“Email marketing is dead!” Does that sound familiar?
People have been writing obituaries for email marketing for two decades, but it is still the most effective form of Internet marketing available. Good, targeted address lists are solid gold. The secret is to make sure you are doing everything you can to get the best results from your emails.
All of your other Internet marketing tools, including paid advertising, blogging, and social media, should work as a funnel toward one primary goal: getting people to sign up for your email list.
Once you have that list, maximize your effectiveness with these tips:
Have a Double Opt-In Setup
Double opt-in means you have a prospective subscriber give you their email address (the first opt-in), then respond to an automated email by clicking on a link (the second opt-in). This extra step confirms that people truly want to be on your list. When you use email marketing software like Aweber, this process is easy to set up and fully automated.
You should also make sure your email template includes unsubscribe links in every email, so people can easily leave if they want to. Nothing frustrates a subscriber or gives them negative feelings toward a marketer than feeling “trapped” on a list and that the sender is deliberately making it hard for them to leave. You will not make sales to a resentful captive audience.
Commit to Your Stated Email Schedule
Tell your subscribers what you will send to them, how often you will send it, and what your emails will be about. Then do exactly what you said you would. Don’t get inconsistent with your mailings. If you go a long time between emails, your subscribers will forget about you and treat your mailings like spam.
Spend Time on Your Subject Lines
Your subject line is the one line from your email that is guaranteed to get in front of your subscribers’ eyeballs. It’s your one shot to get them to click the email open and let you talk to them further. Don’t waste it. Don’t use subject lines that are boring, tricky, or mysterious. Tell your reader exactly what you are going to deliver to them, and make it personal.
Be Authoritative, but keep it Real
Every email you send has an underlying message: “I know what I’m talking about, and what I know will help you.” At the same time, you don’t want your subscribers to feel lectured at or talked down to. Use a casual tone. Imagine a friend has asked you to explain your topic to them, and write your email as if you are writing to that friend.
Don’t forget to personalize it by using the subscriber’s name — it’s easy to set up your email software to do this automatically. Never start an email with “Dear Subscriber” or similar.
Tell Compelling Stories
Storytelling is compelling. Use relevant stories from your own life or experience, or those of other people to whom your audience can relate. You will engage your readers’ emotions. When people are emotionally engaged, they are looking for reasons to buy, not mentally arguing against you.
Having the trust of your subscribers is powerful; when they feel like they know and trust you, they are inclined to take your word for it when you give them information or tell them that a product is great. As you know from superhero movies, with great power comes great responsibility. Do your research and confirm that you are always giving your audience good, true information.
If you are recommending a product, be sure it is something that will do what you say it will, and that the seller (whether it is you or someone else) will support and stand behind it.
The Best Times to Send Your Emails
Your email software can tell you how many of your readers open a particular email. Experiment with sending out your emails on different days of the week and at different times of the day. Figure out the day/time combinations that reach the most readers and send all your emails at those ideal times. If that turns out to be an inconvenient time for you, write your content ahead of time and set your email software to send it automatically.
Include a Call to Action, Every Time
If you have done your job right — reached your subscribers at the right time, crafted a title that gets them to open the email, and given them compelling and authoritative content — they are primed to take your suggestion. Don’t waste this moment. Always include a call to action.
Your call does not have to be something to buy, though that is where you will make your money most directly. Ask your readers to “like” a social media page, share your content with friends, participate in a poll, or write back to you with their questions and experiences. If you include a call to action in every email, you guarantee that you get more results.
Email marketing is a long way from dead. It remains the most targeted, direct, and effective way to reach your best potential customers.
If every email has a strong subject line, tells a good story, provides useful information and recommendations, and finishes with a call to action, you will learn why all the top marketers say, “The money is in the list!”
Here’s a List Building Secret…
It’s no big secret that you need to build lists in whatever kind of online business you have. And no one is going to be blown away by the revelation that list building is hard. Simply asking people to subscribe to your list doesn’t work any more … you need to offer a reason why!
The best ‘reason why’ is usually a bribe or incentive, a freebie/lead magnet with real value to you visitor. That’s where most marketers get stuck – The truth is creating enough incentives and freebies to encourage people to hand over their email address can easily become a full time job in itself.
But there’s a simple, effective and HUGE time saving solution…
It’s been the secret list building resource for hundreds of well known marketers for years and chances are you’ve already seen at least one of our reports (you probably never realized it though because we let members rebrand everything as their own) To see the quick and easy answer CLICK HERE
Simon owns UK based publishing company Hodgkinson Publishing Ltd and is the co-founder of PromoteLabs Inc. and Powerhouse Technology LLC.