Introduction to Email Marketing
Email Marketing is for most online marketers, the Holy Grail; it is the most lucrative method of monetisation. It is the process of providing a sign-up link, organising the sign-ups into lists and sending of a regular email to each list.
Most new email marketers don’t fully optimise their emails before sending them. I’m sure you can see that an open-rate of 5% is going to be substantially less profitable than a campaign with a 50% open rate. Follow all the points below and you will be able to get the best out of your own campaigns.
1. Sign-Up or Opt-in Type
For those new to this form of marketing the terms “single opt-in” and “double opt-in” occur regularly. Double Opt-in is what you should aim for, it’s when your customer clicks to opt into your list and is then sent an email to ask them to CONFIRM the Opt-in. This does 2 things, increases confidence on your side, that the customer actually does want the emails sending and on their side that you are keeping to anti-spam guidelines.
Single Opt-in is by far the more common type, as it is simpler, but human nature being what it is, some people will opt-in with the sole intention of downloading your free offer and then opting out, they may even use a made-up email address. Double opt-in of course filters these out, saving damage to your IP reputation, which we will come to later on.
2. Optin Forms
Sign-Ups can be done on a specific page – a squeeze page, or you can have a widget in your blog’s side bar, for your readers to leave their email address and name.
I see numerous examples online where they only ask for the email and not the name. Do not make this mistake, the customer’s name makes every email personal to them. This helps a lot when you are trying to make a conversion later.
There are a number of successful examples of signup forms shown later in this article. Then you can keep in touch or engage with this ever-growing audience, by emailing your latest post, or method, or an offer of goods or services.
Why is email marketing the most lucrative form of monetization? Because it has almost a one-to-one engagement. By segmenting all the signups into specific interests, you can send out emails that are very targeted.
Someone who has an interest in “building a Six Pack”, is going to read an email with the headline “Six-Pack Secrets” but will perhaps not want to open one that is about more general topics around fitness.
3. Email lists are the only asset that is completely owned by you.
You can for example build up a huge following on social media, like Facebook. But if at some future point, Facebook decides that you have transgressed their terms and conditions in some way, they may shut you down! No warning, no appeal. So one day you have a good income from Facebook, the next day ZERO. Facebook Ads in particular will benefit from these large follower numbers, building a “look-alike” audience, which is how many big marketers make fortunes online. If you lose your account, then all that valuable Ad data is lost too.
An email list is the nearest thing to a magic money tree possible!
If you have a good responsive list of buyers, with whom you have built a relationship with, of say 5000 people. You could compose an email in a couple of minutes, promoting a really good new $50 offer, and expect a 40% open rate response and perhaps a 5% buy rate, giving you an instant $50 X 100= $5000…. not too shabby eh!
4. How do you achieve a responsive list?
- Keep it Personal – Craft a really warm greeting, especially for the first email.
- Personal Story – If you can, weave a bit of storytelling into the email, ideally from your own experience.
- Be very narrow with your sign up parameters – see the 6pack example above
- Weed out the subscribers that don’t open your emails, every month
- Keep asking the people on your list what they want to see
- Send ‘info’ emails regularly – facts and figures, methods, tools, equipment USEFUL info.
- Use an open loop – tell them what’s in the next email
- Don’t send too many offers – you will burn out your list. The ratio of info emails to offers shouldn’t be less than 4:1
How do you compose a good Email Sequence or series ( some companies refer to “automations”)
The first, contact is the most important one.
It’s like an Advert – The Title is the most important thing. Or think of it being like a job interview, you HAVE to make a good impression, so put on your best suit and do your homework!
If you fail to engage with that first contact, they will hesitate before opening the next and you may have lost that possible future buyer.
You need to use a few copywriting skills to ensure it goes well. Point 5 above “Use an open-loop” is a great example. It’s around us all the time, TV series and Films use Trailers, telling us what is coming soon. Software updates announce new or enhanced features in the next version.
Remember Batman, the sixties TV series with Adam West? It always ended with a ‘cliffhanger’ – Batman and Robin in some predicament, seemingly impossible to resolve and we had to wait while next week to find out how they escaped certain death. Your emails should do the same, always leave the reader wanting more.
How do you open a loop?
Re read the second paragraph above.
Did you spot it? “There are a number of successful examples of signup forms shown later in this article”
By using this format, the reader is made more eager to see the loop content, in this case, the signup forms. The most important loop is of course “ in the next email – complete guide on how to xyz……”
Using Hype. This is very dependent on the niche you work in. Sometimes it works just to get attention, but sometimes it is off-putting for your readers.
Exclusivity – The materials in your emails should be exclusively for your list and not just rehashed from a blog or some ebook. So make the most of this, advertise it frequently on your blog pages and on any syndicated posts you have.
Test and Test Again – Look carefully at your open rates, drop emails that get no response, try Hyping it up or taking out any hype, design alternative emails, for A B Testing, use the highest converting email. Most mailer clients ( programs) allow AB testing to be inserted in the sequence.
5. The Problems and Restrictions:
There are many email companies. Autoresponders is another term used for them. Many are well known – Aweber, Getresponse, Drip, Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, SendinBlue, Sendgrid, Mailjet, Constant Contact, MailerLite, Sendlane, ConvertKit and Moosend.
All good companies, each has its own set of features, several including Sendinblue, Mailchimp, Moosend, and ConvertKit have free plans.
Some like Getresponse have tools – drag n drop landing page designers, very useful. This saves a fairly steep learning curve or substantial monthly fee for webpage design software. Do check though to see if there are any restrictions to using it.
If you search the web for information you’ll find a lot of details, a lot of comparisons, reviews and recommendations. Sorry to be a little cynical but most of the reviews may be biased towards the one with the highest affiliate commissions, but notwithstanding you could make money using any of them, there isn’t too much of a difference between the lot…
** But all of them fail to tell you the most important single piece of the puzzle.**
Is it perhaps the email copy? I know it’s always a challenge for me. I tend to promote products from Clickbank which have some prewritten emails. At least for a guide to what works.
No, it’s not the copy.
It’s the ability to get your emails in the customer’s INBOX
Newbies don’t realize just how important this is.
Look at your own email program, have a look in the spam folder. If you’ve been around for a while, it soon fills up with all the marketers’ emails. And it’s not just the spammy ones full of hype, in the most popular niches. You are just as likely to find emails from people you admire and search out for information, in your spam folder.
6. How to Test Emails Before You Send
If it’s not in the INBOX it’s a waste of time ( and money ).
But worse, the autoresponder will carry out delivery checks and if you constantly fail the test and land it in the spam box, they will throttle back your email deliveries, perhaps even to zero! This was my first experience, with Sendinblue, a reputable email autoresponder, great free plan, not so easy to understand autoresponder sequence set up, but just about manageable. Most newbies (like me at the time), don’t bother to read the fine print, but several things are happening besides the actual sending of emails
- Email address validation
- The email subject line – Check the open rate
- Check the email for obvious spam filter words
We will use an online checker and you should create a Gmail account to test with.
The first point is easy to check, if they are in the list from a sign-up form, you can simply make it double opt-in, making it impossible to be a throwaway email, as the customer has to click a link to confirm that they want to sign up and receive your emails.
7. Remember – Bounce rate is the single biggest killer of any campaign, so check all emails for validity.
If you are sending cold emails, ie not double opt-in. Then you will probably need the use of an email validation service. In general, you should always be able to ensure less than 1% of your list is invalid (doesn’t exist or blacklisted) . If it gets to 4% it may cease operations with that list. Otherwise, there is a risk that the sender’s all-important IP address will be blacklisted, so you won’t be able to send any at all.
Points 2 and 3 ( spam) can be tested with a spam detector program, so always do this with your emails before setting it up in the autoresponder.
I just had to share this with you. To research this article, I signed up for SendForensics, a free service that checks your mail text for Spam words. Where did their opt-in confirmation email land?
You guessed it – in the Junk mailbox….Laugh…. I couldn’t stop!
Point 2a – More Spam, well actually “Promotions”, to test your emails before sending, simply use a free gmail account, send the email and check where it landed. If it ended up in Promotions, simply edit the subject line removing anything promotional in there.
Most email is now received on a mobile, so do always check it on a mobile, make sure it is perfectly readable. This will adversely affect the click through rates if it is difficult to read in any way. If you use HTML email construction, rather than plain text, ensure the background is not making it less legible.
Open Rates: You can get feedback from your campaign data page, with all email marketing companies. If this is low, for one of your emails, try to find out why – is the headline not important enough, strong enough, attractive enough, too spammy? Create and send out A B tests with a different headers.
8. Opt In Landing Page Basics
Irrelevant Image is distracting
Better but the form doesn’t stand out
The Outline improves it
Dimming the background focus’s the attention
Finally add GDPR and Privacy links and a Call to action.
9. An Incentive to opt-in
Add a giveaway eBook as an incentive to sign up. This must be useful, but need not be long or expensive for you to produce
How to write, edit, design and produce an eBook quickly, to give away in each of your offers. Furthermore you can include links to a variety of other related offers inside the eBook
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