What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is also called “opt-in marketing” and is considered the most stable and long-term revenue generating technique on the internet.
Simply put, email marketing is the collection of an email address and/or other things (name, country, age, sex, etc) in exchange for something.
On a more technical perspective, email marketing is a direct marketing strategy that consists in using email to send a commercial message to a group of people. With email marketing, a company will collect leads via their website or other online entity and will connect with them through email. Simple, right?
Why is it So Important?
As I said above, email marketing is one of the most effective marketing techniques. How come?
Well, the greatest strength of email marketing is that it will enhance the relationship of a merchant with its current or future customers. Building a relationship of trust will encourage loyalty, convince customers to purchase something… and much more.
In theory, by building a relationship with people through email you have the ability to connect with these people forever (unless you bore them to death and they unsubscribe ^^).
And the good news is that you can do this for free. You don’t have to pay to start building a mailing list. So it’s perfect for a freshly built business =)
Email marketing is used by the biggest companies in the world and there’s a reason for that : it highly converts $$$.
People Love Being Given Freebies =)
There are tons of way for you to capture people’s attention on your website and get them to give you their information in exchange for something. Here are just a few examples :
- 10 Tips on something in exchange for a name & email address
- A Bonus Guide
- A Weekly Newsletter
- Access to a Software
- A Membership
- A Bonus Video
- Access to a Contest
- Personal support for an entire month
- A complimentary addition to the offer
Reasons to Use Email Marketing
Don’t think you can skip this step because… you can’t! Not building a mailing list would be a huge mistake, unless of course your goal is to never increase sales ^^
Here are the main reasons for you to use email marketing :
- Increase Donations
- Strengthen Relationships
- Discover What Works
- Reach People on Any Device
- Look Professional
- Increase Website Traffic
- Market with a More Personal Touch
- Lead Generation
- Build Excitement
- Promote Services
- Boost Sales
- Grow Your Audience
- Stay Organized
- Save Time
- Attract New Clients
- Increase Your Value
- Strengthen Relationships
- Build credibility
- Improve Visibility
- Generate Calls
- Begin and Improve Communication
- Easy way to reach mobile customers
- Effective way to keep customers informed
- Email coupons drive online and in-store sales
- Easy to customize and integrate into other marketing tactics
- Can be applied to any niche
- Can be automated
The Principles of Email Marketing
If you understand the basics of email marketing you will quickly become a master at it and double, triple your mailing list (along with your revenue, over time! )
- understand how email marketing works :
- as a marketer you ask people the permission to join your mailing
list in exchange for something (a free guide, newsletter, a product, etc).
- people will share their email address and name with you by filling in a form
- since you have their permission you can now offer them information and ultimately marketing promotions > $$$
- use an Autoresponder to manage your email campaigns.
Can you imagine having 10,000 people in your mailing list? And having to send a mail to each of them? lol. That would be impossible. This is where autoresponder come in useful ! =) (See article “what is an autoresponder for?”)
- connect to people once and again and again and again…
… and as long as you maintain a good relationship with them you can continue contacting them over and over again. To maintain a good relationship with people you need to gain their trust.
- achieve a successful email marketing campaign in 3 simple steps :
1. Capture people’s attention with an irresistible offer
2. Build trust through relationships
3. Generate revenue through offers
- respect the 4 stages of the relationship :
Stage 1 : Meeting/Attraction (the irresistible offer)
Before you can get someone to trust you, you want to introduce yourself, right? And vice versa. If you capture their attention and get them to give you their information (such as email and name) you will be able to contact them in the future. And hopefully build a relationship ! =)
Don’t expect people to trust you right away. That’s now how it works in real life, so why would it be any different online? People will sometimes give you their email and name but it will most probably take them so time to trust what you say and offer them. Give them time, build a relationship, prove you are trustworthy.
In exchange for their email/name you want to offer them something, like a newsletter with tips and tricks, or a free guide or a free software… anything !
Stage 2 : Curiosity/Interest
This stage proceeds exactly the same way a real relationship would. People become friends with you because you let them know you, because you share things with them… Right?
With email marketing you want complete strangers (and potential customers) to turn into a “friend”. To do so you will have to be honest and give them. If you skip this step you are going to fail at building relationship with people. If people in your mailing list feel that you are lying to them or trying to take advantage of them, they’ll simply turn their back on you … and you’ll have no one to write to! It’s as simple as that.
It’s really not that complicated if you accept that you are addressing people and that online relationships work the same as offline relationships. To make friends : be real, be honest, be true to yourself, be transparent, be captivating… =) Don’t bore them, don’t spam them, don’t scam them! Give them what they want, give them what they need.
Stage 3: “Enlightenment”/Becoming “Friends” (Selling to Your List)
Someone accepted to give you their name and email, that’s awesome! It means you just met someone =). They “trusted” you enough to share their information. Well done.
This is the beginning of your friendship with them, so you don’t want to screw it up !
And to not screw up your new relationship you want to share quality things with them. If people initially accepted to share their information with you because you promised them training, give them good training. And more. If they accepted to trust you because you said you’d help them out with something, help them and offer more than what they asked for, as long as it’s relevant.
In short, give a good reason for people to keep on trusting you and not turn your back on you!
Stage 4 : Commitment/Engagement (Creating a Lifetime Customer)
The last stage is when people decide to stay with you because they “love” you. They decide to commit because you have proven to be valuable and trustworthy.
At this point you have a customer and if you recommend a product they will most probably purchase it. They will trust you enough to download something or try something out. They will contact you, give you feedback, share your content with others because they love you =)
Remember that to take someone from the stranger stage to the customer stage (commitment), you want to always provide them with value, help… It is crucial that you show them who you are and truly connect with them. Be yourself, use a sense of humor, write in an informal way if you have to as this will make them feel like you’re really talking to them and not just being on duty.
Send freebies every now and then… Be nice and remember they’re real people! =)
Most Common Mistakes
There are a number of things that you want to avoid in order to achieve maximum success with your email marketing. Here are just a few… but I’m sure more could be added to the list! =)
- thinking you can sell to someone without having a connection with them.
- thinking you can get someone who doesn’t trust you to buy something
- not being transparent
- not being honest
- not telling people who you are
- not telling people why they should trust you
- not telling people stories
- not putting people first
- not accepting your mistakes or admitting when you are wrong
- abusing with relentless promotions
- being too agressive and obvious in your promotions
What Tools Should you Use?
There are tools that allow you to automate the whole process, meaning it’ll save you time (and money!)
Here are my recommendations :
Mailmunch : FREE Pop-Up Email Subscribe Optin
SumoMe : FREE Combo Sharing & Email Opt-in (the one I’m currently using)
Mailchimp : autoresponder (the one I’m currently using)
Aweber : autoresponder
GetResponse : autoresponder
Different Types of Medium
But how do you collect people’s name and email, you’re wondering?
- Squeeze Pages
Many marketers still use the typical “squeeze” page with a high rate success. A squeeze page is a landing page created to solicit opt-in email addresses from prospective subscribers (source : wikipedia)
It is nothing more than a forced sales page, except you aren’t selling anything. Instead, you are offering something in exchange for their email address. See below an example of a squeeze page :
A squeeze page is typically composed of three main elements :
(1) The Headline (here : Learn What Keyword Generation Tools The Pros Are Using….)
A headline is typically the first thing people see when they visit your squeeze page. This is very important as you don’t have much time to attract someones attention. If you are relevant, you are going to grab people’s attention … and thus convert at a higher rate.
(2) The Offer (here : a keyword tool)
Your offer is the next element. This could be anything, from a guide, to a newsletter, to a set of videos. The key is to make your offer enticing. If people are not excited about signing up to your list to get something, they won’t.
(3) The Opt-in Form
This is where you collect the name and email addresses. This is the sole purpose of this page. The location of the form is not important, it just needs to be obvious what the intention of the page is : an exchange of an email address for something that has perceived value to the visitor.
2. Pop-up form
A pop-up over top of your sites content, usually after around 10 seconds or so and presents the visitors with an instant offer. This can be an effective technique as well because your offer becomes the focal point of the page and depending on how “engaged” your visitor is in the topic, pop-up opt-in forms can convert at a fairly high rate.
3. Embedded Email Form / Sign-up form
This is simply a form on your page, whether it be within your side widget or within your website header. These are typically opt-in offers that are “always there” and that are less subtle than a traditional squeeze page. The idea is that you will create trust through offering lots of value on your site and then someone will want to naturally connect with you via your email list.
Broadcast and Follow-up Emails
There are two types of email messages you can send out via your autoresponder : a broadcast and a follow-up email.
- A broadcast email is also known as an email “blast” and essentially what you are doing is sending a timely email out to your entire list (or a portion of your list) to provide them with news, information, or promotions. This is where you can sell seasonal offers, time sensitive offers, cover products launches or new services, or run contests and promotions. This is where you can effectively enrich an offer. > build your reputation, build your brand, generate initial sales
- A follow-up email message is what is an automated sequence that you set up within your autoresponder account that allows you to send out emails on a timed schedule. If you have ever joined a mailing list, you will have noticed that you likely get emails on quite a regular occurrence for the first couple of months. This is because they have created a follow-up email sequence that runs automatically after you join their list. > one-time promotions
Final Tips & Advice
- build a relationship with your list
- make people feel like you are best friends
- people buy things that their friends recommend
- offer personal information about yourself, keep them interested with relevant content
- use conversational speech : your audience will feel like you are personally connecting with them. Speak in first person and talk as though you are really talking to the person. This leads into much more interesting and readable emails
- offer a complimentary and relevant bonus
- offer quality content
- you can be very effective by telling stories, either about you, about friends, or about people that have given you feedback (or prior customers)
- thanks to effective email marketing software, you can maintain an email list that has been segmented based on several factors including the length of time addresses have been on the list, customers’ likes and dislikes, spending habits and other important criteria.
At this point you should have a better understanding of what email marketing is and why it is a crucial part of your business development.
A big email list if worth a lot of money. Keep that in mind.
With email marketing, you can easily and quickly reach target markets without the need for expensive advertising (print space, television, radio time, etc.)
Email marketing allows you to communicate with people that you normally wouldn’t have been able to communicate with.
The reason is most people will come to your website, leave and never come back. Because they did not bookmark your website, because they forgot about you… countless reasons!
In short, there is a reason people are doing email marketing... the reason is that it works ! Plain and simple.
If you would like to learn more and start working on your email marketing I suggest reading the following training ; it is the best I could find!
Building a Mailing List – By Carson
Understanding The “Art” of Email Marketing – by Kyle
Email Marketing / Getting Started Guide – by Kyle
Create a Newsletter for Free – by Myself =)
Thanks for dropping by and do leave a message if you have questions about email marketing! I will be more than happy to connect!
Also feel free to share your own tips and advice in the comment area below !