[UPDATE: read below to get free software]
I recently developed a tool to increase the optin rate on my websites (and for my clients). During development I got to work with nearly all of the major email service providers. While many of them are very strong and offer some clever tools to make marketers more successful, iContact stood out with a special 2-for-1 offering of a combined email and survey service. Let me explain why this is such a powerful combination and then I’ll show you a tool that can make it even better.
Email services are what I like to call a utility service for marketers. It’s like gas and electricity for a home. You can’t go without them and really have a decent quality of life, and when they flake out, the pain is felt almost immediately. The good news is that nearly all the email services have a rock solid platform that’s fast and reliable.
As I integrated each of these services, there were some features that started to jump out to me as being extremely useful. One of the services that I think did the best job with this was iContact, and to understand why I say that, it’s important to review the advice I got as a beginner to email marketing.
I heard from Jeff Walker, Ed Dale, John Reese, Frank Kern, Eben Pagan and just about everyone else that you have to do these two things with your list:
- Ask them what they want
- Build a relationship
That’s why most of these marketers use surveys in various ways to accomplish both of these tasks. But they use a combination of two separate services to get it done. That means their email list and communication are in a database independent from survey results and respondents. As it turns out, that can present a big challenge when processing survey results and conducting follow up.
2-for-1 email and surveys
The first thing I noticed about iContact is that they put those two services in one integrated package. I can only imagine how much easier it becomes for new marketers to survey and interact with their lists, not to mention the efficiency gains that more experienced marketers get. I should know since I’ve spent time working through the details of not having an integrated email and survey service.
The integration is great and opens many possibilities, however it’s also important to know that each service can be used independently. That means you can publish a survey and link to it from your website without an email, or include it in an email broadcast or an autoresponder sequence. It’s very flexible.
Leverage the combination
Since this was the only truly integrated provider I found (some parent companies offer both as separate labels so they can charge more, but they don’t integrate like iContact) I decided to publish a customized version of the optincrusher software. I called it ioptinboost.
The reason I decided to create a separate piece of software is that I could integrate the survey function in directly. So with ioptinboost you can run a survey on your site, the same way you would an optin form. It will get your visitors attention and tell you loads about the traffic you’re getting to your site.
If you structure your survey correctly, you can even provide an incentive and get them onto an autoresponder. If you’ve followed Eben Pagan for a while, that’s very similar to what he did with the Psychic Sales Letter. There’s some very powerful psychology at play here, and as a smart marketer, you can leverage it like never before.
Just like the optincrusher, I’m releasing ioptinboost for free (as of right now anyway). That won’t last forever, but today you can download it here:
If this article has piqued your interest, you can try the icontact service for free. They have great live support, so it’s very easy to get your first survey or campaign up and running quick. Of course I created HD videos showing you how to do everything you need to do on http://ioptinboost.com/
Leave a comment about your experience with iContact and how you use their service to improve your marketing.