Thursday, 3 May 2012

Effective Email Marketing

Any blogger would know the importance of email lists, and how important a tool email marketing really is.

Email marketing, if done right, is the fastest, easiest and potentially the most effective way of increasing sales.

Visitors, who have subscribed to your emails on their own accord, would ideally want to hear from you via email.   

However email marketing comes with two major pitfalls: (a) it is anything but easy to build mailing lists in the first place, and most mailing lists takes months, if not more, to be built up to a sizeable number, and (b) email marketing tends to have a rather small ROI, a low CTR and an even lower conversion rate.

However there are ways with which you can create a successful email marketing campaign. The first process involves building a list, and taking the right steps towards ensuring people open your lists and do what you want them to do, i.e. having an effective conversion rate.

List building

Easily one of the toughest parts when it comes to email marketing, and the first hurdle you’ll encounter during your email marketing efforts. In order to be an email marketer, you need to make sure that you have a list of people and email IDs to market (send emails out) to!

The bigger the list, the more people you’ll be able to reach out to, the larger your potential clientele will be, consequently allowing you to achieve a higher conversion rate with your CTA.

But building a sizeable list is easier said than done. But do-able nonetheless, here are some tips on how to build a list:

  1.  Making it easy and straightforward to subscribe – put a banner on your homepage which asks people to subscribe – on the top or on the sidebar, add a static form on your about page or contact page for the same purpose, send out updates on your Facebook and Google Plus pages and Tweets reminding people to subscribe to your posts (but don’t be too annoying about it, once every couple of days would do). Make sure that you let people know what benefit(s) they would get by signing up.
  2. Popups and opt-ins – even opened a website or a blog, only to be met with one of those annoying pop-up messages asking you to buy, like or subscribe to something? That annoying box that you always close? While it may be true that almost everyone closes any and all of those annoying boxes the instant they pop-up, they still are more effective than static forms to build lists and get subscribers. Aweber is one service that offers such pop-up boxes.
  3.  Incentives and benefits – you could also try your hand with giveaways or similar promotions, aimed exclusive at your subscriber/email list. For instance you could give away a free copy of your Wordpress plugin, your eBook, a free guitar lesson, a rebate coupon with 50% off on membership, or just about anything else applicable to your website. Sky’s the limit here. All these incentives could be offered to every 50th subscriber, the first 20 people to subscribe to your newsletter or to a random 100 subscribers. Give people an incentive to subscribe. Your incentive could even be something as simple as a series of posts that you do on your blog, and asking people to subscribe to your series.

Emails That People Open, Not Spam

Once you’ve built up a list (small or large), the next step would be to start sending out emails. However most of the email sent by email marketers don’t get through email spam filters, and most often simply end up in the junk.

And even those that aren’t categorized as spam, but as legit emails and do end up in people’s inboxes are usually not read or simply ignored or overlooked. Remember, people usually get a lot of emails every day, some even get hundreds of emails daily (if not more), so you’re facing some stiff competition here.

So what can you do in order to ensure that your emails (a) don’t end being categorized as spam and don’t end up in the junk folder, and (b) don’t end up being ‘just another email’ in people’s inboxes?
  1. Subject – make sure you absolutely nail that subject line. Use proper grammatical sentences, and keep it short when it comes to the subject line. In short, write your subject line the same way that you would write a subject line for any other professional email you would send out to, say, your boss or your coworker. Try to be honest, convincing, but sound less like a salesman. Be creative and innovative here. Put yourself in your subscriber’s shoes: what would you categorize as a good subject line if you were a recipient of such an email? What would make you want to instantly open an email as soon as you read the subject?
  2. Creativity – be creative with your newsletter. Provide your subscribers and recipients with value – something that they would want to see and would appreciate in your newsletter. Give them something extra, going the extra mile is usually a good idea. Use pictures and videos in your emails. There are tons of email marketing software and apps out there that let you design some extremely interesting and attractive-looking emails. Even Aweber does that for you.
  3. CTA – As with any of your marketing efforts, make sure that you have a clear and precise CTA in your emails as well – what action do you want your subscribers to take?
  4. Value – provide your subscribers with value. Provide help, tips, advice, and ask questions in your newsletter, feature the best answers and responses in the next edition. Give discounts, giveaways and the like. Make your newsletter an ‘experience’ for your subscribers and it will garner more interest and hence more subscriptions as well.
  5. Ask people to add your newsletter email in their safe-lists – most newsletters and subscription forms already come accompanied with this warning, make sure you ask all subscribers to add your newsletter’s email ID to their email safe-lists, or mark your emails ‘not spam’, so that they end up in their inbox instead of their junk email folders.

The problem-solution formula usually works here too. People have problems in some form or the other, and you have the unique opportunity to provide them with a solution, through the newsletter. If you are successful in doing so, you will get more subscribers. Making your email marketing campaign worth the effort.

1 comment:

  1. Yes,I too agree with you.E-mail marketing is a type of marketing for any business and is very effective wherein you spend less and attract more customers thereby great profit.
    In this type you have to first get a list subscribers ,send e-mails to them,track down the result and get the valuable feedback from your customers.Providers like help you to utilize the full benefit of E-mail marketing with their flexible and advanced features.There are no boundaries with email marketing.