Direct email marketing is one of the most effective and widely used marketing techniques in nearly every industry. The barriers to entry are very low, and the return on investment tends to be quite high. Some recent research has suggested that the effectiveness of email marketing may even be improving as attitudes change and young people gain influence in the business world.
Here is your quick, seven minute guide to getting starting with email marketing.
Do you market research. Email marketing is still marketing, so do your due diligence in finding out who it is you’re trying to sell to and what types of things motivate them.
Develop an email marketing strategy. Don’t just start hammering your list with ezine articles or special offers. Take the time to develop a plan: how do you get a subscriber from the point of signing up to the point of buying? Build trust, and then capitalize on that trust.
Don’t spam. Don’t buy mailing lists, build mailing lists. Any mailing list you buy is going to be a waste of money anyway, as it won’t convert and most of the messages will end up in peoples’ spam boxes.
Build your opt-in email list. Put together a nice prominent signup form, and display it above the fold on every page of your site. You can even use a slider to overlay the signup form over the rest of your content. Another option is to build a separate signup page or a squeeze page that exists only to sell free subscriptions your mailing list.
- Be sure to describe the benefits of joining the list.
- If you can, collect a little bit of demographic information that you can use to segment your list.
- Remember that if you do business offline, you can get people to subscribe face-to-face. Speaking engagements are a great place to pimp your mailing list.
Invest in an email marketing solution. I know it seems cheaper to pay $15 a month for AWeber or ConstantContact, but those services become pricier as your business grows. Plunk down the money for a software solution that you can keep using forever. I recommend ActiveCampaign’s software, because I work for that company and can personally vouch for the software and the support you’ll receive. It’s far and away the most mature email marketing app you’ll find.
Split-test different versions of your message. Write a few different headlines and see which one converts the best. Play around with different layouts and different calls to action. If you take my advice and use the ActiveCampaign software, you can set it up to test multiple versions at the beginning of a mailing and then automatically pick a winner to send to the rest of your list.