Updated: Mar 31, 2020
When people think about e-mail marketing, they often imagine companies shoveling out thousands of spammy e-mails to random people who couldn’t care less about what they have to offer. If this is what you think e-mail marketing is, then it’s time to change your mindset.
Why? Because e-mail marketing (when done right) can make you lots of money!
Think about the last time you opened your inbox. You probably noticed emails from several different businesses. Did you open any of these emails? Did you click on any of their links? Chances are, you probably did because, at some point, you became aware of those businesses, showed interest in their products, and signed up to receive their e-mails. This demonstrates the power of e-mail marketing.
In e-mail marketing, your company doesn’t have to waste its resources advertising to the masses. If done properly, you will have a whole list of readers, who have already shown interest in your company and your products!
You may be thinking, If e-mail marketing is so great, why isn’t it working for me? Why are people not opening my e-mails? Why are they unsubscribing? Why am I not generating any new leads?
If this is you, don’t fret. Here are five important yet simple steps to help you overcome these obstacles and start growing your business.
1. Build Your E-mail List
The most important step in launching an e-mail marketing campaign is to build your e-mail list. After all, even the most beautifully written e-mails in the world will do you no good if you have no one to send them to.
Use Lead Magnets
One of the best ways to grow your email list is by using a lead magnet. A lead magnet is a freebie you offer someone in return for their e-mail address. A lead magnet can be placed as a link in a YouTube video, in a blog post, on social media, your website, etc.
You may be asking yourself, “What kind of freebie should I offer?” There are so many different options: eBooks, How-to Guides, or Online Courses (just to name a few). It all depends on what type of audience you are trying to attract.
For instance, if you have a blog post about exercises to help your reader lose weight fast, you may want to offer an ebook called How to lose 10 pounds in 10 days! If you have a Digital Marketing Agency, you may insert a pop-up on your website offering a guide called Essential Steps to Starting a Successful Online Business!
If you offer your audience something they find truly useful or valuable, they will be far more likely to give you their e-mail address.
Create Landing Pages
Once you’ve decided on your lead magnet, then you need a landing page. A landing page is a website that your lead magnet links to. It is usually a pretty simple site with a form that the person can fill out to receive your awesome freebie, while also signing up for your e-mail list.
If you offer a variety of different lead magnets, you will typically have a different landing page for each one. This will help you keep track of which reader downloaded which freebie, making it possible to send more targeted emails based on which lead magnet the reader showed interest in.
2. Write E-mails People Want to Read
Do Some Research
Most readers these days don’t want to spend a whole lot of time reading e-mails. In fact, most people scan the page, looking for information they find interesting. If they don’t find that info within the first few seconds, they quickly move on to something else.
So make sure you know what your readers want most. What is getting the most clicks on your site? Which of your products is selling the best and to what type of customer?
Once you’ve figured this out, craft an e-mail that presents this information quickly and clearly before the reader’s attention is drawn elsewhere!
Make it Personal
Many company e-mails are overrun with pictures and links to different products, making them look like ads from a sale paper. As a result, many readers treat these e-mails the same way they would a piece of junk mail. They move it directly to their trash folder.
Instead, why not construct your e-mails in a way that makes them look more like a note one might receive from a friend? Use fewer pictures and traditional advertising cliches. Make your reader feel as if you typed each e-mail just for them. You may find that not only will people read your e-mails, but they may actually look forward to receiving them.
Use Good Subject Lines
First impressions are important in all aspects of life, and e-mails are no exception. But what is a reader's first impression of an e-mail? The subject line.
Choosing a good subject line could mean the difference between your e-mail generating a sale or ending up in the trash. Don’t be afraid to show your personality! Be funny. Use all caps on certain words to show emphasis. Insert emojis. Do whatever you believe will pique your reader's interest and make them think, “Now I HAVE to open this e-mail! 🤩” Usually, they will.
Video is the future of Digital Marketing, so be sure to include them in your e-mails! Sure, creating videos is far more difficult and time-consuming than simply writing an e-mail, but it is worth it.
It takes far less energy and commitment to watch a video than it does to read a long paragraph, so your audience will be much more likely to engage with your e-mail if it includes video. More importantly, studies show that customers are also far more likely to actually buy your product if they’ve seen it featured in a video! (Business2Community).
Including videos in your e-mails will do you no good if your readers don’t know they’re there, so make sure to tell them in the subject line. Example: “VIDEO - Check Out Our New Products!”
3. Keep Readers from Unsubscribing
Make every E-mail Count
As any successful marketer will tell you, it is far easier and cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to gain a new one, but how do you keep them? What’s to stop them from unsubscribing after taking advantage of your initial freebie?
The best thing to do is to follow through on your promise of value. Each e-mail you send out should contain information that your reader finds useful and appealing. This will continue to build trust in your brand. If you can get your readers to see your e-mails as a special gift, and not just another piece of annoying clutter, your readers won’t be going anywhere.
Segmentation is an extremely important tool for any e-mail marketer. Segmentation is the act of sending out different e-mails to individual readers based on their demographics (age, gender, location, etc.).
For example, imagine you are selling a wide range of products for both men and women. Would you want to send the men on your e-mail list a special offer on women’s clothing? Of course not, and it probably wouldn’t generate many sales. In much the same way, you would not want to send a coupon for denture adhesive to someone in his/her twenties.
By splitting up your e-mail list based on demographics, you will be able to more effectively target specific customers, maintain their interest, and keep them subscribed.
4. Avoid the Spam Filter
If there is one place you never want your e-mails to end up, it’s the spam folder. There are several reasons e-mails might find their way into a spam folder, and once they do, it’s not an easy task to get them out.
How do you make sure your e-mails stay our of this dreaded place?
Always Build Your Own List
It may be tempting at times to purchase an e-mail list from (or share a list with) someone else, but this is a terrible idea. Chances are, a reader you gain from using another person’s list will have no interest in your company or your products.
Although it may take longer, building your own list using the techniques mentioned earlier. E-mailing people who actually know who you are and who have agreed to receive your e-mails is one of the best ways to stay out of the spam folder.
Don’t Use Spammy Words
There are certain words that you should never use in your e-mails (or at least you should be very careful when you do). Words like buy, subscribe, free, trial, and unlimited are often targeted by spam filters.
We’ve all seen e-mails like this, “Act NOW to receive a FREE 1 month trial of our new Unlimited Plan!” I’m sure you quickly deleted them or marked them as spam. Don’t let the same thing happen to you. Convey your message in a genuine way and make a real connection with your audience. It will pay off.
Create a Second Opt-in
Another way to avoid the spam folder is to make sure your readers actually wanted to be on your e-mail list in the first place. Make sure they know that by giving you their e-mail address, they are signing up for your mailing list. To make doubly sure they understand this arrangement, you can take advantage of a second opt-in.
I’m sure most people have experienced one of these before. You enter your e-mail address into a form and, moments later, you receive an e-mail requesting you to verify the address. This is a second opt-in. This verification e-mail makes it clear what the recipient is signing up for and then gives them the option to either verify their address or simply opt-out.
If your readers are aware that they are signing up to receive your e-mails, they are far less likely to mark those e-mails as spam.
5. Ensure Results by Improving Click-through Rates
One of the best ways to know if your e-mails are actually engaging your audience is to measure your click-through rates. According to Constant Contact, click-through rates “show you how many subscribers are not only opening your emails but are also engaging with your content and taking the desired action.”
Honestly, most readers are not going to click on the link in your email. In fact, Paceco states that “anything over 10% [of readers] is good.” While this may seem like a bleak outlook, there are some things you can do to improve your overall click-through rates.
Spread Out Your Links
One great way to improve click-through rates is to give the reader plenty of opportunities to click on your links. Instead of inserting one link at the end of your e-mail, insert several links at different points throughout. This increases the likelihood that your readers will not only see your links but will also click on them, improving your overall chances of making a sale.
Channel Your Inner Goldilocks
It is possible to send out too many e-mails. If you’re sending out five a day, your readers will get tired of seeing your emails and will eventually stop opening them.
It is also possible to send too few e-mails. If you don’t send them often enough, your readers may not even remember signing up to receive your e-mails in the first place.
Ask them to visit your website, to follow your business on social media, or to buy your product! If you can nail the call to action, you may be surprised by your reader’s willingness to fulfill your request and click away.ience. Giving readers the option to choose how often they receive your e-mails will help build their trust in your brand and leave them saying, “Mmmm… This is just right.”
Use a Call to Action
Arguably the most important thing you can do to improve click-through rates is to include a good Call to Action (CTA). Tell your reader what you want him/her to do, making the direction clear and concise.
I’ll admit that sometimes e-mail marketing can be intimidating. There are so many moving parts! If you find yourself overwhelmed, don’t worry! There are plenty of software services to help you keep track of it all. Some of the most popular are Mailchimp, Click Funnels, and Drip. While these services aren’t free, they are well worth the investment, especially as your e-mail list begins to grow.
Wrapping Things Up
E-mail marketing should become an essential piece of anyone’s marketing strategy. By following these five steps, you can grow your e-mail list, improve your reader engagement, generate more leads, and convert those leads into loyal customers.
You may be asking yourself, “What kind of freebie should I offer?” There are so many different options: eBooks, How-to Guides, or Online Courses (just to name a few). It all depends on what type of audience you are trying to attract. popular are Mailchimp, Click Funnels, and Drip. While these services aren’t free, they are well worth the investment, especially as your e-mail list begins to grow.
Have anything you would like to add? Leave a comment below!