Robert Sullivan is a self-published author, blogger, social media manager, and more.
You’re surfing the web, find an article or business you really like then you scroll down the page and BAM! You get one of those pesky email list popups. Let’s face it—these popups are everywhere nowadays, and you may not realize this but the reason why is because they work! In fact email marketing is one of the best ways to turn a random viewer into a regular customer. Seeing as the average person only looks at a webpage once, you can use this tactic to get them coming back week after week, which in the long-term is going to increase traffic (or sales if it’s a business) substantially. But before you go getting all gung-ho on the idea of sending a couple thousand emails there are some things you should know.
Don’t Spam People
Look we’ve all opened our email and found a million things we didn’t ask for, and I know we’re all sick of it. So you should know better than to go out and buy an email list then spam the heck out of it with products or services people never even asked for. “But why? Wouldn’t that work?” You ask? And the answer is no. Most people don’t open email from places they don’t recognize, which means this avenue does nothing to help you in the long run. In fact it might make a few people angry, which is just going to ensure that they are never coming back to you. So take the tip, and only email to people who have willingly signed up for your service, trust me, they are a way better prospects for clients anyway.
“Nobody Opens Them so Why Bother?” Means You’re Doing It Wrong
If you’ve tried this in the past, then chances are your efforts fell flat on their face, but that doesn’t mean that email marketing is the problem. I want you to take a look at this video, in it they tell you exactly how to get people to open your emails. This one video could make all the difference in your campaign.
How Do You Get People’s Email Addresses?
Ever heard of a sales funnel? It’s a simple concept, a webpage that gets high traffic is created, then has links to drive people to buy something. Well it’s the same concept, just instead of driving sales, you are collecting email addresses.
Here’s a rundown. You create a site that gets tons of traffic (or at least some). Then you make sure that if people are looking at your page for more than about a minute they get the option to subscribe by email to see updates. There’s two great and free options to do this, one is a wordpress plugin, and the second is mailchimp. The plugin is better suited if you are going to handle the email distribution yourself, but mailchimp is more automated, so it can save you a lot of time in the future.
Make an Offer They Can't Refuse
If the only thing you are offering in exchange for their email is filling their inbox with trash… Then yeah, good luck catching even one address. If you want to do email marketing right, then you want to make them an offer they can’t refuse, or at least don’t want to.
Try offering something for free when they sign up. I’ve seen this work first hand. I used to work in the marketing department of a multi-million dollar company, and we grew our email list to nearly 20,000 people, and we didn’t even use a popup! Want to know how we did it? We offered a discount in exchange for their email. 10% off was enough to keep them rolling in. Sure in the short-term we lost a bit of money, but every single time we sent out an email we would get literally thousands of dollars worth of sales in the next few days. So do yourself a favor and figure out something you can give away for free. Ebooks work pretty well, and cost you nothing to distribute if you do it right. It’s free for them, free for you, and increases the value of you site. That’s a heck of a deal for some upfront effort.
How Often Should You Email?
Less is more right? Well as a general rule of thumb I would say no more than twice a week, and even that can be a bit much. The last thing you want is for people to see that you are filling their inbox to the brim. So take it slow, once a week, or even once a month is very reasonable while still getting you serious returns. So don’t go overboard, just stay patient. For example, at the company I used to work for, we typically sent an email once every month or two, and people stayed very responsive to our email marketing. In fact we actually had quite a few people waiting around just to get our emails. Trust me, that’s the kind of business-customer relationship you want, and it takes time to get it.
What Should You Send?
What I would recommend is only sharing something which adds real value to the person receiving the email. If you’re a blog, make sure it’s something they are going to want to read. If it’s a store, then how about a discount. If you’re an author, give them some details or a sample of your new book. Just remember to make it so your email actually makes the other person’s life better, because the only thing worse than them not opening the email, is opening an email that causes them to flag it as spam. Once that happens you’re basically just sending your mail straight to the trash bin.
Send a Follow Up Email
People have come to expect this, and with automation, this can be done very easily. I would actually say that you shouldn’t try this unless you have a way to automate it, you know, unless you actually like personally sending a couple hundred emails every day.
Segmentation Keeps Customers Happy
Instead of just having one list you break it down by customer interest. Let’s say each month you have a newsletter, and you have product updates, and offer deals once in a while, then you are going to have to recognize that some people are only going to want the deals, while others will want the news letter. You should ask what people want when they are signing up, and give them the option to unsubscribe to things they don’t want individually. If you do this right, you are a lot less likely to get you emails sent to the trash, or worse completely unsubscribed to.
It should be pretty obvious by now that it’s not only possible to make email marketing work, but also to make people want it. But you don’t do that with underhanded tactics, you have to earn people’s trust, and give them something which helps. If you can do those two things, then you shouldn’t have any problems running extremely successful email marketing campaigns.
If you have any questions or feedback please leave it in the comments, I’d be happy to hear from you.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.