I just finished reading a Mashable article on the ROI or lack thereof using social media marketing. The article stated one of the greatest ROI’s for businesses is email marketing. We have relied on email as a “go-to” source for what we call “push promotions” which are essentially store events aimed at increasing traffic and sales for a short duration of time.  In fact, if I were to place a bet on ROI effectiveness in any medium, television and PPC included, I would hedge my bet on e-mail. However, the results will be dependent on a good quality e-mail list.

Therefore, as I like to practice what I preach I have been secretly building my company’s email list. I have even commenced a double secret A/B test. The first (a)test is where I tried to build the list by using PPC via Google AdWords. The second method of testing (b)was just adding people one at a time. To be fair I just added one person per every $20 dollars spent on Google AdWords. So when I hit one hundred dollars I manually added 5 people. This assumed that an email contact was worth $20 dollars to me (at this point that dollar amount is arbitrary).

What do you think won?

PPC didn’t win. Not even close. In fact, the campaign’s results were dismal as the double opt in subscribe rate was less than 1% of the click thru’s. You may ask if we had a good landing page and maybe that’s what deterred the results? I would argue the landing page was great. I would now ask- OK, how can manually adding subscribers scale, and is that really comparing apples to apples?  Did you have to login to your email client every time you wanted to add someone or have to manually add names to Excel? Those would all be great questions, and if the campaigns success rested on a very manual process it would fail.

So here are the steps to take to really grow your email database in just seconds per day:

1)Get a Gmail account if you dont already have one.

2)Install Rapportive on your Gmail Account. You can read all about Rapportive but essentially its a tool that will pull in your contacts’ information including job title, social profiles, e-mail history and a lot more. Best of all it’s FREE! All you need to do is install it and start using your email as you normally would. On the right side of Gmail this tool will be displayed and replace what would have been ads. That of course is a residual benefit. The profile triggers when you either receive an email or start drafting one.

Here’s what it looks like:

Rapportive Screenshot Gmail view and Rapprtove

3)Get a FREE Mailchimp accountMailchimp offers free accounts for up to 2000 subscribers and up to 12,000 email deployments per month (so if you had 2000 subscribers you could send 6 emails for FREE = 12,000).

4)Get a Highrise AccountHighrise costs $24 per month BUT they have a 30 day trial for free. Take it for a test drive.

5)Go Back to MailChimp and add the Highrise add-on integration. This is very simple and should take no more than 5 minutes.

6)Return to your Gmail Account and in the top right of the screen there is a Rapportive dropdown link. Click on the link and on the bottom of the box there’s a link for adding “Raplets”. Click it.
Here’s what it looks like:
6)Add Highrise and Mailchimp as a Raplet.

7)Return back to Gmail if you weren’t automatically redirected and find an email. Now look below at the option to add a contact to Highrise. Here’s a pic of what it looks like:

Adding Highrise Contact via Rapportive

8)Add contact.

Thats it. The magic happens. Anytime you now add a contact via Rapportive it will flow into Highrise which connects to your Mailchimp account. Also, by adding the Mailchimp Raplet you will be able to view your Mailchimp subscriber stats. This is all without leaving your Gmail dashboard.

Once this is set up it’s incredibly fast to add contacts. Probably like you, I get hundreds of emails a day. These are emails from contacts that are colleagues, prospects, vendors or friends and family. In most cases they are not already on our company’s e-mail list. Just by adding ten or so Highrise contacts per day we have grown our potential for email marketing exponentially.


Meet Joe Chura

Joe began his career on the Ford assembly line at age 20, reading his college textbooks seconds at a time in between building cars. Over the next decade Joe gained experience at many different levels in the automotive industry, including running Ford’s regional sales team and a stint as General Manager of two dealerships, where he increased internet sales by 300%. Combining his passion for computer programming and innovation, Joe co-founded Launch Digital Marketing (LDM) and Dealer Inspire (DI) to bring new retail technology and better online experiences to both car dealers and shoppers.