With so many ways to reach potential clients on the internet, it’s difficult to figure out the most effective and efficient way to reach them. How do you get through the noise? Blogs, Social Media and all forms of content marketing are efficient at building your relationship with potential clients. So how do you not only stay top of mind but deepen the relationship to convert them to buyers?
Social Media has not eliminated the need for email marketing. It has increased it.
3 Reasons to Consider Email Marketing
1. It is cost-effective. Email services such as Aweber and MailChimp make managing your campaigns easy and fast and you can start for less than $20.00 per month. Using a quality service also helps your emails get delivered. That’s not to say that they won’t end up in some of your readers SPAM folders but you have a better chance of getting through with a professional email service provider.
2. With strong, quality content, email is more powerful than Social Media. People are allowing you into their inbox which makes it much more personal. Email allows you to deepen your relationship with the people in your audience.
3. Email readers are more responsive because they have a tighter connection with you…so they buy more stuff.
“Your email marketing campaigns should be a part of a holistic approach to educate your contacts.”
Your Getting Started Action Plan
- Offer an incentive to sign up. Thanks to spammers, people are not always willing to give you their email address. You newsletter might be free but people are still paying with their email address. So give them a high value incentive. Offer them a quality free report or eCourse when they opt-in.
- Ask your followers to sign up. Periodically post links to your opt-in page in social media. At the end of your blog posts include an opt-in form and invite readers to fill it out. Keep your eyes open, where else could you invite people to opt-in?
- If you have people you know will want to subscribe, you can add them to your email service. Create a message that will be sent with the opt-in message that explains what you are doing and asks their permission to add them to your list. Be sure to include the wonderful benefits they will receive such as never missing your pearls of wisdom and updates to the free eCourse you have created for them. Don’t sell in this message. Provide lots of value.
- Follow the setup guides provided by your email service. Be sure to personalize your messages wherever possible. For example, once someone opts in to receive your newsletter they generally receive a confirmation email. Add a special welcome message and let them know where they can find all the goodies your site has to offer.
- Be sure your unsubscribe process is super easy. If you are using a quality email service then they will provide this at the end of each email (as required by the CAN-SPAM act). This is about more than just letting people opt-out. It’s shows your professionalism and your commitment to serving them.
- And last but definitely not least – Whatever you do, do not send email from your email client, i.e. Outlook or Gmail. Even if you use the bcc feature (blind carbon copy) you will still look unprofessional. Not to mention cheap. Also, be sure your from email is a person’s name and not “no-reply”. I don’t recommend info@ either. People respond to people.
What to do when your list is closer to 1 than 10,000.
When you first start your list will have 2 people on it. You and your Mom. Don’t worry, it will grow, just follow the suggestions above. While you’re working your way to 10,000 readers and the Blogging Rockstar Hall of Fame treat your readers as if you only have eyes for them. As if they are your best client. Your best friend. A new lover.
Well, maybe not a new lover but I think you get the point. Focus on the connection with your subscriber and give them value. Give them quality content and you will get more subscriber action. Share information they need in a way they can hear it. Don’t lecture. Inform. Share a cartoon, share event photos, showcase your products – tantalize your subscriber’s taste buds.
How do you get subscribers to read your stuff?
One of the biggest challenges for email marketers is getting people to open, and read, the email. Yes, they opted in because they want your stuff. Yes, it’s going right into their inbox. With tons of other stuff clamoring for their attention. Here are some ideas to make sure your emails are the ones they open:
- Provide a quality ezine – good information and visually engaging. Do this right and they will not only read your emails, they’ll be waiting for them.
- Provide news and updates that really matter to them. Can you scoop other services with news your readers really need to know? Can you get information to them in a timely fashion so they can take action ahead of their competition? What can you send them to make you invaluable to them?
- Provide and upgrade notices so they have the up-to-the-minute information they need.
- Send them something they will reply to. Ask them for feedback or to fill out a survey. Surveys are great but I find I often get more response if I let them take the lead. Try both and see what your readers prefer.
- And don’t forget to sell stuff. I know “sell” is a dirty word but you know what happens if you don’t do it. Yep, no sales, no business. Bad stuff happens. You have something of value that your readers need. So tell ‘em about it! But don’t expect them to just buy it. Human nature doesn’t work that way. Make the buying process easy and intuitive.
Writing Your Email
Write your email in a conversational tone. Think about what makes you want to talk to someone. Don’t be too informal but you aren’t writing an old fashioned business letter, either. People want to feel like they’re having a cup of coffee with their friends. If your audience is predominantly male, maybe picture yourself having a beer with them.
Give your readers a reason to reply. I touched on this before but it bears repeating. Get them to take an action. Ask them their opinion or if there is anything they need. Remember, you want them to feel like this email was sent to them and only them.
2. Your Subject Line
Make sure your subject line is well thought out and straightforward. This is really a headline, so treat it like one.
Don’t let “free” take your email to the spam folder. There is some evidence that email clients no longer automatically mark these emails as spam but it’s not conclusive. Better to be safe than sorry, as Mom used to say!
3. Your Message
Use a brief, personal greeting.
Lead off the body of your email with killer headline copy or a lead in sentence. Use a mini-version of your complete message in the 1st paragraph and then expand in the following paragraphs.
Be sure to close with a call to action. Let your reader know what to do next. How do they put your ideas into action? How do they get more information? How do they buy your product or sign up for your training?
Use a signature just like you would on any email. People want to read stuff from other people, not businesses. Don’t assume people know who the message is from.
Monitor and Measure
Your email service provider should provide a reporting system. Here are the metrics I recommend you watch:
- Bounce rate
- Delivery rate
- List growth rate
- Click through rate
- Email sharing
- Conversion rate
- Revenue per email sent – if appropriate
- Open rate
- Unsubscribe rate
Now get going!
You have all the basics you need in this article. Use it as a blueprint. But once you’ve finished it, you won’t really be finished. Sorry. There’s always more to learn, especially since technology is ever changing. You will learn more about email marketing and perfect your skills as you go. So if you are waiting until you learn everything there is to know about email marketing before you get started, well you’ll never get started, will you? It’s time to dive in. You can do it! And you’ll find the rewards well worth the effort.
Speaking of Action - About now, you’re probably thinking, “Hey, this sounds really great! If I only had the time.” Or you might be thinking, “Terrific, marketing stuff that keeps me from doing the stuff I really want to do.” If that’s you, then check out my Email Marketing Services.
How are you using email marketing? And if you aren’t, why not?
And don’t forget…
you can opt-in to receive my goodies here:
Please don’t worry – I promise I will never sell, give away, fold, spindle or mutilate your information!
P.S. You can read more articles in my Need to Know Series here.