Email marketing is a highly
effective digital marketing strategy of sending emails to prospects and
customers. Effective marketing emails convert prospects into customers and turn
one-time buyers into loyal, raving fans.
With the huge buzz around social media and its numerous platforms,
I’ll forgive you if you overlook and underrate the power of email marketing.
Email marketing still remains the most potent way of ensuring you are able to
reach your customers directly.
It also ensures you have a unique
opportunity to lead your potential customers through a lead management process
that takes them on a journey from a simply interested person to someone who not
only does business with you, but willingly share their experience with others.
WHY DOES EMAIL MARKETING ROCK?
By the numbers
Apart from the fact that there are more
people with emails than Facebook and Twitter users combined, there are more
statistics that should interest you. In an exact target’s 2014 State of
marketing report, 68% of digital marketing professionals surveyed said that
emails are core to their business.
While 46% said that social media is core
to their business. In similar research by the exact target in 2012 in which
they did a channel preference survey, 77% of the respondent say they prefer
emails as a channel to receive permission-based marketing communication.
Most people won’t buy the first time they
hear about your new product or service. According to a research report by
Marketing Sherpa, 70% of your leads will end up buying something from you or
one of your competitors, but they won’t do it immediately.
It is therefore important to keep your
relationship warm and cordial in order to stay top-of-mind until the
prospective customer is ready to make a purchase.
Compared to other forms of direct
marketing, email marketing gives you value for your money and down to the
Especially when today’s connected consumer has perfected the art of dodging leaflets, cold calls, robocalls, and field marketers, email marketing has amazing benefit as far as being cost-effective.
A direct marketing campaign can run you
thousands of dollars for one printed newsletter, whereas email marketing costs
nowhere near that much.
Plus, email marketing is targeted which
means you can contact only the customers you know are interested in what you
have to say, and build loyalty by providing useful, relevant information in
every email you send out.
EMAIL MEANS BUSINESS
Most entrepreneurs and business
professionals will quickly admit they have never been comfortable carrying out
a meaningful and valuable business conversation on social media. When people
are on social media, they want to interact with friends and meet new people.
That requires a different mindset from
someone shopping. Do you remember how you felt when some sent you a business
proposition on social media? In fact, most of those conversations end up moving
out of social media into the comfort of the email inbox.
When it comes to building business
relationships with a prospective customer, email wins by miles.
So how do you get started with email marketing?
A STEP BY STEP GUIDE ON GETTING STARTED WITH EMAIL MARKETING
1. Choose Your Email Marketing Service Provider (EMSP)
Just as your business online needs to
begin by having a website, your email marketing efforts will require that you
create and set up an email marketing platform.
Why not bulk-send your emails? It may only
require you to buy a virtual server, set up a mail server and shoot emails?
Sending your email by using normal emails is not ineffective; it may also harm
. There’s a limit to the number of emails you can send at once
. You can be treated as spam
. It is completely unprofessional
. The servers hosting your email
service can be blacklisted
You, therefore, need an email marketing service providers (EMSPs).
Email marketing service providers were
designed to provide an easy way to customize and set up a mass email delivery
system, with standardized practices that ensures email deliverability with
in-built capacity for auto-responding emails, emails scheduling and
Here are some of the great ones in the
. Pardot/Exact target
. Benchmark Email
. Constant Contact
. Vertical Response
. Mad Mimi
2. Create & Add Email Sign-up Forms to
Once you have chosen your email marketing
service provider, you need to add the email signup forms to your website or
online platforms e.g. Facebook.
This ensures people who visit your
websites are encouraged to sign up their email address and to opt-in to receive
You can include a call to action messages and buttons on your website.
You can have a designer or developer to
design subscription boxes and to place it in conspicuous locations on your
website, you can see mine on my welcome page and blog page. These subscription
boxes are directly fed into your email marketing provider so as to easily
capture and track subscribers.
You can also include sign up forms on your
high traffic web pages. This is because if people find highly valuable content
on your website, they are likely to want to sign up.
3.Generate Content for Your Email/
One of the most powerful tools that make
email marketing service providers awesome is the power and inclusive feature of
An auto-responder is a powerful email
marketing feature that allows sending a series of scheduled follow-up emails to
your subscribers and website visitors based on specific activities you set
within the software.
The key to succeeding using
auto-responders is to create a lead magnet. People won’t just fall for your
‘subscribe to updates’ on your website, you will need to deliver something
powerful enough for them to surrender their emails for your information and
A lead magnet is something; an eBook, a
report, e-course or newsletter that delivers enough value strong enough to
attract your target audience.
So how do you create an email marketing
content that works? Pick a piece of paper and write down the three major
challenges your target audience is likely facing presently. Identify the most
pressing and decide how you are going to solve the problem.
Create numbered steps to solving the
problem may 4,5,6 steps. Write them out into short but separate and elaborate
blog posts. Develop an introduction and closing portion of the course.
Viola, you have created a six-sequence
email you can send to your target market always. Once this is set up, every
time anyone signs up irrespective of time, a location they receive these emails
based on a schedule earlier set up by you.
Once you have decided on how often you
will be communicating with your list, you can create a content calendar.
Don’t turn people off by only trying to sell
your products or service; offer helpful tips, hints, views, and reviews. Once
you do that, you build credibility and trust. Digital selling involves building
credibility before selling products and not vice-versa.
4.Seek Opportunities to Build Your List
Creating sign up forms on your website may
be great but it is also important to look for list-building opportunities and
give people a compelling reason to opt-in.
People will not just give you their
emails, especially when you opt for the common ‘sign-up for updates.
A lead magnet is a powerful technique of
offering something of value in exchange for their emails. This thinking is that
once you have something of value to offer, people will willingly offer you
Guest blogging is a powerful tactic for
building your email list. The idea is to look for a website that accepts guest
article, podcasts, tips and opinions and share a powerful perspective.
Most of those websites allow, in exchange
for your article, links back to your website, landing page and any other
channel you are offering.
One of the most powerful techniques is to
use free eBooks, e-courses, and newsletters as a lead magnet.
5. Tracking, Analytics & Terms
You need to keep your eyes on the numbers
if you are interested in succeeding with email marketing. Keep your eyes on the
The open rate measures the percentage of people who opened the emails as against all who received it.
Of the emails sent, how many clicked
through the links? How many checked out your email, how many of them
clicked through to your landing page? It depends on how compelling your offer
and email message resonate with your target audience.
Increased rate means increased
conversions. You can experiment with the several factors that influence
increased open rates; subject lines, copy, calls-to-action, and timing to
improve the CTR of your emails.
This is one metric you should keep an eye
on because it is a red flag. It measures the rate of annoyance and spam. While
there are always some people who do not want to receive your emails anymore,
most email marketing software will frown at unsubscribe rates that exceed 5%.
If your unsubscribed rate gets this high,
your account may be blocked as they want to be sure only people who subscribed
to be emailed are those who actually receive your messages.
4. Conversion Rate
Beyond click-through rates, this actually
measures profitable actions; subscriptions, registrations, downloads, calls,
If you’ve been ignoring email marketing,
it might be time to reevaluate your strategy.
Today, email marketing is delivering huge
returns for marketers willing to get started with it. It doesn’t have to be too
First, remember you’re a guest in the
inboxes of your subscribers. Your emails are always just one click away from losing
their interest forever. Be polite, respectful, and deliver value.
As you get started, you’ll need to ask
permission. Of course, it’s the right thing to do. But in the era of new data
protection, like the EU’s GDPR, it’s also a legal requirement.
You’ll want to follow through with the
promises you make. Provide people what they’ve asked for an email on a regular
basis that lines up with their expectations.