A GUIDE TO EMAIL MARKETING

WHY EMAIL?

Everybody checks their email.

Even those emails you’d never read somehow find a way to your inbox, right? This is precisely why email is the most powerful tool for reaching out to new customers – they’ll have to click it, one way or another. To open or delete, it is up to them. It is precisely this initial advantage that makes all the difference between email marketing and any other type of marketing. Always remember that email is one of the fastest ways to grow your business.

It is estimated that by the end of 2017, there will be more than 3.7 billion email users. A potential customer base this big is something you don’t get to see anywhere else.

 

BUILDING AN EMAIL LIST

An email list is like a phone book. Each contact on the list is a potential reader, subscriber and lastly, a buyer. But the story doesn’t end there. It is you who owns the list. The initial relationship between you and the visitor has to be founded on a mutual consent which guarantees a long-term bond and builds trust.

When starting a business, rely on your own email list and start from scratch. Many successful entrepreneurs who have sailed the waters of online marketing testify that personal mailing lists gave them an initial kick. The one reason this is so is that you can’t be left without the list even if Google or Facebook crash. It is yours to keep.

 

GETTING THE READERS TO REPLY

In the arena of e-marketing gladiators, there’s very little room for mistakes. Being unique in what you’re offering is certainly a promising aspiration. Yet, all of you share a common goal – more clients and followers. All of us are all too familiar with this but is there anything you can do to make your mark? How do you even get your readers to subscribe?

 

There are two ways to increase the number of subscribers and those are Lead Magnets and Guest Posting.

 

LEAD MAGNETS

We all know what magnets do, don’t we? They attract. Ideally, your presentation should be enough attention-grabbing in order to have the visitor subscribe to your newsletter. Lead magnets serve that exact purpose. They should be a visible bait and offer visitors a token of appreciation (free trials, downloadable PDFs, etc.) in exchange for their email address.

 

However, you don’t want to provide just any lead magnet. Exemplary lead magnets share several analogous features. All quality lead magnets are:

  • CONCISE

A brief message about what you are offering. If you want to make someone give you their address, you have to give something solid in return. Don’t waste your words or their time.

  • PROBLEM-SOLVING

The lead magnets coming forward with a solution to “how to” or “discover” are more likely to be appealing. If you want to sell something, this is by far the best option. They want your product or service because they trust you to alleviate their problem.

  • INSTANTLY REWARDING (showing immediate results)

Make sure the very button has “get it” or “I want it” instead of a simple “continue”. That implies the reward is just around the corner. Nobody wants to wander for too long before they finally get what they came for in the first place.

  • THOUGHT-PROVOKING

Leads which contain “Do you want to know” or “Would you like” drastically increase the chances of subscription. Curiosity increases the conversion rate since visitors take action instead of just viewing the content.

 

GUEST POSTING

 

Prior to getting the visitors subscribe to your newsletter, you need to start generating traffic on your website or a blog. This is where guest posting steps on the stage. Basically, your task is to approach another blogger and ask them to post your content on their blog. However, which host to choose poses a vital question.

The majority of A-list bloggers have hordes of followers and traffic they generate is massive. Depending on what your target groups are, you need to determine whether those hosts actually provide the traffic you need or just any traffic. It is when you realize the importance of host selection that your chances increase drastically. The most efficient way is to find websites with the content similar to yours.

On top of that, aim for those who are reputable but still have slightly fewer subscribers. Taking baby steps is of paramount importance. At this stage, your primary focus should be on getting the right subscribers and not just any subscribers. Medium level pages are more likely to host your post so be realistic. These things take time.

 

Still not convinced? Well, wait until you read this. It might seem odd but try to apply a kind of reverse psychology. You need to give your best shot once you make a deal to have a guest appearance. Although the guest post is only a gateway to your own blog oasis, it has to be appealing enough to lead the thirsty visitor to you. In the blink of an eye, you will have massive traffic generated on your landing page.

 

SPAM SHAM

 

We all know how those spam emails are a pain in the neck. Not only do they keep popping up but you also have to delete them continuously. If you don’t want your subscribers to feel irritated or don’t want your beloved piece of email going straight to spam, you might want to follow a few guidelines.

The rule of thumb is not landing on the IP and domain blacklists. Those blacklists employ keyword filters which assess the content. Email content utilizing CAPS LOCK, words marked in red, exclamation marks or words including “money”, “offer” or “free” is likely to ring the blacklist alarm.

Another point to keep in mind is the IP activity. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are constantly on the lookout for the red flags which indicate spammers. It usually takes time for authorised senders to develop their mailing lists. This is another indication of a legitimate action by a sender since enlarged sending capacity usually implies a spam source. Generating countless emails without any particular aim might harm your business in the beginning stages. It is also one of the activities that can get you blacklisted.

 

Now that we’ve established the presence of blacklists, let us consider the opposite – whitelists. You’ve probably guessed it, but these color references are there for a reason. If blacklists are something you don’t want to be on, you will want to make your way to the whitelist. Being on whitelists is a guarantee that your emails reach the desired final destination – a subscriber’s inbox.

Whitelists work in the similar way friendships do – the key word is “trust”. So, now you ask “How do I make subscribers trust me?”  The first step is to make sure your emails get through. If you succeed in persuading the clients to reply, this action instantly places you on their contact list. Once on their contact list, you can rest assured that your newsletter won’t be marked as spam.

 

WHAT EMAIL SOFTWARE TO USE?

 

The truth is, it all depends on your business scope. A lot of experts recommend using MailChimp or AWeber because they are rather simple to use and have great automation. If your business starts growing rapidly, then you may switch to more refined software. Ontraport and InfusionSoft provide extraordinary email service and are ideal for businesses with around 100 000 subscribers or more. Yet, these automation systems come with a price. The more sophisticated the tool, the costlier it is.

 

“NO-REPLY” OPTION IS NOT AN OPTION

Apart from decreasing your chances of getting whitelisted, the “no-reply” feature is downright impolite. One way of showing you care about the feedback from recipients is avoiding the no-reply option. Not only does it increase your the odds of being tagged as spam but the “no-reply” feature also demonstrates the lack of interest on your part. The information you can obtain from subscribers’ comments and input is pivotal when assessing whether you are on the right track.

 

BE A GIVER

Who receives your emails? Once you target the recipients, you have to consider numerous parameters. Are they predominantly male or female? What age group do you want to reach? And the most important, what do you want to sell?

However, prioritizing venues over customers is a one-way ticket to oblivion. Your email recipients should be your base, a foundation for your business. Having this in mind, you need to keep them close to you through constant engaging content. There is not a single person who dislikes free PDF’s or tutorials. Offer a whole bunch of them even though it seems futile at some point.

 

MIND THE CONTENT

The email composition is among top priorities. Long and tiresome sentences, misused punctuation, typing mistakes and oversized photographs are a one-way ticket to your recipient’s trash bin. Or, spam. Either way, if you don’t feel too confident about your writing abilities and persuasion techniques, have someone proofread your writing.

The one thing to keep in mind is that you want to have the readers curious about your content. Creating engaging content involves employing compelling images, useful information and call-to-actions.

 

CALL TO ACTION

Call-to-actions are characteristics of an online presentation which engage the reader to take further action. There’s a myriad of reason why you should include different interactive features in your presentation. The body of an email has to contain links and social media sharing options. By providing these, you are unlocking the true potential of acquiring more followers.

Call-to-actions have the aim of engaging the subscribers and letting them keep up with your signposts. By doing this, you are mapping their way through your web page. Implementing direct links (coloring the pieces of text) which lead to other pages of your blog is highly important. Don’t do this on every step, though. Carefully choose where a reader might want to be redirected to another piece of information. That way, they are more likely to take a specific action.

 

PERSONALISE

Personalisation in email marketing stretches on many levels. There is a fine line between being overly intimate and creepy and being simply friendly and professional. Using a subscriber’s name in a welcoming section is always desirable because it demonstrates the respect on your part. Almost all automation tools have templates programmed to do so instantly.

The length of emails also plays a significant role. New subscribers usually have a tendency to prefer shorter and on-point content, unlike longtime followers who don’t mind reading a lengthier piece.

 

LOOKING GOOD!

You never get the second chance to make the first impression. Hence, don’t neglect the appearance of your email.

You need to engage the recipients through colors. Depending on what you are offering, the right choice of colors can be vital. According to psychological studies, different colors evoke different emotions so take advantage by gauging what the customer might feel. In 2003, Joe Hallock performed a study on color preference depending on the gender of the recipient. Orange and brown were found to be the least favorite colors whereas blue proved to be the most appealing to both genders. The color blue oozes credibility and trust so the vast majority of businesses employ this exact color in their presentations.

 

OPTIMISE

Last but not least, your emails have to be optimised for mobile devices. A great amount of internet traffic goes on through our smart phones. Next time your subscriber wants to check what you have in store for him or her, they need to be able to properly see it on their mobile device.

The market is stacked with responsive email layouts which are perfect for mobile optimisation. Campaign Monitor, Antwort, Quinn or ZURB are only some of the services which can improve the experience for your customers.

 

Still not convinced you are up to this task?

Patric Chan, the best-selling author & world-class marketer, can help you with his easy-to-follow mini-course.

His blueprint helped thousands of marketers in their endeavors to win the game.

You can be one of them and you are only a click away.