In this extensive piece; we’re covering everything that you need to know to get your email marketing on track! From starting your first email list to creating high performing optins and where to place them. So let’s start from the beginning.
EMAIL MARKETING 101: Building Your List
Having your own opt in list is essential if you want to succeed on the internet. Its common knowledge that email marketing is one of the most reliable ways of generating consistent free targeted traffic for your website.
Once you have your own responsive opt in list it can open up a variety of different opportunities, such as selling advertising space and setting up joint ventures with other list owners.
The first thing you need to do is collect email addresses from your visitors and you can do this by offering a free report or starting a newsletter using an autoresponder, allowing you to set up a series of messages that will be sent out automatically on your behalf on a time frame you specify.
Its important to choose the most reliable autoresponder at the start because it can be very stressful and time consuming to transfer your opt in list from one place to another.
For best results you should not use a free autoresponder service because advertisements will be added to all your outgoing emails. You will have no control over which ads are shown and this will distract your subscribers and dramatically reduce the response rates to your emails.
You can either pay a monthly fee and use a third party hosted service like Aweber Email Marketing or MailChimp, or you can pay a one time fee and install an autoresponder script like Auto Response Plus on your domain.
The problem with autoresponder scripts is that the number of subscribers you can store will be limited depending on how much disk space you have with your hosting plan, and you will also need to backup your list on a regular basis in case a problem occurs and all of the information is lost.
Its much easier and safer to use a third party hosted autoresponder service because you will not have to worry about installing a script and your subscribers will be stored securely on a dedicated server with no limits.
BUILD A KILLER EMAIL LIST [FREE DOWNLOAD]
Its essential that you focus on one specific topic for your opt in list as this will dramatically increase your response rates. You need to create a landing page consisting of a short sales letter that encourages visitors to subscribe, and a subscription form that allows visitors to enter their name and email address. You should also offer some quality bonus gifts to increase your conversion rates.
Double opt in lists are becoming more popular because they provide extra security as subscribers must confirm their email address, but many people will forget to complete this confirmation which results in fewer active subscribers so you may prefer to use the single opt in feature.
Once you have set up your landing page and follow up messages you will need to start sending visitors to your website. Submitting content to article directories and writing press releases are the most effective ways of generating unlimited free targeted traffic.
EMAIL MARKETING 101: How to Have Subscribers BEGGING for More
Just as an experiment, a friend of mine subscribe to ten different opt-in e-mail marketing lists to see which ones are effective. Many websites and online businesses have resorted to sending promotional materials to people who have subscribed to them in an effort to boost their sales or traffic. Opt-in email marketing sends newsletters, catalogs updates and many more promotional materials to website visitors who have agreed to be updated whether monthly, weekly or semiannually.
Through e-mail, an internet user that is on the list will receive their updates through email. If a promotional material piques their interest they will go to the site to learn more or to purchase outright. For the website operators or owners, this is a chance to remind their list of their existence and parlor their wares. With the numerous sites in the internet that offers the same products or services in one way or the other, the competition can get pretty tight and it is easy to be forgotten.
Back to my experimenting friend, he tried to find out which opt-in marketing strategies grabbed a person into begging for more. Some would send in very simple fashion, some would very outlandish while there are some that would just lie in between. The differences could easily be noticed and some have gotten the idea of an effective opt-in marketing strategy. He dubbed them effective because he felt like he just couldn’t wait to go their site and learn more, the more persuasive ones even got him halfway to reaching for his wallet and to his credit card before he realized this was only for an experiment.
Many companies and site present their promotional materials in a wide variety of concepts. Each has their own distinctive style and designs, but more than the outline and the presentation, the content and the articles are what keeps the attention of your potential customer locked on to your opt-in marketing medium. Creativity is the key here.
From talking to many satisfied opt-in list subscribers and forums, I have learned of what is essential in opt-in marketing and what makes the subscribers begging for more instead of lining up to unsubscribe.
Keep your promotional materials light, creative and original. Many people are stressed out as it is. Getting a stuffy business proposal rather than a lighthearted e-mail may just agitate them more. A warm friendly smile or banter is always more welcome than a serious business meeting or proposal. While you do want your customers to take you and your products and services seriously, you also want to show them that you know how to have fun.
Splash some color in your emails as well as provide some photos and articles that can be related to you but show good news or good lighthearted images as well. Provide a newsletter or promotional materials that will keep them in a light mood. Make your materials eye catching and grabbing that they wont be able to take their eyes of them. Pique their interests.
Have good content and article, even if it means investing in an experienced and professional copy writer to write them for you. An effective copy writer should be able to build trust between you and your customers. They should be able to establish your credibility in what they write. It must be informative but not too stuffy. Let go of the professional jargons and “talk“to your recipients.
A good article and content should be able to outline the benefits of your product and services and why they need what you are offering. But do not look to be overeager and too persuasive. It should be able to entertain as well as lead them to buying from you.
Your promotional materials should be clear. Don’t leave people guessing. You should lead them to you and not vice versa. Explain to them what they need to do in a manner that won’t be confusing. Try to anticipate also what your target client needs. Do your research and information gathering, many sites will be able to help you with that.
Provide clear and crisp images of what you are offering. If the people know what you have for them, they are more likely to beg for more. For example, if you are selling a car, provide them photos but only enough to encourage them to go to your site for more.
EMAIL MARKETING 101: How to Use an Autoresponder
Using autoresponders will help you to close more sales through consistent and effective follow up of your visitors.
With your autoresponders you’ll be able to:
– Educate your visitors about your product
– Share the benefits of purchasing your product
– Increase your credibility
– Build up your visitors’ trust in you
– Continue to keep your marketing message on your visitors’ minds so that when your visitors are ready to purchase from you, they will.
Some profitable ways to use autoresponders:
1. Publish an ezine
Done right, your ezine will provide you with a powerful way to promote your products, special offers, and also your affiliate programs. Your ezine can also provide you with an extra income, once it’s large enough for you to start selling ads to your readers and visitors. Begin promoting your ezine by including your subscription form and also your link to your sign up page on all your pages.
Also use a “popover” to plug your ezine and direct your visitors to either fill out your subscription form or visit your sign up page. In addition, get the word out about your ezine by submitting it to ezine directories and ezine announcement lists. Because these submissions can be very tedious, it’s wise to use ezine promotion software to handle much of this time-consuming work for you. That way you’ll be able to concentrate more on your ezine’s content and also on effectively marketing your business.
2. Offer a free email course.
The key to your winning course is your content. Give your readers useful content, and they’ll view you as a credible source of information and your product’s value will increase in their eyes. If your an article writer, you can use your articles as the basis of your course.
Because your articles are on topics of interest to your target audience, using them will enable you to create a course that both appeals to your visitors and provides them with information that they’ll find to be very useful. Simply choose a few related articles that cover different aspects of what you would like to write about. Then use these articles as your guide for writing the different parts of your new course.
3. Follow up with people that take you up on your free download or trial.
Start the follow up process by asking your visitor to fill out your subscription box or form in order to access her free trial. On your “thank you” page, let her know that she’ll need to confirm her subscription, and that after she does that she’ll get her link to start her trial in her welcome email. Give your visitor a strong incentive for taking you up on your offer.
For example, if you were offering a trial of your article submission software, you could offer an ebook that shares how to write articles and properly promote them to article directories and announcement lists as your special bonus.
4. Offer an article announcement list.
Your list will help you to get your articles published more frequently by webmasters and ezine publishers that have audiences that are interested in what you write about. Your list can also help you promote your affiliate program and get more new affiliate sign ups. In your publishing guidelines, let your subscribers know that they can earn money by rebranding your articles with their affiliate links in your “About the Author” section. Your subscribers will be more apt to publish your articles, and you’ll be able to get more new affiliates that have responsive subscribers and targeted traffic that they can promote your business to.
5. Offer a training course to your affiliates.
Savvy marketers know that to have a successful affiliate program, they need to invest in the success of their affiliates. One powerful way to do this is to make a generic training course available to them by autoresponder. Through your course, you’ll be able to provide your affiliates with valuable tips and strategies and elevate your profits by helping your new affiliates get started fast.
Make your course available on your affiliate sign up page/info page and also within your affiliates “control panel” where they check their stats. If you run a two-tier affiliate program, your course can also be used as a smart promotional tool for your affiliates.
Just have your affiliates give your course away to their visitors or subscribers, and they’ll be able to increase their commissions by referring more new affiliates into their second tiers that will successfully promote your biz.
EMAIL MARKETING 101: Writing & Sending Emails That DELIVER
If you want to create a dynamic e-mail campaign, you have to offer your clients more than a simple announcement. Far too often people fall into the trap of believing an announcement is enough to entice their customer.
Unfortunately, an announcement does little to help compel or encourage your clients to buy from you. If you want customers to buy from you, you’re far better off offering “special deals” or a “special offer” than simply offering an announcement.
An announcement says, “Hey, I have a new product!”
But what’s in it for the customer?
You have to think about what your customer’s needs are and how you are filling them with every contact you make. An announcement doesn’t take these needs into consideration, and that’s why far too often announcements fail to produce results.
An announcement also lacks a call to action or an incentive for customers to contact you. It doesn’t make sense to contact someone unless you are going to offer him or her an incentive to buy your product. Keep this in mind when creating your next e-mail campaign.
Types of Promotions
So now you know you have to offer incentives. Now, what kind of incentive do you offer in your e-mail campaign? There are many different incentives to offer. Most people rely on the special discount offer.
You don’t always have to offer a discount however, to get people to buy from you. You can for example, offer a new product to your customers. Say for example, you offer them a free publication, like a subscription to your newsletter if they buy your product now. Or, you can offer them 20% off your latest publication when they order.
You can also offer special deals by recognizing some special event in your personal life. Most customers appreciate e-mails that include some personal information about you. For example, let’s say you have an upcoming birthday or anniversary to celebrate. In your e-mail, mention this.
Say, “Because it’s my birthday today I’m offering you a special discount.” This will help your e-mails appear more personal in nature. You have to share personal information if you want to build trust with your clients. Let them know something about you. Say for example you are sharing your 10th anniversary with your partner. Let your customer’s know you are offering a one-time deal because of this.
Another promotion you can offer your clients is the “special sale.” I like to call this the “Oops, I forgot!” or “Oops, I screwed up!” offer.
In this special bonus offer, e-mail your clients a day or two after you send out an announcement. Then let them know you forgot to tell them something in the previous “announcement”, so if they order now, they can take advantage of your mistake.
Then offer them something. Then after a couple of days send them a last minute reminder. You can phrase it similar to, “We almost sold out, and we only have a few hours left, so act now so you don’t miss out. Remember, you’ll be reaping A, B, C benefits.”
Special offers are great during holidays, like Christmas, Halloween or even Valentines Day. Speaking of Valentines Day, remember your offers don’t have to be discounts. They can be something unusual, crazy or fun. Like on Valentines Day, offer your clients a rose or chocolate for ordering that day.
Your goal should be to keep things exciting and fun. Keep all your promotions an event. Another way to produce more feedback from your e-mails is to send customers FAQ e-mails. Let’s say for example, you send an e-mail that creates some questions you’d like to respond to. You can send an FAQ offer or follow up e-mail that answers all their questions and presents a new offer or special deal for your customers.
How Often You Should E-mail Clients?
How often should you e-mail your clients? If a customer consistently buys your products and services, you should send frequent e-mails. If however, you are sending a special promotional offer to someone that has never ordered from you, don’t waste too much time on it. My experience suggests customer’s who buy something once or twice are much more likely to buy again.
When Should You Send Your E-Mail Offers?
When should you e-mail your clients? The answer is “It depends.” My experience shows Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days to e-mail people.
Why? Who knows?
It may be people don’t want to check their e-mail on the weekends. It may be they are thinking of the weekend and not their e-mail on Friday.
They may have too much work to catch up on Mondays. For me, Tuesdays and Thursdays have always produced the best responses. Then again, I am focusing on B2B customers. Your experience of the B2C industry may be different.
These are just a few things you can do to spice up your e-mail campaign. The bottom line is this… whenever you send an e-mail, you have to create much more than a simple announcement.
An announcement isn’t going to call people to action. You have to carefully craft your e-mails, to encourage your customers to act. You want to offer your customers some incentive so they act on your e-mail immediately.
And one last point… Don’t reveal your price in the e-mail. Your job is to entice, compel and motivate your customers to buy.
That’s the bottom line.
EMAIL MARKETING 101: Optimize Your Lead Pages
To optimize email opt-in pages is among the most important jobs to do and is also among the most forgotten job. The way the opt-in forms and pages are presented determines the quality of list, rate of growth, and meets the subscriber’s expectations which in turn help in email performance. The very first step towards optimization is to get the people to fill in the opt-in page. Immediately following it is designing the layout of the opt-in page and form.
Making one come to the website is another issue. But once they get to the website, they should be allured into signing-up by making them go to the opt-in page. Firstly, the path to the sign up page must be made easier and clear. Links to sign up page or form must be included on the home page and even on other pages too. Promotional boxes should appear in the areas of side bars. The visitor shouldn’t search whether the website offers email newsletters or not. The links to the navigation area should send out clear message. Terms and names which aren’t obvious shouldn’t be used. Words such as Email Newsletter, Newsletter or eNewsletter are very appropriate.
If there is sufficient space, promote the latest newsletter on your home page by pasting its link. The website should have a ‘Knowledge and Resource Center’ area where extract of articles and archived issues can be placed. This area can then be used to promote sign-ups to the company’s newsletter. It is good to include the subscribe link in the back issues.
Since the purpose of the opt-in page is to make as many readers into subscribers, the design, copy and layout of the opt-in page should be similar to the landing page. The page should be designed with form, copy and images which should reflect confidence, value and trust. Links to samples must be included which can give an idea about the quality of the email to be received upon sign-up. Email’s small screenshot display is optional, but beneficial too. Testimonials from readers to the email publications can be included in pull quote format. The content of the testimonials can be either text or images.
In today’s world, everything comes for a price. So when a subscriber is giving his valuable email address, he is certainly looking for something in exchange. This is why images and copy should be included on the opt-in page which conveys the basic value of emails to be sent. Subscribers can be given ‘email only special deals’. Any kind of regular incentive goes a long way. Whether it is ‘$2 off the next purchase’ or ‘free white paper’, even discounts can increase conversion.
Certain details about the opt-in page should also be considered. A right balance needs to be maintained of the information that is collected through the opt-in form or page. Neither too much information must be asked; nor must too little information be asked. The future must be planned from the start. Obviously asking only the email address is very quick; information required for email delivery will be missed. Information which is not required for email delivery and segmentation or rationalization should be avoided. If there are too many fields, the not so important ones must be marked as optional.
To check syntax errors, a script should be included for that purpose. Two boxes should be present for entering email address twice. This reduces the risk of typing invalid email address. The minimum form fields to be included in the form are first name, last name, email address, and format preference. Optional form field can be based on secondary email address, frequency, preferences and demographics.
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