How to handle the new Gmail tabs feature

Many of you have recently received an email from Google named “Welcome to the new Gmail inbox” where they explained how new tabs feature works. Google has decided to create preset tabs (it starts with Primary, Social and Promotions, but you can add new ones and edit these as well). The logic behind it is that Google will figure out what tab to put it in based on if it is a 1-on-1 correspondence, notification emails from your social networks, or the newsletters you are signed up for. For this purpose, we will, of course, discuss the latter.

When you send an email to your list, Google may classify your email as a “promotion”, and thus will not show it on the main (primary) tab.

Initially there was a lot of fear of what this meant for open rates, conversions, and whether your email would be ignored. For that reason, a lot of companies started to send out campaigns to their Gmail users with a message instructing them what to do. They would send you an email saying something like “Hey we are in your Promotions tab now”, and ask you to “fix it” by moving the message to the Primary view.  This is something you can do as well (will discuss that later in this post) but before we get to that, let’s see if its really the right move.

Is the promotions tab the end of email & newsletter marketing?

AdAge is reporting that despite the original panic, this is hardly the end of email marketing:

“Despite reports suggesting otherwise, Gmail’s redesign has not ushered in email marketing’s apocalypse, according to marketers and email vendors canvassed by Ad Age.”

Return Path has also seen some interesting affects this has had on inbox vs spam placement:

“Return Path measured a 17% read rate for July 2012 versus 15.6% for July 2013, but saw that placement rates — marketing emails making it into users’ inboxes instead of their spam folders — actually improved, said the company’s senior director of email research Tom Sather.”

Some are also thinking (and seeing results) that newsletter, updates, etc.. are beneficial to being in a tab.  The thought process being that people are using the primary inbox for non-stop email interaction and are more likely to discard, archive, or skim over content while when reviewing another tab they are in a different mode of email discovery.

Perhaps most importantly you should determine whether you need to focus your time and energy on Gmail Tabs or if you could improve your marketing by simply devoting that time & resources on creating engaging content that your contacts will love, interact with, and naturally be eager to open.

How to ask your contacts to move you to the primary tab

You can do the same using our system. It is easy to create a segment; you would create one that has a condition “email contains” to send only to people that use Gmail. Once you have a segment in place, you can create a message that invites your recipients to handle your emails differently. The email should contain a short instruction on what should they do:

  1. Click to open Promotions tab
  2. Drag and drop the message over to the Primary tab
  3. When prompted whether to do it for future messages as well, the recipient should select Yes.

Examples of companies asking to be moved to the primary tab

Form Mule – providing subscription forms,surveys, and much much more…

Whenever ActiveCampaign is approached by a 3rd party about a new integration we get excited. Why? There are so many amazing platforms which can help make our system stronger through a simple integration, and why not give our customers the best! So, with that being said, I proudly present FormMule! As their name implies, they specialize in subscription forms. However, FormMule is much more than a simple subscription form provider. With it you are able to “ build any type of form or survey and can even accept payments“.

When partnered with ActiveCampaign, tools like FormMule take your marketing and sales to the next level due to the simplicity of use and high level of quality in which they help connect you to  your customers, website visitors, etc. FormMule went above and beyond to create an easy to use, yet powerful form building tool that can be used by people of all technical skill sets. FormMule specializes in being a well rounded application which can meet many of the needs ActiveCampaign users might have that go beyond the basic subscription forms. If you have ever wanted greater diversity from the forms ActiveCampaign currently offers, be sure check out FormMule.

To learn more about this integration CLICK HERE or watch the video below. provides new WordPress plugin

Many of our ActiveCampaign users operate their websites through WordPress. With that being said, we are always excited to find new ways to help the ActiveCampaign users build a deeper integration between WordPress and ActiveCampaign.

In early June, ActiveCampaign met another Chicago based company some called at a local trade show. It was obvious that our platforms would work very and together, and after meeting they built a brand new  lead capturing WordPress plugin with many customization options. ActiveCampaign  wanted to share this awesome tool with our users in order to let you know about the integration.  We also wanted to let our users know what can do to help you be more successful with your email marketing. Below are a few points about the worth mentioning.

  • user account gives you a powerful online contact management system that is linked to your website forms.  This user account manages your form configurations, provides advanced contacting tools to help you track and manage your signups, captures web analytic data (including traffic source, pages visited, new/existing visitor), and allows you to manually add notes and missing information to individual subscriber profiles.
  •’s plugin introduces a proactive approach to capturing more signups from your page.  Instead of a form placed in the margins of your site, you can place a “tab” callout that floats on top of your page margins.  Their research shows that this approach can be more than 200% more effective in getting signups.  (Note: the more traditional “inline” placement is also available in the plugin).
  •  Once you have your form configured, makes is really simple to add a newsletter signup to your business’ Facebook page using the app. In less than a minute, you can connect your form with your Facebook account, and then you have a new place to generate newsletter signups.

Additionally, has provided a how-to-video showing how easy it is to integrate and set up a form through their ActiveCampaign WordPress plugin.

To learn more about this integration, please CLICK HERE.


Golf Web Design – bringing digital marketing to the world of golf.

Erick from Golf Web Design was kind enough to participate in our Marketer’s Spotlight this week. He provides a great deal of insight  into how he and his team have helped Golf Courses succeed with email marketing.

What is Golf Web Design and what caused you to see a need for this type of business?

Golf Web Design is a web design and development company for the golf industry. We provide websites and digital marketing services for golf courses and golf professionals all over the country. We saw a need for a better, private label email marketing system that we could offer to our clients. Most of our clients already have large existing databases of customers and we needed a robust system that would handle their email marketing needs.

 Since this is such a niche market, what specific marketing needs do you most commonly see you customers needing to fulfill?

Our customers typically need a good email capture form on their website, the ability to drop customer information into segmented lists, the ability to send campaigns targeted at their different lists, and the ability to easily create a great looking campaign.

How has email marketing changed or influenced your marketing strategies for customers?

With the addition of ActiveCampaign, we have been able to offer a powerful new email marketing system to our clients. It’s been a great selling point for potential customers. When they see how easy the admin panel is to use, they are instantly sold on it.

Do you find that your customers are in need of a more modern digital marketing approach? If so, what do you help them do to improve?

Yes, most every new client that we bring on is in need of a more modern approach to marketing. Email has been their staple marketing system, but we have introduced them to social platforms as well as mobile marketing platforms such as push notifications within custom built apps  for their course.

I imagine many of your customer have very similar branding. What do you do to help them differentiate themselves from the pack?

Most of our clients usually have a unique market that they appeal to. Some are private courses, public, or resort. Each one has a target demographic and geographic market that they cater towards. The types of emails that are sent and the specials they offer usually differentiate one course from the next.

What email marketing tools have you found to be successful for your clients. i.e. segmentation, conditional content, email designs?

The biggest email marketing tool that we have seen success with is segmentation. A birthday month list has proven to really be a big hit with golf courses. Courses will usually offer a special discount within your birthday month if you are subscribed to that list.

What types of campaigns or call to actions have you found work for you customers?

Effective engagement for our clients begins with customers that actually want to read what they have to say in each email. From there, either a newsletter that features past results from tournaments or pictures of members are a big hit. Otherwise, coupons or special rates that the golf course has are the highest engagement emails.

What are the top 3 recomendations you have for digital marketers focusing on a niche market?

1. Be an expert in your niche. Make it your goal to know the ins and outs of that industry and add any kind of certifications or status to your credentials.

2. Target your niche through industry publications or outlets. When other people do the talking for you – it makes you seem that much more credible. Try to get others within your niche talking about you.

3. Follow through on what you promise. This makes your current clients become your biggest fan – which equals word of mouth. Word of mouth is single best form of advertising there is. It’s not a digital form of advertising, but through digital outlets you can make sure people are happy with your services. And happy customers equal repeat business and more referrals.

If you would like to get your company featured in ActiveCampaign’s “Marketer’s Spotlight”, please
click here



Tell me about Canaflora. How long have you been in business, what do you do, what is the drive behind the business

Canaflora is a gift delivery company, sending flowers and gift baskets across Canada. We’ve been in business for four years and have grown exponentially from when we first started. Our philosophy is delivering good product at an affordable price and with strong service.

Since our inception, we believed that our customers shouldn’t pay hidden fees like many other similar companies charge. From the get-go, we’ve offered free delivery and a pay-what-you see pricing model. If we say $49.99 (+ tax), they pay $49.99 (+tax). No ifs, ands, or buts.

We adjusted our business model, cutting out as many middlemen as possible to make sure our prices stay fair and competitive. We have also opted out of an expensive downtown location for the same reason.

What made you feel email marketing was important to your marketing strategy

The more the customers come back to us, the more lifetime value they hold to our company. Our retention rate is a very important part of our business and what better way to reach our database than with email marketing?

Since you work with vendors all over Canada, what are things you do as apart of your business model to ensure you keep customer loyalty strong and also quality high.

At this point, we’ve realized we don’t do enough.

When just starting the business, we believed that if we provide awesome product and service, our customers would come back. Most didn’t. Everyone expects a positive experience and that didn’t make our business stand out.

Currently we’re introducing measures to make our product unique and easy to remember. We’re also diversifying our marketing activity to make sure the specials, advertisements, and other content our customers see are as personalized as we can make them.

What tools do you use besides email to help grow Canaflora?

SEO and PPC. We are also experimenting with direct sales at this point — B2B is a rapidly growing segment for us. We are currently trying out white label websites and Facebook ads too.

I see on your site that you also offer products internationally. What has it been like setting up your network outside of Canada? Do you have any marketing, networking, or sales tips for web companies starting the international process.

The International section on our web site is just drop shipping. We just resell services of another company which operates a worldwide network of florists.

We do have multiple international partners for whom we do drop shipping in Canada and this is a growing segment of our business. Initially we got them all just by emailing them or chatting through a social network about the business.

I know you use segmentation. Can you explain about the uses of segmentation and why it is important. Also, how have you seen segmentation improve the email marketing for you?

Its all started with poor performance of our regular emails. We started to research and brainstorm about how we can slice our database to drive more personalized offers and improve conversions of our emails.

At this point we segment our database by:

  • Purchase history (new customers, active customers, dead list)
  • Occasions – As our product is occasion-driven, we track what the occasions it was purchased for and then set up the appropriate reminder campaign
  • Geographic – we drive personalized promotions based on the area where the customers live or where their order was delivered before
  • Email activity – we track the way users handle our emails and add them to appropriate segment as a result. For example, users who never open our emails are segmented and then aggressively targeted with Facebook ads or direct marketing

Because customer’s habits depend so much on factors in their life, segmentation has helped us with either offering the appropriate products or improve our timing (for example, we know they’re more likely to order flowers if someone’s birthday is coming up). Doing what’s more comfortable for our customers rather than bombarding them with email specials they may or may not care about definitely helps improve our conversions.

For any marketers who are new to segmentation, what helpful tips can you give them?

  • First of all put together a list of how you can segment your database – Gender, Age, Purchase History, Geographic, Email activity, Social media activity, Email provider, etc.
  • Then prioritise the segments based on what makes the most sense for your business and start sending emails. Wait for results. The point is that your segmented emails should perform better than broad emails.
  • Based on our experience, segmentation is a never-ending process, so you can keep going with more and more personalization. Remember to watch your results and make sure it makes sense in terms of time and money spent, but if you have an idea — even if you think it may not be the best idea — it may pay off to run a test, just in case.

Are there any other features in the ActiveCampaign platform you find really useful for your business?

The biggest advantage of ActiveCampaign for us is that we can fully automate our email marketing activity. We are heavy users of ActiveCampaign API and Webhooks, which are integrated with our CRM. Based on that our segmentation process is 90% automated.

Basically with the help of ActiveCampaign technology and our own efforts, in one month we built a marketing automation software which would usually cost from $3,000 per month if you use an existing provider.

Aria Agency – Putting the “A” in in mArketing!

What is Aria and what types of customers do you work with?

Formally, Aria is an award-winning, independent, full-service agency with more than a decade of experience in destination, real estate and economic development marketing. Based in Dallas, our team of 14 work in disciplines including branding, interactive technologies, marketing, video and publicity.

Informally, we’re just creative, fun people, who love to design things people want to use, create brand memories and push the limits of promotion.

How long has Aria been an Advocate of email marketing?

We’ve used email marketing from the day Aria opened its doors in 2000.  Email marketing is an integral piece of most of our marketing campaigns. Not only for clients but also for ourselves. Email is still a very effective way to communicate with your target audiences.

We’re constantly refining our approach to message, format, audience segmentation, and a dozen other details of email campaigns to find the most effective treatment for our clients and their constituents.

While I was checking out your site, I noticed you use lots of really stellar imagery. How important are quality images in today’s digital marketing world? Particularly in the small business environment?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, right? And even that is probably an understatement for today’s fast-paced, me-first consumer environment.  People are busy, and it’s difficult to get them to slow down long enough to give you their attention and get your marketing message across. A well-crafted, beautifully designed piece can not only grab attention, but also leave a lasting impression with consumers, in a split second.

So, to answer your question in a word. Incredibly!

As you have worked with your customers, what are a few things you have found to be successful in designing emails?

Start with a simple design, and then simplify some more.  Keep it clean and ensure you’re encapsulating ideas in easy, bite-sized chunks to make it that much easier for your audience to digest. That’s what really ensures you get your message across. Also, we always keep in mind tech limitations with file download size and red flags for spam filters.

Since you focus a lot on brand development, could you give 3-4 tips and essentials when focusing marketing efforts on brand promotion?

Brand marketing is a pretty straightforward concept. It’s simply putting a comprehensive strategy around marketing with a consistent focus on imparting the brand components. It’s played out across the tactics you use to reach your audience.

It’s the execution of those strategies and tactics where businesses and brand managers often screw up.

A couple of tests you can use to avoid any misdirection in your own marketing efforts are:

  1. 1. Brand style guidelines are your measuring stick. The first thing you should always do is make 100% sure that each marketing component and promotional piece adheres to your brand guidelines. If the brand messages you’re sending out through social media, your website and your email campaigns are so vastly different that you don’t get a strong sense of brand cohesion when you look at all of those elements comprehensively, you need to reassess how you’re presenting your brand.
  2. Seek out, and listen to feedback from your consumers. Chances are you view your brand in a very defined way. And, a lot of times we find clients are surprised to find the public perception of their brand is completely different. And that’s what matters. Your brand is really how people describe you when you’re not in the room. Find out what the world thinks of your brand, and then tailor marketing efforts to change their way of thinking if you need to. What does Don Draper always say? “If you don’t like the conversation, change it.” It’s true.
  3. Quality over quantity. Remember your brand integrity and reputation is paramount. One awesome content marketing piece in support of your brand is better than 10 mediocre productions any day.

I see in your “Beliefs” section you state, “Traditional advertising alone yields unacceptably low returns compared to cost” – Can you explain what you mean by this and what is considered “non-traditional”?

By traditional, we mean print and broadcast. It’s the age-old tactic of blasting a message over and over again until it’s part of people’s nature. That really doesn’t work today where people are so inundated (every second of every day) by advertising, that it becomes background noise. It’s just part of the atmosphere — you start to tune out the neon of Las Vegas when you’ve been on the strip for a few hours.

Our aim with any client project (and our own) is to find the most efficient way to make our message as personal as possible. It’s really the only way to ensure you’re going to get the attention of your audience. If you can make it seem like you’re reading their mind, they’ll at least give you a few seconds to make your point.

We see social media, behaviorally-customized web experiences, and opt-in media (like email) as big players in this new marketing approach.

How can small businesses use email marketing to create an “experience” with their contacts, hopefully to build a lasting relationship?

Personalize, personalize, personalize. Use segmentation and personalization features to create content that your prospect wants and finds valuable. If you can add value through your marketing, things that enrich their lives in some way: it could be learning, it could be funny, it could be special offers, it could be advance notice, it could be tips, tricks and secrets… any way you can, make it about me, the recipient, and make it about what I’ve told you I want.

How important is it to make marketing, branding, etc personal in todays digital world? Can you share an example of how being personal helped a customer succeed?

See our previous response for how important we believe it is.

We recently undertook (and will be publishing results in our own case study soon) an interactive game for a client. It’s entire focus is on personalization. We’re using behavioral decisions (did they go to a museum or a concert, did they like a baseball player or a politician, etc.,) to create profiles of each individual. We’re using social media, text messaging, email marketing, and physical game components to personalize — down to the smallest degree possible — our messaging from here on out. And each decision from here on out only makes our personalization that much more specific and finite.

We’re really early in the stages of this new game, but we’re hoping for crazy engagement metrics compared to the one-size-fits-all approach of old.

We’ll let you know how it goes.

If you would like to get your company featured in ActiveCampaign’s “Marketer’s Spotlight”, please
click here

Boutique Hotel Seven Days – Pragues email marketing success

ActiveCampaign’s guest contributor for today’s marketers spotlight is Mrs. Radka Konigsmarkova, the General Manager of Botique Hotel Seven Days.

Please tell our readers about your business and where you are located.

We are a 4 Star boutique hotel located in Prague, Czech republic.

Since you are in the hotel / service industry what made you decide to start using email marketing?

There are several reasons we decided to start using email marketing. As the most important, I consider keeping communication with our guests and improving the overall impression of our services and care. The other reason was to find the best way to offer other services of our hotel such as airport transfers, spa & wellness, restaurants to the guests before their arrival. Especially to those who booked through some online reservation portal like

With the Hotel industry being so personal, what are some of the marketing tools outside of email marketing you feel are valuable to companies in the Hospitality industry?

Today it is all about the online marketing. We try to use all online tools that we find useful to build our online presence – blog, social media etc. We concentrate on our website, as I consider it as one of the most important marketing tools and we  constantly optimize it to increase the number of direct bookings as they are the key to the success of the hotel.

What are a couple of the features within ActiveCampaign you use in your email marketing and why are they important to you?

I really like the possibility to set up Auto Responder Campaign and Date Base Campaign as both types enable us to send the campaigns just at the right time without much effort. Once the campaign is set up, we just need to provide data and the rest is done by ActiveCampaign.I also find the reports very well done, user-friendly and clearly showing all important information. You can see an example of an autoresponder campaign which relies heavily on personalization tags below.

Providing shelter for patrons has been around for thousands of years. What are some of the things that have been changing in more recent times, and how does your Hotel adapt to these changes?

One of the things I have to mention is definitely the power of online reviews and ratings. I do not believe that with bad reviews and low score any hotel can be successful and profitable as the online reputation has a direct impact on the hotel revenue. I believe that our hotel deals with reviews very well, we read all of them and react to them. I am very happy that our guests appreciate what we do.

What are some of the steps you take with your marketing to set yourself apart from the competition?

We have guests on our minds whatever we do. We focus on guests and their needs in every stage of the booking proces, during their stay, and even after they leave. We do our best to offer our customers a value and offer only what we are really able to fulfill.

Do you have any words of advice or tip for other customers who might be in the service or hospitality industry?

It would be the same as what I have just said: Focus on guest and his needs in every stage of the booking proces, during his stay and even after the departure. Make everything easy for your guest – easy to find you, easy to book, easy to contact you, easy to check-in etc.

Making Online Shopping Personal

“Give the lady what she wants.”

That’s the mantra that made Marshall Field famous.

For years, customers associated this high level of personalized shopping with iconic brick and mortar stores such as Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdales. Today, customers are beginning to find the same customized shopping experience at their favorite online stores as well.

The growth of online mega retailers, which offer an enormous range of inventory to a diverse consumer base, further increases the need for stores to personalize the online shopping experience.

A better shopping experience helps support a retailer’s ultimate goal: to maximize a customer’s lifetime value. Now we have the data-driven tools to do this with personalized product recommendations, shopping cart abandonment, and targeted emails.

Personalized Product Recommendations 

Amazon was one of the first stores to offer customers product recommendations based on past purchase history. Historically, these recommendations led to over 30 percent of the company’s revenue.

More recently, Amazon announced a partnership with Facebook in which users can link their accounts to receive even more personalized recommendations based on their interests and activity. Users can easily create and send their own gift wish lists to family and friends.

Shopping Cart Abandonment

Complex algorithms can be used to predict which items consumers are most likely to purchase, but most retailers often overlook an easier solution: look at what users put in their carts.

It’s not just a customer’s purchase history that’s important, but the history of what they didn’t purchase. You can learn a lot from that, especially those things they almost bought.


Remind the user of the abandoned items, and potentially sweeten the deal.  The subscriber obviously has an eye on this item, why let a fish off the hook when the bait has clearly been set?

Target the subscriber with a service-based message as soon as an abandoned shopping cart is detected. The service-based message should consist of a recommendation of a substitute product or, even better, bundle a new offer with the item from the abandoned shopping cart. For abandoned cart recommendations to be most useful, timeliness is essential.

Personalized Emails

Finally, and this is where many retailers make fatal errors, you have to personalize email recommendations. As an alternative to weekly newsletters to highlight products, instead try to target specific consumers with a particular product, brand or category. In addition, avoid the trap of selling to your subscriber outside of what your data tells you; focus on what the consumer has shown a history of wanting. If an email recipient has shown a strong affinity towards certain brands or price levels; refine the recommendations around these data attributes. A recommendation email that lacks a personal connection will also lack a conversion to a sale.

Looking Ahead

With studies suggesting that online sales are increasing at a rate roughly 10 times that of brick and mortar stores, it’s critical that online retailers stay ahead of the curve. Retailers should be able to meet a consumer’s changing demands – from short-lived fads to changes that come from a consumer’s lifecycle changes.

Changes in demands and life cycles can be deduced from past purchase history and pairing customer information (such as name and email) with 3rd party research firms.  In the future, retailers should be proactive in reaching out to current and potential customers.

Luckily, with widely available tools for online retailers, “giving the lady what she wants” is possible for online retailers large and small.

The SimpleRelevance Solution

SimpleRelevance has the tools that can optimize abandoned shopping carts and convert them into sales. SimpleRelevance employs a three-prong approach which includes branded email templates that have been automatically customized with the company’s logo; automatic creation and delivery of personalized emails sent to each consumer at the optimal time of the day; and optimized messaging that sends the right email at the precisely right time. The personalization technology tool optimizes your email’s subject line, content, and delivery time.

About the Author

Erik Severinghaus is the founder and CEO of SimpleRelevance, a Chicago-based company leading the way on developing next generation tools to help companies personalize digital communication. Prior to that he received a patent while in IBM’s IT Optimization organization, and helped co-found iContact—a leading Email Service Provider. Follow him on Twitter.






A Marketing Coach’s view on Email Marketing for Small Businesses

This week’s Marketer’s Spotlight picks the brain of marketing expert Chris Fourgere, owner and creator of Freedom Marketing Coach.

Chris, I see that Freedom Marketing Coach offers a wide range of marketing services. How did you get started in this industry and how has it evolved since you started?

I started helping people with just marketing and sales.  Then it morphed into fixing and creating systems and organization for their businesses so that they can hang onto and handle the sales increases! We use new media or ideas with tried and true methods. ie using Facebook fans to build our databases or client databases.

When it comes to marketing in general, what are the biggest mistakes you see small businesses make?

They do not have a strategy for getting more 1st time clients and then converting them to regular clients. They are constantly looking for a quick fix, without understanding that you can actually get paid to build your database and use automated systems like email to followup with all your prospects!

Do these type of mistakes often come from a lack of marketing strategy, or are there other factors that you see being the major contributors?

For sure a lack of a marketing strategy and the skills to create one, plus they have a hard time understanding how to leverage technology to do most of the work for them. They rarely also have a lifetime value of a customer/client figured out, so they are afraid of “giving stuff away.” ie. one of my other businesses is a restaurant, now I could run a magazine ad all pretty and stuff extolling the virtues of my restaurant, or I can put an email widget on my website giving away FREE appetizers to anyone who will give me their name and email. The money I spend on giving my prospects the Free appetizer drives way more business, and I know it because we track it, then a brand building add in a magazine. This trial run process can be used for ANY business.

Example: We work with a chiropractor who gives his new clients a 65 dollar chiropractic pillow when they come for the initial assessment. The visit happens to be 65 bucks also,  so the net out for the client is zero in essence. So now the chiropractor pays out the cost of the pillow, and time gives out $130 worth of value for $65, but he now can put that person on a care program. I am on it with this particular chiropractor. and will end up paying $1200 this year to have optimum health in regards to my back and neck so easily worth it for me and maybe even more for him!

With the growth of digital marketing, how to you see the landscape of marketing changing over the couple of years?

It is easier then ever to build a database online and two giants, facebook and groupon have continued to prove, the money is in the list. So get in touch with someone who can set you up with at least email marketing to begin, then facebook, then some type of loyalty program for starters, and make a marketing funnel for your prospects and clients to get into and stay in relationship with your business.

Obviously you are involved with email marketing. How do you see this type of platform helping your customers, especially those in the small business arena.

I recently spoke in front of a class of business students at a local college. It was 11 am in the morning and I asked how many of them had been on social media already 75% of the hands went up. Now the cool thing is, I asked how many had been in their email, and 99% of the hands went up. So as hot as social media is email is still king, and will be for a long time. They key is to begin with email which is as common as having a phone and integrate with social media later. But start with email and get out some communication to your prospects to educate them and let your clients know what is new, cool and can help them too!

What are your favorite tools to recommend using when you start people with their email marketing and why?

If you have a brick and mortar business where people come you must go to staples and get a drawbox and starting giving something away for a monthly draw in exchange for the email addresses of your visitors. This way you can build your list and followup with everyone automatically!! You can also use a tablet to help with the signups if you want. Android le pan on Amazon is what I use,  and short cut the entering in of all the written ballots. But either way get going today. I have 15,000 people on my database and this is the method I use. Otherwise, get going with ActiveCampaign right away and you don’ t even need a website as they can host a form for you. Just get started and use the inexpensive tools like ActiveCampaign and a $35 draw box and a gift basket or gift card to giveaway to build your list online (your website or Facebook and instore if you have a physical location).

What are top 3  pointers you can give for those who are still in transition mode from pure traditional marketing to digital platforms?

  1. Get started today.
  2. If you don’t know how to do it hire someone who does it will be one of your best investments
  3. Remember traditional marketing to digital marketing is still marketing the delivery system is the only thing that is changed. So embrace change and profit!!

If you are interested in having your business featured in “Marketer’s Spotlight”, please send an email to

“Subscribers” have become “Contacts”

Today we rolled out an important change to our platform. In an effort to make email marketing more understandable and closer to our clients, we decided to change the way we address your contacts. They will no longer be called “Subscribers” in the system, but “Contacts”.

A couple of things worth knowing:

  • Subscribers are from now known as Contacts
  • Opted-in subscribers will now be “confirmed contacts”
  • If a contact does not have a name we will refer to them as “Recipient” for any personalized content
  • The API has changed to reflect this update. Old API calls will continue to work as they did before.
  • Your existing Web Hooks will still work as expected.