April 17, 2014 6 replies
E-mail is a very effective way to reach your viewers as it goes directly to them. It is more personal than Social Media and does not get lost in news feeds and timelines. You just need to make sure that when you are broadcasting a message to your subscribers that they aren’t looking at you as if you are a stranger.
You need to set a day each week that you will e-mail your subscribers and make sure you keep the quality consistent. Keep it simple enough to read (not too wordy), and make sure that the viewer of your e-mail feels that they can connect with you on a personal level. Write your e-mails the same way that you would talk to them, casual and relaxed. No one likes an “over-seller”.
The best email marketing strategy I have used was inadvertent. I’ve been writing a blog for ten years and I have a large, loyal audience, and they are very willing to do what I ask them to do – buy something, enroll in something, etc.
This allows me to make a reliable a six-figure income every year by having a reliable community to sell to. The catch: write the blog for no income for a long time.
Don’t think of it as a marketing tool. Think of it as place to build long-term relationships. This will dictate what content you share and how you share it.
If it’s just a marketing tool for you, you’ll probably be disappointed with the results. But if you see it as a place to build relationships, selling stuff gets a lot easier.
The common wisdom is to offer something free like an eBook to get people to sign up to your list and there is wisdom in that, but I also find that then I am on someone’s mailing list and I don’t really know who they are. I get a few emails and then very quickly unsubscribe. I think the harder thing to do is to get them to buy into you. Create a community, a podcast, content that they keep coming back to and then it will not be hard to get them on your mailing list.
Make some incentive for being on the list. Make it known that you always tell things first to your mailing list when there are special opportunities and then do that. My community is planning a trip to Morocco which looks like it will be over subscribed. I have told people that signups will be announced first in a private community, then in the email list and then on the podcast.
Treat your email marketing like it is one of your products/services (because it is). Spend dollars on making the design good, think a lot about your strategy and what your customers want, and put lots of effort into promoting it alongside your other offers.
For starters, don’t see e-mail marketing as an option. It really is a necessity. I’d put it right up there in order of the importance, with having your own web site.
The particular way in which you interact with your e-mail subscribers can vary of course (i.e. do you publish a newsletter, maintain a list, are you more focused on sharing offers, and any combination in between).
What shouldn’t be up for discussion is your maintaining, and keeping in touch with your the life blood of your business on an ongoing basis.
I started my first online community (content web site) in late 1996 / early 1997. Over the years I have benefited nicely from search engines, but one thing I’ve seen happen, again, and again is that they change the rules, and yes, as long as I’ve been at it, I’ve even seen the “800 pound gorilla in search” change companies.
The point is, when they change, there’s a chance you’re going to be effected by them (i.e. your rankings, etc.). I’m not saying those changes won’t have a downside effect on the traffic you have going to your business, but I will say that if you have taken the time to maintain a newsletter list, you’re going to be in a much better position to weather any changes that occur.
To illustrate my point, consider the following example:
Imagine there’s a brick and mortar store. They are located in the most popular mall in town. For years they benefit from all the shared foot traffic that the other stores bring in. Life is good for our little business.
Then, another mall or shopping center opens across town. The new center does a better job of getting more popular stores in it. Suddenly the foot traffic isn’t what it once was for our example business. In fact, they’re wondering how they are going to survive.
In most cases, in the example above, the business really can’t do a lot, aside from trying to spend more traditional advertising dollars to get people back in their doors.
Had they simply taken the time to keep customer records they could have done a number of things to get people in their doors. Even something as simple as sending a message inviting their customers to come by and visit, or some other incentive to do so would have worked wonders.
Hopefully that helps to illustrate my point. Don’t see e-mail marketing as an “option” – it’s a necessity. The way in which you choose to do it, is up for debate (i.e. test to see what actually works). But do it!
Content focus – it’s crucial to bring value to email for subscribers. The email should be packed with valuable information our potential customer/reader might find useful. Text itself shouldn’t be too long or too short.
Personalizing your e-mail – it’s a very polite and kind way to connect with your readers and customers. We always use the recipient’s name and surname in the e-mail which creates a nice atmosphere and break the ice between us.
Sending e-mails at night – that’s one of the top email strategies. The best time to do it is from 8:00 p.m. to midnight. Everyone is back from work surfing the Internet and checking their inbox.
Giveaways – subscribers like to receive e-mails with free stuff given away and competitions where they can win something.
I read recently on Problogger that 90% of Darren’s sales from one of his e-books came from his email list. I’m not surprised; your most loyal followers will be those who receive your words of wisdom to their in-box.
Having said that, you can’t always be selling them something; there’s a balance between providing value and selling stuff. Each month, I offer subscribers a special discount or high-value giveaway.
This keeps subscribers interested in opening my newsletters, knowing that they’re going to not only find all kinds of valuable information from articles on my site and other sites that I write for (such as Wise Bread , Credit Walk , and Flight Network ), but also a chance to win something useful and applicable to my newsletter theme.
Before I owned my company I worked in sales, in Ireland during School, in England during university and full-time in Sydney, Australia. I learned a lot from that role in Oz, and now I have a couple of sales guys who use direct cold and warm email sales. I’d never have thought it works, but it does so don’t rule it out.
If you can combine that with more popular sales techniques, you’re onto a real winner.
Do research outside of your niche. Subscribe to newsletters and email courses and find out what others are doing that may be missing within your niche.
Spend time analyzing what makes a great communication, what tone of voice and style appeals to you and only then are you ready to begin building your email list. If your message is not reader for readers, you’ll lose your community and the trust you build with them.
Think of email marketing as chapters in a book. If you’re telling a story in a book, you don’t put the climax on the first page of the book. You take time to establish a rapport with the audience, get them to care about the characters or the topic of the book, then you build up the drama & conflict, get them to buy into it and then finally demonstrate the solution.
When you look at the overall email process with that sort of lense, your entire approach to email will change.
The first thing is to stop considering and take immediate action. One thing you must do is add email marketing to your promotion strategies. Creating a list is tantamount to creating your marketplace where you can tab into anytime for traffic and sales.
Each time you fail to get your site visitor to signup to your list, you shift away from a potential sale. People don’t just make decisions on their first attempt. They need a second or third chance. How do you get back to them if you didn’t succeed to grab their email address?
Invest in building and growing a list for any business you have online. I recommend giving Aweber a try. It’s a bundle of useful email marketing tools you will need to grow your business.
Google and other search engines are powerful sources of traffic. However, current changes in the SEO industry make search engines almost unreliable. Your list is a 100% reliable source. Each time you update your list, you are sure for traffic. That’s why I recommend starting a list right this moment.
Tip #1: Have an enticing subject line — it’s important. Even if you have awesome content in your e-mail, no one is going to open your e-mail if you have a boring subject title! So, spend time to research and experiment on subject lines that will get people to click. One great way is to use A/B testing, where you test different subject lines in a mailing and see which gets the most open-rates. Any reputable mailing list service should have this function.
Tip #2: Less spam, more value. We’re in an information-cluttered world today where businesses are mass sending e-mails every day. Too many businesses are sending marketing messages about their products and services, and it becomes a turn-off at some point because there’s little “meat” in what they are saying. Recognize that e-mail is just an additional marketing channel, and you still need to do the due work to identify your audience’s and deliver content that will help them.
Tip #3: Build a relationship with your audience. Where you rise above the crowd in your e-mail marketing is if you build a two-way channel with your audience. Allow them to share their feedback, and show they matter by building new content around their feedback and needs.
Welcome unsubscribers! They are refining your list for you. A day where you have 20 new subscribes and 20 unsubscribes is a day your list improves.
Also: make your first email the best, most concise and most useful tip you have. That’s everything, and if it’s good it will keep your open rate high for a long time.
Get it started as soon as you can. 3% of visitors to a website are in the “ready to purchase stage” of the buying process, while 50% of leads to your website are qualified. What this means is that 47% of the people visiting your site are interested in doing business with you, but not ready to do it there and then. It’s up to you to capture that interest and nurture it, and the best way to do that is with a strong call to action to join your mailing list.
Once you’ve captured leads on your email list, you need to nurture them. You do that with an auto-responder sequence, which will send out useful information to your prospects at regular intervals, keeping them familiar with you and your business. Focus on providing value in these emails, no catch. Then occasionally (once in every three or four emails) drop in an invitation to check out the paid products/services you have on offer.
The beauty of the auto-responder sequence is you can set it up once and then let it do all the work of nurturing leads for you. That said, I don’t recommend complete automation. One strategy that has worked well for me has been to invite new subscribers to tell me a bit about themselves (who are you? what brought you to this list?). This invite is the first email in my auto-responder sequence. I learn a lot about my subscribers this way, and when I reply to them personally it makes an impression.
Subscribe to other business’s emails and get a sense of what does/doesn’t work, for you, as the reader. Open emails you send, on a variety of devices, to test if user friendly. Your subscribers are busy people! You can glean many ideas from emails to which you subscribe, especially where your own experience was great.
Think how you might apply those to your own. Check email series that caused you to buy. What encouraged your purchase? Always come from the user’s perspective. Give every email singular purpose. Readers subscribe to many services besides your own. For example, I label and filter all my subscriptions, for easy access and storage, it is a nuisance when a newsletter often changes their from address or sender name.
Mail what, and when, you promised. Build connection and trust. If you don’t appreciate subject lines with funny symbols and tricky lines, don’t use them on your own readers. Are you building a long-term business or a fly-by-night? If you are in it fo r the long term, remember, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it”.
Try to make sure the vast majority of your mailing list are ‘warm leads’ – that being people who are more than likely interested in the thing you’re offering. Trying to convince people, or using spamming techniques when they blatantly aren’t interested is a sure-fire way to get put on the naughty list and receive a bad reputation the public forums.
Always remember the receiver is always thinking ‘what’s in it for me?’ Make sure you have that answer. Also, be patient. It takes a few contacts between parties before trust is built.
First off, get started immediately. I wish I would have started my email list at the same time as when I started my blog. It’s by far the best way to keep in touch, and to stay in touch, on a more personal level, with people that follow your business.
Write down a plan of your email marketing strategy. Decide what kind of incentive you want to give people for opting in to your email list (like a free report or guide), and also think about the content of the emails you want to automatically send out to people that opt in. Thinking about your strategy and writing it down will keep you organized.
It’s a commitment. You can’t just gather email addresses and then not send anything for ages. By collecting email addresses, you’re making a promise that you will be be delivering value to their inbox.
If you don’t send anything for 2 years, you’re going to lose a lot of folks, not to mention what that says about your brand. And please, please keep it legal! I still see so many business owners not using proper opt-in for their emails. People on your list have to agree to being there. Just because you met them and have their contact info doesn’t give you permission to add them to your list.
1. Use a Content Calendar. What goals do you have with your email marketing strategy? What do you want to achieve? Putting everything into a calendar will help you see what you can manage, and what you need to get rid of.
To get results, you need to be focused. It’s all too easy fall into the habit of marketing day to day. You stuff your emails with all your offers, and you wonder why you don’t get results.
The answer is because you lack focus. The more calls to action you have in an email, the more likely people are to end up confused.
2. One Email – One Idea. To avoid this confusion, try to convey one idea per email. Not always possible. Definitely not easy. But when you can, try it. You’ll get more clicks, and more engagement.
And when you can’t, use a P.S.
3. The Power of a P.S. A P.S. allows you to add a quick message at the end of your email. And the good news? People read a P.S.
A P.S. is also a great way to reinforce the main message in your email. If your email is about your new book, your P.S. could have a reminder of when the launch ends.
Example: P.S. Be sure to grab the book before Friday, because that’s when the launch ends, and the discount + bonuses disappear.
Be consistent. Find a schedule that works for you and makes sense for your business and stick to it. Even if you don’t hear from contacts on your list right away, don’t be discouraged. Name and message recognition over time will make a big difference. Keep your email design clean and the content relevant. Track your results with email software such as Mailchimp.
Email marketing is the best marketing. Social media is great but engagement comes and goes, if people are signed up for your email list, they see your content in their inbox every time you publish something new, it’s always there.
Use catchy headlines, ones that make someone want to open your email. Make your email straight to the point, they don’t want a book when they open that email. Remember, your goal is to get them to click back to your home base, your website, make sure your emails do just that.
When targeting existing users or subscribers, send highly customised emails based on what users do on your site. Tools like getvero.com or customer.io allow you to log all actions some performs on your website, letting you segment your audience very accurately when creating newsletters or automated drip campaigns.
For example, you could isolate users who fill in a sign up form for your product’s trial, but don’t complete any further step to get started with the product. This would be a great opportunity to send an automated, but personalised and timely email to offer support or a link to a get started guide.
Segment your list and only share relevant information to every separate group.
For example, we cater to three main groups of people at Empire Flippers, website builders, buyers, and sellers. As a result, we post blog posts that usually target one or the other. The bottom of these posts will have a different opt-in that subscribe users to a different email list depending on the subject of the post. Posts that relate to website sellers will have an opt-in box that subscribes them to the seller list while builders will subscribe to the builders list.
For each of these lists we share emails that are relevant to them and to them only. Website builders don’t receive information on buying websites unless they’ve opted into that list as well. We call this our “Choose Your Own Adventure” email list.
Before we segmented our lists into different parts we’d be lucky to get our open rate above 15%. That’s not surprising because only some emails would be relevant to any given group. After segmenting, our open rates are consistently in the 40-50% range across the board. Every subscriber is receiving only information that matter to them.
Now that people actually open our emails we can use every email to either turn them into bigger fans of our brand or promote a product/service.
Here some practical and direct tips to increase the effectiveness of using email as your marketing strategy.
1. Personalize your email using the recipient’s name
2. Give always some quality and interesting content
3. Make a short and attractive subject line
4. Test the best time when sending out your emails
5. Pique curiosity in your readers
6. Keep the content useful and short, your readers are likely to open your email again in future
7. Do not oversell
8. Give away something free
9. Write your contact details at the end of your email
10. Talk to your readers as “you”
11. Show your personality
12. Be sure to have always a great “Call to Action”!
Securing someone’s email address continues to be the golden ticket when marketing your product or service. We are constantly bombarded by content and copy asking us to ‘subscribe to my newsletter’ or ‘join my webinar now, only limited seats left!”
Therefore, when someone actually does subscribe or sign up, they are truly interested in what you offer and firmly believe you have some that stands out against all the other noise. The soundest advice I ever received and still follow to this day is simply this: Add real value and not just more noise.
How you do this is differs from person to person, but don’t just copy what everyone else is doing. There is a lot of ‘niose’ out there that truth be told is just a rehash of what other people are saying. And don’t trick people into thinking what you offer is truly unqiue when it is just more of the same noise.
The person who trusted you with their email, or worse yet their $89.99 for your groundbreaking serivce or product, will quickley leave your community if they feel cheated. Be authentic, be real, add true value.
Out of all the bloggers and online entrepreneurs I know, I can’t think of any that wish they wouldn’t have built up their email list. In fact, most of them wished they would have started building their list sooner.
It’s slow going at first, but once you start to gain momentum you’ll find it’s a fantastic channel you can use to better engage your audience and start moving them down the value funnel. (Casual Reader > Regular Reader > Fan > Super-Fan)
Most marketers mention the almost-cliche, “The money is in the list”. I wish I could add something to that, but the statement sums it up pretty nicely. That’s not to say you should treat your subscribers like your personal piggy-bank, but you ARE building an asset that will retain value for a long time – well beyond Panda and Penguin updates giving you the roller-coaster that comes with organic search traffic. Once you have an idea on the value of a subscriber you can invest in growing your list even further as a scalable marketing channel.
Here are a few quick tips you can use:
1. Be generous with your optin boxes – Don’t worry, this won’t bother current subscribers and will give new readers an opportunity to read more of your stuff before making the decision to become a customer/client.
2. Consider a “Choose Your Own Adventure” option – We use Ontraport and allow subscribers to choose the actual path of the content they receive from us. They can select one or more options from 3 paths: Website Builders, Buyers, or Sellers. This ensures we’re sending the right message to the right people and has more than doubled our open rates for our autoresponder sequences.
3. Open conversations: don’t use your email as a bully pulpit – There’s nothing worse than email marketers that talk down to or are constantly selling/pitching via email. Deliver real value with a soft-sell approach…you’ll attract more bees with honey.
Lastly, I’ll mention AfterOffers.com as an interesting option for publishers to monetize and for list builders to expand their reach and add new subscribers to their lists.
Marketers sent more than 838 billion emails in 2013. That’s almost three times the number of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. That was done simply because email marketing works.
Let’s now list a few reasons why you should start thinking to develop a serious email marketing strategy for your business:
Email has nearly three times as many user accounts as Facebook and Twitter combined. As of 2013, there are about 3.6 billion email accounts, HubSpot reported a while ago.
Email Marketing has an ROI (Return On Investment) of 4,300 percent, Express Pigeon says in a recent report.
91% of consumers check their email daily, ExactTarget indicates.
66% of consumers have bought a product online after receiving an email marketing message.
38.5 percent of mobile time is spent checking email, whereas only 10 percent of mobile time is spent using social media.
Email can be shared – and forwarded – with almost a limitless number of people, friends, and email contacts.
Email is a serious business medium. How many times have you closed a deal over Facebook, or Twitter? Business-minded people use email to build business relationships.