How To Do Email Marketing
Today I’m going to go over how to do email marketing. For any business looking to build an audience, develop relationships, increase trust and authority, and ultimately sell products; email marketing is an absolutely essential activity.
Email marketing often takes a backseat to other forms of marketing, such as SEO and social media marketing. That’s a shame, as it does in fact have even more potential than either of those when it comes to building and reaching a massive number of people.
Not convinced? Then just take a look at the blog of any big marketer. Almost all of them will describe their email marketing and list building activities as the single most important aspects of their business.
One such blogger is Michael Hyatt. He had the following to say about email marketing and list building:
“I have literally built a multi-million dollar business on the strength of my email list. Ninety percent of my income comes from it. Even today, my email list is still my number one business priority and asset.”
Meanwhile, Douglas Karr from Marketing Tech Blog said: “Without a doubt, our email list is the best investment we’ve ever made.”
And Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner says: “Email is the most important channel for you to cultivate.” That’s from a site about social media; and yet the owner is recommending email marketing above that very tool!
The list of big names who claim email marketing is their most important tool goes on. And the statistics back this up too.
For instance, did you know that 91% of all consumers check their e-mail daily? Or that surveyed companies rate their email campaigns as more profitable than PPC advertising, social media marketing or content marketing?
Did you know that 66% of US customers over 15 have purchased at least one product via an email campaign? Or how about the fact that email marketing has a ROI of 4,300%? That’s an absolutely gigantic figure! This is exactly why you need to learn how to do email marketing.
Why Email Marketing Is Still King
So what is it that makes email marketing such a powerful option for bloggers, businesses and marketers? How does it offer such incredible ROI and lead to so many sales?
Well the ROI of course is due to the simple fact that email marketing doesn’t cost anything. This requires very little work on your part while still yielding incredible results.
You’ll only need to send an email once a week or once a month, while your mailing list will build itself once you’ve set everything up properly.
From there though, you can reach your audience directly in their inboxes – which is something you can’t achieve through Facebook or even through SEO.
People carry mobile phones on them 24/7 these days, which means you can reach them right in their pockets any time of day and when they’re likely to be most receptive to your marketing message.
This also means that you aren’t going through a ‘middle man’ or a ‘gatekeeper’. Building a massive Facebook Page following is great, but ultimately you are always going to be beholden to Facebook.
If Facebook decides to delete your page (which isn’t unheard of) then you can lose all that hard work and investment with no explanation. And recently, Facebook changed their policies so that a post to your Facebook page would only reach about 10% of your audience.
You see why it’s worth having your own audience and direct access to said audience?
Email marketing also lets you send multiple messages and time those messages perfectly. This means that you can build anticipation for a product launch, you can generate interest in a new project and you can discuss matters with your audience.
You have complete control over your marketing message and that’s incredibly powerful. Essentially what this all means, is that you can use email marketing in order to create and manage a sales funnel.
We’ll talk about this more later, but essentially a sales funnel is a series of communications that gradually draws in a reader. This is what leads someone from being a cold contact, to being interested in your product, to being invested in your brand – to making a purchase.
It’s also why most marketers agree that it takes five ‘touches’ with any audience to yield one sale. With email marketing, you can manage all of those ‘touches’ and time them to perfection for the very best results. That’s why it’s such an incredible tool.
The Challenges of Email Marketing
In the introduction, we looked at a lot of the things that make email marketing a great and powerful tool. That’s important, because more people need to get on board and really invest in this area of marketing.
But it would be remiss of us to overlook the obstacles and challenges. This is the part where we see what is going wrong with email marketing campaigns the web over.
It’s also where we start introducing some solutions and better strategies so you can make sure you’re not making those same mistakes.
And likely you’re already familiar with some of the challenges of email marketing. No doubt you already know why you haven’t yet invested lots of time and money into this strategy.
Just take a look at your inbox.
How many emails do you get on a daily basis? For many of us the answer is in the hundreds. And how many of those do you actually open? No I thought not…
Probably a large amount of your email correspondence goes straight to your junk mail/spam. Then a fair amount of it will be filtered by Gmail or Hotmail into the ‘social’ or ‘promotional’ labels. Half the time we don’t even look at what’s in there!
And then we have our own ‘in-built’ spam filter. This is what we use to scan our eyes over a selection of emails and to pick out the very few that we’re actually interested in.
And for most of us, there’s just too much here for us to pay much attention to anything that isn’t from a friend.
A typical inbox might have messages from Pinterest, Facebook, Amazon, Vistaprint, Priceline, Success Resources, Groupon and then countless bloggers and marketers.
How are you supposed to stand out? How are you supposed to get past the spam filter? How are you meant to build a relationship with anyone under those circumstances? Don’t worry I’m going to show you how to do email marketing the right way.
This is what I’ll be addressing in the rest of this article. By the end, you’ll come away with incredible skills you can use to build a massive list of people who are actually excited to receive your messages and who actually engage with your messages.
We’ll go over the basics, but then we’ll look at some more advanced techniques, tips and tools that will ensure your messages are getting opened and your list is highly targeted.
The Basics of Building a Mailing List
First of all, let’s recap on the basics. How does one go about building a mailing list? And what are the best marketing techniques to ensure that it keeps growing?
Of course to begin with, you need the most important tool for building and managing a mailing list: an autoresponder. An autoresponder is essentially a piece of software that manages a mailing list on your behalf.
It saves you a ton of time in the long run and really it’s not an option to go without. Specifically, an autoresponder is what you will use to create your opt-in form. This is where your visitors will enter their names and their email addresses in order to subscribe.
From there, the autoresponder will then be where the database of users is stored and it’s where you will send your messages. These tools allow you to message huge lists without using the BCC function of your email.
What’s more, autoresponders also give you lots of information regarding your emails – for instance they can tell you what percentage of them are actually getting opened.
They also provide you with other powerful features, such as the ability to include the recipient’s name inside the messages. This way, your email can say ‘Hey John!’ instead of being generic and the same for each subscriber.
Autoresponders also allow you to implement a ‘double opt-in’, meaning that subscribers need to respond to a confirmation email to confirm their interest. This protects you from spam and from people who aren’t really interested in reading your messages.
More important, autoresponders allow people to automatically unsubscribe, rather than requiring you to manage it manually. For all these reasons, an autoresponder is an absolutely essential tool and not something you can do without.
Also unfortunate, is that the prices are not set fees – the bigger your list grows the more they charge. I know some marketers paying up to $240.00/month. Which is why I’ve been with Trafficwave for over 10 years. The price is $17.95/month and it never goes up.
Landing Pages and Embedding Your Opt-In Form
Once you have your autoresponder, the first thing you’ll do is to build your opt-in form. This will then give you a piece of code that you can paste into your HTML to embed into your website.
So what do you do with this form and where do you put it?
One place to use an opt-in form is on a landing page, which in this case will be a ‘squeeze page’. A squeeze page’ is a single page on a website that is entirely dedicated to getting people to sign up for your list.
This will use a very minimal design with no external links and no adverts for other products or pages. At the same time, all of the text is going to be in service of promoting your mailing list and selling its benefits.
The idea is that you can then use PPC advertising (pay per click) and other forms of marketing in order to ensure that you’re driving traffic to that page.
Likewise though, you can also use your opt-in forms on your blog or on your website. This way, you can surround your form with your regular content and that’s where the power of content marketing really comes in.
Of course you can add your opt-in form to your home page. Here it should be front and center. One thing you should always ask yourself when designing a website, is what do you want your visitors to do. What is the purpose of the website? What is the ultimate objective.
The smart marketer knows that their mailing list is their most valuable asset and as such, this should take front and center stage on the homepage and every element should be in service of that. Think of your homepage as a funnel that leads to the opt-in form.
At the same time, you can also use your mailing list in your sidebar as a widget. This way it will be site-wide and a constant reminder of its existence.
Thereby, anyone browsing your site will be likely to sign up whenever they see the form there if they’re sufficiently impressed with your content.
And one more tool to make sure that your audience definitely sees your opt-in form and engages with it, is to use a ‘pop-over’. A pop-over is like a pop-up, except it doesn’t open in a separate window.
Instead, it pops up within the browser and sits on top of the content of the website. Your visitors will then need to either enter their e-mail or click ‘close’ in order to continue browsing.
Many bloggers say that pop-overs increase their subscriptions by several hundred percent, so this is a very worthwhile technique. But do keep in mind that pop-overs also rub people up the wrong way.
You don’t want to over-do this because it ultimately prevents your visitors from seeing the content they came to enjoy. It takes up their time, it’s invasive and that can really damage your brand if you’re not careful.
This is why you should use a pop-over plugin that gives you advanced functionality. There’s no point showing your mailing list as soon as someone lands on your site anyway – why would they be interested in signing up when they’ve never heard of you and haven’t read one bit of text yet?
Instead then, use smart algorithms to create pop-overs that show only when the visitor has spent a significant amount of time on your site, or when they have scrolled down the page a certain amount.
Likewise, make sure that your pop-overs don’t show when people return to your site a second time and make sure that they are easy to close – even on mobiles.
Marketers Boost is a great tool to create your pop-overs, plus there are a lot of other tools included with it that can help boost your conversions.
Content Marketing Can Build Your Email List
The objective is to make your articles and blog posts serve as ‘free tasters’ for your mailing list. The idea is to show your audience that you know your stuff, that you’re capable of writing engaging content and that you’re focused on delivering value.
If they read lots of your content and they’re consistently impressed with the quality and value you offer, then they’ll want more and they’ll want to know about the new content and projects you’re working on. And that’s when they’ll be likely to sign up for your mailing list.
Think of the way Starbucks will sell their new coffees – by standing outside with free samples and offering them to passers-by. Your website visitors are people who are just stopping by on the information super-highway.
You need to use your content to lure them in, and that means you need to keep offering amazing value. And don’t shy away from actively encouraging people to sign up. Don’t paste your opt-in form into the corner of your website and just hope your fans find it.
Instead, blow their minds with some incredible, high quality content and then remind them about your mailing list where they can get much more similar information.
This way, you are already building a relationship with your audience at the same time as you’re getting them to sign up.
How To Do Email Marketing – Conclusion
For those that are serious about crafting top notch emails for your autoresponder right from the start I have to recommend Terry Dean and his Autoresponder Alchemy Course.
Terry Dean is the Godfather of email marketing starting back in the 90’s and his emails are legendary. The great thing is he shares his emails and explains using his templates how to craft your own.
I hope this post has given you a better understanding on how to do email marketing. Make sure to contact me if you have any questions or check out some of my other posts.
Let me know if there is a topic you would like me to cover and I will do my best to provide you great content. In my next post I will be covering Marketing Basics for Growing Your List.