As a business owner there are numerous ways to increase your sales and better market your website. One of the most common, and most profitable ways to increase your website traffic is through online marketing.
Online marketing is a must for anyone who owns their own business or has a product or an idea they’re trying to sell on the Internet. The internet is the quickest, and most productive way to get your product or service recognized.
One of the most useful methods of online marketing is email marketing. Email marketing is effective for a number of different reasons. Email marketing:
- allows you to reach many people at once
- gives you an unlimited number of contacts
- is more affordable than regular mail
- is easy to update
These points are very important and a huge advantage for small businesses. Let’s talk about the first point. Email marketing allows you to reach a number of people at once.
Allows You to Reach Many People at Once
Let’s be clear here. When we say ‘A number of people’ we don’t just mean ten or twenty. It can literally be in the tens of thousands. You might have a hundred email addresses to work with and email marketing will let you get through to all of them instantly.
It’s not just the fact that you can email many people; the great thing about email marketing is also that you can email many people at once and say the same thing to them at the same time. In other words, you don’t have to re-write the email over and over.
Compare this to how direct mail used to be done. You don’t have to worry about photocopies and buying stamps, all you have to do is write an effective advertisement or newsletter and send it through multiple emails.
Gives You an Unlimited Number of Contacts
That brings us to the second point. Email lists can be unlimited. Yes, addresses in your personal organizer can be unlimited as well, but emails are so much easier to keep up with and organize. You don’t have to worry about losing your address book or having one of your important clients moving and you not having the new address. With your email list you can almost guarantee their email address is going to be the same every time you make contact with them, no matter how far away they moved.
Keeping your email list organized is also much easier than you think, in fact, most providers, such as Google, keep your contacts organized systematically.
An autoresponder service such as AWeber.com would be the ideal choice if you are looking for a complete email marketing solution – from getting your site visitors to subscribe for updates to easily sending out a newsletter to them. We’ll discuss more on this later on in the article.
It Is More Affordable Than Regular Mail
Email is free. It really doesn’t get any better than free, does it? When it comes to marketing, very few things can be considered affordable. After all, marketing is a competitive business to be in. When you market yourself you have to keep up with everyone else in the same industry as you, which means you need to be aware of:
- Current trends
- your manner of speaking and writing
- your appearance
- your selling ability
- your finances
Not all businesses have a big marketing budget so most business owners want to have the most effective marketing resources without it breaking the bank.
This is why email marketing is so important for small businesses. Let’s look at the cost of postage for a moment. When you send a letter you are paying for the price of the paper, the envelope and the stamp.
Those are just the outside costs. Creating a direct sales letter campaign also means that you’re paying for your own time. Writing one effective sales letter can take anywhere from an hour to a few days. Copying that letter hundreds of times will take even longer. It’s time consuming.
Emailing your clients takes away all of that extra wasted time and money you would have spent on sending those letter or advertisements through the post.
It’s Easy to Update
One of the most difficult parts about regular mailings through the post is
that your product or promotion is one that regularly changes because of updates, special promotion and offers. This means that you are going to have to send out letters and updates on a regular basis.
Whenever something about your product changes or you have a time limited promotion, you are going to have to notify your clients again.
That notification takes you back to square one of your mailings. Why would you want to go through all the trouble of having to mail out numerous new letters or advertisement when you could just email all those updates for free and instantly?
One of the best things about having an email list for your online market is that not only can you write to your clients and keep them up to date on your products and services, but you can also email coupons to your clients and have limited time sales without worrying about your fliers being outdated by the time they reach your customers through regular mail.
This particular email strategy is also extremely useful for those who have a business that ships product to other places in the world. If your clients are travelers and they don’t get to check their house mail too often, then using email as your communication will ensure your customers are up to date on your services and can order from wherever in the world they happen to be at the time.
Using an Autoresponder Service to Build Your Email List
One of the easiest and most convenient ways to build and maintain a database of your subscribers is to use an autoresponder service as mentioned before.
A popular autoresponder service is AWeber. AWeber is an all-in-one solution to building, maintaining and emailing to your database.
You can broadcast an email anytime to particular lists you create or to all subscribers. In addition, you can personalize your email newsletters with your subscriber’s details such as their first and last name.
AWeber allows you to build opt-in forms so that your website visitors can enter their details to stay up to date with your site, get tips, download a product and so on.
Do you have a special offer you want to email out to your list or a time limited offer? Simply send a broadcast message and tell everybody on your list.
One powerful feature of using these types of autoresponder services is that you can schedule messages to broadcast on specific days after someone subscribes to your list. This makes an effective sales tool since you are following up on subscribers/prospects.
Top Tips to Make the Most Out Of Email Marketing
- Utilize split-testing, click tracking and open rate features of an autoresponder service like AWeber. Most major autoresponder services offer these features so that you can test to see which email gets more opens and clicks or you could even test between two versions of your email.
- Make your email subject line captivating to increase open rates. The first thing your subscribers will see other than who the email came from is the email subject line. We don’t mean USING ALL CAPS to capture attention (it looks like you’re shouting), but instead utilize certain techniques such as the power of specifics. Example: “How I lost 6 pounds in just 7 days and I can show you how you can too” is much more interesting than “Find out how you can lose weight.”
- Another great way to increase open rates is to ask a question. Here’s an example: “Did you receive your latest report? Subscribers will most likely open it out of curiosity and to make sure that they didn’t miss out on anything.
- Be consistent with your broadcast emails. The last thing you want is for your subscribers to forget about who you are and why they subscribed to your list. It’s a good habit to email on a consistent basis, whether that’s once a month or once a day, people want to know when to expect to hear from you.
- Segment your list to laser target your content. The best response you’ll get is when you have subscribers who are actually interested in a specific topic. If your market is in the “online marketing” niche, you could segment your list by creating a “Social Media” list, Copywriting list, Emailing Marketing list and so on. Whenever you have an offer or update related to any of those topics, you simply send it out to just that specific segment. You could also create a “Customers” list and also a list for your Affiliates to segment it even more.
- Use email as a way to drive traffic to your website. For example, you could write 1,000 words in an email and make your subscribers read a long email or, you could simply tell your subscriber to click on the link to view the message on your website.
The idea is to get your subscribers to visit your website, and this could be your blog or a page with an offer, so that they can engage in your content. With email, your subscriber would only be able to reply to you via email.
How Often Should You Contact Subscribers?
When it comes to contacting your subscribers, how often should you contact them? On the one hand, you don’t want to be in their face all day but on the other, you don’t want to make them forget about you.
So what’s the frequency that works best?
The simple answer is, there’s no one rule that fits all.
It depends on your business model and how you actually utilize email marketing.
Take a look at Groupon as an example. When you subscribe for their offers, you almost always get at least one email a day with the latest deals. You can select which categories you’re interested in, example – travel, food and electronics and you’ll be informed of any new deals related to those areas. A site like Groupon relies quite heavily on its email subscribers so they can keep coming back.
In the Internet marketing niche, some list owners email their subscribers once, twice even three times a day with offers, though three times may actually be crossing the line.
What’s important to take note of is that you need to set your subscribers expectations from the start when they are opting in to your newsletter. Tell the subscriber exactly what they can expect from subscribing to your newsletter. For example, “Receive a free daily recipe straight in your inbox”. That way they won’t be surprised to actually receive a recipe each day.
Do you need assistance?
As you can see, Email marketing is a great way of reaching all your customers and telling them about your latest products and services.
All the big companies do it and even if your company is quite small, you should be collecting your customers emails ready to send mail shots to them in the future.
A carefully planned email campaign can:
- Remind customers you are still trading
- Sell additional products and services to existing customers
- Get customers thinking about their next purchase from you
- Promote brand awareness
We have designed, built and delivered many successful email campaigns.
We can help you to create a tailored email campaign for your business too. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more details.