Email is the primary way most people communicate in the business world. Yet many small business marketers still second guess whether email marketing is still an effective marketing strategy.
ABSOLUTELY - it is. Don’t just trust me though, check out these stats: - 91% of consumers use email at least once a day (ExactTarget). - 69.7% of US internet users say that email is the preferred method of communicating with businesses (eMarketer). - US consumers interact with about 11 brands through email on a daily basis (EmailStatCenter.com) These stats will get you fired up: - Email is almost 40 times better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter (McKinsey & Company).
- For every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $44.25 (emailexpert). - When marketed through email, consumers spend 138% more than people who don’t receive email offers (Convince and Convert). - 44% if consumers made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email they received (Convince and Convert). Interesting stat to consider: - 48% of emails are opened on a mobile device (Litmus). So, what does this mean? Simple - if you do not have an
email marketing strategy for your business you are missing out of growth. I know it’s work. I also know it’s not easy. It is my goal to use this month’s issue of intelligent MARKETER to provide you with the Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing where we will cover: - What is email marketing? - Understand the Value of Your List - List Building Strategies - Selecting an Email Provider - Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
Email marketing is a permission based marketing strategy that businesses can utilize to efficiently and effectively communicate to a list of subscribers. Email marketing is a direct marketing approach to reaching a target audience. WARNING! Email is an effective way to reach a large target audience effectively and efficiently but you must keep in mind a few key points: - The subscribers to your list are people - real people, with real problems that they are turning to you (as an expert) to help them with their problems. - Consumers (subscribers in this case) are overwhelmed. They don’t want to be sold... especially in their inboxes. If you use email as a means of advertising you will be ignored, deleted, or worse...complained about (marked as SPAM). - There are rules that you must follow set by the FTC. If you violate those laws in the U.S. you could receive penalties of up to $16,000 per email violation....which is peanuts compared to Canada’s anti-spam legislation which
is a maximum penalty of $1,000,000 per individual or $10,000,000 for a business. I’m not trying to scare you but to inform you that there are rules that you must follow. Here’s the deal. If you want to protect yourself: 1. Read up on the law (and abide). 2. Get permission. Just because you meet someone at a networking event and you grab their business card doesn’t mean you have permission. 3. Set the right expectations. Tell your subscribers that you will be sending them (and how frequently). 4. Treat your subscribers like real people (because they are). Don’t blast crap into their inboxes. Be authentic, helpful, and provide value. 5. Learn effective strategies to reaching your audience. Keep reading, I’ll do everything I can in this issue of intelligent MARKETER to help you with most of these things.
Understand the Value of Your List Once you read the CAN SPAM Laws it can be enough for you to want to throw in the towel....but I urge you not to! Your list is one of (if not THE MOST VALUABLE ASSET you own in your business). Let me explain... I already shared with you (in the Publisherâ€™s Article) the statistics behind email marketing. Aside from the staggering stats email still remains one of the most powerful tools we have in reaching our target audience. Why is email so powerful? - Email is personal. It is a great way to build a know, like and trust factor with your subscribers. - Email is direct. You have the opportunity to deliver your message straight to your targeted audience. The more you know about your audience the more effective your message will be (more on this later when we talk about segmenting your list). - Email is private. Email provides an opportunity for people to be vulnerable because the information they share via email is private and not shared openly (unlike blog comments and social media). - (Almost) everyone has an email account. Your list is only as good as your subscribers and your job is to capture the subscribers that would most benefit from your expertise.
So, letâ€™s talk about list building strategies...
OMGosh, where do I start? There are so many different strategies to building your list. Here are the key points you must apply if you want to build your list: 1. Create and deliver UNBELIVABLE value. You’ve heard the saying, “you only get one chance to make a first impression”. It’s true. You MUST, MUST, MUST give away your “BEST” stuff. You want your audience to say, “I can’t believe ______________ gave this away! They could have charged for it”. That’s when you know you made the right impression. I speak with business owners on this topic all the time. Many (ok, most) of them really struggle with this. They say, “if I give it away, what will I sell?”. My best example is this...I live in Arizona. Where the largest size of a grass lot is about 10 x 10 feet (if they are lucky). 90% of people (speculation) still pay a landscaping company to cut it!
LDING STRATEGIES Now, it’s not that they can’t. It’s that they won’t. Or don’t want to. Your customer is no different. Heck, you are no different! When we have a problem most of us will jump on Google and try to find the solution. We read a few blogs. Watch a few videos. And then we decide that it’s “best left to the professionals” and we call someone to solve our problem and fix it for us. It’s not that we can’t. It’s that we don’t want to. If small businesses are marketing correctly they should be the business that provided the solution...and ultimately they will get the call. If not, the person will likely arbitrarily head back to Google and make a random call....you get the point. The point here is that the key to building your list is to give away value. 2. Have a way to capture leads. You need a web form, landing page, or squeeze page. Basically, you need your offer and a couple of boxes that they can fill it to get what you are giving away. I’ll talk more about the program I use for this a little later. 3. Once you have a compelling offer (or a few), and you have the form, you need to gain some awareness. There are literally hundred’s of ways you can gain awareness (many of them free). Here’s a handful to get you started: - On the right side margin of your website. - In the footer of your blog. - Guest blog on other sites. - On social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram, Linkedin, etc....) The key here is to present a compelling offer that has tremendous value in as many places as you possibly can. 9
Email Provider We have talked about what email marketing is, the importance of your list, and list building strategies...now, we need to discuss selecting the right email provider. Before I do that, I want to be completely open with you.... I am a certified partner with Infusionsoft. What that means is that I am able to sell the Infusionsoft Software and provide ongoing services to help small businesses succeed in their marketing and sales efforts. I don’t recommend Infusionsoft because I sell it. I sell Infusionsoft because I recommend it. Let me explain... In May of 2013, I purchased Infusionsoft to help me with my own Marketing and Sales Efforts. At that time, I had a bunch of different systems that I was using to piece together my marketing and sales efforts…and it was chaotic to say the least. I had tons of leads coming in (I am a Marketer after all :) but no time to follow up with them! I signed up with Infusionsoft to get my own marketing and sales systems in order…but quickly realized it was THE SOLUTION for the challenges all of my clients were having as well. I became a certified partner because I wanted to be able to help my clients get organized and automate their marketing efforts the same way I was able to with mine. Now, there are many other email marketing services that are: - Cheaper - Easier to learn So, why would I recommend Infusionsoft? Cheaper doesn’t mean better, and easy isn’t always the best route (I’ll explain this as well). Stay with me... 10
Here’s what I feel is important to consider when selecting an email provider: - Will it allow me to scale so that I can grow? - Will it allow me to automate my marketing and sales systems (which goes along with the ability to scale)? - Will it grow with me and the increasing demands of my business? - Will it fully integrate with my website? - Can I get the support I need, when I need it - easily (meaning talk to an actual human about my specific problem). Most email providers are designed with one simple goal: send a broadcast and an automated email follow up...Infusionsoft is so much more than that! The downside to Infusionsoft... There’s a learning curve...and it’s not free. But, relative to the value that Infusionsoft provides Infusionsoft (in my opinion) is THE best investment a small business owner can make when it comes to marketing.
I’ve tried: - AWeber (in my opinion the best option other than Infusionsoft if you are looking for a email provider for broadcasts) - MailChimp - iContact - Constant Contact They all have their pros and cons. So does Infusionsoft. But none of those systems can allow you to scale and grow your marketing and sales like Infusionsoft. I know this is “salesy”. I guess all strong opinions can come across like that. Here’s what I think you should do... check out Infusionsoft yourself. CLICK HERE to learn more about Infusionsoft (the link takes you to my website). If you want to know what Infusionsoft can do for YOUR business click the “Schedule a Demo” button and I’ll personally give you a sneek peak inside the application. There’s my two cents....ok, maybe more like 50 cents :)
Mistakes to Avoid Oh gosh, where do I start? There are sooooo many things I need to share with you on the do’s and don’ts of email marketing! As soon as I get this list typed to you...the rules will change! It can be frustrating, but it’s also fun :)
The main point ringing through here should be to be personal and treat people with respect.
Here’s some common sense stuff (or at least should be):
Remember when email first began? (Honestly, I can’t remember... hasn’t it always been around?)...but you get the point. Remember when people only emailed those they knew and wanted to carry a conversation with? For some reason we have lost our way. Email marketing is not a platform to bring our advertising game...it’s still about carrying conversations with people we know, like and trust. Ask yourself: “how well are you known, liked and trusted with your list?”.
- Talk like a human - Remember you are talking to another human (we talked about this in an earlier article....this is likely THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP I can stress) - Treat others like you want to be treated - Don’t SPAM people (give people a way to opt in... don’t just grab cards and put people on your email list...that’s not permission) - Don’t send crap no one wants to read about - Don’t waste people’s time (sending crap they don’t want to read about) - ALWAYS deliver value (yes a coupon is valuable... but if it’s the ONLY thing you send it is annoying) - Carry a conversation, open yourself up for comments and responses. Respond back to people. - Focus on the person, not your product. - Don’t speak “corporate talk”...talk like a normal (or relatively normal) human...show your personality. - Make an effort to specialize your messaging (this is called segmenting and can be done easily in Infusionsoft :) - Always make it easy for people to unsubscribe.
Let’s get back to the basics folks :)
Yep, you guessed it! It’s not free. It’s not easy. But it’s worth the investment and learning curve! You want an inside look into Infusionsoft? CLICK HERE to schedule a free demonstration with me personally. We can talk about your business and what Infusionsoft can bring to the table.
Boosting APPS It will allow you to automate. It will allow you to scale. It will allow you to grow. It will allow you to capture leads. It will allow you to nurture your leads and customers. It will allow you to deliver unbelievable value. It will allow you to sell more. It will allow you to upsell more. It will allow you to get more referrals. It will allow you to gain more online reviews. It will allow you to (fill in the blank)...
Thanks for reading! Iâ€™d LOVE to hear your thoughts and feedback :) Hit me up at email@example.com