In this article, I am going to discuss Email Marketing a major component of Artificially Intelligent Websites.
Social Marketing (Twitter and Facebook for example) are the buzz right now for companies, however; there are many more users of email than social media outlets and that will continue to be true into the near future.
In fact, I went to a recent event where Chris Brogan (known as a Social Networking Guru) was speaking and he mentioned that more people received an email from a brand over Twitter by almost a 6 to 1 margin, and almost 15 to 1 margin over Facebook.
Email is still very, very relevant.
With an Artificially Intelligent Website, you can have your (email) cake, and eat it too!
Email and RSS Syndication
RSS is Really Simple Syndication. Effectively, it is a way to publish your content to be consumed by other vehicles (such as RSS readers, or services which use your RSS feed).
Why should you care? Well, because with the power of RSS and MailChimp, you can pretty much automate your email list administration and delivery. Each week, without any additional effort on your part you can send an email of blurbs about each of your new articles to anyone on your email list.
One of the vehicles which drove more efficient marketing in the last 15 years is email distribution.
One of the biggest problems with the Internet these days is a glut of email.
However; just like direct mail, there will always be those who prefer this marketing vehicle to receive your information. It does not take much to automate this process (nor much money) and the value of a qualified email list is almost equivalent to money in the bank.
Check out MailChimp, you will find one of their services will pull a RSS feed from your website and aggregate the information into an email and send it to your list (RSS Template campaign).
So, if you stay the course by publishing 2 to 3 times a week you can effectively “email” this content to your list once a week automatically. You don’t have to setup new software, you don’t have to dream up new content, you won’t have to spend any time each week building a newsletter once you have built your RSS template.
The cost? You can try it out free for less than 1000 names (and they will put a MailChimp plug (not horrible) in the bottom of the email). If you do not want their plug, you can start with their service up to 2,500 names and be charged $30.00 a month. See the website for other rates.
One nice feature is that you pay by the names, not the quantity of emails. So if you have 2,000 names and you mail 4 times a month you are still only charged $30.00.
When you use a quality email service (Mailchimp, Constant Contact etc.) the service handles CAN-SPAM compliance issues which you must be aware of for you stay on the ‘right’ side of the law. CAN-SPAM is a legal requirement which could cause fines if you do not handle the rules correctly. Find out more about CAN-SPAM by clicking on this link.
Artificially Intelligent Websites and Analytics
Typically, I explain to my new clients that in the near future, we will discuss ways that they can review their success to date, and then work to improve those results.
When you have a Mailchimp account, you can be assured that your email campaigns will give you an easy to understand overview of the campaign results (emails sent, emails delivered, emails opened) but also has the capability to allow you to dive into deeper analytics when you are ready.
In order to help your company test different ideas, Mailchimp offers A/B testing functionality.
With so many benefits and low risk by using Mailchimp the service deserves further review to include it in your marketing efforts.
Hopefully, this article has allowed you to understand a little about where and why to integrate automated email capabilities in your website, if you have any questions, just comment below!