What I learned about email marketing… the hard way

I have written about email marketing many times before. It is an important tool for selling more software, both to prospects / trial users (using auto-responder email sequences) and to your existing customers (with newsletters and sales campaigns).

And today, I am going to write about it again.

Because in the past 3 weeks I learned a lot about email marketing. Sadly, I had to learn it the hard way.

So here’s my story and a summary of the things I learned. I know, it’s long, but if a large part of your business depends on sending emails, it may save your ass one day.
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Mandatory sign up for the free trial ?

sign-upOffering a free trial edition is an important tool to sell more software, I think we can all agree on that. But how do you make that trial editon available to potential customers?
Do you let them download the trial using a publicly available download link on your website? Or do you force them to give you their email address first (mandatory sign up)? Or maybe a softer, optional sign up?

If you want as many users as possible to evaluate your trial version, it makes sense to make downloading it easy as possible, no barriers at all.
On the other hand, having the email address of your trial users lets you follow up with them, hopefully increasing your chances of converting them into customers.

Which approach will bring you more profits?
Public Download Links or Mandatory Sign Ups?
As always, there’s only one way to find out: an A/B split test. Continue reading

Using TrialPay for Software Upgrades

This week, I tried something different with TrialPay:
Free software upgrades.

I emailed all customers who were still using an older version of our software and offered them to upgrade to the latest and greatest for free using TrialPay. Plus, I included an alternative “pay anyway” option with an extra $10 discount on the upgrade ($14.95 instead of $24.95).
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Email Sending Capabilities disabled

Last Friday, I received the following email from InfusionSoft, the email service I am using for our newsletters and auto-responders:

We have received notification from several Internet Service Providers that your recipients are reporting your emails as spam at a rate which exceeds their allowed thresholds. In order to prevent any further spam complaints from your contacts and to protect your email sending reputation, we have temporarily disabled all email sending capabilities.
To restore email sending service to your Infusionsoft application and learn how you can prevent future spam complaints, please contact the Infusionsoft Customer Care Staff at the information listed below.

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