How To Get Started With Email Marketing

Introduction

This is not a "regular" hub. It's the first part of my hub series on building business based on email marketing. I'm going to publish several hubs that will show you how to build a mailing list, how to pre-sell to it, how to retain the subscribers, how  to deliver the messages technically, how to earn money and how to build a long term business based on. 

This process is going to take some time and work. If you are looking for quick riches, stop reading now.

Still here? Let's start. Let's see what is a mailing list and why do you need one. 

What is a mailing list and why do you need one?

Have you heard that selling to someone online takes on average 7 visits for that same person on your site. Accordingly to that all those users who come accidently never buy anything. Well, this is not entirely true. I'm selling software online and I know that many of my customers buy from their first visit from a search engine or software depository (I know this because I have built an excellent tracking system). However about half of my customers are ones that have visited the site before - they have either bookmarked it or searched for it again or of course buy because they have joined my mailing list.

Would you wave out 50% of your customers just because you are too lazy to store their emails?

I wouldn't.

That's why you need to collect and store the emails of as many of your site visitors as possible. Having an email address you can communicate with the person many times in the future. You don't need to worry about catching them through a search engine or directory - just send an email (not spam!) and refresh their memory about your products again.

Once you have the emails it's easy - you can use php newsletter software to send them messages at any time.

How To Build Your Mailing List

So far we talked about using your web site to capture email addresses and build your mailing list. But how? There are several methods - and some even let you build a mailing list without having a website. I'll shortly introduce them to you.

Before that know one thing: you don't need people who are not interested in being mailed by you. That will only get you into trouble for spamming, will waste your money and will deliver no profits. So, forget about buying emails database from somewhere or any other kinds of cheating.

You only need emails of users who agreed you to mail them and are interested in your product or service.

Here are the main methods:

  • Standard newsletter web form. Most web marketers use this popular method. It works well when you place the newsletter registration form at visible place and make it look attractive. Don't require too much details from the subscribers - they email and possibly name is more than enough.
  • Popup newsletter web form. Some sites open the newsletter registration form in a nasty floating popup. This works OK in some industries but it may push site visitors off. I personally don't like this method.
  • Getting the commenters. If your site allows visitors to comment, you can save their emails in the newsletter. These visitors have been interested enough in your site so they might be good prospects for the newsletter. Still I recommend you providing a checkbox "I want to sign up for the newsletter" or sending them a confirmation link in email, instead of directly activating them as subscribers.
  • Subscribing the forum users. If your site has a forum, you can assume all registered members as newsletter subscribers too. Just make sure they have an option to unsubscribe without losing their forum membership.
  • Invitation under the articles. You may have seen this: "If you liked this article, maybe you will like to subscribe for our newsletter". This is a good method because people who read articles to the end are interested in the topic.
  • Squeeze pages. If you don't have a website or blog, you can use this method. You can get the users to your squeeze page via PPC, email marketing or other methods.
  • Swap subscribers. You can swap subscribers with other web marketers in similar niches. You should always ask users to confirm they want to be signed in your newsletter however.
  • Newsletter directories. There are directories who list newsletters. You can add yours there and get few subscribers too.
  • Join also. If you have several related sites, always provide checkboxes saying "join also my mailing list about..." in the registration form. This way visitors from one site will learn for the other sites and possibly subscribe.

I'll be adding more methods to this as soon as I test them!

In the next part...

In the next part of the series you'll learn what to do with your mailing list when you build it large enough. Coming soon!

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