The benefits of email marketing far out weigh any kind of objections you may have to doing it.
There is a certain sense of power in having unlimited ability to communicate with a group of like minded people.
However, if you learned anything from the movie Spider Man, you know that "with great power comes great responsibility" and email marketing is no different.
Used correctly, your email list will be the single most valuable asset for your business.
If someone said "Give me $1 and I'll give you $10."
What half-intelligent person would say "No"? I can tell you how many...not one.
And if there is one...
...they're going to struggle in this life.
Here's the best news though, email marketing makes even more than a $10 to $1 payback.
According to the Direct Marketing Association's 2015 report, "Email has an average ROI of $47.71 for each $1.26 spent. A big increase over the $31.30 reported in 2013". (In the report these numbers are in British pounds, I converted them to U.S. dollars).
In the same report, they claim "When done well, email stands up as one of the most effective ways to reach target audiences, but it’s changing, and this change is making it more vital, more effective."
With email marketing as my primary source of advertising/promotion, my personal ROI for the last 6 months has been approximately $48.46 for every dollar I've spent (I pay $179/mo for my list of just over 16,000).
And to be honest...I'm under-utilizing mine because I could develop more content and products, and haven't.
I think you get the picture.
Any good email marketing service measures what is happening in the emails you send to your readers.
They will track...
This is powerful data that will help you determine what types of content your readers are interested in. This allows you to create segments or sub-categories of different readers in order to send them more targeted email marketing campaigns.
The better you segment your readers the more relevant content and offers you can send them.
More relevance = more opens, clicks, engagement, traffic and most importantly...sales!
I know what you're thinking...duh Luke!
Ok, ok, I know this is an obvious one, but what you may not realize is that when you send emails to your subscribers that link them to content on your site you are improving Google's opinion of you.
An important data point that Google measures with it's algorithm is repeat visitors.
For example, if someone returns to your site 6 months after they first visited, that improves your credibility with Google because in their eyes, someone remembered your site out of all the other sites that are available.
And for the subscribers who frequently click on your content based emails Google probably measures when the visitor is coming from an external source (email), and if it's Gmail, I'm sure they measure that and this can give you more credibility with them as well.
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As mentioned in benefit #1 the return on investment with email marketing is stupidly fantastic (thus my title).
Seriously...there are Z-E-R-O reasons NOT to be doing it.
You may wonder, "Ok, Luke if I can make so much money with email marketing, it must cost a fortune right?"
Compared to what you'll make using it...no, it doesn't cost much.
Cost typically depends on 2 things.
Email marketing services can cost anywhere from $10 - $500+ / month.
But there are free email marketing services you can get started with.
If you're having a charity auction, doing a live Video, starting a Podcast, going on tour, announcing a product or product sale, or just publishing a blog post...
...use your email list to let your subscribers know.
Just be sure to always describe the type of value you are giving to your subscribers, even when sending a sales email.
For example, if you have a podcast, email your audience every time you create a new episode. This will drive more downloads/listening time from listeners and simultaneously attract non-listeners.
The email should describe what is entailed in the episode and the benefits of listening with links of where to go to download or listen to it.
I recommend putting reference images in your emails. Doing so helps your reader know they went to the right place when they click in your email because the image matches the destination you send them to.
It's important to note that just because you send 1 email to announce something doesn't mean that every one of your subscribers will see it, open it, and/or click through on it.
In many cases, it doesn't hurt to send reminders or resend the same email to people who didn't open the email.
When I run a product sale (benefit #6) I send a 4 part email marketing campaign over the course of 7 days.
Additionally, I send informational (value) emails on Monday nights and I usually get 30-45% open rates. While this is good, it also means that 55-70% of my list didn't even open it!
Using the "Resend to Unopens" button in my email service, I resend the same email 7-10 days later to those who didn't open it the first time. As a result, 15-20% of my subscribers will open the "resent" email, which increases engagement and clicks.
This is like benefit #5...a no brainer.
This is one of the biggest reasons you build an email list, right? So you can promote your products and services. Just remember that you shouldn't do that A-L-L the time.
This definitely depends on your audience/niche of course, so you will need to use your "marketing spidey sense" to determine this.
The key thing to keep in mind here, is the importance of providing value to your reader through your emails. A good model to follow is the 80/20. Provide value 80% of the time and pitch products/services 20% of the time.
Combining the 2 is where you're going to get the best results. If you have a line of makeup your selling for example, sending a video that shows how to use some of your makeup to achieve a specific look is valuable for your reader that simultaneously pitches your product.
Using video in email is very effective and I go into more detail about that in this article.
Another great way to provide value and pitch your product(s) is to run product sales. For more on this, check out the effective email marketing campaigns I have sent for product sales.
According to Brian Carroll, author of Lead Generation for the Complex Sale, "Up to 95% of qualified prospects on your website are there to research and are not yet ready to buy anything."
In the book Email Persuasion by Ian Brodie, Ian states that 70% of website visitors show up once and never return.
By capturing the email address of your website visitors allows you to follow up with them on a consistent basis which builds relationships of trust between you and them.
This translates into higher sales conversions that you can measure.
I began email marketing in 2012 and prior to doing so I had products for sale that I promoted on my website. At the time I was getting hundreds of visits to my site daily and made 1 sale every few days (approximately .0005% conversions).
Not a good conversion rate.
Fast forward to today, I attribute 97% of sales to email marketing efforts, and I enjoy much higher conversion rates...
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Set this up with your email marketing service provider.
My email marketing service integrates with Gumroad, Shopify, and other payment platforms. I used Gumroad in the beginning because I only had a few products.
After I developed multiple products (10+) I switched over to Shopify because it is an eCommerce platform that has additional features that Gumroad didn't.
When a user buys your product online (especially digital products) they give you their email address to complete the purchase as well as for shipping updates and information about their order (when applicable).
My email service let's you tag any person who buys something from you as a customer.
This helps you in 3 ways because...
The beauty of it is that it can all be done automatically via automatic responder email marketing, with certain email service providers. Thus the differences in costs vs. features mentioned in benefit #4.
Another automation you can set up when a customer buys a product from you is an email or email series asking the customer to review the product s/he bought.
It can be as low tech as "reply to this e-mail" and as high-tech as a paid app/plugin.
10 days after a customer buys your product, send them an email and ask "How do you like this product? Respond to this e-mail with your feedback".
If you don't have an app or plugin through your website, you can take the feedback they gave you, create an image of what they say and put it on your website.
Reviews are huge to have. They give you a ton of credibility and provide social proof to your subscribers/customers.
For more on this, see these low tech ways to put reviews on your website.
What would you want to ask your subscribers?
Survey them about...
Keep in mind you will want to reward your subscribers for taking their time to provide you with any type of feedback.
Sending a "Thank You" email is a great start, but offering a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card, Visa prepaid card, or getting a free or highly discounted product of yours increases motivation, and will go a long way to build customer loyalty.
SurveyMonkey is a great platform to do this with. With a free account you can get run unlimited 10 question surveys and get 100 responses from each survey. Beyond that you pay a monthly fee.
This is kind of a combination of benefits 9 & 10, but is significant enough to be its own benefit.
In the early stages of my first site, my wife and I determined that we would create content, value, and products for parents of children with speech problems.
As site traffic picked up and I began building my list (which was wrong of me, I should've been building it from day 1), my subscribe form contained 3 fields that readers had to complete to join my list...
As readers began joining my list I noticed that almost 85% of them were Speech Therapists!
As a result we changed up the kind of content and products we were creating since Therapists needed different information vs. Parents.
This was an incredibly important step for us to understand what type of people were consuming our content in order to provide them more.
At the time I was using a different email marketing service that allowed me the option to add fields to a form. If your email marketing service won't let you do this, there is a simple work around that you can implement in your email marketing welcome messages.
If you are using an email marketing service with automation and tagging capabilities, set up 3 links in one of your first autoresponder emails asking your readers who they are or what stage they are at (whatever is relevant to your niche).
Ask them to click one of the links to let you know so that you can better serve them. Set up an automation rule that tags them according to which link they click.
By implementing this into your email marketing strategy you will gain even more detailed insights into who your audience is and how you can create better content, value, and products for them.
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If you're not using at least 1 social media platform for your business site or blog...get on one today!
Social Proof is H-U-G-E when it comes to building trust online and offline. A 2015 study by Deloitte showed that social media influences 47% of millennials purchasing decisions and 19% of other age groups.
Let's say you've done pretty good building up a social following on Facebook, but have been hearing/seeing a lot of chatter about your audience being on Instagram...
...but you don't have an Instagram account!
Create your Instagram account and in the next content email you send out, announce that you are on Instagram and invite people to join you there.
Or, if you really want to get aggressive, hold a contest and incentivize your subscribers and their friends with a prize if they follow you and tag 2 friends.
I had some great engagement and success doing this with one of my audiences.
This can work for building your followings on other platforms too of course, just be sure you check each specific social network's guidelines if you decide to go the contest route. Some are stricter than others.
Remember, just because someone is on your e-mail list doesn't mean they're following you on social media and the more ways you have to communicate with them...the better.
Let's say you want to start a new social media group (Facebook, LinkedIn), forum, or mastermind so you can talk with people in your niche and they can talk with each other.
Maybe it's free, maybe it's paid.
You could publish a post on social media asking people to join, but chances are, the post won't be seen by many people because it is considered promotional and social networks want you to pay for anything promotional, so their algorithms will bury that post which will significantly decrease your reach.
Or, you can get an influx of people to join if you promote it to your email subscribers.
In some cases (i.e. the group is $99/month to join), paying to promote it makes sense.
However, I would ask my email subscribers to join first to determine how much interest there is in the group, before I started paying to promote it, as mentioned in benefit #10 (use your list to do research).
People who are sold on your concept/products/services so much that they want to hear from you and regularly consume your content can be your best brand advocates.
When you have access to these people through email it can help you...
Similar to benefit #6, you can use your e-mail list to raise money.
This is assuming of course that you have a great product or service to sell.
As a father of 5, I've had a few instances when I've had unexpected expenses come up.
I'm sure you have too, if not, just wait...you will some day.
When that day comes, and you have an extra $1000 expense you weren't planning on, you'll be glad you read and implemented the strategies on this site because you'll be able to sit down, write a couple of emails, and generate the money you need within a few days.
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As you email valuable content to your readers on a consistent basis you build credibility as an authority in your space. It shows that you stay up to date on the latest information available on the topic(s) you cover.
You demonstrate to your subscribers that you "practice what you preach", and typically people trust what you do more than what you say.
For example, I hope this article (and my site in general) shows you that I know what I'm talking about from the content I provide and the proof I share vs. me just telling you to take my word for it.
As you establish yourself as an authority overtime, business opportunities and referrals will increase and so will your bottom line.
Above all, by sending consistent value to your subscribers you stay on your subscribers mind and are in touch with them on a one to one basis.
Having this one to one access will ensure that your business, site, or blog stay in business and/or remain an authority for years to come.
Even if you aren't planning to stay in business for the long haul, having a healthy email list will add a lot of value to your list of business assets in the event that you end up selling it in the future.
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