Email marketing is an essential tool for businesses using the Internet. As a matter of fact, major corporations use email marketing – Wal-Mart, JC Penny, Kelloggs.
Email marketing is effective because it is permission-based. Companies can build relationships with targeted people because they have given permission for the company to email them, and they have already expressed interest in the product or service the company has to offer. Small business owners, entrepreneurs, network marketers, and freelancers can do the same thing; however, they normally don’t have the budget to hire an expert email marketer to develop and implement an email marketing strategy. Small business owners have to do it themselves. Unfortunately, most business owners (no matter what type) don’t know how to use email marketing effectively. This post will share five essential elements to email marketing success!
Step 1 – Get the email address!
The first indispensable step to email marketing is to get an email address! With people receiving so much email these days, they are very cautious about signing up to receive more. It is imperative that you make an offer your target market CAN’T refuse. You have to give your market a reason to sign up on your mailing list. A simple ‘sign up to get my newsletter’ just ain’t gonna cut it. You need to go big! You need to offer a free report that eases a pain your target market is feeling. You might offer a series of videos, or even a CD or DVD. The stakes are high and you often get just one chance to impress your reader.
Step 2 – Use an Email Service Provider
This is an expense, but it is well worth the investment to build your business. Yes there are free email service providers, but to get the benefits you need, you’re going to pay for it. The benefits of an email service provider TOTALLY outweigh the cost. What can an email service provider do for you that Yahoo, Hotmail, or Gmail can’t?
o Send personalized emails to everyone on your list at the push of a button
o An ESP allows you to brand your correspondence
o You can schedule your emails to go out at any time
With an email service provider – like Aweber, GVO, Get Response, to name a few. You can see how many people opened your email, WHEN they opened it, and what they clicked on. You can’t do that with your regular email!
Step 3 – Plan your email marketing
Think like a retailer. Retailers know in November that they are going to start promoting Valentine’s Day in January. You need to do the same thing. Grab a calendar and get to work! Find holidays you can capitalize on, even lesser known ones. IHOP, for instance, capitalizes on National Pancake Day! Plan your goals, topics, images, and frequency of emails. Don’t leave anything to chance. By developing a plan, you know the purpose for each email and how it fits into your overall plan!
Step 4 – Be Consistent
Consistency is perhaps the most difficult part of email marketing. Your clientele needs to be able to know what time of day it is simply by the email they receive from you. If you promise to email monthly, do that – same day and time every month. If you promise to email weekly, stick to that. Don’t tell your customers that they will get a monthly newsletter, and then email them daily. That’s a broken promise. Whatever schedule you set, stick to it. An email service provider allows you to schedule messages in advance, so they can be delivered when you want them to.
Step 5 – Test and track
None of this is worth the time and effort if you don’t review your results. One of the benefits of an email service provider is that you can review reports. These reports show you:
o How many people received your email
o How many people opened your email
o What time they opened it
o How many times they opened it
o If they clicked on something
There are other criteria to measure in email marketing. The few mentioned above are basic items to track. Knowing the details above, you can adjust your marketing to better communicate with your audience. You can start to test different aspects of your email marketing to find that ‘sweet spot’ that gets your emails opened and customers buying from you. If you’re not getting the results you desire, you can start to figure out why. For example, if you sent an email to 1000 people, but only 2 opened it, you need to figure out why. Maybe you sent the wrong message to the wrong people. Perhaps the subject line was boring, or your email ended up in the spam filter.
Email marketing is a great way to build and maintain relationships with your customers. However, if you get it wrong, it can be a major waste of time. Using the steps above, you are sure to be successful with your email marketing. If you want more customers buying from you more often, click here to try.
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