Next up is building an email newsletter. The best services offer several ways to do this; you can import your own HTML, start from scratch, or use a pre-designed template. Most of these services have drag-and-drop UIs that let you choose exactly the elements you want to include, as well as image libraries in which you can store assets such as your logo or company photos. Tools that let you test your emails for spam are also essential since there are some seemingly innocuous terms that may send up red flags and drop all of your hard work into your subscribers' junk folders or, worse, get your emails banned before they ever reach their recipients.
While it’s tempting to say that we were able to create such a massive email list all by ourselves the reality is that it impossible to get that far without the help of some friends. As an entrepreneur one of our most valuable resources is our community of peers. While it may be easy to view others in your niche as your competitors, you’ll actually get a lot of more out of your entrepreneur community if you actually view them as potential partners who can help you out.
Like any marketing strategy, building an email strategy relies on knowing your audience. That means checking out analytics and social analytics for demographic information. Once you know who your subscribers are, it’s easy to come up with a lead magnet such as an ebook that will encourage them to subscribe. That also makes it easier to decide on the right content for your email. If you can, give subscribers options about how often they hear from you.
The effort you put into building your email list is one of the best investments you can make online. Having access to the inboxes of targeted prospects means you can continue to build and nurture relationships over time, and become a trusted source of valuable industry knowledge. Then, when it’s time for your prospects to buy, you’ll be the first one who comes to mind.
Use it to make sales on autopilot. Creating a sales funnel out of an email autoresponder sequence is a widely adopted strategy used by information marketers, but it can also be used by software companies, eCommerce businesses and service providers. For example, it could consist of a series of educational videos, a sales video and follow-ups to sell your information products. Or, you could create a sequence of free educational emails, and then invite them to a live or recorded webinar where you make an offer. For eCommerce businesses, your sales sequence could include promo offers for products your subscriber has just viewed on your website.
To increase traffic to one of its stores, a company may post a coupon on its website that offers customers an in-store discount. To entice customers to shop more online, a business may send consumers an e-mail offering free shipping for Internet purchases. Businesses also pay for advertisements on popular search engine sites. This way, even if a company's site doesn't show up in search engine results, it may be able to maintain visibility.
Project conversion metrics. The general rule of thumb is that the smaller and more targeted your list, the more you can spend per piece. It’s better to make a strong impression to a few than to make a weak impression to many. Know your cost per unit, and project a conversion rate, so you can estimate whether your campaign will have a positive ROI before running it.
Blast email and other forms of email marketing have grown increasingly popular for businesses, due to the relatively low cost and easy tracking abilities involved. In most cases, individuals must opt-in, or subscribe, to an email list to receive blast email from a particular company. Newsletters, for example, are a common form of email marketing. The company, in turn, must create and manage a large mailing list that identifies all the individuals who have subscribed to the email marketing service. Depending on the size of the company and the amount of recipients, managing this list can be quite daunting. As a result, most companies hire a third-party vendor or use software to manage mailing lists.
“Paper direct mail can be a nuisance to most customers, but if you include a product sample, the direct mail instantly becomes more valuable as a trial tool. There are several companies that specialize in creating product samples, such as Arcade Marketing for the fragrance and makeup industries, and they often have interactive programs that aim to increase the ROI for your brand.” ~ Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.
Although there’s no panacea for direct mail’s attribution problem, Simpson says that he shores up his data by matching a list of recent buyers with consumers from the campaign’s direct mail list. This method is more inductive than deductive, in that he cannot be entirely sure the direct mail led to the purchase, but it allows him to have an idea of how effective a direct mail campaign has been.
Expert marketer Ramit Sethi of GrowthLab agrees with Julie about saying goodbye to the email blast, going as far as to publish a blog post entitled “Stop sending email blasts! Do this instead”. The post takes the recommendation to segment even further by suggesting “hotlists” — sub-segments of your email list that subscribers can opt into based on their interest in a specific project of yours.