Since the internets inception, email marketing has always been there, and is still one of the most effective ways to connect readers, and turn them into potential customers.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is the delivery of advertising messages via email. The majority of internet users have email accounts that receive unlimited messages daily, making it one of the cheapest and easiest way for marketers to connect with their customers.
For those people that think email marketing is dead, data from 2018 still suggests it's one of the most effective marketing channels, and beats social media, SEO and affiliate marketing.
So why is this old dinosaur still effective today?
The simple answer is, people use email more than they use social media and other platforms.
Why is Email Marketing so Important When You're Working Online?
Now that we know what email marketing is, let's look at why email marketing is useful to someone with a blog or website in their marketing strategy.
Here are 3 reasons why you should include email marketing in your blogging priorities:
1. Email is Still the Number One Communication Channel
It's a fact that at least 99% of customers still look at their email on a daily basis.
2. Your Email List is All Yours
Unlike social media accounts which can be suspended at any time leaving you in limbo, email lists are all yours.
3. Email Converts Better
People buying products via email will spend on average 138% more than people who don't get emails. Giving ROI (Return On Investment) a very healthy 4400% by using email.
Which is massive, because email will convert three times as more than social media making email one of the best ways to sell online.
Where to Start in Email Marketing
Something to Remember
You're a Guest in Their Box
People are inundated daily with hundreds of different kinds of emails from other people selling their wares.
Just because your email pops in their doesn't make you anymore special.
Just remember you're a guest in their box, so be respectful.
1. Ask for Permission
The first step to starting your email list is getting permission.
You can do this lots of different ways, but most people like to give their reader something for free like an e-book, or offer a newsletter, or regular product updates.
A good example of this is Jane Friedman, her blog offers two different kinds of updates, a daily edition or weekly digest, which are both full of news and blog post updates.
Whichever way you choose just make sure you make your intent is clear when asking for your readers email address.
Both copywriting and a strong call-to-action play an important part in setting your email campaign.
You explain to people what they will expect from your emails, and do this by sparking their interest.
Blog post updates are all very well and good, but you also need something to get people excited, by giving a call-to-action or advantage to receiving your emails people will start to subscribe.
Here are some popular way to attract people to sin up:
- Offer a free e-book or download
- Offer a series
- Offer product updates No matter what your choice of incentive is make it simple and attractive when you're promoting it.
2. Follow Up With Jaw-Dropping Content
Expectation is what email marketing is all about, make sure you set yours right.
With consistent follow up and a strong call-to-action, you can be sure your campaign will be a positive one.
If you tell your readers one thing then do something else, people will start to be put off and go looking elsewhere for their content and updates.
Many businesses and bloggers use an autoresponder sequence, this offers an initial follow up that is sent immediately as a way of introducing yourself, and gives your subscriber an idea about what you have in store for them later on.
Use this as an opportunity to let your subscriber know what your goals are how they can be involved, your job is to live up to those expectations.
Emails are for engaging with and turning readers into customers.
Switching from free value to a pitch to buy a product isn't an easy task to achieve.
The best way to acquire this is by pitching a product every once in a while, this way it won't seem like such a surprise.
If you intend to sell your products on a regular basis, put yourself in the shoes of your reader.
Start asking yourself questions like is your messaging consistent and does it meet with your readers expectations? Also understand what interests your customers before you start sending them offers.
Customers will be lost if you send offers willy nilly.
Something to think about, your email list is your permission asset, so don't be reckless or too fancy free with such an important asset.
Writing a Great Email Newsletter
Before we talk about topic of content, what are the differences between a good newsletter and a really bad one?
A newsletter sent more than a month after the person has subscribed, leaving them wondering when they even signed up.
This is failure to manage an email list.
If you're not sending out regular emails, people start to forget they every signed up to your site. At the very least send an email once a month, but once a week is much better.
Sometimes you find that the most fascinating newsletters are a mix of updates and messaging.
A good example of this is an email that might contain images, updates along with a friendly memo or personal message.
A good rule of thumb is to use your emails as a way of connecting to your readers, instead of selling to them all of the time.
How to Use the Autoresponder
It would be nice to think that once you've started your email campaign that you'll have plenty of time to reply to every subscriber.
Once the ball starts rolling, and you start getting regular subscribers, this task becomes really difficult to keep up.
Couple this with more elaborate campaigns, and your time is not your own.
But how to do big businesses and bloggers manage to do this?
The secret lies with autoresponders
An autoresponder can plan a group of emails in advance, stopping your email campaign from going dark for any amount of time.
Bigger companies often use this by planning a group or series of emails, that will deliver automatically every few days or months, thus keeping all of their subscribers warmed up for upcoming events etc.
By sending regular emails, your customers know that your keen to pass on news and events from your website.
3. What You Need to Know About Segmentation and Analytics
Let's kick it up a notch now that we know and understand the basics of creating an effective email campaign.
We're looking a segmentation and analytics to give you a more refined strategy.
Understanding Your Email Analytics
Any service provider you use on the internet, such as Blogger, Mailchimp, Twitter, or Pinterest, will provide your with free analytics.
The most important of these are the click through rate, open rate, and unsubscribes. Let's go through each of these and see what we can learn about them:
1. Open Rate
The open rate tells use how many people open your emails. This is done by a single invisible tracking pixel that loads when your message is clicked on.
This will tell you about your relationship with your readers, and how eager people are to read your emails.
If you discover your open rate is low, this shows a lot of unengaged subscribers, which simply means you need to put in some extra work to give your subscribers more value.
2. Click Through Rate
These show you how many people click on any links provided in your email.
A low CTR (Click Through Rate) tells you your message isn't getting through, so you need to provide copy that targets your audience.
3. Unsubscribe Rate
That speaks for itself, it basically means those people that have decided to "unsubscribe" from your emails.
If the amount of unsubscribers is higher than your opt-in rate you're not providing value to your readers, and you've got a lot of work to do.
You need to work out when people started leaving and why, then start reversing the damage.
With email analytics you can discover which emails you're subscribers liked more and vice-versa.
For those not familiar with segmentation, it's the system of splitting up your email into more targeted groups.
Here are a few ways to segment a big list:
- Customer list for subscribers who haven't bought
- A daily list, instead of monthly or weekly etc
- Newsletter subscribers By separating your list your can target your audience more.
You can use split test messaging to refine your group more.
What is the Value of Your Email List?
Your email list is one of the most valuable assets of your blog or business, and any loss of subscribers would be devastating to your business.
If you're not using email marketing as part of your blog strategy it might be worth trying it out for yourself.
Email marketing doesn't have to be complicated, and offers huge returns when it's done properly.
Some things to remember about email marketing:
1. You're a guest in the inbox of your subscribers
2. You're one click away from being unsubscribed
3. Always be respectful
4. Give your readers quality content every time
5. Always keep your promises
After you've mastered the basics you can start looking into your email analytics and look at ways of improving your campaigns.
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