Josue SierraMarketing, Email Deliverability & Inbox Placement

Email marketing, email deliverability, & inbox placement should not be a source of stress. Call me to restore your email engagement, increase your email marketing conversions, and get back to growing your business.

I'm an email marketing leader with over 15 years of experience leading top brands with cutting-edge, digital & traditional marketing strategies. Entrepreneur, ideator, & connector. Schedule a call for practical and actionable insights for your business.

I have experience in Lean Startup methodology and Business Model Canvas.

Areas of expertise:
- Email Marketing Deliverability, ReturnPath, sender reputation, and email marketing engagement best practices.
- Spam folder avoidance.
- Email engagement optimization
- Email marketing strategy
- Email creative best practices.
- A/B creative, subject line or copy testing process and strategies.
- Mobile email best practices.
- Email list building strategies and best practices.
- Social media retargeting strategies.
- Targeting, trigger, and cadence best practices.
- Small business marketing strategy development.
- Small business brand development.
- Small business local marketing digital strategies (SEO, content, social, etc)

Schedule a call and let me know how I can help!

Recent Answers

Ultimately, you need to focus on delivering value and communicating this value clearly. Here are some ideas:

- write and give away an eBook related to your brand or product for users that opt-in.
- raffle a brand-aligned price or giveaway.
- create and deliver regular, useful content and invite users to opt in to be notified of new articles (content strategy).
- create and promote regular webinars where you can share knowledge and tips, in exchange for email opt-in.

You will have to continue delivering value even after you capture emails, or your list attrition will be high and engagement will be low (resulting in low deliverability).

Reach out if I can help.

Hi There. Great question. Learning through doing is ALWAYS going to be a better option. If you have a business or product concept or idea, go for it! Don’t wait. Experience is going to be a great teacher. Also, you can prepare WHILE you execute your business idea.

Check out Business Model Canvas (from Strategyzer) and get the book. This will let you reach both goals — launch your business while training yourself for it.

Good luck in your efforts!

Hey There,

Great question and a challenge almost any business faces today. You're starting off on the right path by realizing that an email list is the first place to start and the foundation for selling your online courses.

The first thing you'll want to do is make sure you're strategies and tactical plans are aligned to the Australian laws regarding email marketing. You can find those here: (as well as those for other countries).

The second important element to keep in mind is email best-practices. Regardless of what you can or can't do according to the law, there is a wealth of proven tactics and best-practices that will help start off building your email list correctly.

This isn't legal advice, but from what I understand, you'll need to ensure you have permission from users before you can add them to your email list. I can share some basic ideas you'll want to explore to build a permission database from scratch, but first I should be clear -- you really do not want to buy an email list. There are ways to reach to established lists that are within best-practices, but avoid paying for a list you bring into your email marketing system. This will cause more long-term harm and increase your cost of email marketing over the long run.

To start building your list, I would highly encourage your client to create and execute a content marketing plan. By establishing narrow nitch-topic content websites (one for moms returning to the workforce, another one for convicts needing online training). These website would then provide multiple opportunities to "sign up for emails". Providing a simple or intangible giveaway is a good way to incent people to sign up.

And by using SEO best-practices, these content websites will attract the right audience, and get you going in establishing your email list.

Under the "content marketing" tactic, there are hundreds of approaches you might take. For example, you might offer a free webinar to your target audience sharing samples of the training offered. You can also partner with existing content publishers to promote your client's content and the webinar, getting them to email their lists. Once this audience is on your client's website, they can opt-in to your lists.

There really are no major short cuts to building your list. The danger of "buying" a third party list is extensive, and will hurt your marketing efforts over the long run. To learn more, do a search for "email deliverability best-practices'. There should be plenty on the topic online.

Hope this gives you some ideas to start exploring. Best of luck with your client's project.

Sounds like you have the basics right -- a quality team that can deliver solutions. I think you'll find better "referral" opportunities on your own, using data and some smart content marketing.

Start with what you do best. Create content showcasing problems or pains you've solved for your clients. If you can get permission, show your client brands and video testimonials. This can also be published to your owned domain (blog) to build up search equity. Once you've built your content hub, you'll need to explore some paid promotion. We're not talking thousands--experiment with small amounts to figure out what works best.

Here are some ideas to explore:

1) Consider using LinkedIn paid ads, using your existing client base as your targeting or modeling criteria. Like Facebook, you can use an existing client email list to target similar potential customers. Use pre-recorded testimonial videos as the ad content, as these past clients are probably known names in your area.

2) Explore doing likewise on Facebook. See above.

3)Tabula, Outbrain or other native distribution networks are offering some great options.

If your promotion budget is on the bootstrap level, give email marketing a try. This is also one way to reduce the friction for referrals.

Here is a high level outline of how to set up a n email referral program:

1) Set up a "referral" form where your clients can easily and quickly enter a few email addresses, and should include an appropriate non-salesy pre-written note written as if from your client, inviting new leads to explore your services. Make sure you are explicit about your privacy policy and about your use of those emails. No one wants to be that friend that put your email into a "spam list".

2) Set up an appropriate incentive. It could be "winner chooses a charity to get a donation" or something as simple as "win an iPad". You could also do something more on brand, such as give away tickets to a local film festival.

3) The last step might require some technical help, but basically when a client clicks on your email, you'll want to track the referrals they enter. If any result in new business, you'll want to acknowledge it appropriately, and also deliver on your prize.

A more simple version of the above would be to include copy in the email that invites your clients to forward to s friend. You'll just need to figure out how to track who referred who.

You might be doing this already, but consider submitting some of your work to awards or other contests. Every marketing manager loves getting the recognition for their "work", and they'll be more likely to share with their network. Basically, give your clients good reasons to share and be excited about your work.

After years of executing email marketing programs, AND leading content development efforts, I can tell you most companies already generate a lot of valuable content. Here is what I would suggest:

1) Consider an automated "drip" campaign. This takes the form of an on-boarding set of emails or a welcome-series of emails. These should be no less than 3 emails, and can be as many future emails as you think is relevant to your customers. You can do the same for existing customers by giving away a whitepaper or other useful document in exchange for an email opt-in. The opt-in should be followed by additional automatic emails that provide new and relevant content that strengthens your brand and helps the customer with a pain point.

If you can muster the investment and human resources to get it done, it will serve you for a long time. From time to time, you will need to invest in updating the creative, but it will allow you to get back to focusing on your regular business.

2) Explore current sources of content. Your sales team may be creating extensive powerpoints that you could re-purpose into an article for sharing over email. Your PR or media team (or agency) may also have content that can be re-purposed. The other possible source of content could be training materials. If you're providing customers with classroom or online training, consider recording and transcribing key training sessions, and hiring an editor to wordsmith and polish the transcription into actual useful content. A freelance transcriber will cost you pennies to the dollar (look in, and with the core knowledge and expertise "written down", a freelance editor should be able to polish it up into a useful format. As you think about the power of re-using spoken content, consider other sources such as the owner's keynote presentations.

3) Use a freelancer. Once you have the core "facts" needed for a content piece, you should be able to hire a skilled freelance writer to handle the wordsmithing and polishing. You may want to craft a complete business and customer overview document to provide potential freelance writers. A good freelance writer who is provided with solid source material and the right background should be able to create good content for you.

Likewise, invest the effort into creating a brand style guide that documents your owner's writing aesthetics so you can empower good freelance writers to deliver what you need. This should all be part of an overall "brand styleguide" resource.

Finding and hiring an effective freelance writer/editor will take time and effort. But once you do, you'll find yourself with an invaluable resource that will be worth the initial effort. Like with any other hire, you'll want to interview freelancers carefully, test a few out with easy and quick projects, before settling on one that works for your needs.

Feel free to schedule a consultation phone call if you have follow up questions to my thoughts.

In short, no it won't.

If you're following best practices in terms of opt-in process, are following good list hygiene practices, AND you're providing engaging content, then your sender reputation score should go up over time with consistent sending. Whichever of the two domains had the most engaging content and consistent sending patters will enjoy the best deliverability and inbox placement. If you have certain content that is not as engaging as other, mixing it up helps get the less-engaging content delivered.

If you separate the engaging content from the not-engaging content, then one will enjoy good deliverability and the other will not. Deliverability and spam filters are ALL about engagement. There is no cheating them or tricking them.

Its important to remember new domains should be "warmed up" first to give the email service providers time to see you coming. Send regular small, incremental batches of highly engaging content. If the email confirmations are opt-in confirmations, then these should grow organically as your list grows reducing the need for a warm up.

Feel free to schedule a call -- I can give you more specific help if I know more about your situation.

I think there are two parts to your question:

A) List Building
B) Engagement of your list once built

On the list building side, I would suggest you develop a strong content marketing strategy. With a B2B audience, there are really great affordable solutions like HubSpot that can give you the tools and tracking you need to get a solid ROI on any content you create.

When thinking about content strategy, its rather basic: consider how your business and industry knowledge can be turned into white papers, trade-focused blog posts, downloadable e-Books, webinars, etc. that would offer value and utility to your potential customers. Create that. Then, use SEO, social, and native ad services like Outbrain or Taboola to drive sales lead through that funnel. Make sure the landing pages you create have a strong call to action that includes providing an email. From that point, you can shift to keeping those leads engaged, and driving them through your buyer journey funnel.

Other ways to build your email list can include doing a giveaway when you're at a trade show, doing free webinars that help and ads value to your client decision makers (and require email opt-in). You can also ask related businesses in your industry (non-competing ones) to send emails to their customers (co-branded) inviting them to the resources or webinars you've created. All that to drive traffic to email opt-in windows and build your list.

For the second part, once you have a list, content marketing can play a key role. I assume you know who are the key decision makers on your client's side of the business. Develop content that is valuable and useful to those sales leads, and use email to deliver that content. Again, this is where HubSpot and other tools like theirs can help you outline the strategy and the tactical plan.

I would also highly recommend using services like MailChimp or aWeber to maintain consistent email creative, and to follow email marketing best practices. Their websites are also valuable resources to help you become email marketing JEDI.

Whatever you do, I would highly discourage you from buying any third party lists, and would strongly encourage you to always follow opt-in best practices--even if this is a B2B email campaign. There is no long-term profit in spamming your potential customers.

Hope this helps!

You should start providing value to your immediate network and share your knowledge to start establishing your "brand".

Here are a few practical ways to do so:

1) Set up a account in your areas of strength.
2) Write key ideas and lessons you've seen are needed by your potential customers, and publish them as a blog post within your Linked In profile.
3) Attend key conferences in the area of email marketing, and engage and connect with other experts in your field. There is always something new you can learn, and you'll potentially discover opportunities to add value for others.
4) Publish your own blog under your own domain. This is a long play, and is definitely valuable when you go interview for a job, or when you're trying to land a speaking gig.
5) Write an eBook on your favorite email marketing related topic, and offer it over your LinkedIn profile or personal blog.
6) Reach out to your local business development office -- many times they are in need of local experts and can offer you first-step opportunities to start getting your name out as an expert.

If you think about it some more, you can probably come up with other ways. There isn't a silver bullet or easy way up -- most of the times, you're going to have to hustle and make long term investments one step at a time.

Best of luck!

If you are not a programmer, then put as much work as you can into sketching out and documenting how exactly you would envision or want this app to work.

Think about what a consumer or a person using the app would behave, and what he or she would want to do in the app. Put yourself in their shoes, and then write it out step by step. This is called use-case scenarios. Your app might have multiple use-cases. Think about ways your app users would use it that you might not have thought about.

Once you've written it down, make sure you also do the work of drawing or sketching each and every possible screen. If you have photoshop and know how to use it, consider buying a bootstrap app design from sites like ThemeForest ( Do a search for bootstrap App UI. These can easily be modified to show/illustrate what your app would look like and how it would work at its most basic form.

Two final steps:

1) There are various tools available that allow you to create animated prototypes of an app. This means you can click through, and experience what the user might experience, without having to code (and of course, key technical functionality would not work). Use your sketches or photoshoped graphics to create a working prototype. This will allow you to test it and show it to potential users that can give you feedback.

2) Hire a programmer to code it for you. This is the harder and more expensive part. You can try to find a good app programmers viva websites like The challenge here is that you need to vet and interview potential programmers as you would a new employee or hire. Assuming you don't have a lot of experience with that, it can be challenging (and expensive on the long run).

Or, if you know an app programmer in person, you can try to hire or contract out.

One last idea or suggestion -- once you have documented and sketched out your idea in detail, it could be a lot easier for you to potentially seek out a partner or investor willing to fund the development of your app. Before you take this path, you'll want to do some of the business research -- what are competing apps, are there other apps doing similar things, how much demand do you think there can be for your app, etc?

The main thing I would say to you right now -- continue fostering that creativity. Whether this app gets developed or not, sharpen those innovation skills by looking for problems around you and thinking about ways to solve them.

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