Email Marketing and List Building

With all the buzz around Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram — not to mention mobile marketing to smartphones — it’s tempting to think that online entrepreneurs don’t have to use email marketing. Some pundits even say email marketing has fallen by the wayside.

But they’ve been saying that for more than a decade, now.

The fact is, email marketing — which is basically direct mail brought into the internet era — should still be a major part of most online businesses, for the simple reason that it’s still very effective.

In fact, 82 percent of B2B and B2C companies use email marketing, according to industry watcher Ascend2. And for good reason:

  • According to Campaign Monitor, an email is six times more likely to get a click than a tweet.
  • McKinsey says email is much more effective than Facebook or Twitter at landing new customers — about 40 times more effective at that.
  • Direct Marketing Association data shows that email marketing has the highest conversion rate (66 percent) when it comes to purchasing from marketing messages — more than social media, direct mail, and other channels.

You’ve seen email marketing before. Think about when you buy something at an online retailer. Soon after your order, you start receiving emails about upcoming sales and promotions for similar items, right?

Or perhaps you were reading a blog about investing and saw an ad offering a free report on a certain stock play, along with a free daily email newsletter on the stock market. You gave them your email address and soon started getting messages from them in your inbox.

Those are just two of the thousands of ways companies doing business online use email marketing.

Yes, all those new social platforms and marketing channels are important. And they can be part of your marketing efforts — in fact, they should and can work together. But email marketing does something they can’t do, and it’s why it should be a major part of your business.

Why Email Marketing Works

Many website visitors aren’t ready to “pull the trigger” and make a purchase when they first visit your website or e-commerce store. Email marketing helps you build a relationship so that the prospect comes to know, like, and trust you.

It familiarizes them with your product(s) or services(s).

The vital part of this strategy is that you must provide valuable free information. You can’t just send them sales offers all the time. You must also position yourself as an expert in your niche and show the reader how you are different and better than your competitors. You can let your personality come through here, which will also set you apart from other companies in the same or similar niches.

This is why “buying” email lists of random people is not a good idea. It could get you flagged as “spam” and, at the very least, you’ll be ignored because those people never signed up for your list. Why should they read your emails if they don’t know you?

Instead, it’s best to grow your own email list from the ground up, because you know the source of those emails — you’ve set up your lead generation campaign. And when those people sign up, they do so because they are interested in what you have to offer.

From Sign-Up to Sale: How Email Marketing Works

Let’s walk through the process of email marketing.

One of the first things you have to do is start building your list of email subscribers and put a system in place so you can add new subscribers consistently. Yes, that can seem daunting. But you can do this, and, in many cases, you don’t have to spend much, if any, money.

You could have an ad or post on Facebook, a pay-per-click ad, a banner ad, a video on YouTube…. Whatever it is, you’ll have a compelling message that, hopefully, convinces the prospect to click your link to get more information. It often helps to include a limited-time offer of some sort, to create urgency. You should include a link on whatever type of ad you use.

When they click on the link, they are taken to a landing page that has strong copy that reveals the biggest benefits of your product or service. Show the prospect how their life will change. You want this landing page, also called a signup page or squeeze page, to be short and to the point. (It is possible, of course, to just send them to your main website. But it could be distracting with all the links and different pages.

With a landing page there is only one message and one action to take: submit your email.)

The box to include their email address and name should be prominent on the page — with something like a big button that says Sign Up. You don’t want your visitors to miss it.

You could even have multiple signups — say, another one at the bottom of your landing page — but at least one should be “above the fold” so the prospect does not have to scroll down to see it. Many experts say the best spot for a signup box is near the top right corner of the page.

To incentivize the prospect to sign up, it’s important to offer them some sort of free bonus, like an ebook, access to a webinar, or whatever attractive freebie you can give them that is related to your business. But you shouldn't have to bust your butt to put this bonus together. You could collect together past blog posts into one PDF, for example.

Once they’ve signed up, you send your new subscribers an initial email with access details for the bonus or an attached download.

This is done automatically in your email system. This type of email is called an autoresponder.

Now they’re on your list and you can start marketing to them in earnest.

Using Automated Email Marketing Systems

It’s important to note that you won’t be collecting names or sending out emails by hand, one email at a time. You’d soon be overwhelmed by the volume! You can use systems like Constant Contact, Get Response, AWeber, and Campaign Monitor to manage your email lists and broadcast your emails. Systems like this can also track leads, opt-in rates, sales, open rates, click-through rates and other important stats.

It’s important to note that these systems make your job a whole lot easier through automation. The leads can sign up, be added to the list, start getting emails, even make sales… All while you sleep. With these systems, you can send the same email to thousands of people at the same time, automatically. You could potentially set up a schedule of emails going out for weeks or more at a time. You can even manually send emails if you want to run campaigns or send out messages on the fly.

There is one downside to being able to reach so many people so efficiently: Any mistake you make is multiplied by thousands, and could mean a bunch of lost subscribers or lost sales. So make sure an email is just how you want it before you hit Send! Look for typos, make sure the information is correct, and the links to any sales offers work.

You can usually do a test mailing to just yourself to confirm everything is good to go. And even if you have everything automated for weeks, it pays to check in every once in awhile to make sure everything is running smoothly.

What You Should Email Your List

Once you have your leads on your list, you often send them an introductory series of emails to get to know you. And, because you want to strike while the iron is hot and they’re interested in your products, you can also include some offers for low-cost items.

This series of emails is often called a gauntlet. Again, all sent automatically. And every new subscriber goes through it.

A gauntlet could be three emails, five, 10… Whatever works or your niche and business. Figure out what’s best for you through testing. Once they’ve gone through the gauntlet, your leads are added to your regular email list. You should have a consistent schedule, sending around the same time, usually daily (though you may opt for a less frequent schedule).

There are different approaches to marketing to your new audience by email, and all have their place in an email marketing strategy:

  • Email newsletters packed with useful content.
  • Short, quick-to-read emails. Remember, people are busy and get dozens of emails daily!
  • Links to videos with useful content.
  • Announcements of product launches.
  • Industry news and your commentary.
  • Sales offers.

What you send should be a mix of useful “editorial” content and sales offers, product launches, affiliate offers, and similar.

The editorial content is easy to put together. It could be your take on trends in your industry, or lists of top 10 best practices in your niche. If you’re in the weight loss niche, that might mean diet and exercise tips. An inspirational story of one of your past customers might work, too.

You get the idea. This free information is kind of a “tease” for your paid products. To get the full story, so to speak, they have to become a paid up customer. That’s why you throw in the sales offers in your emails too — to give them a way to buy while they’re excited about your products and your business.

Turning Your Email Leads Into Valuable Customers

Just by signing up, the people who have signed up for your email list, called “names” (a holdover from direct mail) or leads, have shown an interest in what you’re offering. This makes them valuable. You want to treat that list of names well, and not miss the opportunity to turn that interest into sales.

Your best bet is to offer a low-cost introductory product first. This is known as a front end. Then you can start offering the buyers of that low-cost product steadily higher-priced products.

Fewer people on the list will buy the “expensive” products. But the idea is that, through your name collection/lead generation (often shortened to lead gen) efforts, you will be constantly bringing new names on to your list. Out of those, a certain percentage will buy. A smaller percentage will buy higher priced products. And the smallest percentage will buy your most expensive offerings. Think of them like the “whales” in a casino. You want to cultivate your back-end buyers by offering good products and great customer service. They’re VIPs.

Also important for the growth of your business is that you’re always adding new customers. That’s what’s going to grow your revenues and make your business profitable. You can never stop generating new leads, because old leads will fall off the list or start ignoring your emails… and many will never buy. So it’s key to not let your list stagnate: Keep it fresh with an infusion of new names, all of whom are potential buyers.

Email Marketing Best Practices: How to Maximize Your Profits

In the old “Wild West” days of email marketing, you could send out just about any message and make money. But as email marketing has matured and become more sophisticated, so has the audience. And you need to keep that in mind as you prepare email campaigns.

Here are some best practices for pulling a profit from an email list:

  • Use engaging subject lines that grab attention and compel the reader to click.
  • Get whitelisted. You don’t want to be considered spam and then banned (each email service, like Gmail or Hotmail, has a way to do this). In your first email to them, send the instructions to the subscriber to add you to their list of trusted emailers.
  • Mix in sales offers with useful content — you can’t pitch every day.
  • Find the best times of day to send messages to your list — determine by testing what your open rates are at different times, then run with the winner.
  • Don't neglect mobile. 56 percent of all emails are opened on mobile devices, according to Litmus Email Analytics. So it’s important that your emails be mobile-friendly! This is a basic option in most email delivery programs you might use.

Through all this, offer good customer service. Make sure products, whether physical or digital, are delivered on time. Respond to customer questions in a timely manner. If a customer brings up a problem, try to solve it.

Taking Your Email Marketing to the Next Level

You might be pulling in some nice revenues from your email-marketing-based business using the techniques above. But there are ways to improve your results.

You shouldn’t set up a campaign once and then try to let it run forever. You never know when your copy, your offer, or your product will just stop resonating with the marketplace. So the key is to always try to be improving, which you do through testing.

  • Test by offering different copy in the lead generation ads and on the landing page.
  • Offer different bonuses for sign up for your list.
  • Change the price of the products you offer in sales messages.
  • Try to advertise in different ways in different channels.

For effective and actionable results, you should do A/B tests, which test two (or more) different approaches. For example, you could send half of your list one subject line, and an alternate subject line to the other half. You could also A/B test the two approaches with a small subset of your list, then send the winning headline to the rest of the list.

Because you’ll be doing so much testing, tracking is so important. You should always know:

  • How many people visit your page
  • How many of those folks sign up
  • How many people open your emails
  • How many people buy
  • How much each individual name on your list has bought
  • The average lifetime value (how much people buy while on your list)

Your Next Steps

To be sure, this is a lot to take in. Email marketing has a lot of moving parts. But at its heart is a simple process.

So start simply. Set up some basic email campaigns to get practice in writing copy, setting up landing pages, using automated email systems, testing offers, and creating content to create a relationship with your prospects and customers.

Over time, you’ll get experience and practical skills so you can take your email marketing business to the next level.

Learn More About Online Business


making a queen size bed frame what does a pre employment background check show how much is 1 yard of concrete cost what can be a substitute for baking powder how to compute federal income tax phoenix restaurants open christmas 2013 christmas gift exchange games for large groups penalty for early withdrawal ira your first year in real estate harkins arrowhead 18 movie times baby shower thank you card ideas why is my refund taking so long how long to cook a 9lb ham 24 hour home depot houston instant approval credit cards for bad credit cool and easy pumpkin carvings patterns what degree do you need to become a nurse practitioner 2014 social security and medicare tax 1 year t bill rate what movies are at the redbox e birthday cards for free how to start a facebook account cash homes for sale by owner best free tv apps for iphone free movies online mobile android cheapest way to get new tires how to calculate federal poverty level who can you claim on taxes get federal tax id number places that buy used smartphones average wage for dental assistant what is minimum wage in oklahoma 2014 3 credit scores free no credit card how to file for unemployment in co emergency substitution for baking powder eastfield mall cinemas springfield ma showtimes how to start a facebook page for business check my credit score without a credit card what is one ounce of gold worth what is considered a high paying job credit cards for people rebuilding their credit how to get rid of house ants with natural remedies free printable fun math worksheets best places to work without a college degree irs tax number to check status best way to get rid of fleas in a house phoenix restaurants open christmas 2013 how to apply for green card in usa job aptitude test free online what is the difference in cost of living between states how to make a crossword puzzle in word free computer games for toddlers what are capital gains tax rates for 2014 11 dollars an hour jobs math pages to print out baby girl baby shower invites payroll social security tax rate 2014 how long to bake precooked ham why do you want to be a pharmacist songs for mother son wedding dance christian how to put money on paypal card app that lets you watch tv shows how to make fruit fly trap how long does it take to amend a tax return what is the tax deduction for a child salary of a doctor in usa wooden ice chest plans free how to make a roach what are capital gains tax rates for 2014 design my own baby shower invitations early withdrawal from traditional ira free birthday cards on line how to compute federal income tax dry oz in a cup how much is 1 yard of concrete cost how much is concrete a yard best antivirus for pc windows 8 what is capital gain tax rate 2014 how to get a taxpayer id cheetah print baby shower themes what job should i do test 5th grade math worksheets printable free career tests for adults how to get an extension on my taxes how to ammend a tax return where to get free audiobooks online how to win the powerball lottery test that helps you choose a career professional hair styles for long hair get rid of ants in house naturally good credit cards for people with no credit ice breaker games for parties how to fill out a w4 form if single debt to income calculator for mortgage free career test for adults approved credit cards for bad credit how much retirement savings should i have at 50 what can be used instead of baking soda king size bed platform plans 5th grade math worksheets printable credit cards to help build bad credit what movies are at the redbox cost of living differences between cities what are the qualifications for earned income credit what to do to become a nurse practitioner file federal tax return online halloween pumpkin carving ideas easy down payment on a house how much h&m folsom hours bank of america travel rewards redeem funny easy pumpkin carving ideas who can claim a child tax credit how to properly clean a cast iron skillet bow tie cinemas in hartford file for extended unemployment benefits postage from us to europe how to write a baby shower thank you note career aptitude test free online for adults how many strawberries in a cup the best way to clean stainless steel appliances best product for cleaning stainless steel appliances how to get a chase credit card with bad credit natural ways to kill fruit flies restaurants that give free dessert on your birthday how long direct deposit tax refund who can claim a child tax credit how to get rid of ant from pdf to word free restaurants that give you free stuff on your birthday bad credit buy a house disney free games for kids bank of america visa platinum ana white platform bed with storage tax cut from paycheck calculator sign up for unemployment in ky nike outlet in lake elsinore what is federal earned income credit what kind of background checks do employers use how do i file an extension on my taxes online free printable baby girl shower invitations places to go eat for your birthday calculate federal income tax rate penalty for early withdrawal ira best times of year to buy a car highest per capita income country how to win the powerball lottery average salary for a doctor father daughter songs for wedding how long to bake precooked ham how to become a united states citizen how long to cook a spiral ham What Are the Different Types of NOTAMs in Aviation? Bond Resources and Strategies Answering Challenging Job Interview Questions How to Write a Car Sales Thank You Letter Top Receipt Scanning Software and Bundles How to Buy Commodities and When Advertising and Women - Objectification in Media Fall Word Search Puzzles to Celebrate Autumn US Air Force Job Description 14NX Intelligence Field Disadvantages of Mutual Funds The Story of The Federal Reserve Who Cried Wolf Pet Business Ideas for Animal Lovers Consider Risk when Selling Naked Options Experian Triple Advantage Credit Monitoring Review The Annual Performance Review - Maximize the Benefits What Is Prepaid Interest? - Definition and Explanation Walt-Disney-Mission-Statement Health Careers 2016 Compensation Trends Check Registers - How to Use and Find Them Indiegogo Launches Generosity To Compete In Personal Crowdfunding Different Types of Internships Options The Complete Short Sale Process Keogh Plans - Self-Employed Retirement Plan Opportunity Writing a Business Plan - Implementation Plan Profile of the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson Nuclear Trained Machinist Mate (MMN) Important Unemployment Tax Questions for Employers Interview Questions About Why You're Good at Sales Yes, You Can Retire at 50 - Learn How Sample Thank You and Appreciation Letter to Boss Billable Hours in Consulting They Literally Wrote the Book on Sport Marketing Frictional Expenses: The Hidden Investment Tax Largest North American Retail Companies: Canada, Mexico, US Top Retail Importance of Computer Literacy in a Job Hunt Salary Reduction Credit Report and Credit Score Overview Merchandising Events - Retail Holiday Promotions How to Become a Mobile Banking Guru Request a Free Country Store Catalog Develop a Great Social Media Campaign for Toothpaste Weiss Ratings: Comprehensive Ratings and Analysis Free and Review - Giving Away Copies to Promote A Book How to Winterize Plumbing Pipes Why Does My Business Need an Employee Handbook How to Request a Free IKEA Catalog for 2017 Why Small Business Equipment Financing May Be Just What You Need Difficult Interview Questions and Best Answers Lifting the Lid on Job Costing Toys R Us Special Events for Kids Installation Overview -- Fort Benning, Georgia Forensic Accountant Job Information Concert Promotion Checklist - Music Show Promotion Checklist Working With Generation Y Employees Asset Location - What is Asset Location The Art of Negotiating Deals Abroad Zero-Coupon Bond Funds Definition How to Invest What Strategies Would You Use to Motivate Your Team? Penny Stocks? You Must be Kidding! How the Spectrum Auction Will Change Local TV Forever Who Is Eligible for Financial Aid? Business Identity Theft Your Affidavit or Memoradum of Trust Child Care Reference Letter and Email Examples Income Benefits of Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts Finding the Perfect Domain Name Using a Domain Name Generator Does Nevada Collect an Estate Tax? Job Search Success Guide for Recent Grads How to Calculate Your Estate Tax Liability PCE Inflation: Definition, Calculation, Preferred Use Profitability Ratios: Two Categories and Examples Can You Save Money by Ditching Your Cell Phone Contract Plan? List of Information Technology (IT) Skills Commercial Bank Loans for Small Businesses 2016 Medicare Part B Premiums for New Enrollees How to Obtain Copies of Probate Documents in Tallahassee, Leon County, Florida Investing for Beginners Political Risk Insurance How to Maximize Your Sales Holland America - 7-Day Choose Your Cruise Sweepstakes Can You Get Fired for Job Searching? Get Freebies When You Host a House Party Make the Most of a Small Restaurant Dining Room Could The "India Way" be a Model For U.S. Retailers? quit your job Dentists Career Information What Is a Corporate Records Book? - Definition How to Detect Fake Financial Advisor Credentials Three Questions to Ask Before Setting Up Your Home Office or Workspace New Investor's Guide to Inflation & the Inflation Rate The Best Deals on Black Friday Listed by Store How to Handle Job Offers Help with Writing a Business Plan or Feasibility Study Barriers to Entry in the Ecommerce Business How to Build a Wind Power Farm Inside the AS-IS Auction Listing - eBay Culture and Lifestyle New Chief Petty Officer Leadership Training The Meeting of Creditors Customer Service in Your Retail Store Freelance Statistics, Number of Freelancers How to Advance Your Sales Career How Do I Register a Trademark Internationally? Small Business Loan Application Example
Wasting MoneyJob Application Letter Format How to Make Your Own Cheese Redline Athletics Franchising, LLC What You Should Ask An Employer When You're Fired How to Answer Interview Questions About Termination Modeling in Paris - How To Be a Fashion Model in Paris Commodity Trading Strategies Rising Antivirus Free Edition Review The Second Chance Breakout Day Trading Strategy Student Loan Interest Tax Deduction How to Choose the Right IRA: Roth IRAs vs Traditional IRAs GPS Devices - Helping Soldiers Navigate and More Surprising Things to Use to Remove Laundry Stains Interview Question: Criticism You Received from a Boss Why Won't My Suppliers Do What I Want? Why Do Home Values Near Trader Joe's Rise More Than WFM? Requirements for a Career in Physical Therapy 6 Surprising Ways Your Frugality Is Costing You When Is Right Time to Sell a Stock? How to Select a Professional Letter Font and Font Size The Frustration of Finding Your First Job After College The Basics of Ship Recycling How Risk-Based Pricing Affects Your Loan Social Security and Medicare Tax for the Self-Employed How to Create Senior Friendly Materials for Donors Best Interview Attire for Every Type of Job Interview Quiz: Do You Want to Be a Dietitian? 4Y0X2 - Dental Laboratory - AFSC Description Daily Operations for Your Web-Based Business 5 Selling Strategies to Reach Big Corporations Treasury Direct: Easiest Way to Invest in U.S. Bonds How to Send Texts to Shortcode Numbers Zinc Metal - Properties, History, Alloys, and Market Government Job Profile: City Finance Director How to Write a Sample Business Letter Government Shutdown: What It Means, Effect, History Mobile Insurance Applications – For Life on the Go! The Art of Launching a Media Publication with Elizabeth Spiers Shoplifting Policies and Procedures for Retailers Dow Jones Closing History: Top Highs, Lows Since 1929 The 2-Step Plan to Getting a Construction Management Job Fish and Game Warden Email Cover Letter Sample Supply Chain Impact - Research and Development What Is the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI)? Schedule a Campus Visit for Spring Break Country Default and Cross-Asset Market Risk