You may know Jacqui Davis as the face of Virtually Here. She has been working with Constant Contact to generate top email marketing results for clients since founding Virtually Here in 2010. She was awarded Constant Contact’s 2015 All Star Award for Solution Providers and this year she achieved their Master Certification. In this interview Jacqui breaks down promoting your business via email.
Virtually Here: Why did you start using Constant Contact?
Jacqui Davis: I started using them when Virtually Here first opened —they were really well known for email marketing and they’re local—in Waltham Massachusetts.
They do all in one—not just email marketing but you can integrate it with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, you can run event registrations and take payments, do polls and take surveys, you can do auto responders. It really does everything, soup to nuts, instead of having different software for everything.
VH: What’s an ideal mix of email marketing?
Jacqui: Having a mix of content that’s yours and then incorporating other voices and sources–so you aren’t trying to sell all the time. You’re actually giving customers information that they can use and that shows you as an industry leader.
VH: Is there any email marketing Virtually Here doesn’t do?
Jacqui: No! Our most requested service is doing newsletters—not just the copy, but figuring out the content schedule and what it’s going to look like, design wise, designing the template. Secondary to that is events. So setting up an event on the Constant Contact platform that then also gets marketed, whether it’s through email or social media. I would say, the reason we have this team of partners is so we can offer a full answer to email marketing. We have a copywriter, so if you don’t want to write your copy we can write your copy. Or, if you don’t want to do marketing or advertising, we can do that, because we have the people. And it can all be done through the Constant Contact platform or without it.
VH: What does promoting an event look like?
Jacqui: We build the event in Constant Contact and make a registration page. We put in, this is what the events about, this is why you should come, etc and we email that out to their list, but what we also do because Constant Contact is integrated with people’s social media is we also blast out those events over social media right through Constant Contact.
VH: How about content marketing?
Jacqui: A great example from our newsletter is when we write about our favorite Tool–that’s content. We’re not trying to sell it to you, we’re saying “Here’s some added value because you’re on our list.”
VH: How do you create leads for businesses?
Jacqui: There are a couple things. We can put a newsletter signup form on the website and on their social media, that drives people to sign up so now they’re already on your marketing list. So when you’re marketing through email whether it’s an event or promotion or newsletter, they’re going to get that and hopefully that translates into more sales. And then you’ll get, “I kept getting your emails, and then when I needed your service, I went back and looked at your email and contacted you.”
You can also set up lead bait on your site, like a free report or PDF or a free ebook. And it can integrate with your email marketing and goes out to your list but it also gets posted on your social. That’s a great lead generation strategy. You can also do surveys or polls to your email list, for example if you were at an event, you could do a follow up survey. You could do a poll and ask, “what do you want us to blog about?” For non-profits, you can actually set up donation pages.
VH: Are there any new features you’re excited about?
Jacqui: Facebook campaign integration is something new—I just started using it for Virtually Here. It’s a new offering for them–you can even do a drawing or sweepstakes.
VH: Any tips for people just getting into email marketing?
Jacqui: It’s more on the design side—don’t use too many fonts, don’t use too many colors, those are the things that people may not think of. Grabbing, eye drawing visuals are really big—nobody is reading a big gigantic email of plain text. Most people are just scanning—images and videos are really good at upping engagement.