What Beginners Need to Know and Understand About Email Marketing – Why is It So Valuable Still
Email marketing is a tool used by business website owners to reach consumers directly through electronic mail.
Unlike spam, this type of marketing reaches users who are interested in your business' area of expertise.
No matter what kind of products or services you are selling, email marketing offers an adequate means of reaching thousands of potential customers at a relatively low cost when compared to other forms of advertising.
The following information is a step-by-step guide for effective email marketing:
No email marketing campaign can kick off without first getting permission, and this is where building a sizable email list comes in.
There are many ways to do this.
Some business owners prefer to give something away for free, while there are those who simply provide product updates or a newsletter.
The most important thing is to have a clear purpose whenever you ask for an address. This entails having a strong call to action and good copywriting skills.
Some of the questions that users will most likely ask you include, but are not limited to:
- How regularly will you email me?
- Are you going to spam me?
- Will I receive any discounts?
- Will I get first crack at your beta?
- What's in it for me when I give you my address?
These are some of the things you must adequately address if you want to be successful in the first phase of your email marketing campaign.
Simply telling users to enter their email address for updates isn't going to get them excited about your website.
Sharing more specific information such as new notifications, fresh releases, and product updates can help your cause.
Getting whitelisted is the equivalent of being marked as a friend.
The best way of achieving this status is by having recipients add you to their address books.
Also, make sure that you provide instructions at the top of your email, particularly on the initial thank you and first follow up email.
While most professional email service providers work very hard to ensure that your emails do not get blocked by major ISP's, they still cannot control whether your emails will arrive in users' inboxes, or their spam boxes.
Even though most of them will help you by offering a quality score to determine your credibility, getting whitelisted is still the most efficient way of ensuring that your emails are delivered properly.
Manage Expectations Through Follow-up Efforts
A big element of email marketing involves managing expectations.
If you have a strong call to action, and implement consistent follow-ups, then you can count on a positive marketing campaign.
However, if you promise users that you will send at least one email per week, but go back on your word and send them daily, then you will be setting yourself up for failure.
On the other hand, if a user expects daily updates and you fail to deliver, then they are likely to be just as upset.
The main point is to do what you agreed upon.
If you want to adopt the habit of pitching, you should first try to place yourself in the reader's shoes.
You can do this by asking yourself if your messaging is in line with the expectations you have set.
Sending out blind offers will most likely get you banned or spammed by users.
Another option you may want to consider is the value of your emails.
Anything you send out must relate with the reader.
For most people, the first sign that they have received a bad newsletter is that they don't recall ever asking to have it sent to them.
This usually happens when a business either fails to sustain a regular email routine, or uses inadequate fill out forms and manually adds users to their list after receiving their personal email or business card.
A compelling newsletter should be a combination of good messaging and informative updates.
For instance, you can include a list of products and images, balanced with a personal message or friendly tone.
When it comes to email marketing, one of the main issues you will face is only talking to the people on your list when you have something to sell.
This is where an auto responder comes in.
The main benefit of this tool is that it will enable you to build a consistent relationship with your readers so that they don't get annoyed when you update them with information regarding a new product or sale.
It is also essential that you set your auto responder on specific days so that you know the right time to send an email.
Segmentation refers to the practice of dividing up your email list into more targeted groups.
The following are some of the segments you can include:
- Customer list in comparison to leads
- Product updates in comparison to a consumer list
- Daily email list in comparison to weekly, monthly or yearly quotas
- HTML since there are those who prefer this option for text
By dividing up your list in such a manner, you will have the opportunity to send more targeted communication.
There are some customers who want both sale and product updates, while there are those who might only want to be informed about new versions.
If you don't offer them the chance to choose, you will face the risk of losing them all-together.
It goes without saying that this is not something any business owner wants.
Making Money From Your List
Your email list is practically one of your biggest resources, and if you learn how to effectively use it, the costs that come with it will pay for themselves, and then some.
Try to envision everyone person in your email list as being worth a set value, let's say $10, and then you will understand that having several hundred people receiving your emails can raise your profit margins significantly.
Even with only a few hundred conversions, you will still make money.
Matching your message with the right customers on your list will also lead to higher sales numbers and greater levels of customer satisfaction.
Managing an email list can be very time consuming if there were not tools to help with it.
Fortunately, there are many tools and programs which assist with forms for signing up people to your list, opt-in forms. They also usually assist with list maintenance and sending out emails to your list with tracking of who opens your emails.
They also can automate people unsubscribing from your list so you don't have to take care of it manually.
Most also provide reports for how well your list is growing and which emails are performing best in this type of marketing.
Here is a list of highly used email list programs and management tools you can check out:
- MailChimp – Great for starting out because it is free until you hit a 2000 email subscriber count.
- Aweber – More expensive but very popular and comprehensive email subscriber management system.
- iContact – Another industry leader
- Constant Contact – Ditto
All the major email managing software and services work directly within WordPress for easy integration into your website and blog.