Up until 2015, I used to think email marketing was almost dead until I tried my hands on it and I realized how important it was for every business person to have or invest in email marketing services. One of the best ways to grow your digital empire is through email marketing. And in this article, we will take a look at what email marketing is, the benefits of how it works, and everything you need to know about email marketing as a beginner.
And besides, did you know that a study showed that for every $1 a company spends on email marketing they make $44 back? (source) This makes email marketing is a really important and profitable marketing tool.
So, if you’re ready to let’s dive into it:
What is Email Marketing and How Does it Work?
Let’s start with some common misconceptions people have about what email marketing is.
Is buying an email database and sending email marketing? The answer is NO. A lot of people buy bulk email IDs upload them onto a system and send people emails. Well, this is not email marketing but rather called spamming.
Is opening a Gmail account and sending 500 emails to people a day considered email marketing? The answer to this is NO too. I have seen a lot of people take email addresses and put them in BCC with no customization to emails and it just comes with a ” Hello, blah blah blah” and they reach out to people thinking it is email marketing. It isn’t and it is completely inappropriate and also an act of spam. So, don’t do this thinking it is email marketing.
Is sending an email to people on a one-to-one basis about your product or service considered email marketing? Yes, it is email marketing.
This Brings Us to the Main Question:
What is Email Marketing?
Email Marketing is the most effective tool to keep in touch with your customers. It helps you deliver the right content at the right time to the right audience.
This is the reason why email marketing is an integral part of the overall business strategy of many leading businesses worldwide.
Technically there are two ways subscriber can get on your list:
- Single optin- when visitor enter email address and then straight away he/she appears on the list where automated email sequence can be triggered. This way has higher risk to collect non responsive and false contact information, unless you have super targeted traffic source.
- Double optin- when visitor enter email address, but the first email he/she gets is a confirmation email to confirm they really want that. I prefer this method to get real people on the list, because it is very common, that people just led by curiosity and wants to see the information on the next step.
Benefits of email list
Email Marketing is an effective way to communicate with the subscriber and potential customers directly, You can share your thoughts or relevant information about products and services with subscribers.
If you have an email list, it is much easier to promote your service, products or show the own fresh content you create to loyal readers.
If you build up trust with your subscribers, they will be much more open to listening to what you have to say about the products you suggest.
Once they purchase from you, they will come back time and time again. Product sales may be increased by offering special promotions, like discounts, gifts, solutions to specific problems to subscribers.
How email list can help you
For small businesses, it is easy to increase their social media following with a quality email list. They can communicate directly with their readers and develop engagement with subscribers.
When someone subscribes to their email list, chances are these people would love to follow you on social media networks.
To increase online presence, you can ask your subscribers to follow you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn (etc).
If they like or share your post, a snowball effect may start and fans from social media recommend you to own friends, these people also can come to your site and appear on your contact list. This way your social media following can build your list automatically.
The best way to get started with Email Marketing is with an autoresponder. This will enable us to use powerful automation and behavioral targeting features, that will give you the ability to send highly targeted and timed automated campaigns.
You can also create an audience on some advertising platforms only using emails to get more eyeballs on your content. (watch the video below)
Email Marketing Benefits:
1. Builds Credibility
People do business with people they know, trust, and like. Email marketing allows you to build trust with 100’s and 1000’s people in time. You can build trust and credibility by sharing valuable information and by sharing entertaining stories.
2. It Helps You Market To Many Targeted Customers
Some people online are busy trying to market their product chatting with customers online, which is ineffective because you’re only marketing to one person at a time. However, with email marketing, you can send emails to big groups of targeted people at the same time, all with just a click of a button.
3. Increased Sales
When you have an audience of highly targeted people, that you can reach out to just by the click of a button, your life changes. You’re able to generate traffic and sales anytime you wish just by sending out newsletters from time to time.
4. Low Overheads
Email marketing gives you a massive ROI. The cost to run email marketing is low in comparison to all the business models out there and the returns you can make.
Email marketing enables you to run a large portion of your business on autopilot. You can focus on other activities while your written and scheduled emails go out to 100’s and 1000’s of subscribers and you automatically can make money in such a way.
What Are Autoresponders and Why You Need Them:
Email autoresponders are a crucial step in the email marketing process. If you’re truly want to build your list and have a targeted group of people, who are ready to reply, engage, and buy then you have to use autoresponders in the marketing plan. To build in that relationship, which can be done with the help of autoresponders.
Essentially what is this?- autoresponders are automatically sent emails, that you’ve written once and scheduled once, which goes out to every new subscriber. Also, some rules may be applied in the process like if the contact opened and clicked the link, then send him the next email (let’s call it A), if not then send an email (let’s name it B).
Why Are They Important?
The reason why we need an autoresponder is that someone can join our email list because they were excited about a giveaway, or a coupon, or whatever it is, and then they don’t know that much about your brand, but if they did, they would be more excited about it. So, using standard information about your brand and how you help people and integrating that into a follow-up series with autoresponder emails is a great way to take brand new email subscribers on your list, and make them super-educated on what you’re doing and how you can help.
Top Email Marketing Platforms With Autoresponders
Getting an email marketing service for your business is one of the best business decisions you can make. Not only are they easy to manage, but they also give you full control allowing you to create direct contact with your clients, and it is probably one of the most affordable services you can use to improve your business.
There are a lot of options out there but here are my top recommendations:
Getresponse promises to deliver excellent and quality online marketing solutions and it has been providing its solutions for more than 15 years. This platform provides tools that help you increase your sales, maximize return investments and succeed in online marketing. They’ll also help you create professional email campaigns that land in the subscriber’s inbox 99% of the time by simply removing the ones that have marked your email as spam.
Autoresponders ensure that you get to save time, and also lets you send unlimited messages every day at the perfect time so they do not get unnoticed. You’ll also have access to over 500 HTML templates that will make sure to engage your subscribers. Their RSS feature ensures that your blog post always gets the attention that they deserve. Their easy drag and drop editor will help you create designer-quality emails and landing pages, without hiring an expensive programmer to get it done.
The marketing automation feature lets you use strategic workflow templates that welcome, win back, retarget and engage customers. This feature helps through every step of the way from welcoming your subscribers to lead qualifying, engagement and retention, post-purchase, abandoned carts, online courses, webinars and events, and sales promotions.
Getresponse also offers a 100% responsive landing page that offers a wide array of options and generates new subscribers. They also offer webinars not only to acquire new leads but to nourish your existing subscribers as well. They use surveys, forms, and more to collect data and help you grow a list. Analytics and optimization convert that data to help you see what needs to be focused on and improve it.
Getresponse can be easily integrated with other apps, such as Woocommerce, Stripe, Paypal, Facebook, E-junkie, WordPress, and many more. Signup is easy, and plans vary from $15 a month.
This is one of the most popular email marketing services in the world. Mailchimp makes creating and launching campaigns easy. You can conveniently reach out to your customers and create designs like a pro while doing it all in just one place- no need to leave MailChimp. They also offer more ways to reach your customers such as email marketing, Facebook and Instagram ads, landing pages, sign-up forms, Google remarketing ads, and even postcards.
MailChimp can easily integrate with other tools and web services such as Shopify, WordPress, Slack, Survey Monkey, and many more. They also have market automating features that send a welcome email to new subscribers, and date-based emails for birthday wishes and automatically send emails with your latest blog posts with their RSS to mail feature.
Their marketing automation will also help you to remind people about abandoned carts and also give product recommendations and order notifications, whiles also sending product retargeting emails to remind people about something they saw on your site.
MailChimp can be used for free as long as you want, however, the free plan will give you 30-day access to email and chat support, and then it will let you send up to 12,000 emails per month to 2000 subscribers. Other plans range from $10 per month.
Even I have started my email marketing a long time ago with this company, however, I don’t suggest using this platform for everyone in affiliate marketing, making money online and other just a little bit sensitive niches to avoid accounts being suspended or banned completely.
2 most popular ways to build email list
How to build email list without website.
ClickFunnels is on the top of my list. This is perhaps the most popular and well-founded service in 2014. They promise to give you everything you need to market, sell and deliver your products online. ClickFunnels helps you focus on the area that you want to get results from by letting you choose from funnels that will help you generate leads, generate sales, or run a webinar event.
There are two options to choose from if you want to generate leads, these are Squeeze Page Funnels, and Free Application Funnels. If you want to generate sales, then you can choose from a Free Tripwire funnel, Free video sales letter funnels, and free product launch funnels.
You can choose from two options if you want to run an online event these are free webinar funnels and free auto webinar funnels. After creating a funnel, you’ll be able to customize it according to your preferences. You can add one-click upsell, membership areas, order forms, affiliate centers, and so much more.
Capture leads with the automation tab and set up email messages and sequences so easily to allow you to reconnect with your audience. Probably one of the most useful tools here is action ethics which allows you to create simple but powerful follow-up funnels. Action ethics can easily reach your audience no matter what platform they are using, which further increases the chances of your emails landing in their inbox. It also allows you to create a smart list which is kind of like data mining- you track your stats once the message has been delivered.
Adding your products on ClickFunnels is easy whether it is a digital product or a physical product, ClickFunnels has got them covered. ClickFunnels comes in two packages $97 per month and $297 per month, and both packages come with a 14-day free trial.
How to build email list with WordPress blog / website
30% of all websites worldwide use this CMS (content management system) and you are reading this blog as well. Having your own blog is a huge advantage if you plan to create content in the future. That being said I can recommend the best option- WordPress plus Thrive Themes. Heck, in a time I have tried loads of services and plugins, but this is the best solution to create opt-in forms and landing pages.
Optin form types:
- In content
- Post Footer
- Screen filler
- Scroll mat
- Slide in
These can be optimized to be shown on a particular content category, after a certain amount of time spend on a blog or when the visitor tries to leave as exit intent.
Landing pages are with pre-made libraries if you are new and know nothing about creating a squeeze page for lead generation. You can make your page look exactly as you want with thrive architect builder.
How To Do Email Marketing (Strategies For Email Marketing)
As of any marketing channel, you know things change and shift over time, things that worked last year, don’t work this year. So, in this section, I will review all the strategies you can use this year and the next year to have great results! Let’s get started…
1. Simpler or No Designs
Every time I am writing and organizing together a new email funnel, I think about emails from big companies, those really heavy design emails look cool and they look great in the inbox, and of course, you would want something like that for your business.
Well, almost every email provider out there, even the cheap ones, comes with all these templates built right into the software itself. So, why not use those templates? Well, the answer is really simple, because they look like one big fat commercial when they hit your inbox.
Let’s think for a second about what emails are primarily used for. You know it is a way to communicate with family and friends and sure yeah you use it for work as well, but when is the last time you sent an email to a friend that looked like these big fat commercials?
The whole idea here is to casually slip into your customer’s inbox, as a friend or at least a helpful person that they can trust that’s not going to sell them but is going to help and guide them in the direction they want to go.
So, I recommend: you do what successful marketers have already done and are doing, and that’s just sending out boring old plain text emails. I am only kidding when I say boring, I mean it sounds boring, but these emails are much more likely to be read because they look much more like a genuine email, anyone can get from their friend or neighbor or family member.
Another reason to ditch those templates is that all the images inside and the links are the best way to make sure you never reach your customers’ inbox, this is because sending those kinds of emails will end up in the ” Promotion” tab in their Gmail account. So, to get yourself in your target’s actual inbox, you want to send a simple plain text email. I recommend no more than a single link per email, and preferably no images at all but if you want to use one, that’s if it adds some color or adds something special to the message of the email, you can go ahead and do just one.
One way I like to add an image to an email is not by adding a product image or anything promotional, but just some kind of an animated gif that either supports, one of the points of the email or just add some humor or fun to it, to make it a little more memorable. So, I mean just choose the Gif wisely cause you know your audience and what they are going to find funny most of the time. So, just make sure it hits home with them and they get the reference.
2. Tell Stories In Your Emails
This is something I have been working on this year, and I have started incorporating it into my overall email marketing strategy. So, rather than just delivering a tip or advice in the email, make it count for more by including a really short story that illustrates that point.
Certain parts of your brain just light up and fire off when it hears a good story, plus it makes just more relatable and personal especially if you’re talking about something about your past or a current may be past customer’s experience. Rather than just explaining, how your clients can stage their home to sell faster, maybe include a story of a past client, who refused to do that and then their house sat on the market for a long time until he or she finally gave in and did the strategies you suggested and then sold his or her house in a few days.
Also, make the story colorful when you can, you know, including how you were feeling watching all that happen, and then how the customer felt when they finally sold their house.
3. Your Emails Shouldn’t Be Boring: Add Videos.
Do not only put videos in your emails but say so when writing the subject line and that will double your open rates. The other benefits are that people are much more likely to actually consume your content and then get the message you’re trying to send them in a video format versus reading plain text.
Furthermore, almost everybody can understand and retain that information, when they see and hear it in the video. Just take whatever content you were going to put in your email, and just make a short video about it. And it doesn’t even have to be high-production value, that trips a lot of people up thinking they have to get a whole camera crew and spend hundreds of dollars, I mean don’t- with just your smartphone camera you can do a short video and trust me, it will make a connection between you and the subscriber just fine and you’ll get your point across.
Finally, just upload the video to YouTube and get a little screen capture of the thumbnail of that video put that image right in your email, and then link it to the video itself.
4. Play the Hits
So many small businesses get intimidated when they start thinking about putting together an email campaign. But more times than not, they often have content that they can repurpose, and string together into an email series, that they can just send up once, and then it gets automatically sent out to new email subscribers at the exact moment that they end up opting into it.
So, when “Jack” opts in for my freebie today, his series starts today, with a new helpful email every week until that series is over. Then when Meg opts in next April, her cycle starts then, getting the same email series. So, if you have some great blog post already or a podcast interview you did or a video, anything like that, I mean that’s all content that you can use, you just have to introduce it into the email, and then link to it.
Also, if you do not have anything yet, that is okay, just start writing one new email per week, for as long as you can think the series should go on for, and then just put that email every time at the end campaign. So, essentially you’re just building this email campaign out, at your own pace once, and then it can go out and live on forever. And I recommend kind of splitting up the content, maybe some blog post, some videos, and some weeks you can go a little easier on yourself and just put the information or the tips right in the body of the email itself.
You could even link out to content every once in a while, but you had nothing to do with creating. Just put your spin on it in the body of the email, let people know why you think it is helpful for them, and then just link out to it.
5. Use segmentation
Let’s say your business offers a few different types of services or has different types of products that interest different types of customers. Like if you’re a landscaper you might offer tree removal services, landscape design, and weekly lawn maintenance. You could theoretically create three different lead magnets or freebies that are geared towards each service, then you could start each person who opts in for the freebie about lawn care onto that email sequence.
This is powerful because these are two different types of customers that have different goals in mind. So, if you just started sending out a mixture of both of those topics to all of those customers, a lot of them might start unsubscribing right? Or you could have an overarching umbrella lead magnet or freebie, and then any that’s kind of interesting to anyone and then when they’re downloading it you can just have a simple option, where they check the service, they are most interested in. And then your email provider would notice, what box they ticked, and that automatically puts them on either track A or Track B. (you can use tags or move people to different lists in this case, depending on the autoresponder you picked)
6. Keep your list clean
It is really good to have a big list but it is more important to have a quality list, that opens your emails and is looking forward to hearing from you every week. So, if you have a big list of people who aren’t opening your emails, you run a higher risk of your emails being flagged as spam or getting high unsubscribe rates. These are really bad signals to email providers like Gmail, and what happens is, if you get enough people, who are flagging your emails as spam or unsubscribing from your emails, they can start putting you out of the inbox and into the promotions tab or even worse you can wind up in the spam folder.
This goes for your entire list and not just the people who flagged you as spam, and when someone flags you as spam, they won’t get your emails anymore, and all those people who would like to hear from you, messages will be going into their spam folder as well. So, you don’t want that to happen.
In-depth about this: Stop emails from going into the promotions tab on Gmail
The other advantage of having a leaner list of only the people who are most interested to hear from you is cost. Most of these service providers bill you based on how many subscribers you have. So, it makes sense to weed out some of the ones, who are just dead weight essentially.
But before you start just kicking people out, you might want to run a simple re-engagement campaign, and here is how that works; you’re just going to use your email marketing program, to segment out people, who haven’t opened any of your emails for the last 90 days.
After that, you want to start a brand new campaign, that is geared to those people, and what I will recommend is a series of 4 value-based emails, where you’re just teaching something helpful. You’re going to drip out those four emails over a week, then at the end of the week, anyone who hasn’t opened any of those emails now’s the time you’re going to kick them off your list.
I know this might sound scary, especially if you do not have a big email list, but the truth is by getting rid of the people, who don’t want to hear from you, will make your deliverability better for the ones, that do want to hear from you. Now you will have more chances to reach their primary inbox.
I hope this article was helpful and if you have any questions, leave them in the comment section. Do not forget to like and share this article with friends and family who might also want to go into email marketing.