Email marketing is one of the best ways to grow your business. It has been tried and tested for years and continues to deliver results.
Yeah, there are newer social networks for keeping in touch with your customers, but none of them deliver the same results as email marketing.
Because emails move the conversation about you, your business and your products to a place that’s really personal – the inbox.
Building an email list helps you get a return on your marketing investment
Let’s look at an example that shows why email marketing is important.
If you have any type of online presence, you will have found it’s all for nought if you don’t have visitors. The ability to generate traffic will make or break your site and your business. If you’ve tried, you know it’s hard work.
You begin publishing content, tweeting, posting on social networks, and running adverts to drive traffic to your site.
Soon enough you get some traffic. Great! But only some people buy. Other visitors may come once, but never again. They know a little about you, but aren’t ready to buy yet. They may think to themselves they’ll come back later, but when the time comes, they’ve forgotten you.
This is a real waste of the time, energy and money you have invested in generating traffic.
What should you do?
Ask your visitors for their email address
A lot of website owners leave money on the table by not asking for visitor’s email addresses. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. By asking for an email and getting an opt in, customers are giving you permission to email them and start building a relationship.
Something magical just happened. You didn’t make a sale but you still got a return on your marketing investment. You now have a potential customer that has expressed interest in your business. That’s valuable.
Okay, they haven’t bought anything. Yet. Maybe they don’t need you right now, but if you mail regularly, you will be on their minds when they do.
Emails give you a direct line of communication with your customers and help you turn conversation into sales.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should bombard them with offers and sales heavy messages. That’s a sure fire way to lose your customers and ensure they never open your emails. Or worse, unsubscribe.
So, what should be the focus of the emails you send?
Send out email jam packed with valuable content
Yep, you read correctly. You have access to your customers inbox. That’s a sacred trust. Don’t blow it. Now is your chance to deepen your relationship, establish yourself as an expert and as an adviser to your customers.
How do you do this?
Simple. Move the free line. Take your very best information and give it away. For free.
Show your customers that you know what you’re talking about. Give them a real reason to read your emails and look forward to them in the future.
Special offers and announcements have a time and place
Although giving away your best material may sound counter intuitive, don’t worry. You can still actively market your products and services. It’s all about timing and placement.
If you’ve just launched a new product or service, feel free to send out an email about it. Just not too often.
This isn’t an exact science, but you want to aim to send out 4 or 5 pieces of valuable content for each ‘sales pitch’ / ‘announcement’ you send out.
Post your content to your blog
Whatever you’re sending out to your customers, should be posted to your blog. Whether it’s an article, video, presentation slides, or anything else, post it on your blog. Remember, search engines love fresh content that’s posted regularly. It’d be a shame if your best value knowledge was confined to the inbox.
Then make sure you follow these rules to get the most out of your email efforts, on your site and in the inbox.
1) Have a strong headline that grabs your reader’s attention. This applies to your blog post title and the subject line of your email.
2) Use sub headings to ensure ‘skimmers’ can get the jist of your article without reading the whole thing. Engaging sub headings encourage skimmers to stop and read content as they glance down your content.
3) Use a strong, relevant image to capture your readers interest.
4) Add the end of your article include a call to action for your relevant product, service, or email list. This is a must!
5) Conversation is good. Write a thought provoking question at the end of your post to encourage questions and comments. This applies to your blog post and the email you send out.
Use the right tools
If you’re going to build an email list, I recommend using email management software. There are lots of companies out there that will store your emails securely, help you design beautiful emails, track metrics like open rate, ensure you comply with relevant laws and ensure emails actually get delivered.
You have a few options. Two that I’ve used personally are MailChimp and our own RX Host Email Manager. MailChimp is a good starting point, and free to begin. With the RX Host Email manager the main difference is that you can choose between paying monthly, or paying each time you send.
Remember, if you need help with your email marketing campaign, we’re always here to help. We have 10 spots available each month for our email marketing coaching. Where we work with you for 30 days to get you started on email marketing. If you’ve already got a list of subscribers we’ll help you optimise your campaign to generate more subscribers and improve your open rate.
Do you use email marketing on your website or blog? If so, what’s your best tip? Leave a comment below and let me know. Oh, and if you have any questions please leave those in the comments below and I’ll be happy respond.