I talk about the importance of email marketing all the time. But what exactly is email marketing? Put simply, it is the process of promoting your business through email. It is a direct marketing strategy that is similar to postal mail, minus the cost of stamps.
Entrepreneurs use email marketing to reach their audience about updates, promotions, and most importantly: to build trust. Ideally, your email list wants to hear from you. The emails might deter a few, but they probably weren’t your ideal customer anyway.
Remember to repel as many as you attract. You won’t win everyone’s hearts. Email marketing is a route to discover dedicated customers and weed out the wishy-washy crowd.
If anyone tells you email marketing is an old, tired method, they probably aren’t utilizing it effectively. When done right, you will see the benefits of this time-proven marketing strategy. Through email marketing, you can reach a larger audience and strengthen your relationship with current customers. This is just one of the many ways to engage with your customers, another effective way is by content marketing Using specific tools along with this such as a content marketing funnel guide will help you to keep track of your customers movements on your site, therefore direct the traffic and end up with a higher conversion rate. But there are many more marketing techniques you can use.
Email is reliable
There have been several recent Facebook and Instagram blackouts. You probably know what I’m talking about. Suddenly this tool we always have on hand wasn’t working, and it was incredibly frustrating! Users couldn’t post new content or see images that had been posted.
(Comment below on this blog post about how the recent blackouts affected you).
These blackouts are a great reminder that social media platforms don’t stand the test of time. They could be gone in an instant. Email, on the other hand, has been around since practically the beginning of the internet. As long as we have the internet, we have email. The same can’t be said about Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.
If you only have a Facebook business page, it’s not enough. You could have 10K followers on Facebook, but if Facebook goes down how will you reach them?
Email marketing is the topmost effective resource for eCommerce businesses, driving traffic and communicating with existing and prospective customers. You have the opportunity to engage with your audience, build brand loyalty, and increase sales. Ultimately, email marketing grows your bottom line.
Using email to market is fairly inexpensive and easy to track compared to other traditional marketing approaches. People on your email list want more information on your business because they purposefully allowed you to send them correspondence.
Getting started: Build an Email List
The first step in email marketing is to build an email list. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, and again, and again. Email marketing is crucial no matter what business you are in. You need to have an email list.
Before you start inviting all your email contacts, you should know that you can’t add anyone to your business’s email list who doesn’t opt-in. You have to use an email marketing program like Active Campaign and have an opt-in plan.
Active Campaign and other programs allow you to monitor the emails you send out. You can observe how your subscribers respond and interact with your sent emails. This software tracks analytics like open and bounce rates, click-through rates, and conversions.
Aptly titled “opt-ins” are forms of consent given by web users to acknowledge they are interested in your services or products. When users opt-in, they are allowing a business to contact them with more information.
Opt-ins aren’t merely a means of being polite, they are required by law. You also must make it simple for people to opt-out — or unsubscribe — if they want off the list.
You have probably seen a lot of opt-ins. These are the little boxes you can check saying you agree to receive emails. Most websites use them, so if you’ve been online, you’ve likely opted into a lot of email lists. There are more unique ways than just checking a box to get potential customers on your lists.
Opt-in forms come in different shapes and sizes. They can be pop-ups on a homepage or landing pages. It’s much easier to build your list when you are offering something valuable. Your landing pages need to have great copy and conversion that will convert followers into email subscribers.
Take a look at our Email Marketing opt-in where we offer free lead magnet ideas and email subjects. Email marketing is great, but you have to get people to open the emails you send. This opt-in offers ideas for email subjects and headlines. We really want you to have all the tools you need to build an email list and effectively use email marketing strategies.
Once you have designed and activated your opt-ins, you can share them on your social media platforms. Although social media isn’t as secure as email, it is an incredible tool when it’s working. Give people as many opportunities as possible to opt-in.
Create an Email Marketing Campaign
Once you have your email list, it’s now time to use it. With your email marketing software (like Active Campaign), you can customize the content of your email with the subscriber’s name. You can even send out birthday emails and other personalized content. You have the ability to keep separate lists to send out different promotions and offers based on the audience.
For example, our audience ranges from long-time rural agriculturalists to budding side hustlers. Of course, there can be overlap occasionally. But most often a message we want to communicate to our ag-oriented clients is going to be very different from what we send to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Each email you write isn’t going to resonate with every single subscriber. Break down your list into segments and create different sets of emails for the different groups in your audience.
Once you’ve honed in on who you’re speaking to, you can create sales funnels to guide your followers into purchasing from you.
Give, Give, Give, Sell
When someone agrees to be on your email list, you should be providing them with value from the very start. Opt-ins can be useful and educational. Once you have an email list you should continue to provide your audience with more value. For every selling email, there should be about three giving emails that benefit readers.
Answers to FAQs, quotes from blog posts, and creative surveys can add value for subscribers.
In every communication with your audience — from emails to Facebook posts to in-person seminars — tell them what you want. You can use CTAs to ask people to attend an event, purchase a product, read an email, or subscribe to your social media platforms. It’s OK to be repetitive since most people aren’t paying very close attention to every email headline or the content within. It takes at least seven times for an internet user to catch the message you’re putting out.
It sounds simple enough, yet is often forgotten. Every final draft of your emails and posts needs to be checked for CTAs. First, do you have them? Second, are they effective?
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Now that you know the basics of email marketing, it’s time to start building that email list and using it wisely! You can read more about Mastering the Art of Email and How to Use Facebook to Build Your Email List.