after a few seconds, or when a user hovers their mouse close to the X button on your site.

    Having said all that, it is not as black and white as a straight Yes or No. You need to decide what is best for your business. One way to do it is to rely on data more than instincts. Calculate the ROI from each of your email acquisition source – from header, footer and pop up. You can also run surveys to measure the impact in user exp. You can do an A/B test with and without the pop up. Companies like Monetate allows you to do a pure A/B test on your website.

    My 2 cents…

  33. Thanks Debasis.

  34. Great post Aneja. Could you please recommend any cheap and best Email Marketing Server with email delivery/open stats, other than MailChimp, SendGrid etc.,

  35. Hi Mohan,

    Thanks for taking the time to read the post.

    Globally Responsys, SilverPop, eDialouge, CheetahMail, StrongMail, ExactTarget are among the top email service providers. As far as the Indian market is concerned, I am not quite sure on who the leading players are, although I have heard Madmimi and Mailchimp are good.

    Fellow Rodinhooder Abey John should have good information about the Indian Market. 

    Abey, Hope you don’t mind me throwing you under the buzz

  36. Mohan, cheap and best are opposite ends of the room.  🙂

    When we go cheap we are dealing with the murkier end of the email deliverability.  Chances are high that the emails will get sucked into the black hole of Spam filters.  

    What is your budget?  There are quite a few Indian ESPs but my gut feel is that they are mostly white-labelled versions of international brands and Interspire installs, which is Australian.  There is no from the ground up, home grown ESP from what I’ve seen.  

    A better approach is to think strategically.  What do you hope to earn from email marketing?  The cost of the ESP should be a percentage of that.  

  37. Sanchita, repeating what Aneja said in a different way…

    the pop-up is only a nuisance in the following cases:

    1. You are not part of the target audience and hence the offer doesn’t appeal to you.

    2. The offer is boring, non-exciting, and very obviously a means to get your email id for nothing.

    3. Or as you say they are forcing you to sign up without an option to exit

    However if you are part of the target audience and the offer is good/great, your visitors will thank you for it.  Of course it goes without saying that you can only know if it is suitable to your target market by testing it.  And we are still at least two years away before India wakes up to testing.  Then I guess my article will make some sense.  Till then it will go under the tl;dr/read later bookmark.  🙂

  38. Hi Aneja,

    Thanks for your valuable information. 

  39. Hi Abey

    Yes you are true, but I am looking for an alternative for MailChimp with the less cost than it. Where I can compromise on few features like WYSIWYG editor, social media integration, industry competitive analysis etc., 

    Anyhow thanks for your insight.

  40. madmimi suggested above by Vivek is cheaper even if he went about promoting it in a half assed way 🙂

    also check out http://www.benchmarkemail.com/in/ExtPricinghttp://mailmarketer.in/pricing.htmlhttp://www.juvlon.com/pricing/

    Juvlon’s done some content marketing and they seem to have a handle on the Indian market.  They rest I’ve seen floating around…

  41. Thanks Abey,

    I think this post is becoming one of the best resource on Email Marketing.

  42. Shanghai time.  🙂 

    Mohan, since you are already on the job can you create a pricing comparison between the various ESPs you are researching? Nothing fancy a simple Excel spreadsheet thingie will do shared over Gdocs.  :))

    What we need to see is how the pricing scales with volume.  That’s the most important thing when you are looking at growth.  Of course from the macro point of view that’s just chalk mark in a rainstorm.  The US dollar may plunge but for the mo lets just take it at 1USD=Rs. 50.   

  43. This is a great idea. It will be very useful to our readers. For context, top notch global ESPs like Responsys and Silverpop charge around $1 – $4 CPM. The CPM generally reduces when you send more emails.

    In addition to lot of customization, they also have excellent relations with the Deliverability teams in case you ever get in trouble.

  44. Is that how they price it? On CPM?  Didn’t know that.  Interesting.  Whats the minimum volume commitment?

  45. While the article presents an overview of what email marketing can do, it’s definitely very misleading when it comes to making money (as stated).

    To build a quality list of even 1k subscribers it’s going to take a lot of time an effort (500K is definitely something that’s out of reach of most people who are not VC funded startups).

    How you can achieve this is if you could rent/buy lists which is something I never endorse. I hate it when people send me unsolicited emails. Companies like dream infra and others keep spamming me with their latest offers (when I report spam they start sending from another gmail account). Not only do I hate people who do these activities, I take every effort to stop people from buying anything from such folks.

    And also, making money by blasting out emails (unless you are a spammer selling Viagra stuff or other shady things) is not going to be feasible. Use email marketing to grow your business and increase your bottom line. Don’t expect it to be a business by itself.

    I am not sure about the “Build Your Own Groupon” business model suggested here. Several deals businesses closing down and, snapdeal, the biggest player in India pivoting should be strong enough indicators that there is not enough money to be made in this business.

    Affiliate marketing is something to consider. But thinking of the open rates and CTR’s that bulk emailers get, I am not sure how much revenue you can bring in. In India, affiliate commissions are low. if you are targeting foreign affiliate programs they might have strict rules regarding the type of marketing that you do (most networks these days verify you and only then let you into their network). Even Indian affiliate networks like Tyroo direct is very strict about affiliates (most of the registered business there verify you before letting you take commissions. So if all you got to show them is your bulk email list, don’t expect to do businesses with legitimate providers)

    Here are some numbers

    • Total list size: 100000
    • Open Rate: 10%
    • Click Through Rate: 5% (5000 people)
    • People who convert to buyers: 5% of people who clicked through (250 people)
    • Affiliate commission: 100 rupees/purchase or action.
    • Total Money Made: Rs 25000.
    • Cost of Email Service Provider (for 1 lakh database): Rs 25000+

    I don’t see an ROI in this activity unless I can get high paying affiliate offers (which should target US customers by the way). However, the CANSPAM act is very strict, and if it’s not a DB that you got via legitimate means, you are going to get into trouble.

  46. Adarsh, you are both right and wrong.  Call it a Zen like paradox if you will.  When you wade into email marketing like your standard spammer you are bound to fail.  But when you do it with awareness of the entire picture then things like renting and purchasing can work like gangbusters.  And that too without earning the spam flag.  Same goes for affiliate marketing: as long as you are running your affiliate blast to a random list you are bound to fail.  But when you send it to a carefully curated list you’re bound to rake in the moolah.  

  47. Thanks Aneja

    I am learning a lot about email marketing through this post. We are building up our presence through organic SEO and SMO, PPC,Facebook ads and Banner ads. And now we have good enough list to send the regular mailers to our customers. Which is the best ESP you suggest. Also we do not have inhouse design team how does their ready made template work?

  48. Aneja whats CPM is it cost per mail?

  49. CPM is Cost Per Thousand where “M” stands for Mille which in latin means One Thousand. 

    So if the Email provider charges you a CPM is $1, that would be Rs.50 to send 1000 emails.

  50. I understand when you do it right, it’s kind of OK (Still in the grey area). The numbers I gave are for targeted emails. Do you think you will get 10% OPR for a random list? No!

    The thing is, I am yet to come across someone who hasn’t abused email marketing by buying/renting lists.

  51. Yeah, it is all CPM pricing model here. I will reach out to my sources to get details on min commitment.

  52. A 10% response rate is fantastic on a non-opted in list.  Which then means you are throwing them the wrong offer and you have fallen on two of the swords from the online money making troika: conversion and economics.  For any offer to work you need three things: traffic, economics, conversion.  If you don’t pay attention to all three you are anyway going to get fucked.  Even with a squeaky clean list.  

    List abuse? 🙂 When money is cheap abuse comes easy.  However it is a death spiral.  You win small and your eyes pop with greed and you make the mistaken assumption that you can scale to infinity and beyond.  And you keep pourin in the money tryin to exploit the loop hole and your costs keep climbing up as you combat this issue and that issue.  

    List rental and purchase are good tactics & relevant for startups when used sensibly.  

  53. Suresh, just had a look at your site.  Looks good.  Within 4 seconds on the site I was able to make out that you are doing good stuff.  BUT your conversion must still be sucky.  I hate that carousel banner (because it is not making you money).  Please pick up both books on conversion mentioned in my internet marketing article, take a week off and read both from cover to cover.  You’ll double your profits in 12 months.  

    If you don’t have a email/html designer – hire one.  Find a great designer and pay them 10% more than what they ask.  Basically chain them to you.  🙂 Perfumes are olfactory luxuries and your visual has to make them get a virtual whiff of the perfume making them automatically reach for the buy link.  🙂

    Also get a good copywriter….

    Yes I know both not easy to find.  But basically don’t sleep till you find them… 

    For ESP go with mailchimp.  Easy, safe and will scale without problems.  Plus has all the social media blah blah…

  54. Some other Branded sites that offer pop up for email capture are Guess, Jackspade, Calvin Klein etc. They use a very good tactic in that they only serve the pop up the first time you visit their site. To see the pop up again, you need to clear your cache. This protects the overall user exp.

  55. Hi Suresh,

    Good ESPs may have email editors you can use to create newsletters (not sure abt the leading ones from India). You will still need imagery, tracking code etc. But always a good idea to hire a designer. Worth the investment. Visuals can help a lot. Nothing like a crisp HD image on the site / email.

    One other thing you could do is to consider Emails as part of your media buy from sites like Indiatimes and Rediff. I used to work for BharatMatrimony.com 10 years back & it worked very well. But not sure how the media landscape is now. So you should definitely check first before you consider.

    Basically you give them your creative and they send it to their list & hopefully you will have a positive ROI. 

    Other ideas – Try running sweeps on your site as a way to get more sign ups. Something like – “submit your email and you could win “Perfume of the month.” or run a contest like “write the best quote on perfume” Winner will get a free perfume. Run it on social media and see what the response is.

    some random thoughts..

  56. Thanks Naemet.

  57. Bhawana – This indeed is a HUGE fire that you lit. One question you posted started what is now a Passionate discussion with tonnes of info helping many fellow Rodinhooders. Thanks.

  58. Hi Adarsh,

    Thanks for the feedback on the post. Its always good to have the opposite perspective.

    Having said that, we should also look at the Bigger picture – A 20,000 feet high Strategic View of what Emails really means for your Business in the long run.

    In general, we lack a good CRM strategy in India. I saw a very good post from Alok on CRM and his experience with Nike. Email is Core to an effective Customer Relation Management – beyond just instant money. It works because it gives you the personal 1-1 touch that no other channels can offer.You can target different segments of your list and make your customer feel special. In the long run, there are many benefits of Email from both a Brand and DR perspective.

    Now coming to your example, I generally try to stay away from the details as we are all in a guessing game here regarding open rates and the other metrics you outlined above. All this will change depending upon weather you are selling a “TOMATO or a TOYOTA”.

    In general though, you need see what is good for your business. Weather you need to create your own list, rent or sell all depends on your objective. The post just outlines all the options you have.

    If time permits, read this excellent post from Abey. It gives you a holistic view. This is how we should all think when it comes to Internet Marketing.

    http://therodinhoods.com/forum/topics/internet-marketing-traffic-generation-conversion-optimization

    Post from Alok below on CRM.

    http://therodinhoods.com/forum/topics/indian-retail-service

  59. Thank you Jasveer

  60. Dear Abey

    Thanks for the brief and effective analysis of perfumecrush.com. I will have these banners removed from the home page. I will go for the email/html designer right away and make sure to chain him. About the copy writer I found a good team at Rodinhood and they are going to replace the onsite content and already doing our facebook page and other social media.

    About the books I tried to find the names in your blog but couldn’t find. Please give me the names and I will not sleep till i read them.

    I have already registered with mailchimp and soon start the communication with my registered users.

    Thanks again and greatly appreciate your help. Whenever you are in Delhi please inform me and if convenient I would like to meet you.

  61. Dear Aneja

    Thanks for your thoughts greatly appreciated.

    I will hire a designer ASAP.

    Will look into media buying.

    Will try running sweeps on the site too.

  62. Always be Testing by Bryan Esienberg and Your Customer Creation Equation by Brian Massey.  Sorry in a rush, please google it. Start with Brian’s book first.  Always be Testing is more ecommerce focused and you will get a ton of ideas.  

  63. Anytime Suresh. Let us know if you have any other questions.

  64. hi aneja,

    pls check out the top of your post!

    🙂

  65. Wow! I am delighted. Thank you. Hopefully our readers will continue to find this post useful:)

  66. Yeeehaww!!! 🙂 

  67. In India, icubes.in is the leading email marketing provider. Many Indian e-com players use their services including snapdeal. 🙂

  68. Hi Raj,

    It was a pleasure chatting with u. Then I saw this post.

    I am so impressed.

    Well done, keep it up! You sure will go places. Take it from me

    All the best.

    Cheers

    Sushil

  69. Thank you Sushil. It was a pleasure talking to you. Let me know if I can be of help in anyway.

  70. Thanks Abey for sharing additional perspective with our readers. It always helps to have multiple POVs.

  71. I always get scared and suspicious when I hear the word “leading”.  🙂 Just had a look at their site… ok: large volume senders who do the enterprise ppt show for sales pitches and prices are obscured in the clouds.  They will have minimum volume requirements and wont make sense for startups.

  72. Did you finalize on your ESP yet Mohan?

  73. Would be nice if someone can list the best ESP in India, especially for start ups with low Volume of Email sends.

  74. Dear Raj,

    I am truly fascinated by your ideas and experience. U r doing a great job.

    I will surely like to pick up this knowledge from u

    Best wishes

    Sushil

  75. Quite an Awesome Post on Email campaigns and this makes me ask you my question.

    Here is my Question:

    I am designing a automated tool to get product reviews about the e-com product that has been bought.

    The email is to be sent a week later post-purchase to get user to use the product and share his/her review that will make more sense as user have got a feeling of product.

    I am already using Mailchimp services which makes me white-listed so no trap and no spam filter worries.

    What I am trying to find out is How to optimize clicks through rate, basically for Indian users and get them to fill my survey? Expecting Tips on Subject lines, timing of emails etc. basically what worked best for you.

    Also, I have read many email heading/body tips and tricks which are mostly based on US audience.

    It will be great if you share the tips and tricks that might help for effective emailers.

  76. Hi Dhiraj,

    I am glad you enjoyed the post. There are no straight answers to your question as it depends upon a lot of things such as your audience, competition, your product etc.

    However there are some basic tips you can follow such as:

    1) Personalize your Email – Include the persons Name & the Product they purchased on the Email. This usually improves Open Rate. 

    2) Always Keep your Subject line Short, Clear, Simple. Might sound like a small thing, but it can work wonders.

    3) Build a sense of Urgency in the subject line

    4) Offering an Incentive users to Review may work with some audience

    5) Test your Subject line on a Mobile device. Make sure the most important thing you want highlighted in the Email is upfront on the Subject line, so it is not lost if a user Opens the Email in a Mobile device. Its important because the Mobile segment is growing.

    6) Timing is very important. There is usually no way to tell what is the best time to send an Email until you have tested it with your audience. But it is usually known that people check emails around the same time everyday. So if you are able to send an email around the same time of the day the user purchased the product, that should work really well. But not sure if Mail Chimp has the ability to do that.

    7) TEST TEST & TEST – The best way to know weather or not your strategy is working is by testing. Test your subject line, Creative, time of day etc etc.Its the only reliable way to know what works best with your audience. 

    There are a lot of other things you can do, but these basic tips if followed should help you with your Email strategy.

  77. 🙂 I was going to reply much along the same lines.  I will have to quibble with #6 though.  Best time to email would be the day they receive the product which if the shipping system (integrated 3rd party or online) is online should get trigger the email alert.  If not online then manually configurable at the time of order processing with some default parameter.  So if the average shipping days are 4 then you could set the default trigger parameter to 5 or 6 days from date of order processing.  If the product is a sure shot winner then it can be even later.  One of my clients gets rave reviews even after 30 days but his product is not a commodity and the buyers almost universally love his product line.

  78. And let me reiterate what Aneja said in case you missed it:

    TEST TEST & TEST 🙂

  79. That is a good idea! The only thing I would add regarding sending the email the day the shipment reaches is that it might be too early for the user to review the product. Amazon typically sends its Email a week after a user receives the product because they want to give the user enough time to experience the product before they can review. 

    Having said that, unless Dhiraj you test it out, we are all speculating! So TEST TEST TEST:)

  80. 100% agree. It’s all about test and learn.

  81. Aneja Raj and Abey John

    You guys made me bit curious… I am contemplating if Mailchimp or Aweber would be a better choice for me.

    So, I did an analysis where I tried to understand the proportion of revenue that I would retain after paying the email service provider.

    There is a catch – My business model would cater Indian population and I am not sure exactly how many subscribers I would be able to rope in. But some of the subscribers are going to be one time user of service, I would say, for a period of 6 months or less…It’s an online education service…they use it and move on. So, I would need to rebuild the list and re-target the subscribers every time. The target population base is like 4.5 Million people…How much I can reach-out to after doing SEO etc is still questionable.

    But, I see a number of around 1.5-2.5 lakh subscribers possible.

    Your two cents needed on following:

    1. I personally feel Aweber is better but is the extra cost justifiable? Refer:

    http://thinktraffic.net/why-i-switched-from-mailchimp-to-aweber

    2. Is there any other ESP you think fits better here specially when revenue per converted subscriber would fall between Rs 150 – Rs 350.

    As time is money, should I analyze other ESPs mentioned by you in this post (Responsys, SilverPop, eDialouge, CheetahMail, StrongMail, ExactTarget,Madmimi, icubes.in) especially because I am unaware of the cost involved with them. For Aweber CPM beyond 25000 subscribers stand at $8.

    Here are the screenshots:

  82. That article is a thinly veiled affiliate pitch for Aweber. The only feature that Aweber has which maybe useful is their subscriber redirection and even that, how many people signup twice for the same thing?  Aweber is more flexible from what I remember.  But that was at least 2 years ago.  Have you looked at sendgrid?

    If you are starting from ground zero it really doesn’t matter which.  Just ask yourself the question, do I see myself using this phalana phalana feature in 6 months to a year.  If your answer is no or maybe just go with the cheapest option for now and then figure it out later.

    The revenue really doesn’t matter, what matters is your margin.  What percentage of your margin would be consumed by your marketing.  Or what is your cost per subscriber.  

  83. That was quick man!

    Thanks

  84. Echoing Abey’s suggestion.

    Bottom-line is think of what you want the ESP to deliver for you in terms of your business needs.

    One thing I always look into is the ability to segment the list. Some ESPs are better than the others in this aspect. Segmentation if done properly can improve your ROI significantly.

  85. Thanks for Valuable Inputs Abey and Aneja. Sorry I was out for some reason and could not respond in time.

    I have been taking care of most of the items that you pointed out.

    Point#1: I actually used personalized subject lines like using first name in subject lines, to drive clickthrough rates. its the way linked-in sends emails.

    “[Name], ….”

    Point#4 : Rewards: It is something that can work great especially to re-engage customers and we are working on it.

    Point#6: Timing is really important.

    Here is one example: a friend at (huntshire.com) sends Jobs newsletters on Mondays 12-3 which is usually lunch time and on Fridays targeted towards IT sector people as people usually search for Jobs at that time.

    Point #7: Which makes sense the Most TEST, TEST and TEST.  Hit and trial is the best way to do it.

    Also, 

    Mailchimp has the add-on feature to reschedule emails and also has various other features like batch send etc.

  86. Your most welcome Dhiraj. Let me know in any way we can help.

  87. Thanks Aneja Raj…will take these points into notice.

  88. Thanks Sushil

  89. Dear Raj,

    Really valuable points and very valuable information in detail is provided.

    Every point is clarified and specially for someone with very little knowledge on this.

    Genuinely thanking for the same

    Gopakumar

    +91 9884417703

  90. Thank you Gopakumar. Let me know if you have any additional questions.

  91. +1
    I have been making money off email marketing for quite some time now. As i have been seeing its easier known than done. But this post has majorly covered all bases of the theory.

    As morpheus said in the matrix ” there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path “

    but this is a good posts anyway 

    * thumbs up *

  92. Thanks a lot

  93. Hi Raj

    After reading your post.. i started sending emails to customers on my services.. I’m receiving calls for more information.. it would really great if you can help me .. what are best ways and tools that can i use for email marketing. 

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