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Email marketing tips for new Internet Marketers
Email marketing is one of the best ways to stay in touch with your audience and build a list of loyal customers. Many businesses have made fortunes using this type of marketing, and it’s just as effective today as it ever was.
Yet it can be confusing for beginners to get started. Many have problems with technical details such as configuring autoresponders, or they aren't sure about how to get people to opt in to their lists. In this article, I’ll be sharing some tips to help beginners get started with email marketing.
Start a Sales Funnel
To effectively market via email, you really need an entire system in place. This is sometimes called a sales funnel. Otherwise, you will be in the position of having to contact your customers and prospects on an individual basis. This can be very time consuming, and it doesn't allow you to handle large numbers of people.
A sales funnel usually consists of a free offer, an opt-in form and a series of automated emails. You can set up your funnel in a way that suits your business, but the idea is to capture the interest of prospects and lure them into your funnel.
To begin with, you should have some type of email service such as an autoresponder. The best known companies that handle this for online marketers are AWeber and GetResponse. If you want to start off with a free service, a good choice would be MailChimp. Once your email list gets larger than around 2,000, you will have to pay, but MailChimp lets you mail a small number of people for free.
I will not go into the mechanics of setting up an autoresponder, because this is something you can find when you sign up for one. Each service is a little different, but the basics are the same. The most complicated task you must perform is to create an opt-in form and place it on your web page.
Creating a compelling opt-in form is one of the most crucial steps in your sales funnel. You should offer people something for free that will motivate them to sign up for your newsletter or email list. This can be a report or ebook that addresses a certain problem that your customers care about. For example, if you are in the fitness or weight loss niche, you might give away a report with a title such as, “How to Lose the Weight You Gained Over the Holidays.”
Stay in Touch Consistently
When you start collecting email addresses, you have to communicate consistently with your subscribers. This is essential, or they will forget all about you. If you are publishing a newsletter, you should publish it on a regular schedule, such as weekly. Even if you don’t call it a newsletter, you must email your readers regularly.
You also have to provide them with some value if you want them to open your emails and remain subscribers. This means sharing some helpful information. Even if your goal is to get them to buy your products, you have to think of your list as mainly a way for you to provide helpful information. This is what relationship marketing is all about, and in the long run it will help you to become very successful.
Avoid Spam Complaints
The worst thing that can happen to an email marketer is to be accused of spam. This is why you should never email people without permission. Don’t buy email lists from other people, as you never know where these names and email addresses came from. The only legitimate way to email people is after they've given you permission.
This is another good reason to use an email service that helps you set up opt-in forms. On the one hand, it helps you collect emails efficiently. On the other hand, it ensures that everyone on your list has actually given you permission to contact them. It’s best to use a double opt-in system. This means that subscribers must first fill out a form saying they want your emails, and then they must reply to an automated email confirming this request. This protects you from spam complaints.
Finally, every email you send out should have an “unsubscribe” link that is clearly visible. Some email marketers neglect to do this, or hide this information in small print. It’s best to make it very clear, as some people may forget that they opted in to your list. If someone wants to get off your list, you shouldn't try to force them to stay.
Write Compelling Emails
Another tip to keep in mind for email marketing is to write the kind of emails that you would like to receive. Some common mistakes made by beginners include:
- Emails are too long
People do not like to spend hours reading an email, so make sure your emails are not too long. From my experience, 600-700 words work best.
- Emails are nothing but sales pitches
Do not try too hard to sale! Do offer valuable content that is useful to your readers.
- Emails are impersonal; addressed to “Dear Friend” or something similar.
Personalize your emails. Don't worry, you do not have to insert your recipients' names one by one (which will take ages if you have thousands of emails to send), since most good bulk mailers can do this automatically. A good software which I always use is ThunderMailer.
- Emails cannot be viewed in html format
Text emails are so yesterday! It is an advantage to create your emails in HTML so that you can use easy-to-read formatting.
- Subject line isn't interesting
Make sure your email subject line is catchy but avoid spammy words, such as "free", "best offer", "best discount", and etc.
These are all reasons that might prevent people from reading your emails. Concerning personalization, you should set up your autoresponder so that all of your emails use the recipient’s name.
Subject lines are also very important, as this will determine whether or not your emails get opened in the first place. Try to come up with interesting subject lines that are not cliches. Avoid words like “free” or anything else that might get the email dumped into the spam folder.
Email Marketing can help your business grow
There are many things to keep in mind when you do email marketing, and the above are just some of the main tips I am sharing which I gathered from my experience in doing Internet marketing. You will not become an expert marketer overnight, but with persistence you can gradually build up a growing list of buyers, or blog readers.
Remember that email marketing is about developing relationships with your customers and blog readers. It’s not a way to make lots of fast sales. The more value you can deliver, the more profitable all of your subscribers will be to you.