In the recent years there has been a lot of speculation about email marketing being dead. With the raise of social media and social media marketing to go along with it, a lot of businesses and individuals have forgotten just how powerful this marketing tactic can be.
That being said, it’s definitely a lot more difficult to sell via email nowadays, with anti-spam laws, anti-spam filters, people being used and flooded with massive numbers of emails. I can safely say that you won’t be making a fortune by randomly data mining for emails and sending out 50k spam ads to people.
Do it right however, and you just might strike gold. If that hasn’t persuaded you to venture into the magical world of email marketing, then here are my top 10 reasons which should.
With it being so popular, you can bet your top dollar that there are countless service providers offering email marketing services. If you don’t like the hassle of dealing with setting up your own email server, companies like Mailchimp and MadMimi are two very solid options.
I personally prefer Mailchimp due to the simplicity of the design and they do offer a free option if you have less than Up to 2,000 subscribers and send no more than 12,000 emails per month – Pretty awesome eh?
While Madmimi also provides a free plan, I’m not a particularly big fan of their UIX (user interface experience), nor am I a fan of their less than sufficient newsletter building tools, which do not allow for intricate designs.
Regardless of which you choose, there are countless free options out there, which will allow you to start building your list, sending campaigns and getting into email marketing for the low low price of free.
There are a number of factors which directly affect the outcome of your email campaign. We could go on and on about stuff like click-through, open rates, bounce rates, visitor retention, etc., but today is more about getting you started with email marketing.
At the end of the day, it takes about an hour of work to get you signed up for Mailchimp (no credit card required) and your business contacts imported. The trick is to start building your list and start planning your campaigns – you can always learn about the complex stuff as you go.
Lets say you’re a Freelance photographer, a writer, accountant – remember all of those clients that you used to work with but haven’t had a chance or excuse to get in touch with. Well you can import those and let them know about your awesome discount in February, or possibly about a change to your site, your equipment, an additional service that you have started providing.
What’s even better, existing customers are the best email marketing audience, since they’ve already shown interest by making a purchase. Awesome!
By this point you’re probably wondering “But what could I write about”. The simple answer – it doesn’t really matter as long as you’re not “spammy” and as long as you offer something of value. If someone is interested in your niche, they will make an effort to read your newsletters.
Lets say you have a blog on your website, sending a newsletter with everything that you’ve written in the past week (or two) is pure gold. It lets people see whats going on, without having to check 20 websites each and every day – in other words, they’re getting value out of the newsletters. When your followers get awesome free value from you, they tend to want to spend money – and that is where your plug comes in.
A good rule of thumb is: Intro, 4 posts, ad (make sure it doesn’t look spammy – having a professionally made graphic also helps), outro.
I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for ya…. You ready for it? Building a massive email list doesn’t happen overnight and does take some effort. You still there? Ok, good.
I’ve seen it time and time again where a client wants to build an email list by just sticking a subscription form on the website and forgetting it ever existed. That’s not how you build your list. The key is to provide something of value – possibly for free. Now bare with me – the truth is, that it’s not free in the slightest – you’re getting a person’s email address and their consent to send newsletters to them. Imagine an ebook – you could try selling it an make a couple of bucks, sure… OR you could offer it for free and build a list of targeted followers, who are obviously interested in the niche that you’re in.
That being said, do make sure that it’s something of value, not just something you’re typed in 5 minutes. After all, you want the follower to know that “hey, if something completely free was packed with value, just imagine what you get in the premium stuff”. It’s about building trust and making the follower crave your content.
Today we’ve taken a look at all of the ins and outs of getting into email marketing. For something that takes close to minimal effort to get into, I’d say the potential greatly outweighs the risk. Just keep in mind – building lists of targeted audience takes a bit of time and effort, be consistent and you might just have your next primary money-maker on your hands.