eConnect Email Blog

If you own a local business, you need exposure to the people who are most likely to buy from you: the people in your city and in your neighborhood. You also need to make the most of every marketing dollar. And that’s why I want to take a minute to introduce you to Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM), a new service being offered by the USPS. If you’re like me, you’re probably gaping in astonishment that the postal service has anything beneficial to offer to businesses. But stick with me, I think you’ll be impressed.

What Can EDDM Offer Your Business?

EDDM offers some awesome benefits to small businesses:

  • It’s cost effective—Postage rates start at 14.5¢ per piece. That’s an unheard of price for direct mail. You can also avoid the costs of labeling each piece.
  • It’s easy—No address lists or contact information. Just choose a target area and have your piece delivered to every single home on the route. You don’t even have to send to an entire zip code, just a complete mail carrier route.
  • It’s flexible—You have a variety of size options to choose from, making it possible to create unique designs that include as little or as much information as you need to get your message across.

Once you start delving into the details, you’ll discover a few qualifications when it comes to item specs. For instance, each piece must be a standard mail flat weighing less than 3.3 oz. for EDDM—Retail and 15.994 oz. for EDDM—BMEU. Your mailing must be a saturation mailing for an entire mail carrier route and must include at least 200 pieces. Businesses that do not qualify for EDDM—Retail can still qualify for Business Mail Entry Unit options allowing larger mailings and requiring a postage permit.

Why Am I Plugging EDDM?

No, I’m not getting any perks from the USPS for promoting their service. But I do think it’s important for local businesses to take advantage of available cost saving measures in order to stay in the game against larger competitors. EDDM makes that possible by cutting costs to the bare minimum and making it as easy as possible to reach your potential customers. You can find out exact details, requirements, and specifications at the USPS Every Door Direct Mail page.

If you’re looking for a better way to send direct mail to the people who are most likely to use your products and services, the USPS just made your life a whole lot easier. Really.

Subscribe Me

A couple of hours ago we launched Subscribe Me, an app that turns your iPad into a beautiful subscription form. It’s perfect for the counter at your store, an event you might be hosting, or anywhere else where people might like to join your list when they’re not in front of their computer. It’s totally free and available now.

Customize everything

When we built Subscribe Me, the most important thing was that it could be completely customized to match your own look and feel. When it’s sitting at the counter in your store, it should look like it was built just for you.

We’ve included 10 great looking themes to make it easy to get started, but you can throw in your own logo and background image, change the copy to suit, the button label, the fonts, text sizes and plenty more. To make this easy, we’ve gone for a live preview approach so you can see exactly how your form will look as you make changes.

Customize Subscribe Me

Once you’ve designed your form, you can easily secure it by setting a passcode, ready for people to start subscribing. This means anyone can join your list, but they can’t make any changes to the form or your settings. If you want to make any tweaks, just enter your passcode and you’re good to go.

Works offline

Let’s say you sell handmade goods each weekend at the local fair. Now you can take your Wifi only iPad with Subscribe Me installed, set it up on the tabletop and hundreds of people can sign up to your weekly newsletter, all without an Internet connection.

After a successful day of selling, Subscribe Me will automatically sync all your new subscribers straight into your eConnect Email account the moment it’s connected to the web. This all happens seamlessly behind the scenes without you lifting a finger.

Beautiful, flexible forms

As well as looking great, we made sure Subscribe Me was as easy to use as possible for your subscribers. We designed stunning custom form controls that looks awesome on a retina display. We also give you control over which fields to show, and what order they should be displayed.

Subscribe me Form

You can also set certain fields as required, and we’ll handle error checking for your subscribers to let them know if they missed something.

Available now, for free

Subscribe Me launched in the App Store a few hours ago. It’s free to download, all you need is a eConnect Email account. When you first run the app you can choose which list you’d like to connect it to, but you can easily change this to any other list at a later date.

Download Subscribe Me from the App Store

We’re really excited about getting our first dedicated app out there. We’ve got plans for more improvements down the line, so please give it a try and let us know what you think.

I recently sent a work-related email to a colleague with some time sensitive information in it. Not being in email marketing mode, I included the words “time sensitive” in the subject line and hit send. Several days later when I hadn’t heard back, I called him to see if he had received my message. He hadn’t. After a little digging, he found it—yep—in the spam folder.

Deliverability is a serious issue for brands, not just because legitimate messages get siphoned out of the inbox and into the spam folder, but also because your sender reputation is at stake.

What Happens When Someone Marks Your Email as Spam?
When a subscriber marks your email as spam, his ISP will block future messages from you. Your email service provider will also keep track of this information, making it possible for ISPs to make judgments about future emails you send to other recipients. Every time someone hits the spam button, it chips away at your sender reputation, making it harder for you to reach your subscribers.

Why Legitimate Emails End Up In the Spam Folder
Spam filters are all well and good for keeping out the baddies, but what about your legitimate messages? What mistakes are you making and how can you fix them?

  • You’re including questionable material in the subject line. Spammers use tactics like all caps, multiple exclamation marks, and key phrases (like my “time sensitive” email above) to get people to click.Fix: Create subject lines that communicate message content without using gimmicks.
  • You’re not communicating the right expectations to subscribers. If you send messages more often than expected or send valueless content, your subscribers will get irritated and send you careening into the spam folder.Fix: Communicate clearly what types of messages you’ll be sending and how often. Each message should include valuable content such as special offers, useful information, or sales announcements.
  • You’re using shady list-building practices. Purchased lists often include spam trap messages and closed accounts. Too many of these bounces will destroy your sender reputation. Not only that, it’s bad business practice.Fix: Use double opt-ins to build your list, ensuring that each subscriber legitimately meant to sign up and knows what to expect.

A strong sender reputation is essential for keeping your legitimate messages out of the spam folder. Focus on providing valuable content, presenting it in a reputable format, and keeping an eye on your email metrics in order to deal with potential problems before they spiral out of control.

Hot on the heels of Subscriber Notifications, we’re excited to announce the all new Subscribe Button. The easiest way to add an elegant, unobtrusive subscribe form to any page on your site.

The Subscribe Button is perfect for your sidebar, footer or any page with limited screen real-estate. Slot the button in where you like, and once it’s pressed a simple subscribe form instantly appears through a modal window.

Customize Everything

The button itself is available in two colors and sizes. You can use your own button text, and also choose to show or hide the number of subscribers in that list.

We’ve also given you lots of control over the subscribe form. Choose which fields you’d like to show and in what order, set the important stuff as required and add your own intro copy.

You’ll find the feature under a simplified sidebar for each subscriber list in your account. Just click on Grow your audience option to get started.

This update is one of a number of nice improvements we have planned around making it easy as possible for people to join your lists. As always, feel free to give us a call if you have any questions!

We’re very excited to announce that we have released a beautiful, flexible new way to keep up with the people who are joining your subscriber lists.  We’ve given you complete control over what notifications you’d like to receive and when.

Instant Updates

If you’re interested in learning everything you can about each person that joins your list, you’re going to love our instant notifications. You can set them on a list-by-list basis, and every time someone signs up, we’ll send you something like this…

Each email will include all the data they might have supplied when subscribing. Plus, we’ll show you exactly where they subscribed from and if available, what they look like. It’s amazing how quickly this turns them into a real person instead of just another email address. These notifications can be set on a list-by-list basis, so you’re only updated instantly when you need to be.

Daily, Weekly or Monthly Summaries

As well as instant notifications, you can also choose a daily, weekly or monthly summary that gives an overview of all the new subscribers across every list for each client. We’ll show you where they’re from, which lists they’ve been added to and even pull out a few friendly faces.

Notifications

First things first, notifications will be turned off by default for you. But, if you would find these notifications useful, you can easily enable them from your account. These notifications are set on a per-person basis. As long as you have permission to manage your own subscribers, you can head into your notification preferences and choose the types of updates that suit you best.

How to turn notifications on
You’ll notice a new option in the sidebar of “Lists & Subscribers” like this…

From there you can select any lists you’d like instant updates for, and if you’d like to receive a daily, weekly or monthly summary across all the lists for that subscriber.

One final point worth mentioning, these notifications are all about organic subscribers joining your lists.  This means we won’t notify you about subscribers you manually import yourself, only those that join from your subscribe forms, an integration you might have set up or the API.

We’ve got another exciting subscriber related announcement coming up, so stay tuned for another heads up.