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Email Marketing Overview

Updated on May 16, 2016

1. Why You Need an Email List

Email marketing is second only to search marketing as the most effective online marketing tactic. It all started when Gary Thuerk sent a massive amount of emails to potential clients using the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET). He was at the time working for Digital Equipment Corporation, and his effort of sending 400 emails to prospective clients resulted in a remarkable feat that saw 13 million dollars worth of sales in DEC products.

Email Marketing is a lot cheaper and faster than old school traditional mail. Traditional mail involves producing artwork, printing, addressing and mailing content which results in significantly high costs while wasting valuable time. Email marketing eliminates all the constraints of traditional mail and provides a faster development of the relationship between a client and a seller. Email also provides a cost-effective way to test various marketing content which includes visual creative, multimedia assets and marketing copy.

Of course, before pursuing further in any email marketing plan, you must first build an email list. Building an email list is the first and most important step in email marketing. Without a proper and substantial email list, no matter how well done or masterfully designed an email pitch or advertisement may be, you will end up with disappointing results and low returns. You need to build a client base that is not resistant to your pitches and one with a core group of people who are truly interested.

If you're not yet convinced on the necessity a good email list, consider the following reasons:

Email marketing outperforms most marketing channels. It allows you to continually monetize by pitching more and more products. Building an email list allows you to keep track of your most responsive clients and replace those clients whom you thought were potential customers at first, but turn out to be uninterested. A well defined and diversified email list is such a big help in reaching out and spreading the word.

An email list lets you know who your readers are. Identifying a specific prospect's problem can only be accurately and effectively undertaken through email. Not only are you knowing one client by dealing with his problem, but by dealing with his specific problem you also allow yourself to understand that other prospective clients may have the same problem as well. This can help tweak your approach in pitching emails and build more relationships with similar clients.

It allows you to engage your audience in a creative and personalized way. Nothing is more personal in the online world than emailing. Although there have been several popular instant messaging platforms available online, none of them really provide the ability of the email to let the seller think through his responses and pitches and give room for self evaluation. This provides a higher level of quality in communication and prevents a lot of miscommunication.

Building an email list keeps things discrete and personal. The weakness in marketing through social media is that you will appear to design your pitches or responses in a general and non-specific manner, which makes it very impersonal. Social media will also put too much unnecessary pressure in terms of diplomacy. Communicating using your email list on the other hand relieves you of any pressure at all to say the perfect statement and assures you that everything is discrete, making your communication more personal.

Protection is a top priority. Google can change its algorithms at any time which puts a lot of pressure and forces a lot more work on your side if you opt for search marketing. The only weakness email marketing has are these emerging email-filtering software and apps. But if your email list is well-defined and if you've put together a group of interested people, then there would be no problem. The protection of your marketing platform would be given top priority and the protection of your interactions will be assured. The protection offered by email marketing relieves a lot pressure.

Building an email list is the best way to build an intimate relationship with potential customers. It's not always the first or second interactions that earn you so much money that sells. The beauty of building an email list and using email marketing is that intimate relationships with prospective clients are possible and are inevitable, given the right circumstances. What matters more in email marketing is the intimate relationship built with a client that perhaps earns you more prospective clients through referrals. And intimate relationships not only lead to more referrals and more sales, but it could also pave the way for a very significant partnership with your client.

The reach for email lists is way more efficient and effective than in social media. Your interactions in social media are actually way more inefficient compared to your interactions in emails. Only two to four percent of your interactions on average will survive and stand out, but over 20 percent of your interactions on emails will push through. Having said that, you will realize that email marketing isn't perfect, but its reach is more effective than social media.

It is important to reiterate that you can't just take your email list for granted - you have to put together a list that you know will give you good returns on the dollar and a list that will not waste your time. You also need to ask yourself the following questions about your clients for building your email list:

Is this client responsive?
Does this client have enough resources to get in on multiple offerings?
Is it possible for me to have an intimate business relationship with this client?
Is this client well connected so as to enable me to gather more prospects?
Is this clients personal concerns or problems worth solving and relevant enough with what I'm pitching?

You can ask yourself the above questions, but you could also follow this one simple way to build an email list that will save you a lot of time and effort, while guaranteeing more responses and better returns.

2. One Simple Way to Build an Email List

Social media can generate so much traffic which is good for bringing in prospective customers, but is it effective at keeping them? What smart business owners do is analyze the traffic brought out by social media and turn it into an email list. Therefore, despite the advantages brought out by social media, it turns out that it all boils down to taking all of that information and making a list.

There are many ways for you to build your list and make the number of email addresses you send to get thicker, but some strategies can backfire badly. One strategy involves giving free giveaways and prizes to the most responsive clients. This can sound very attractive and enticing at first, but most clients nowadays are skeptics and are smart enough to be vigilant. Their vigilance can make you come off as desperate and so they might blacklist you and put you to spam. Another strategy involves putting social media share buttons on your email. This will generate more prospects, but then you will have more added work of filtering the clients who are really responsive and interested. So what's one very simple way of building your email list? Don't use letters and words, use videos:

Take Full Advantage of your Company's YouTube Channel

YouTube is still the go-to site for legitimate advertisements and it is where people who seek real service can get a legitimate and authentic return. When you promote your products on YouTube, especially when the video you make is very well edited and crafted, you will attract a good base of clients and thus build an email list of clients who are truly interested and more often than not will give in to your pitch. And so here are some tips in taking advantage of your company's YouTube channel:

Put the YouTube link on the email you will send. Clients who are responsive and are interested enough will surely visit the small link which you will place on your email. And make sure that the link you will place is conspicuous enough so as not be skipped.The YouTube link on the email will also provide convenience to your client who was probably looking for a video on YouTube about your product because let's face it, YouTube makes people think that whatever is on the video is the truth. That's the kind of authenticity YouTube brings to the table.

Put your contact email address on the YouTube videos. Of course once your YouTube channel generates a lot of views it is going to have better visibility through their search engine. This means that clients whom you never thought of will come across your promotional video and will then begin asking - "How can I get this?" Now the most popular answer to that question would be Amazon, but if you put your email address on the promotional video, then chances are they will contact you and start asking questions. Because if a client spends a long enough time on the video, he will most likely take notice of that email address and he will most likely be a good client. Putting your email address out there will definitely drag in some interested clients who will put in the time to personally contact you, instead of easily messaging or poking you using social media.

Make a short promotional video that's well edited. The better the quality of the YouTube video, the more legitimacy it suggests. Make sure you have a well-edited video that brings out the best in your products, that not only gets the viewer interested in the product being shown itself, but also other products you are offering. Also make sure that the video is short - take it from the lesson music videos suggest. Music Videos on YouTube happen to have the most amount of views, and good music isn't the only reason for that. If you compare full-length concerts to excerpts of concerts, shorties will always have more views - because people appreciate getting what they want at the shortest time possible. Make a promotional video that's short and sweet.

Make a personal video log that's also well-edited but not too full of stunts. What's more authentic than a promotional video? A video log. Let your prospective clients get to know you by making a short V-log highlighting the products you are offering while also letting them know your character. Introducing one's character through email is hard enough, so making an appearance in the flesh, exposed, will make you appear sincere and more approachable. Just make sure though that you evaluate your video log first before putting it out so you won't end up sending the wrong message and scare clients off.

Each product should have a corresponding video. This may sound demanding, but for consistent clients, this is what they ask for. Detailed descriptions of each product you offer, no matter how insignificant one product may be compared to others, is highly appreciated. And remember this - no one product is more significant than another in promotion. You never know when one product which you weren't so confident of will top in sales and will pave the way for the sales of your other products. Put in the effort to make good videos for every product, if possible.

Accomplish videos with testimonials from your current loyal client base. This will take legitimacy to another level. Although most people can be paid nowadays to give away testimonials (even the high profile ones), ask a loyal client or clients to give away a testimonial for buying your product. You can always give free giveaways, but it's important that the client who will give his testimonial be someone who is credible and someone who actually knows the product he is pitching. The more clients you can get to do a testimonial, the better - just make sure you don't give away conflicting views. Assure consistency in the testimonials. Trust is a major issue prospective clients have to deal with, and providing testimonials on your videos will make them trust you more.

3. Creating a Lead Magnet

What is a Lead Magnet?

A Lead Magnet is a free offer you give away to prospective clients to get their email addresses on your list. Lead Magnets are often flashy when they're pitched out, showcasing bright colors and bold letters, but what prospective clients look at is the offer. Lead Magnets used to be too over the top, but nowadays they try to stay in that zone where they are wildly attractive but not give off the idea that it's simply spam. Visitors are now smarter these days and more vigilant than they ever where, and no matter how attractive and enticing the lead magnet can be, trust will always be the main issue. But you can't let people's trust issues bother you - you need a lead magnet. People will come across your product and become very interested, but will they really follow up? In order for you to maximize your chances on getting visitors to follow up you need to create a lead magnet that's in the zone - attractive, but can be trusted (much like a good boyfriend).

Why do I need a Lead Magnet?

Lead Magnets will take email list building to another level. People don't just want to spend money that easily without getting a few freebies or giveaways. Lead Magnets are like bonds given by the seller that will guarantee the client their money back or their money's worth once they sign up. Lead Magnets are also like the worms you put on your hook to reel your fish in - it's not enough that you take your fishing boat to a spot where there are a lot of good fish, you need to draw the fish into your hook. If you really want a rich email list filled with good clients, creating a quality lead magnet is the key.

What's the Difference Between Spam and a Real Lead Magnet?

A spam type of magnet is something people stay away from, while a real lead magnet will get you more clients. Keep in mind the old adage, "If it's too good to be true, then it's not true." As much as you would want to give away various freebies which you are allowed to do, you have to make your lead magnet believable. It's just like courting a girl and asking her to be your girlfriend - you are going to scare her off if your stunts are too over the top, and you will come across as creepy and desperate. Finding the sweet spot between a spam lead magnet and a real magnet is a challenge at first, but one simple way to approach this is the kind of art you use. Use art that doesn't look like you're pitching toys or video games for kids - use the kind of art that's a mixture of boring office design and flashy artwork.

How do I Create an Attractive Lead Magnet?

Make it your goal to create a lead magnet that will get your client excited. With that in mind, ask yourself the following questions:

1. What's one insanely useful thing for my audience which I could charge them money for, but I won't?

2. How much value am I willing to give up?

3. How will I meet my clients expectations?

4. How should I structure my offer?

5. How do I test my lead magnet?

You have to really identify what your clients want or what makes them want to take the offer. You have to leverage them to take the offer, and this means giving away something that's truly essential to them that they can't get anywhere else. It doesn't have to be many different things you offer for free - once you know your client base you'll identify that one thing that makes them click.

You have to admit that giving away freebies can take a lot of effort and also give up value for free. This is a lot like the free taste of products you see in grocery stores, but know that there has to be a limit in terms of value in what you're giving away for free.

Once you have created a lead magnet and attached it to your emails, you have to make sure to meet your clients' expectations once they do take the offer. Not meeting clients' expectations can lead to disaster and thin down your email list. Make sure you follow through and give out exactly what you offered in your lead magnet.

You should structure your offer in such a way that your client feels that they've got the best offer they've ever heard and make them feel they owe you something.

How do I Make a Lead Magnet that targets a Specific Audience?

Although it's counter-intuitive in online marketing to limit your audience, creating a lead magnet that targets a specific group of people is very important. You can take the approach of focusing on an age group, or an occupational group. Whatever your focus group is, your lead magnet should appeal to that group in a way that can be related upon.

An offer like a free car to to every subscriber can sound very outrageous but will surely deliver an incredible conversion rate, but make sure you give priority to less extravagant offers. Again, give your specific audience something believable on their level. And then you can structure your Lead Magnet in the following manner:

Offer: What they will get if they choose to subscribe

Reason: Why you made this and whom is this for

Key issues and points: Some examples of issues and their respective solutions in very organized form. This answers ahead some questions they might have in their head that's preventing them to take the offer.

Call to action: What should the client do next?

Email marketing relies so much on well-designed lead magnets because they're so short and captures attention very fast. Don't take designing your lead magnet for granted because it can make or break the reputation you built. Offer your audience something free and convenient, but don't disappoint.

4. Creative E-mail Copywriting Tactics

How do you make the email content interesting? First, define the goal of the email - what action do you want your client to take? Second, write a compelling subject line. Third, artfully craft the introduction to keep them on the hook and interested to what you're about to pitch them and get them to keep on reading. Fourth, balance out your emails in such a way that you have slightly more emails that don't have any sales content but are nevertheless high-quality with value added. And lastly, keep your your emails short - if your email is too long and appears like it's too much effort to read, people will skip on it and probably delete it.

There aren't really many tips and tricks in E-mail Copywriting. e-mail marketing, after all, is built on a very simple premise - to make a business interaction as personal as possible and to make the communication fast. You first need to get their attention so they will open the email, and then you need to keep them interested. And simply put, you have to make sure that they take action - whether the goal is for them to click, view, like or comment. Make the e-mail about your client and for your client - talk about their issues and problems and offer solutions. In E-mail Copywriting, there are simply a few things you need to avoid, and these include:

Placing a big, colorful graphic without any substance text.

There has to be a good mixture of both text and imaging in your e-mail. Intuitively you might think to load up on your text and to describe your product as great as possible with text, but you have to mix it up with some images to support. Write your e-mail like writing a good article or somewhat like a friendly how-to article that's all over the Internet. Don't assume that your email, when worded very well enough, will be treated like a good novel that people will enjoy reading. It has to be an interactive and attractive e-mail that people, in their own preferences, read in whatever manner or pace they want. That being said, don't overdo on the graphics as well as some email service platforms tend to filter out heavy emails.

Using traditional sales calls to action and using spam-sounding phrases in the content.

With the advancement of spam filtering software nowadays and with more vigilant users of the online market, the chances that your email will be deleted or put in a spam folder are at an all time high. So you need to keep in mind two key points - 1) make a very unique-sounding e-mail, and 2) avoid spammy phrases. The moment your client reads a statement that sounds too good to be true, your email is going to the trash and your client could leave as well. So be careful in the kind of phrases you start with and end with. Make sure the sales call to action is a very convenient process. What most clients hate is the hassle of moving form one link to the next link, only to be forced into signing up for an account that's too long to scroll. If you do get your client to sign up for an account, mimic Google's approach in minimizing the stages while also limiting the information you are requiring on a given page.

Using badly written HTML code and ill-designed email template.

A badly written HTML code could just kill everything for you and an ill-designed email template will simply decide whether your client will read your email or not. If you can't write a good HTML code yourself, I highly suggest you simply get an expert on this one. because you can't risk your sales on your own lack of talent and skill in designing and crafting your email. But make sure that the elements and key points of the email will still be yours - this is to avoid any misconceptions or miscommunication. A well-designed e-mail template will go a long way to putting a client on your email list and them taking your offer.

Using Microsoft Word or FrontPage to generate your HTML.

It's a terrifying surprise to know that some people still use Microsoft Word and FrontPage to generate their HTML. There are many other alternatives out there taht will save you time and offer a lot more convenience.

Being lazy about your plain text version.

Saving a plain text version is a very important step in creating your email, but still many take this for granted. Once your email is identified as 90 percent HTML and only 10 percent plain text, it will surely get flagged. Keeping a plain text version will give you an overview of the e-mail you're creating and will serve as a guide.

The bottom line for email marketing and for email copywriting is that there doesn't have to be too many tips and tricks to get things done. Successful email copywriting for email marketing doesn't require a complex strategy or state of the art tactics. Email Copywriting requires that you treat your client's mail inbox as you would treat your very own. It also requires that you not waste too much time on your client's side with too much sales-crap. Just keep your content short and sweet. Make your content convenient and easy to understand. make your email content worth their time. And lastly, make it easy for your clients to see what to do next.

When you are writing for email content, always keep in mind that you are not writing to a big audience, to a general group, to just anyone - you are simply writing to one person, to a single subscriber that has a potentially intimate connection to you. You must think that your email marketing copywriting is the art of creating a meaningful conversation between yourself and a single subscriber. What you simply want from them is to read your email and make them feel like they are being spoken to directly by you. Highlight their importance. Treat it like you know them, and they know you.


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