Learn more about email marketing best practices.
Email lists are essential data for your company to mine often in order to dig out the gold nuggets = customers willing to buy your products and services.
Many people who have online businesses make the assumption that just because they have built a website, people will come to it. Wrong. It takes time and effort to drive traffic to your site.
Even if people do come to your site, there is no guarantee that they will purchase from you. Even if they do, it usually won’t be on their first visit. They will want to get to know you first to see what you have to offer and whether or not it is good value for money.
The Internet is all about making connections, and blogging and social media (Web 2.0) are all about building relationships. Email marketing can be one of the best ways to build a loyal group of customers who will be eager to hear from you. It is all about knowing your niche and fulfilling their most urgent needs and interests.
If this sounds like a great opportunity to build your business, then there are several steps you will need to take to create a powerful email marketing platform.
Start with a good email marketing service.
Aweber, iContact and Constant Contact are just three of the many email marketing platforms available for a reasonable fee each month. These services will offer you an end to end solution for all your email marketing needs. We recommend Aweber because it is so easy to use and has several extra features that others don’t, such as integration of your email subject lines with your Twitter tweets and your Facebook wall once you link all three accounts together.
*Start with a great offer.
Once you sign up for your email marketing service of choice, you will create your first list by naming it and creating a description of it. In particular, you will want to pay careful attention to the email registration coupon that you will be creating. You can put it on every page of your site or blog, and/or on a separate page of its own.
Commonly referred to as a squeeze page, start by asking for their name and address. In exchange, they will get X. Or X and Y. It is up to you to decide what to offer, but top email marketer Joan Mullally will tell you that special reports, white papers, tip sheets, how tos, or a free guide (all in ebook/PDF format) plus a free newsletter, will be great incentives for people to sign up.
*Follow up consistently.
Once you have them on your list, you need to keep them there. Use the Follow Up feature to schedule regular mailings and the Broadcast feature for special offers such as 24- or 48-hour sales or holiday promotions.
their name and email address. Once they do, they are on your list until the point at which they decide to unsubscribe.
* Keep your promises
If you are offering a weekly newsletter with interesting content and discount offers, make sure that that newsletter comes each week and is full of real value.
*Encourage the passalong.
Create compelling offers that they will want to use and tell others about. In this way you can grow your list without any effort other than this simple message in every mail.
*Create error free emails with links that work
Proofread your email and be sure it is error free. Triple-check the subject headline to make certain it is correct. Test your links to product pages before placing them in email text. Customers may try once or twice to reach your page but you won’t get a third try if it doesn’t work and they will probably unsubscribe because they do not want to waste their time on a site that is less than professional.
To test your email, use the TEST link to the left of the subject line in your Aweber interface and send it to yourself. You might also want to open several free email accounts, such as Yahoo!, Gmail and Hotmail to see how your email looks and try to ensure deliverability. If your test email ends up in the spam folder of any of these services, you have probably set off one of their triggers and might need to re-think your subject line.
*Produce great subject lines.
They will never see all the great things you have to offer if they never open your email. Therefore, pay special attention to your subject headlines so they will hit “Open” instead of “Delete.”
Creating a list of interested prospective customers is one of the best ways to ensure a steady stream of customers interested in buying your products and services online. If you have ever heard the phrase ‘the money is in the list,’ this is because your list will become the basis upon which you can turn browsers into buyers.
If you have ever signed up for an email list yourself or received spam (and who hasn’t!) you can see that there are ways to create emails that get people excited to open them, and ones that will end up in the trash or in the spam folder. Study the email marketing platforms of successful companies in your own niche and not only imitate them, but try to improve upon them, and you should soon see your sales soar.