Is your Business Website “Doggin'” on Email Marketing?

Email marketing is the most undervalued and underused marketing tool within a business owner’s arsenal. If you have a business or retail website and you aren’t collecting emails from your visitors, then you’re missing out on a lot of potential revenue. Don’t ignore email marketing anymore!

Why is email marketing not used by business web sites?

Why do the majority of business websites, whether B2B or B2C, not use email marketing? We don’t know exactly, but it may have something to do the fact that around 90% of email sent is spam. Most of it is blocked by spam filters, but a lot still gets through to your inbox. Email has had a bad reputation, and it hasn’t gotten any better over the past few years. People now equate any email from a stranger to be spam.

Here’s the difference: Email marketing is not spam. If done correctly, email marketing is the exact opposite of spam. People will want to receive email from you. With today’s CAN-SPAM laws, it’s impossible to “spam” someone. All email marketing software, and especially the ones we will recommend below, require a “double opt-in.” People will have to confirm not once, but twice, that they want to receive email from you.

The Benefits of Email Marketing.

There are three primary reasons you should be using email marketing on your business or retail website.

Highly targeted – Email marketing to people who have confirmed that they want to receive offers and announcements from you are the most highly targeted customers you will ever find. Basically they have said, “I like your company and I would like to hear more about you…or if you have any specials going on, I’m probably going to buy!” Why isn’t your business giving them what they want?

Virtually Free – Email marketing is the cheapest form of advertising available besides free press (which costs nothing, but it could be good or bad.) For only the cost of your membership to email marketing software (which varies from a few dollars a month to a couple hundred a year), sending email to people is free. All you have to do is design and write your e-mail, but even that can be set-up to be automatic!

Keeping in Touch with Clients – Believe it or not, your customers and prospects do not visit your website everyday. As much as we’d like them to, they have other things to do. Some, well, probably many of them, will actually forget about you over time. Sending out an informative e-mail with news, coupons, or specials, will remind them that you still exist! Some may even give you a second look and can quickly become clients.

What to use for Email Marketing.

There are a number of email marketing platforms out there, but we’ll recommend two different autoresponders that vary in difficulty level and features.

Constant Contact (for novices) – This email marketing tool is one of the easier ones to use. The majority of email communications from other local business that we get is powered by Constant Contact. You can manage lists, templates, delivery schedules, and a whole lot more. Constant Contact is currently offering a free trial for 60 days, so it’s definitely worth trying to get started with email marketing!

Aweber (for intermediatse) – Aweber is an autorepsonder that requires a little more skill in the design field, but it is still pretty easy to use. Their support and tutorials are phenomenal; they really want you to succeed with your e-mail marketing. Aweber offers unlimited autorepsonders, unlimited message length, unlimited campaigns, and so on. Their reporting is also great, so you can see exactly who is opening up your emails.

Where Do I Get an Email List?

You can’t really “get” an email list. You can, but you don’t know where it’s been and it could get you in trouble! Stay away from offers that promote “50,000 doctor e-mail addresses for $200!” and the like. Most business owners will have to build their lists from the ground up. It will take a lot longer, but your list will be very clean and highly targeted. It will likely be your most cost-effective marketing tool available to you.

The most obvious way is to put an e-mail form right on your website. You can put your sign up form in a corner of your website, allowing people to sign up to your email list without being too obtrusive. Another way to build an e-mail list is to offer some incentives to sign up. Some websites will offer people coupons if they sign up for the mailing list, while others like B2B websites, may offer an industry whitepaper or report. If you have a shopping cart on your website, you can add a “Sign-up for Specials and Coupons” checkbox on your checkout page. You’re already recording someone’s email address for the purchase, so why not remind them about your newsletter?


Email marketing can be incredibly powerful for a business. Don’t assume that everyone hates getting email from strangers (they do, but you aren’t a stranger once they sign up!) Most people are willing to sign up for an email list if it’s worth their time, and especially if the incentives are good! Sign up for Constant Contact or Aweber today, because you’ll never know if it works for you if you don’t try it out.


E-mail marketing will increase in 2008, according to Datran Media, which found that 82% of the marketers surveyed said that they plan to increase their use of e-mail marketing in 2008.
Source: E-mail to grow, integrate more with other channels in ’08: Datran

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5 Responses to “Is your Business Website “Doggin'” on Email Marketing?”

  1. Daan Jansonius Says:

    Good post, disagree with one thing though.

    By offering incentives to join a mailing list your database won’t be as ‘clean’. A lot of people would sign up for the freebie and not care about the company otherwise, which could result in people feeling ‘spammed’ with each e-mail they receive after the one they signed up for.

  2. Shycon Design Colorado Says:

    We agree Daan, but it really depends on your incentive. If your incentive is related and gives people a “taste” of what they will receive from your list, then they are likely to stay with you. If people are signing up for a free sample of toothpaste for your Marketing Ideas list, then its unlikely that the person is targeted.

  3. Business Website Says:

    Great Site. Keep up the great work.

  4. Niko Says:

    I agree. Email marketing is still a powerful tool in promoting your business.

  5. Internet Marketing Toolz Says:

    I currently get tons of email from internet marketers but the ones that stand out are from “brick and mortar” businesses. One is a wine store and a couple of restaurants use email effectively too. It’s a great way to stay in front of customers. I have visited these businesses as a result of their emails before. It’s cheap and effective. Another option for software is Auto Response Plus. Works like a charm for me!