Email marketing is one of the first digital communication channels in the world. Today, digital marketing changes every second. We see so many new channels appearing and disappearing in a matter of weeks or maybe even days.
Yet, email marketing is still one of the best and most effective marketing channels. Are you surprised? Well, don’t be. The latest studies show that in the business world 86% of people prefer using emails to talk business.
While there are over 2.3 billion Facebook users, the number of active email accounts gets as high as over 5 billion. I believe, this means people love using emails. So why don’t we, marketers, use this to our advantage.
They say, your email list is the #1 asset of your business. But why is this so? To build a great business, you need to develop relationships and be able to maintain those. If you think about it, email is the best tool to do that.
It allows you to be in people’s lives as a constant reminder of yourself or your business. It helps you to build trust and grow with your audience.
Also, it is easy to compile an email list. People are a lot more willing to give you their email address than their credit card number. Think of it as their way of taking the first step in the relationship.
They do that to test you out, to see what you can give them and if you are worth paying for. All you have to do is to make the process as appealing as possible so they get more excited about making the first move.
I’ve mentioned that the process should be appealing enough for people to want to give you their email address. Easier said than done.
How do you even do that?
Well, first of all, you need to have a web page, a website or some other place and system which will help you gather those emails. And second, when I say “appealing” I’m not referring to the design of the “subscribe” button, even though it is also very important.
What’s more important is offering them something in return as a motive for giving out their email address. It is very simple. If I give you my email address I expect to get something in return.
It can be a free video, a free course, a free book, a free session. It doesn’t really matter what that is, as long as it brings value to the receiver.
I am sure there are people reading this and thinking, “well… Why should I even bother if I can just pay to buy an email list and use it.” But I might have to upset you a little saying that those emails you buy won’t have the same value as the list you compile through subscription.
On the email list that you buy not everyone is going to be interested in what you have to offer. But, if they give you their email address themselves, you can be sure that it’s worth spending time on working with those people to bring them to their first purchasing decision.
Are you worried about how to start an email marketing campaign that works? Get ready guys, because this step is what makes that happen.
It is not a secret that we all look for recommendations when trying to buy something.
Let’s say I want to buy a book.
My first action before buying it is looking at the ratings and reviews, but these can be confusing because there have been times when I loved a book with an average rating of 2 on Goodreads.
So, my second action is to find a friend who has read that book and to ask for their opinion. And if they say yes that’s a great book then I am definitely going to give it a try.
But hold on, I am not the only one who does that. In fact, in 78% of cases, the buying decision is influenced by a friend or a family member. Simply put, before making a buying decision people need a recommendation from someone they trust.
What’s in it for you? Let’s see. Using your email list to build relationships with your clients is about developing those relationships until you become someone they trust. As soon as you earn their trust and admiration, all you have to do is to maintain it.
In short, your goal should be getting to a point when they open your emails only because it’s sent from you and they know for sure there is going to be something valuable for them.
If you’ve got the emails and successfully built your relationship with the list, then it’s time for you to start selling. Keep in mind that up until this point any email you send to your list should be about sharing information, helping them grow and succeed without expecting anything in return.
As a result, you will win their trust. Anything you say after it, even if you are sending out promotional emails, will have a great outcome.
But never forget that the trust you’ve earned can be lost very easily and you should work hard to keep it.
In other words, make sure you don’t send out promotional emails too frequently because that might end up annoying people and they will just start ignoring you. Instead, keep the balance between your promotional and non-promotional emails.
When you have a business email list, you need to consider that not every email you send is going to have great results, even if you have generated the email list yourself. In order to have effective email marketing campaigns, you should be open to testing and sometimes even failure.
Let’s say you are planning to send out an email to 20,000 people. The problem is, you don’t know if your subject line is catchy enough for them to open your email and read the rest of the great information you have in it.
This is where you can use A/B testing or else called, split testing.
To start the testing you need to prepare 2 different versions of your subject line. Then you take 2 different groups of, let’s say, 100 emails from your list of 20,000.
You send your email with the first subject line to group A and the email with the second subject line to group B. You wait for a certain amount of time to see how much is the conversion rate, how many people open the email for each subject line.
In a couple of days, if you see that the subject line A was more successful than B, then it’s clear that you should send your email to the rest of your 20,000 people list using the subject line A.
The same technique can be used for testing the email content, the time of sending the email or anything else.
The only thing that you should pay attention to is making sure you test one variable at a time. If your A and B parts differ with more than 1 thing you won’t be able to understand why exactly one of those was more successful than the other.
Although I keep saying that email marketing is about developing relationships, I should admit that there are also some technicalities that are important to consider.
First of all, consider the timing of your emails. Pick the right time for those emails to be sent. Are you sending the email to people who are abroad? If yes, consider the time zones and the customs of that country.
For instance, They say that Tuesday is the best day to send emails and because of this most of the emails are sent on Tuesdays. I believe, this means that if you send out your email on Tuesday you are going to have less chance of getting noticed.
Wouldn’t it be more reasonable to send your email on Wednesday when there are fewer emails being sent and there is still plenty of time by the weekend for people to consider your message and working on them if needed?
Secondly, take into account that most emails are read on mobile and if you were planning on writing a long email, consider shortening it. On a mobile device, everything seems longer than on a computer and people don’t like spending too much time on one thing. It is of your best interest to keep it short and clear.
Thirdly, think about your subject line. It has to be catchy and mysterious enough for people to want to know more and open your email. You can always use the A/B testing method we’ve discussed to test any of these variables.
And finally, have a call to action in all of your emails. Ask your readers to do something. The CTA doesn’t have to be only in your promotional emails. You can add it in any email you send to your mailing list.
For instance, you can ask your readers to follow the link to find out more details on the topic which will be even more valuable than your email. The CTA helps the reader go from a passive follower to a person who is actively engaged in the process. In addition, it boosts your conversion rates.
If you have the email list you have the tool to share products, services, and opportunities with people. Just like Anik Singal of lurn.com described in one of his interviews; email marketing is like standing in a stadium full of people every day with a megaphone in your hands and being able to tell them anything you want.
But remember that it should be very personal so that each one you send will hopefully bring you one step closer to winning their trust. Do this wrong and they will ignore you forever. Do it right and you will have a priceless treasure in your hands.