Email marketing is useful and effective for any kind of business when used properly. It’s one of the easiest ways to engage with your list and increase their engagement with you.
By definition, email marketing is sending email messages to a list of subscribers that contain information, offers, discounts, and promotions. This is one of the most popular and effective methods of marketing used online today. I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying ‘The money is in the list.’ Did you know that according to statistics by Radicati Group in February 2017 it was estimated that there were 3.7 billion email users all over the world? And the number of emails sent in a single day is estimated to be around 269 billion?
The Basics of Email Marketing
The first step in email marketing is most likely obvious to you — you need to build a list. You can do this by creating a website with an opt-in form to collect leads (the best way) or use offline materials to collect names and emails as well. If you do choose to collect leads offline, you want to make sure you are getting explicit permission to email these people.
When you create your list from an opt-in page/form, these people are showing you they want to be on your list. If people aren’t opting in on their own, there is a high chance they won’t be engaged with your offers and you could get marked as spam.
So, how do you go about getting people to opt-in?
The best way is to offer them a free offer or discount. In many cases we’ve all signed up for a free report somewhere. Once a prospect opts into your list, you will want to send them a confirmation email to confirm their email address followed immediately by the delivery of the promised offer. For these, you’ll likely be using a software that automates your messages like Infusionsoft or MailChimp, although there are several out there on the market to choose from. This software program will help you manage your list and send automated email messages to your subscribers.
Of course, getting the names and emails of your prospects is only the beginning. After you get people on your list, you want to build a relationship with them and nurture them by providing high-quality content and information. This positions you as the expert and trusted source and builds a trust between you and the subscriber so you can make them offers.
The Benefits of Email Marketing
For starters, it’s cheap, fast and effective. Prior to email marketing, as business owners, we spent a ton of money and time on direct mail, creating and printing brochures, flyers and magazine or newspaper ads. With email, creating an email broadcast is relatively easy and fast plus you get worldwide reach.
Monitoring and tracking the engagement of your prospects via email is also quite simple. The email autoresponder service you choose will make tracking quite simple and will likely give you detailed analytics for each email sent, including which emails were opened, clicked or remain unopened.
With all the benefits, it’s important to note that email marketing also makes it easy to ignore you. This is most definitely a disadvantage. There’s also a chance that with all the spam people receive, your message may end up in a spam folder. There are things you can do to help prevent this, including staying away from certain words. You also want to be careful and adhere to all of the recent spam laws that have been newly introduced.
How to Make Email Marketing Work for You
One of the biggest guidelines that come to mind to be successful with email marketing is to never buy or trade for a list. It’s extremely important, and I can’t stress it enough, that your subscribers opt-in on their own. You see many businesses using a double opt-in now where subscribers confirm their subscription. This is not only good practice, but it can help improve email deliverability as well. Buying a list is just never recommended. Not only will you get prospects that are most likely not interested in your offer, you are also spamming them by sending unsolicited email messages. With the new anti-spam laws, like the CAN-SPAM Act, in effect, spamming is something you can pay dearly for.
Making Offers to Your List
You want to be careful when you start making your offers to ensure the products and services you promote are in line with your own standard quality. You are nurturing your list to build their trust in you. If you promote something that is less than stellar can destroy that trust in seconds. Don’t forget how easy it is for people to unsubscribe from your list by simply clicking a link in your email. When promoting others, the unsubscribe is something that you will want to monitor to see how receptive your list is to the offer.
On a final note, treat your list with respect, be responsive and thoughtful in what you send them. Treat them like gold. Listen to what they have to say, answer their questions and communicate with them. This is also a good way to find out what your list wants so you can create programs and trainings designed for them. Keep in mind to pay attention to your analytics. You will want to analyze what works and doesn’t work in your marketing. When you take care of your list, they’ll tend to be loyal and stick with you for the long haul.
If you are just starting to build your list now, or even if you’ve already started, you may want to get my Top 10 Things to Avoid When List Building here.